- AFRICA: Heavy weapons fire was heard near the Ivory Coast’s largest military camp in the city of Bouake, where at least two police stations were attacked.
- AMERICAS: All US ambassadors who were political appointees must end their service on 20JAN, as told by the incoming Trump administration.
- ASIA: Japan is temporarily recalling its ambassador to South Korea over a statue commemorating Korean women forced to work in Japanese brothels during World War Two.
- EUROPE: The number of migrants reaching the EU by sea fell by two-thirds in 2016 but arrivals in Italy from north Africa hit an all-time high.
- MIDDLE EAST: Turkey urged the UN to impose sanctions on parties that violate the week-old ceasefire in Syria.
- TECHNOLOGY: Top US intelligence officials and senators from both parties forcefully reaffirmed the conclusion the Russian government used hacking and leaks to try to influence the presidential election.
- Syria: Russia announces withdrawal of military forces.
- Russia is starting to withdraw forces from the country and its aircraft carrier group will be the first to leave, the Russian armed forces chief Gen. Valery Gerasimov said.
- Andrei Kartapolov, Russia’s main commander in Syria, said Russia still had sufficient air defence capabilities in Syria thanks to its S-300 and S-400 systems deployed in the war-torn country.
- Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered a reduction in Russian forces on 29DEC as he announced a ceasefire between government and rebel forces.
- If the ceasefire holds, peace negotiations are slated to take place in late January in Kazakhstan.
- Russia has wrong footed opponents before with announcements of withdrawal from Syria which never materialized.
- Coverage: AFP, Al-Jazeera, BBC, CNN, Telegraph
- Central African Republic: A third UN peacekeeper was killed on the same day two Moroccan soldiers died in a separate attack. (AFP)
- Ivory Coast: Heavy weapons fire was heard near the country’s largest military camp in the city of Bouake, where at least two police stations were attacked. (AFP)
- Namibia: The Ovaherero and Nama indigenous groups filed a class action suit against Germany over an alleged genocide of their peoples by German colonial rulers over a century ago. (AFP)
- Region: Haitian politician and former coup leader Guy Philippe was arrested and extradited to the US for alleged drug trafficking and money laundering. (Reuters)
- Mexico: Gasoline price protests and looting continued, resulting in two deaths, the ransacking of 300 stores and arrests of over 700 people. (AP)
- United States: All ambassadors who were political appointees must end their service on 20JAN, as told by the incoming Trump administration. (WP)
- Region: Japan is temporarily recalling its ambassador to South Korea over a statue commemorating Korean women forced to work in Japanese brothels during World War Two. (Reuters)
- Region: Indonesia stepped back from its decision to suspend military cooperation with Australia. (NYT)
- Bangladesh: Nurul Islam Marzan, an Islamist extremist accused of masterminding last year’s siege at a Bangladeshi cafe, was killed during a raid in the capital Dhaka. (AFP)
- Korean Peninsula: South Korea is set to deploy new laser weapons with the aim of shooting down North Korean drones. (IANS)
- Philippines: President Rodrigo Duterte said he hoped Russia would become his country’s ally and protector. (Reuters)
- Region: The number of migrants reaching the EU by sea fell by two-thirds in 2016 but arrivals in Italy from north Africa hit an all-time high. (Reuters)
- Germany: The country’s domestic security agency head Hans-Georg Maassen said he favors more centralized coordination of German intelligence services. (DPA)
- Turkey: Police detained 18 people in connection with a foiled attack at courthouse in the western city of Izmir. (AP)
- Region: Turkey urged the UN to impose sanctions on parties that violate the week-old ceasefire in Syria. (RFE/RL)
- Iraq: Government forces retook the western villages of Rawa, Aanah and Al-Qaim from ISIS, the last main populated areas held by ISIS in Anbar province. (AFP)
- Syria: Government forces bombed a rebel-held district that is the capital Damascus’ main water source as the rival sides traded blame over a cut to mains supplies. (AFP)
- Syria: The Islamic State group moved more than 150 prisoners as an Arab-Kurdish coalition advances on its Raqqa stronghold. (EFE)
TECHNOLOGY AND COMMUNICATIONS
- Technology: Top US intelligence officials and senators from both parties forcefully reaffirmed the conclusion the Russian government used hacking and leaks to try to influence the presidential election. (NYT)
- Cyclones: Nothing to Report
- Hurricanes: Nothing to Report
- Earthquakes: Nothing to Report
- Volcanoes: Turrialba, Costa Rica
- The country declared a state of emergency after eruptions of ash forced international flights to be postponed. (AFP)
- Volcanoes: Bogoslof, Alaska
- An ash eruption reached 12 km altitude, with area on alert for additional eruptions. (Volcano Discovery)
- Global Disease Outbreaks:
- Ebola Virus Disease (EVD)
- Chikungunya Virus Disease (CHIK)
- Suspected Cases as of 30DEC: 347,647 (Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Aruba, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Bermuda, Bolivia, Brazil, British Virgin Islands, Canada, Cayman Islands, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Curacao, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, French Guiana, Grenada, Guadeloupe, Guatemala, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Jamaica, Martinique, Mexico, Montserrat, Nicaragua, Panamá, Paraguay, Perú, Puerto Rico, Saint Barthelemy, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Martin (French), Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Sint Maarten (Dutch), Spain, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago, Turks and Caicos Islands, UK Virgin Islands, United States of America, US Virgin Islands, Uruguay, and Venezuela)
- Confirmed Cases as of 30DEC: 150,380
- Deaths as of 30DEC: 172
- Deaths (01JAN15-31DEC15): 91 (Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, French Guiana, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Puerto Rico)
- Sourcing: WHO, WHO-2, CDC, CDC-2
- Novel Coronavirus (MERS-CoV, SARS-related)
- Cases as of 20DEC: 1,864 (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 20DEC: 659 (Saudi Arabia, France, Qatar, United Kingdom, UAE, Oman, South Korea)
- Sourcing: WHO, WHO-2
- Zika Virus
- Reported autochthonous Transmission as of 05JAN: American Samoa, Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Aruba, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Bolivia (Plurinational State of), Bonaire (Netherlands), Brazil, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Cabo Verde, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Curaçao, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Fiji, French Guiana, Grenada, Guadeloupe, Guatemala, Guinea-Bissau, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Indonesia, Jamaica, Malaysia, Maldives, Marshall Islands, Martinique, Mexico, Micronesia (Federated States of), Montserrat, New Caledonia, Nicaragua, Palau, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Puerto Rico, Saint Barthélemy, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Martin, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Samoa, Singapore, Sint Eustatius and Saba (Netherlands), Sint Maarten, Suriname, Thailand, Tonga, Trinidad & Tobago, Turks and Caicos, United States of America, Vietnam, United States Virgin Islands, and Venezuela (Bolivarian Republic of).
- Outbreak Terminated as of 05JAN: Bangladesh, Cambodia, Cook Islands, French Polynesia, Gabon, Isla de Pascua (Chile), Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, and Vanuatu.
- Locally Acquired Without Vector Borne Transmission as of 05JAN: Argentina, Canada, Chile, France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, New Zealand, Peru, Portugal, Spain, and the United States of America.
- Sourcing: WHO, WHO-2, CDC, CDC-2
TOMORROW’S OUTLOOK (07JAN)
- Africa Region: Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi to visit Madagascar, Zambia, Tanzania, Republic of Congo and Nigeria (to 12JAN)
- Americas Region: Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen to visit Houston, Honduras, Nicaragua, Guatemala, El Salvador, and San Francisco (to 15JAN)
- Ethiopia: Genna (Ethiopian Christmas)
- Ghana: Government elected on 07NOV to take office
- Sri Lanka: National Integration Week (to 14JAN)
- Orthodox Christianity: Eastern Christmas