- AFRICA: Hundreds of people gathered in the DR Congo’s capital Kinshasa, defying a ban on protests against President Joseph Kabila’s plans to stay in office past the end of his term.
- AMERICAS: French FM Jean-Marc Ayrault’s visited Haiti to express France’s solidarity with its former colony in the wake of Hurricane Matthew.
- ASIA: India’s top counter-terrorism agency charged Pakistan-based militant group Jaish-e-Mohammed with perpetrating a deadly attack on an Indian air force base in JAN2016.
- EUROPE: Top officials from NATO and Russia gathered behind closed doors for a meeting of the NATO-Russia Council in Brussels.
- MIDDLE EAST: A fragile cease-fire was back on in Syria, as buses resumed evacuating those still remaining in eastern Aleppo following days of delays.
- TECHNOLOGY: US lawmakers called for a special bipartisan panel to investigate cyberattacks against the US by foreign countries with a focus on Russia’s alleged efforts to influence the US presidential election.
- Syria: Ceasefire and evacuations resume as UN to vote on monitors.
- A fragile cease-fire was back on in the country, as buses resumed evacuating those still remaining in eastern Aleppo following days of delays.
- Thousands of people were evacuated from what remained of the smashed rebel enclave in the Syrian city of Aleppo as the UN Security Council prepared a vote to send monitors to watch the routes.
- Among the people waiting to leave eastern Aleppo are sick and wounded children, UNICEF said, as some children have been forced to leave without their parents.
- Russia, Iran and Turkey will hold talks in Moscow on DEC20 aimed at giving fresh impetus for a solution in Aleppo.
- Recapturing the whole of Aleppo would be Syrian President Bashar Assad’s biggest victory in the nearly 6-year-old civil war.
- Coverage: AP, BBC, Reuters, USA Today, WP
- DR Congo: Hundreds of people gathered in the capital Kinshasa, defying a ban on protests against President Joseph Kabila’s plans to stay in office past the end of his term. (Reuters)
- Kenya: Two Iranian men who were found with video footage of the Israeli embassy have been deported after a deal was reached to drop charges against them. (AP)
- Libya: An Islamic State suicide bomber killed eight Libyan army troops near the eastern city of Benghazi. (AP)
- Nigeria: Two girl suicide bombers blew themselves up at a checkpoint outside the northeastern city of Maiduguri and wounded three civilians. (AP)
- Colombia: Two soldiers were killed by guerrillas of the National Liberation Army while on patrol in the eastern town of Arauca. (AFP)
- Haiti: French FM Jean-Marc Ayrault’s visit to the country was to express France’s solidarity with its former colony in the wake of Hurricane Matthew. (AP)
- Venezuela: President Nicolas Maduro said the sudden decision to scrap the country’s most-used currency bill was an economic triumph over the country’s enemies, despite continued unrest. (AP)
- Region: India’s top counter-terrorism agency charged Pakistan-based militant group Jaish-e-Mohammed with perpetrating a deadly attack on an Indian air force base in JAN2016. (AFP)
- Australia: The country will sign a multi-billion dollar deal with France for 12 state-of-the-art submarines. (AFP)
- India: Police are torturing suspects to death in custody with impunity and blaming suicide or natural causes, Human Rights Watch said. (AFP)
- Indonesia: State police detained several hundred people at protests around the country demanding independence for remote West Papua. (AP)
- Myanmar: The country faced growing pressure from its neighbors during emergency talks over claims its army has abused its Rohingya minority. (AFP)
- Region: Top officials from NATO and Russia gathered behind closed doors for a meeting of the NATO-Russia Council in Brussels. (DPA)
- Russia: A Russian military plane crash-landed near the Arctic town of Tiksi, injuring most of the 39 people on board. (AP)
- Ukraine: Five soldiers were killed in the latest outburst of fighting with pro-Russia rebels in the country’s east. (AP)
- Ukraine: President Petro Poroshenko urged people not to panic after his government nationalized the country’s largest private bank to avoid a rapid financial meltdown. (AFP)
- Iran: President Hassan Rouhani lashed out at the country’s hard-liners, accusing them of ignoring human rights he said are enshrined in the constitution. (AP)
- Israel: Arab lawmaker Basel Ghattas is under investigation on suspicion of smuggling mobile phones to Palestinian prisoners. (AP)
- Lebanon: The US has delivered a new Cessna aircraft to the nation’s army to help the country fight militancy and conduct border security missions. (AP)
TECHNOLOGY AND COMMUNICATIONS
- Technology: US lawmakers called for a special bipartisan panel to investigate cyberattacks against the US by foreign countries with a focus on Russia’s alleged efforts to influence the US presidential election. (Reuters)
- Cyclones: Nothing to Report
- Hurricanes: Nothing to Report
- Earthquakes: Nothing to Report
- Volcanoes: Colima, Mexico
- Three eruptions spewed ash and vapor two kilometers into the air. (Reuters)
- Global Disease Outbreaks:
- Ebola Virus Disease (EVD)
- Chikungunya Virus Disease (CHIK)
- Suspected Cases as of 16DEC: 319,841 (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 16DEC: 121,801
- Deaths as of 16DEC: 133
- 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 19DEC: 1,854 (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 19DEC: 652 (Saudi Arabia, France, Qatar, United Kingdom, UAE, Oman, South Korea)
- Sourcing: WHO, WHO-2
- Zika Virus
- Reported autochthonous Transmission as of 15DEC: 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 15DEC: 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 15DEC: 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 (20DEC)
- Global: International Human Solidarity Day – 2005
- DR Congo: Legal mandate of President Kabilla to end, reign expected to continue
- India: Kyrgyz President Atambayev to visit (to 21DEC)
- Japan: Fukuoka High Court to issue ruling on Okinawa base relocation
- Panama: Anniversary of the beginning of Operation Just Cause – 1989
- Russia: Moscow Arbitration Court to hear Google’s appeal of fine
- Spain: Anniversary of PM Blanco assassinated by ETA – 1973
- United States: High-level meeting with South Korea to be held in Washington to discuss cooperation on nuclear deterrence against North Korea