- AFRICA: Ceasefire monitors in South Sudan called on rival forces to allow food into conflict zones where aid workers have warned tens of thousands may be dying of starvation.
- AMERICAS: A Maryland man has been charged that he provided material support to an al-Qaida offshoot claiming responsibility for a series of deadly attacks in East Africa.
- ASIA: South Korea and the US will stage annual joint war games as early as in March, with an eye to detecting and destroying the North Korea’s nuclear program in time of emergency.
- EUROPE: German police said they have arrested 211 far-right extremists who went on a rampage on the sidelines of a xenophobic rally in Leipzig.
- MIDDLE EAST: A Kuwaiti court sentenced two men accused of spying for Iran and Hezbollah to death.
- TECHNOLOGY: Britain’s proposed new Internet spying laws could threaten key rights if passed unchanged, UN rights experts said.
- Turkey: An Istanbul explosion kills 10, injuries many; terrorism suspected.
- An explosion rocked Sultanahmet Square in Istanbul, killing at least 10 people and wounding 15 others, including foreign tourists.
- The cause of the explosion, which occurred around 10:15 am local time, was not immediately clear.
- Turkish officials said they are looking at the possibility that the blast was the work of a suicide bomber.
- Turkish PM Ahmet Davutoglu immediately convened a security meeting with the country’s interior minister and other officials.
- Turkey has also become a target for Islamic State, with two bombings last year blamed on the radical Sunni Muslim group.
- Coverage: AP, BBC, CNN, NYT, Reuters, WSJ
- Mali: Delays in implementing security measures of a peace deal signed last year is making it harder for the army to counter resurgent jihadist groups, an Malian army chief said. (Reuters)
- South Sudan: Ceasefire monitors in the country called on rival forces to allow food into conflict zones where aid workers have warned tens of thousands may be dying of starvation. (AFP)
- South Africa: The country’s duty-free benefits will be suspended 15MAR after failure to meet requirements of a trade deal, US President Barack Obama said. (Reuters)
- Brazil: Around four million Brazilians have returned to poverty as a consequence of the country’s ongoing economic crisis. (Xinhua)
- Haiti: Parliament returned to session after a year of inaction, as credibility issues persist. (AFP)
- United States: A Maryland man has been charged that he provided material support to an al-Qaida offshoot claiming responsibility for a series of deadly attacks in East Africa. (AP)
- China: The country charged seven human rights lawyers with “subversion” charges in a crackdown in a sweeping crackdown on legal activism. (AFP)
- Korean Peninsula: South Korea and the US will stage annual joint war games as early as in March, with an eye to detecting and destroying the North Korea’s nuclear program in time of emergency. (Xinhua)
- Myanmar: Aung San Suu Kyi promised to use her party’s popular mandate to drive the country’s peace process as she outlined a vision of a federal future to ethnic rebels who have battled for decades. (AFP)
- Philippines: The Supreme Court ruled a military accord with the US was constitutional, paving the way for a greater presence of US forces in the former American colony. (AFP)
- Austria: The country registered 90,000 asylum claims in 2015, government figures showed, a rise of more than 200 percent compared to the year before. (AFP)
- Germany: Police said they have arrested 211 far-right extremists who went on a rampage on the sidelines of a xenophobic rally in Leipzig. (AFP)
- Russia: The government is readying fresh spending cuts of up to 10 percent as the authorities struggle to cope with tumbling oil prices. (AFP)
- Spain: Pro-independence politician Carles Puigdemont has been confirmed as the new president of the region of Catalonia, keeping alive the drive to secede from the rest of the country. (AP)
- Iran: The country has denied a report that technicians have dismantled the core of its nearly finished heavy water reactor and filled it with concrete as part of Tehran’s obligations under the nuclear deal with the West. (AP)
- Iraq: PM Haider al-Abadi has vowed to continue the fight against Islamic State militants, a day after an IS suicide attack on a shopping mall in the capital, killing 18 people. (AP)
- Kuwait: A court sentenced two men accused of spying for Iran and Hezbollah to death. (Reuters)
- Syria: UN humanitarian chief Stephen O’Brien called for continued delivery of aid to three besieged towns, beseeching government support. (AP)
TECHNOLOGY AND COMMUNICATIONS
- Privacy: Britain’s proposed new Internet spying laws could threaten key rights if passed unchanged, UN rights experts said. (AFP)
- Cyclones: Hurricane 01C (Pali)
- Location: 525 NM SSW of Johnston Island
- Wind: 86 mph
- Movement: E at 6 mph
- Cyclones: Tropical Cyclone 06P (Ula)
- Location: 356 NM SE of Noumea, New Caledonia
- Wind: 74 mph
- Movement: SSE at 13 mph
- Hurricanes: Nothing to Report
- Earthquakes: 74km NW of Rumoi, Japan
- Magnitude: 6.2
- Depth: 239.9 km
- Earthquakes: 230km SE of Sarangani, Philippines
- Magnitude: 6.5
- Depth: 20.8 km
- Volcanoes: Nothing to Report
- Global Disease Outbreaks:
- Chikungunya Virus Disease (CHIK)
- Suspected Cases as of 12JAN: 653,249 (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: 31,543
- Deaths as of 12JAN: 82 (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 12JAN: 1626 (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 12JAN: 586 (Saudi Arabia, France, Qatar, United Kingdom, UAE, Oman, South Korea)
- Sourcing: WHO, WHO-2
TOMORROW’S OUTLOOK (13JAN)
- Togo: Togo Liberation Day – 1967
- Poland: European Commission debate on the rule of law in Poland
- Syria: Diplomats from Russia, the United States, and the United Nations to meet in Geneva to discuss the conflict in Syria