- AFRICA: In the Central African Republic, two-thirds of the 30 presidential candidates demanded the authorities halt the vote count because of what they said were irregularities in the ballot.
- AMERICAS: The US expressed concern that the Venezuelan government is trying to obstruct the actions of the country’s National Assembly.
- ASIA: The US said it “expects” Pakistan to act against perpetrators of a deadly attack on an Indian air force base.
- EUROPE: In France, President Francois Hollande unveiled a plaque at the former offices of the satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo as commemorations began to mark the one-year anniversary of the terrorist attack.
- MIDDLE EAST: The UN says the civilian death toll from nine months of fighting in Yemen has reached nearly 2,800 after at least 81 people were killed in December.
- TECHNOLOGY: A central European security software firm said a cyber attack last month in Ukraine was broader than initially reported.
- Saudi Arabia-Iran Row: More countries sever diplomatic ties with Iran.
- Kuwait has announced it is recalling its ambassador to Iran as a regional row over the execution of a Shia cleric in Saudi Arabia deepens.
- The widening diplomatic feud has roiled the region and put the US in a bind, threatening to set back the prospects for peace in Syria.
- Current and former US officials said they believed Riyadh and Washington have too many shared interests to permit a fundamental breach in their relationship.
- It was unclear whether Kuwait was fully severing relations with Iran or only recalling its ambassador.
- Sudan said it was breaking off relations with Iran while the United Arab Emirates also downgraded ties, withdrawing its ambassador from Tehran and telling the Iranian ambassador in the Emirates to go home.
- Coverage: BBC, NYT, Reuters, WP, WSJ
- Burundi: As President Pierre Nkurunziza clings to power, Amnesty International has documented arbitrary arrests, disappearances and deaths in the country. (Guardian)
- Central African Republic: Two thirds of the 30 presidential candidates demanded the authorities halt the vote count because of what they said were irregularities in the ballot. (Reuters)
- Gabon: Park wardens have seized 30 kg of ivory tusks from poachers in Minkebe park in the country’s north. (Xinhua)
- Colombia: The Colombian Navy has seized 87 tons of drugs during 2015 and warned about a new method of trafficking, Navy commander Leonardo Santamaria said. (Xinhua)
- Venezuela: President Nicolas Maduro eliminated the National Assembly’s control over nomination and removal of central bank directors, as opposition slammed the move as aimed at curtailing its power. (Reuters)
- Venezuela: The US expressed concern that the Venezuelan government is trying to obstruct the actions of the country’s National Assembly. (Reuters)
- Region: China said it would allow transit stops in Taiwan for its citizens, allowing people from the mainland to travel on from the island for the first time. (Reuters)
- Region: The US said it “expects” Pakistan to act against perpetrators of a deadly attack on an Indian air force base. (BBC)
- Afghanistan: An explosion was reported in the eastern city of Jalalabad close to foreign consulate buildings including those of India, Pakistan and Iran. (Reuters)
- Sri Lanka: At least 36 Sri Lankans have reportedly left for Syria to join the Islamic State (IS) terror group, a senior official has said. (Xinhua)
- Region: NATO is flatly dismissing a claim by Russia that its actions and expansion constitute a menace for Russia’s security. (AP)
- France: President Francois Hollande unveiled a plaque at the former offices of the satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo as commemorations began to mark the one-year anniversary of the terrorist attack. (AFP)
- Spain: Spanish police say they have seized three tons of cocaine and arrested 12 suspected European drug smugglers in a major drugs bust. (AFP)
- United Kingdom: PM David Cameron is to allow ministers to campaign for either side in the referendum once a deal is reached on the country’s relationship with the EU. (BBC)
- Region: Israeli security forces shot and killed a Palestinian who stabbed an Israeli soldier in the West Bank, as a surge in violence entered its fourth month. (Reuters)
- Region: The main suspect in the latest propaganda video by so-called Islamic State is thought to be British man Siddhartha Dhar. (BBC)
- Region: Four additional German Tornado reconnaissance jets began their journey to Turkey to support units already there assisting in operations against Islamic State. (DPA)
- Yemen: The UN says the civilian death toll from nine months of fighting in the country has reached nearly 2,800 after at least 81 people were killed in December. (AP)
TECHNOLOGY AND COMMUNICATIONS
- Technology: A central European security software firm said a cyber attack last month in Ukraine was broader than initially reported. (Reuters)
- Cyclones: Tropical Cyclone 06P (Ula)
- Location: 235 S of Suva, Fiji
- Wind: 74 mph
- Movement: WNW at 5 mph
- Hurricanes: Nothing to Report
- Earthquakes: Nothing to Report
- Volcanoes: Feugo, Guatemala
- Ash cloud eruption continues, with particulate matter falling in at least eight nearby towns. (Guardian)
- Volcanoes: Soputan, Indonesia
- Eruption sent smoke into the air as high as 2,000 meters. (Xinhua)
- Global Disease Outbreaks:
- Ebola Virus Disease (EVD)
- Ebola Virus Disease (EVD)
- Chikungunya Virus Disease (CHIK)
- Suspected Cases as of 05JAN: 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 05JAN: 77 (Colombia, Puerto Rico, Martinique, Grenada, French Guiana, Guadeloupe, Jamaica, Dominican Republic)
- Sourcing: WHO, WHO-2, CDC, CDC-2
- Novel Coronavirus (MERS-CoV, SARS-related)
- Cases as of 05JAN: 1625 (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 05JAN: 586 (Saudi Arabia, France, Qatar, United Kingdom, UAE, Oman, South Korea)
- Sourcing: WHO, WHO-2
TOMORROW’S OUTLOOK (06JAN)
- Iraq: Army Day – 1921
- Christianity: Epiphany