AFRICA: In Somalia, Islamist Shebab gunmen killed around 20 people in a popular beachside restaurant.
AMERICAS: Haitian President Michel Martelly insisted that a presidential runoff will be held as scheduled this weekend, regardless of a boycott by the opposition candidate.
ASIA: South Korea suggested regional powers should meet without North Korea for denuclearization talks in the wake its recent nuclear test.
EUROPE: German Chancellor Angela Merkel will press Ankara to help stem the flow of migrants to Europe in talks with Turkish PM Ahmet Davutoglu.
MIDDLE EAST: Turkey is “closely watching” Russian troop movements in Syria near its border, after reports that Russian servicemen had deployed in the Syrian border town of Qamishli.
TECHNOLOGY: China’s Internet users rose to nearly 700 million last year, more than twice the population of the US.
North Korea: US student detained for plotting to “undermine North Korean unity.”
North Korea said it was holding a US student for committing an unspecified “hostile act.”
Pyongyang’s Korean Central News Agency identified the person as Warmbier Otto Frederick, a student at “Virginia University.”
The student was accused of entering the country under the guise of a tourist and plotting to undermine North Korean unity with “the tacit connivance of the US government and under its manipulation.”
Warmbier, 21, was in North Korea for a five-day New Year trip and was detained at Pyongyang airport on 02JAN ahead of a flight back to China.
North Korea has used detained US nationals in the past as a way to draw prominent American figures such as former US President Jimmy Carter into Pyongyang as mediators to open dialogue with Washington.
Region: The UN refugee agency UNHCR is planning for as many as 50,000 Somalis to return home this year from a Kenyan camp that is now home to 350,000 people. (Reuters)
Region: Republic of Congo’s Foreign Minister Jean Claude Gakosso made a visit to the Democratic Republic of Congo between 18JAN-20JAN to strengthen cooperation between the two countries. (Xinhua)
Burundi: UN Security Council diplomats told the country that the crisis that has left hundreds dead had to be resolved by dialogue. (Reuters)
Senegal: The government has set up an operational homeland security unit to fight any eventual terrorist attack. (Xinhua)
Somalia:Islamist Shebab gunmen killed around 20 people in a popular beachside restaurant. (AFP)
Colombia: Authorities confirmed they began releasing some of the 30 guerrillas who were pardoned late last year amid ongoing peace talks. (Miami Herald)
Colombia: Members of the UN Security Council received a draft of a resolution establishing a UN mission to oversee disarmament should the country and leftist FARC rebels reach a final peace deal. (Reuters)
Haiti: President Michel Martelly insisted that a presidential runoff will be held as scheduled this weekend, regardless of a boycott by the opposition candidate. (AP)
Region: China downplayed its broadcast of live-fire military and landing drills, after a landslide election win by an independence-leaning opposition party in Taiwan. (Reuters)
India: Police detained several suspected militants as part of a nationwide security crackdown ahead of Republic Day celebrations at which France’s president will attend. (AFP)
Korean Peninsula: South Korea suggested regional powers should meet without North Korea for denuclearization talks in the wake its recent nuclear test. (AP)
Myanmar: The government released 101 political prisoners from various jails across the country under a directive of the President’s Office. (Xinhua)
Vanuatu: More than 200,000 voted to elect a new 53-member parliament in a snap ballot called after a corruption scandal hit the Pacific island archipelago. (AFP)
Region: French PM Manuel Valls has warned that Europe’s migration crisis is putting the EU at grave risk. (BBC)
Region: German Chancellor Angela Merkel will press Ankara to help stem the flow of migrants to Europe in talks with Turkish PM Ahmet Davutoglu. (AFP)
Greece: At least 21 people died in two separate incidents of boats smuggling migrants or refugees sinking off two islands. (AP)
Russia: The country will form four new military divisions this year to strengthen its western and central regions in response to the increase in NATO drills. (Reuters)
Turkey: The Kurdistan Workers Party were blamed for an attack that wounded five children when a hand-made explosive device was thrown into a schoolyard in the country’s majority-Kurdish southeast. (AFP)
Region: Israeli forces evicted Jewish settlers from two buildings in the heart of the West Bank city of Hebron near an important shrine holy to both Jews and Muslims. (AP)
Region: Turkey is “closely watching” Russian troop movements in Syria near its border, after reports that Russian servicemen had deployed in the Syrian border town of Qamishli. (AFP)
Region: The Saudis should “come to their senses” and end tensions with Iran, the Iranian FM Mohammad Javad Zarif. (DPA)
Iraq: The country plans to launch an offensive operation in Mosul to dislodge Islamic State in the first half of 2016, Defense Minister Khaled al-Obeidi said. (Reuters)
Yemen: Three Al-Jazeera journalists working in the country who went missing this week likely have been kidnapped, the news network said. (AP)
TECHNOLOGY AND COMMUNICATIONS
Internet: China’s Internet users rose to nearly 700 million last year, more than twice the population of the US. (AFP)
Suspected Cases as of 22JAN: 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 22JAN: 82 (Colombia, Puerto Rico, Martinique, Grenada, French Guiana, Guadeloupe, Jamaica, Dominican Republic)
Cases as of 22JAN: 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 22JAN: 586 (Saudi Arabia, France, Qatar, United Kingdom, UAE, Oman, South Korea)