- AFRICA: Rwandan President Paul Kagame will run for a third term in office in 2017 in line with a constitutional amendment which won overwhelming backing in a recent referendum.
- AMERICAS: US authorities arrested and charged a 25-year-old American Muslim convert over an alleged attempt to launch a New Year’s Eve attack in upstate New York in the name of the Islamic State group.
- ASIA: North Korean leader Kim Jong Un blamed South Korea for increased mistrust in a New Year speech after a year of heightened tension between the countries.
- EUROPE: Russia’s finance ministry said it was suing Ukraine for defaulting on a USD 3B debt to Moscow, following an order by President Vladimir Putin.
- MIDDLE EAST: Three civilians including two children have been killed in cross-border missile attacks from Yemen on a residential area in southwestern Saudi Arabia.
- TECHNOLOGY: Hackers brought down the BBC’s websites for several hours in a large-scale hacking attack.
- Germany: Two Munich train stations evacuated over imminent Islamic State plot.
○ Two train stations in Munich, Germany, were evacuated and train service stopped on New Year’s Eve, a spokesman for the Munich police said, citing concerns of a possible terror plot.
○ A terror warning about Islamic State extremists intending to blow themselves up in the city remains in place.
○ Bavarian Interior Minister Joachim Herrmann said Germany had received a tip from another country’s intelligence service that IS planned to attack Munich.
○ German police said that the main Munich Hauptbahnhof and Pasing train stations were evacuated.
○ Munich police president Hubertus Andrae said so far there hadn’t been any arrests.
- Nigeria: President Muhammadu Buhari reassured citizens that his administration was determined to make things better in the shortest possible time. (Xinhua)
- Nigeria: The Nigerian Army alerted residents of restive northeast Borno State on a planned attack by Boko Haram terrorists using beggars and other strategies. (Xinhua)
- Rwanda: President Paul Kagame will run for a third term in office in 2017 in line with a constitutional amendment which won overwhelming backing in a recent referendum. (AFP)
- Canada: The country will take in more than 6,000 Syrian refugees by the end of 2015, missing its already delayed target of accepting 10,000 by year-end. (Reuters)
- Paraguay: The government called for the total evacuation of the town of Alberdi, due to the risk of flooding after a wall holding back the Paraguay river is set to burst. (Xinhua)
- United States: Authorities arrested and charged a 25-year-old American Muslim convert over an alleged attempt to launch a New Year’s Eve attack in upstate New York in the name of the Islamic State group. (AFP)
- Brunei: Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah has said several important reforms will be taken to fulfill the country’s aspiration to diversify its oil and gas-reliant economy. (Xinhua)
- China: Married couples are now allowed to have two children, brought about by concerns over an ageing population and shrinking workforce. (AFP)
- Hong Kong: More than 1,000 people protested, calling for the city’s leader to resign and to air grievances over issues, including Internet freedoms. (AFP)
- Korean Peninsula: North Korean leader Kim Jong Un blamed South Korea for increased mistrust in a New Year speech after a year of heightened tension between the countries. (Reuters)
- Region: Russia’s finance ministry said it was suing Ukraine for defaulting on a USD 3B debt to Moscow, following an order by President Vladimir Putin. (AFP)
- Region: The Netherlands took over the rotating presidency of the EU, keen to keep the bloc united, but facing eurosceptic headwinds fuelled by Europe‘s migration crisis. (DPA)
- Germany: Ten young refugees were rescued after the shelter in which they were staying in southern town of Ruppertshofen caught fire. (DPA)
- Region: Three civilians including two children have been killed in cross-border missile attacks from Yemen on a residential area in southwestern Saudi Arabia. (AFP)
- Iraq: Violence has claimed the lives of 980 Iraqis in December, up from 888 the previous month, the UN said. (AP)
- Yemen: About three pro-government soldiers were killed and three others injured when suspected al-Qaida gunmen attacked a checkpoint in the province of Abyan. (Xinhua)
TECHNOLOGY AND COMMUNICATIONS
- Technology: Hackers brought down the BBC’s websites for several hours in a large-scale hacking attack. (AFP)
- Cyclones: Tropical Depression 09C
○ Location: 538 NM E of Tarawa
○ Wind: 34 mph
○ Movement: W at 8 mph
- Cyclones: Tropical Cyclone 06P (Ula)
○ Location: 118 NM SSE of Pago Pago
○ Wind: 103 mph
○ Movement: S at 5 mph
- Hurricanes: Nothing to Report
- Earthquakes: Western Indian-Antarctic Ridge
○ Magnitude: 6.3
○ Depth: 10 km
- Volcanoes: Colima, Mexico
○ Plume of smoke and ash 9,842 feet into the air. (Reuters)
- Global Disease Outbreaks:
○ Ebola Virus Disease (EVD)
■ Cases as of 01JAN: 28,637 (Guinea, Liberia, Mali, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Spain, United Kingdom, United States, Italy)
■ Deaths as of 01JAN: 11,315 (Guinea, Liberia, Mali, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, United States)
○ Chikungunya Virus Disease (CHIK)
■ Suspected Cases as of 01JAN: 607,961 (Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, Aruba, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Bermuda, Brazil, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Colombia, Costa Rica, Curacao, Dominica, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, French Guiana, Grenada, Guadeloupe, Guatemala, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Jamaica, Martinique, Mexico, Montserrat, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Puerto Rico, Saint Barthelemy, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Martin, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Sint Maarten, Spain, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago, Turks and Caicos Islands, United States, US Virgin Islands, and Venezuela.)
■ Confirmed Cases: 35,019
■ Deaths as of 01JAN: 77 (Colombia, Puerto Rico, Martinique, Grenada, French Guiana, Guadeloupe, Jamaica, Dominican Republic)
○ Novel Coronavirus (MERS-CoV, SARS-related)
■ Cases as of 01JAN: 1621 (Saudi Arabia (KSA), Jordan, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), the United Kingdom (UK), France, Tunisia, Italy, Oman, Kuwait, Yemen, Malaysia, Greece, Egypt, Lebanon, the Netherlands, Iran, Algeria, Austria, Turkey, The Philippines, Germany, China, South Korea, and the US)
■ Deaths as of 01JAN: 584 (Saudi Arabia, France, Qatar, United Kingdom, UAE, Oman, South Korea)
TOMORROW’S OUTLOOK (02JAN)
- Bosnia: Anniversary of US peacekeepers deploying to Bosnia – 1996
- Argentina and Great Britain: Anniversary of British occupation of Falkands – 1833