- AFRICA: In DR Congo, at least 40 people have been killed and another 460 arrested this week during protests against President Joseph Kabila’s refusal to leave office, the UN said.
- AMERICAS: President-elect Donald Trump has called for the US to “greatly strengthen and expand” its nuclear capabilities.
- ASIA: China said it is vigilant about Japan’s approval of a record-high military spending plan for 2017.
- EUROPE: An airliner on an internal flight in Libya was hijacked and diverted to Malta where it landed.
- MIDDLE EAST: Egypt delayed a UN vote on a text condemning Israeli settlements in occupied territory after Israel asked Donald Trump to intervene.
- TECHNOLOGY: Former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden remains in contact with Russian intelligence services, according to a bipartisan congressional report.
- Europe: Berlin Christmas Market suspect shot dead in Italy.
- The Berlin market attack suspect, Anis Amri, has been shot dead by police in Milan, Italy.
- The dramatic encounter occurred at a routine checkpoint in the Piazza I Maggio area where Amri pulled a gun and shot one officer, before being shot dead.
- A rail ticket found on Amri’s indicated he had traveled by high speed train from France to the northern Italian city of Turin, then caught a regional train to the Milan suburbs.
- Amri was seen outside a mosque about eight hours after the assault and less than three miles from the Christmas market where the attack happened.
- Law enforcement authorities across Europe had been hunting since 21DEC for Amri, a 24-year-old Tunisian who moved to Italy in 2011 and then relocated to Germany in 2015.
- Coverage: BBC, NYT, Reuters, USA Today, WP
- Region: West Africa’s regional ECOWAS commission has put standby forces “on alert” in case Gambian president Yahya Jammeh does not step down when his mandate ends on 19JAN. (Reuters)
- DR Congo: At least 40 people have been killed and another 460 arrested this week during protests against President Joseph Kabila’s refusal to leave office, the UN said. (AFP)
- DR Congo: Negotiators say they’re optimistic that an agreement can be reached to end the country’s political impasse. (AP)
- Somalia: At least three people were killed and three others injured in a landmine explosion in the capital Mogadishu. (Xinhua)
- Brazil: President Michel Temer said he would complete his term in office even if found guilty of illegal campaign financing. (EFE)
- Panama: The government warned of punishment for public employees who took any of the more than USD 59M in bribes paid by Brazilian construction company Odebrecht in return for contracts. (AFP)
- United States: President-elect Donald Trump has called for the country to “greatly strengthen and expand” its nuclear capabilities. (BBC)
- Region: China said it is vigilant about Japan’s approval of a record-high military spending plan for 2017. (Kyodo)
- Region: Chinese President Xi Jinping said the central government “resolutely supports” efforts to curb Hong Kong independence activities. (Reuters)
- Afghanistan: Taliban key commander Mullah Sibghatullah was killed as security forces ambushed his group in the northern Baghlan province. (Xinhua)
- China: Two people have died from H7N9 bird flu, the country’s first fatalities among this winter’s cases. (Reuters)
- Myanmar: The country’s Joint Ceasefire Monitoring Committee called for seeking ways to overcome challenges in the peace process and future plans in the new year. (Xinhua)
- Region: An airliner on an internal flight in Libya was hijacked and diverted to Malta where it landed. (Reuters)
- Britain: The country’s economy grew more strongly than expected in the third quarter, showing no sign of any slowdown from June’s Brexit vote. (Reuters)
- Russia: President Vladimir Putin held his annual press conference, an hours-long event highlighting major issues concerning the country as the new year approaches. (DPA)
- Turkey: The country restricted social media access for several hours after the Islamic State group released a video purportedly showing two Turkish soldiers being burned alive. (AP)
- Turkey: Police briefly detained parliament deputy speaker Pervin Buldan, forcing her testimony in an ongoing case where she is accused of making propaganda in support of outlawed Kurdish rebels. (AP)
- Region: Egypt delayed a UN vote on a text condemning Israeli settlements in occupied territory after Israel asked Donald Trump to intervene. (BBC)
- Region: Human Rights Watch says it found evidence that a Saudi-led coalition used Brazilian-made rockets carrying cluster bombs when it targeted schools in northern Yemen. (AP)
- Iran: The army shot down a state TV drone that officials said had flown too close to the Tehran residence of Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei. (AP)
- Syria: Government troops cemented their hold on Aleppo after retaking full control of the city, as residents anxious to return to their homes moved through its ruined streets. (AFP)
- Syria: Government army experts are dismantling explosives and booby-traps left behind by rebels in the city of Aleppo. (AP)
TECHNOLOGY AND COMMUNICATIONS
- Technology: Former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden remains in contact with Russian intelligence services, according to a bipartisan congressional report. (AP)
- Cyclones: Tropical Cyclone Yvette
- Location: 475 NM N of Learmonth, Australia
- Winds: 45 mph
- Movement: ESE at 2 mph
- Hurricanes: Nothing to Report
- Earthquakes: Nothing to Report
- 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 (24DEC)
- Christianity: Christmas Eve