- AFRICA: Nigeria voted to offer Gambian President Yahya Jammeh asylum.
- AMERICAS: The Colombian government and the National Liberation Army (ELN) began preparatory negotiations aimed at establishing a date for public peace talks.
- ASIA: Thailand’s military-backed parliament voted to make constitutional amendments as suggested by the new king’s office, a move likely to delay a general election.
- EUROPE: The Turkish parliament approved key articles of a constitutional reform which would allow the president to be a member of a political party and issue decrees.
- MIDDLE EAST: Iraqi special forces entered the Mosul University, a tactical achievement and an incremental step in battling Islamic State militants for control of the city.
- TECHNOLOGY: The Obama administration expanded the power of the National Security Agency to share globally intercepted personal communications with the US intelligence community before applying privacy protections.
- United States: President Obama ends “wet foot, dry foot” Cuban policy.
- President Barack Obama ended with immediate effect a longstanding immigration policy that allows any Cuban who makes it to US soil to stay and become a legal resident.
- Cubans are still covered by the 1966 Cuban Adjustment Act, which grants them permanent residency after they have been here for one year, but temporary “parole” status while waiting will no longer be granted.
- The move places a finishing touch on Obama’s efforts to end hostility between the US and Cuba and establish normalized relations and diplomatic ties with a government American presidents have long sought to isolate and punish.
- The Cuban government hailed President Barack Obama’s decision.
- Obama’s order now places President-elect Donald Trump in the position of either accepting another opening to Cuba or having one of his early actions in office be making it easier for immigrants to come into the country.
- Coverage: AP, Bloomberg, Fortune, NYT, WP
- Region: Nigeria voted to offer Gambian President Yahya Jammeh asylum. (Al-Jazeera)
- Gabon: Former oil minister, Etienne Dieudonne Ngoubou, has been jailed, days after another ex-minister was incarcerated in an anti-corruption crackdown. (AFP)
- The Gambia: The country’s ruling party filed a motion with the Supreme Court to prevent president-elect Adama Barrow from being sworn into office on JAN19. (DPA)
- Colombia: The government and the National Liberation Army (ELN) began preparatory negotiations aimed at establishing a date for public peace talks. (DPA)
- United States: The Justice Department inspector general opened an investigation into department and FBI actions before the 2016 presidential election. (AP)
- Venezuela: The government jailed three anti-government politicians in what the opposition denounced as a new crackdown on dissent. (AP)
- Region: Japanese PM Shinzo Abe and Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte sought to strengthen personal ties as they held talks for a second day. (Kyodo)
- Region: Japanese Defense Minister Tomomi Inada visited a US air base in Guam to inspect an advanced antiballistic missile defense system in relation to efforts to improve its ability to counter threats from North Korea. (Kyodo)
- China: The country’s exports fell back into contraction last month, signaling renewed weakness for the world’s second biggest economy. (AP)
- Myanmar: The ruling Arakan National Party in Rakhine state refused to meet a UN envoy probing allegations of abuse of Rohingya Muslims by security forces in the region. (AFP)
- Thailand: The country’s military-backed parliament voted to make constitutional amendments as suggested by the new king’s office, a move likely to delay a general election. (Reuters)
- Region: The Council of Europe is pressing for broader protection against antiquities trafficking, saying the Islamic State group’s plundering of historic sites is an attack against human history. (AP)
- Spain: Spanish police have arrested two people in the enclave city of Ceuta for terrorism offenses linked to the Islamic State armed group. (AP)
- Turkey: Five soldiers were arrested in connection with a deadly suicide attack on the military claimed by a Kurdish radical group in the central city of Kayseri. (AFP)
- Turkey: The Turkish parliament approved key articles of a constitutional reform which would allow the president to be a member of a political party and issue decrees. (Reuters)
- Region: Syria accused Israel of bombarding an area west of Damascus, with reports of a military airport being hit. (BBC)
- Iraq: Iraqi special forces entered the Mosul University, a tactical achievement and an incremental step in battling Islamic State militants for control of the city. (AP)
- Syria: Turkish airstrikes killed 41 Islamic State militants at 187 targets in Al-Bab in the last 24 hours. (Xinhua)
- Syria: Russia declined to confirm whether it would invite the US to Syrian peace talks later this month. (AFP)
TECHNOLOGY AND COMMUNICATIONS
- Technology: The Obama administration expanded the power of the National Security Agency to share globally intercepted personal communications with the US intelligence community before applying privacy protections. (NYT)
- Cyclones: Nothing to Report
- Hurricanes: Nothing to Report
- Earthquakes: Nothing to Report
- Volcanoes: Bogoslof, Alaska
- Two ash eruptions created plumes at 5.4 km and 4.4 km. (AP)
- Global Disease Outbreaks:
- Ebola Virus Disease (EVD)
- Chikungunya Virus Disease (CHIK)
- Suspected Cases as of 06JAN: 347,876 (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 06JAN: 150,385
- Deaths as of 06JAN: 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 09JAN: 1,879 (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 09JAN: 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 (14JAN)
- India: Makara Samkranti
- India: Pongal
- Russia: Anniversary of the Budyonnovsk hospital hostage crisis – 1995 (to 19JAN)
- Saudi Arabia: Spanish King Felipe VI, Foreign Minister Alfonso Dastis, and Public Works Minister Inigo de la Serna to visit (to 16JAN)
- Tunisia: Country marks the fall of president Zine El Abidine Ben Ali’s regime / Revolution and Youth Day – 2011
- Vatican City: Palestinian President Abbas to visit, meet with Pope Francis
- Orthodox Christianity: Orthodox New Years