- AFRICA: In DR Congo, protests raged against President Joseph Kabila staying in power beyond his second term, including gunfire and unconfirmed reports of three dead.
- AMERICAS: Donald Trump clinched the US presidency as members of the electoral college cast ballots declaring him the victor.
- ASIA: China returned a US naval drone seized in the South China Sea last week after “friendly negotiation.”
- EUROPE: Moscow has sent investigators to Turkey after a policeman shot dead Russia’s ambassador Andrei Karlov in Ankara.
- MIDDLE EAST: Some 25,000 people have been evacuated from the Syrian rebel-held enclave of Aleppo, the International Committee of the Red Cross said.
- TECHNOLOGY: The Cuban government has announced a two-month trial scheme to allow internet access in private homes.
- Germany: Berlin Market truck crash treated as “terrorist attack.”
- German Chancellor Angela Merkel said the deadly truck crash at a Berlin Christmas market was believed to have been a terrorist attack.
- The incident killed 12 and injured 48.
- German authorities were questioning a male suspect arrested who matched a description of the truck driver, identified as a Pakistani national who arrived in February as an asylum seeker.
- If the man is confirmed as the culprit, it is likely to fuel an already-heated debate in Germany over Merkel’s decision to open the door last year to nearly 1 million migrants.
- Investigators believe the truck was stolen in Poland, as it has Polish license plates and a man found dead in the passenger seat was a Polish national who police think may have been the truck’s original driver.
- Coverage: NYT, Reuters, USA Today, WP, WSJ
- Region: Authorities in Senegal have arrested former Guinean military leader Aboubacar Sidiki “Toumba” Diakite, long sought in connection with a 2009 stadium massacre that killed more than 150 people. (AP)
- DR Congo: Protests raged against President Joseph Kabila staying in power beyond his second term, with gunfire and unconfirmed reports of three dead. (DPA)
- Somalia: The African Union has launched investigations into the killing of six civilians in separate incidents in Qoryooley and Marka. (Xinhua)
- Zambia: An official panel to investigate the violence surrounding the general elections earlier this year began its work. (Xinhua)
- Region: The Zika outbreak in South America was fueled by the El Nino phenomenon of 2015, a Proceedings of the National Academy of Science study said. (Xinhua)
- Colombia: The Colombian army announced it will continue fighting without quarter any FARC guerrillas opposed to the peace process. (EFE)
- United States: Donald Trump clinched the presidency as members of the Electoral College cast ballots declaring him the victor. (WP)
- Region: China offered to provide USD 14M arms package to the Philippines for free, aiding President Rodrigo Duterte’s war on drugs and fighting terrorism. (Reuters)
- China: The country returned a US naval drone seized in the South China Sea last week after “friendly negotiation.” (WP)
- Indonesia: Jakarta police officers guarded rival groups outside the courthouse where Jakarta Governor Basuki Tjahaja “Ahok” Purnama appeared for his ongoing trial on blasphemy charges. (EFE)
- Japan: The country began killing about 122,000 farm birds to contain another outbreak of a highly contagious strain of avian flu. (AFP)
- Japan: The country’s Supreme Court ruled in favor of the central government in its bid to relocate a US airbase on Okinawa. (AFP)
- Region: Moscow sent investigators to Turkey after a policeman shot dead Russia’s ambassador Andrei Karlov in Ankara. (BBC)
- Turkey: The US closed its three main missions in Turkey after a Turkish man fired shots outside its embassy in Ankara. (WSJ)
- Turkey: Turkish police have detained six people over the killing of the Russian ambassador Andrei Karlov. (Reuters)
- Switzerland: Swiss police halted a search for a shooter who injured three men in a Muslim prayer hall in Zurich, after discovering a body near the scene. (AFP)
- Region: Russian FM Sergei Lavrov said there should be no “concessions to terrorists” at talks with Turkish counterpart Mevlut Cavusoglu on Syria. (AFP)
- Syria: The Syrian army urged the last remaining rebels and civilians to leave the bombed-out eastern quarters of Aleppo. (AFP)
- Syria: Some 25,000 people have been evacuated from the rebel-held enclave of Aleppo, the International Committee of the Red Cross said. (Reuters)
- Yemen: At least 22 people were killed in clashes between government forces and rebels on the outskirts of the flashpoint city of Taez. (AFP)
TECHNOLOGY AND COMMUNICATIONS
- Technology: The Cuban government has announced a two-month trial scheme to allow internet access in private homes. (BBC)
- Cyclones: Nothing to Report
- Hurricanes: Nothing to Report
- Earthquakes: 80km WNW of Kirakira, Solomon Islands
- Magnitude: 6.4
- Depth: 11.3 km
- Volcanoes: Nothing to Report
- 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 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 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 (21DEC)
- Armenia: Iranian President Hassan Rouhani to visit Yerevan
- DR Congo: Government-opposition talks to resume
- Kazakhstan: Iranian President Hassan Rouhani to visit Astana
- Russia: Serbian PM Aleksandar Vucic to visit
- United Kingdom: Anniversary of the bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland – 1988