- AFRICA: The UN said it was investigating new allegations of sexual abuse of minors by peacekeepers in the Central African Republic.
- AMERICAS: Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro is set to announce his new cabinet.
- ASIA: Indonesia is working with China to stem a flow of ethnic Uighur militants seeking to join Islamist jihadists in the world’s most populous Muslim country.
- EUROPE: Hundreds of people have protested in the German city of Cologne over sexual assaults and thefts carried out by groups of men on New Year’s Eve.
- MIDDLE EAST: Saudi Arabia “must stop” its prolonged efforts to frustrate Iran’s efforts to reduce tensions in the Middle East, Iranian FM Mohammad Javad Zarif said.
- TECHNOLOGY: China’s regulators said it would demand answers to new questions about Microsoft’s business practices there.
- North Korea: H-bomb test claims met by international condemnation, skepticism.
○ World leaders sternly criticized North Korea for carrying out a fourth nuclear test, an explosion that Pyongyang claimed was a much more powerful hydrogen bomb test.
○ Closed-door UN Security Council morning talks between member nations were called by the UN and Japan.
○ North Korea’s claim that it successfully detonated a hydrogen bomb for the first time isn’t backed up by initial data reviewed by weapons experts.
○ North Korea may have explained a reported hydrogen bomb test as a response to U.S. “hostility,” but experts say it may more accurately reflect deteriorating relations with China.
○ While a fourth nuclear test had been long expected, the claim that it was a hydrogen device, much more powerful than an atomic bomb, came as a surprise, as did the timing.
- Central African Republic: The UN said it was investigating new allegations of sexual abuse of minors by peacekeepers in the conflict-torn African nation. (Reuters)
- Democratic Republic of Congo: UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon proposed a reduction of the number of peacekeepers deployed under the UN Mission for Stabilization of Congo. (Xinhua)
- Libya: Turkish security forces seized 13 tons of marijuana on board of a Bolivian-flagged ship in international waters off the nation’s coast. (Xinhua)
- Region: US Governor of Virginia Terry McAuliffe concluded a three-day visit to Cuba with an agreement to boost trade ties between his state and the island nation. (Xinhua)
- Brazil: Dengue fever cases show very rare increase in the country last year, as 123,000 new cases were registered from September to December. (Xinhua)
- United States: Federal prosecutors say a high-ranking member of a Mexican drug cartel is set to plead guilty to charges related to the importation of cocaine into the country. (AP)
- Venezuela: President Nicolas Maduro is set to announce his new cabinet. (EFE)
- Region: Indonesia is working with China to stem a flow of ethnic Uighur militants seeking to join Islamist jihadists in the world’s most populous Muslim country. (Reuters)
- Region: A group of elderly Filipino women raped by Japanese troops during World War II called for compensation from Japan. (AP)
- Bangladesh: The country’s highest court upheld the death sentence for the leader of the nation’s largest Islamist party for crimes during its 1971 independence struggle. (AFP)
- China: The nation will pursue more free trade agreements this year, accodring to Ministry of Commerce Spokesperson Shen Danyang. (Xinhua)
- Germany: Nearly 1.1 million people were registered as asylum-seekers in the country last year, more than 400,000 of them from Syria. (AP)
- Germany: Hundreds of people have protested in the city of Cologne over sexual assaults and thefts carried out by groups of men on New Year’s Eve. (BBC)
- Turkey: The US-based cleric Fethullah Gulen, arch foe of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, goes on trial over 2013 graft claims that rocked Turkey’s strongman. (AFP)
- Region: Iraqi FM Ibrahim al-Jaafari held talks in Tehran with the crisis between Saudi Arabia and Iran in focus as international concern mounts. (AFP)
- Region: The Islamic State threatened to destroy Saudi Arabian prisons holding jihadists after Riyadh’s execution of 47 people including 43 convicted al Qaeda militants. (Reuters)
- Region: Saudi Arabia “must stop” its prolonged efforts to frustrate Iran’s efforts to reduce tensions in the Middle East, Iranian FM Mohammad Javad Zarif said. (AFP)
- Saudi Arabia: The country is expected to save USD 7B a year after it introduced unprecedented energy price rises in a bid to offset the low cost of oil, a Jadwa Investment report said. (AFP)
TECHNOLOGY AND COMMUNICATIONS
- Technology: China’s regulators said it would demand answers to new questions about Microsoft’s business practices there. (NYT)
- Cyclones: Tropical Cyclone 06P (Ula)
○ Location: 189 SSW of Suva, Fiji
○ Wind: 51 mph
○ Movement: NNW at 4 mph
- Hurricanes: Nothing to Report
- Earthquakes: Nothing to Report
- Volcanoes: Nothing to Report
- Global Disease Outbreaks:
○ Ebola Virus Disease (EVD)
■ Ebola Virus Disease (EVD)
- Cases as of 06JAN: 28,637 (Guinea, Liberia, Mali, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Spain, United Kingdom, United States, Italy)
- Deaths as of 06JAN: 11,315 (Guinea, Liberia, Mali, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, United States)
- Sourcing: WHO, WHO-2, BBC
○ Chikungunya Virus Disease (CHIK)
■ Suspected Cases as of 06JAN: 635,955 (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: 30,356
■ Deaths as of 06JAN: 82 (Colombia, Puerto Rico, Martinique, Grenada, French Guiana, Guadeloupe, Jamaica, Dominican Republic)
■ Novel Coronavirus (MERS-CoV, SARS-related)
- Cases as of 06JAN: 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 06JAN: 586 (Saudi Arabia, France, Qatar, United Kingdom, UAE, Oman, South Korea)
- Sourcing: WHO, WHO-2
TOMORROW’S OUTLOOK (07JAN)
- France: The delivery of shipping containers converted to shelters for migrants in Calais
- Lebanon: The Lebanese parliament to hold 34th session to elect a new president
- Orthodox Christianity: Christmas Day