- AFRICA: Benin’s Prime Minister walked away unscathed after the helicopter in which he was travelling crashed in the northwest.
- AMERICAS: Mexican forces clashed with suspected organized-crime figures in the hometown of fugitive drug kingpin Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman, killing two and netting 4.5 tons of marijuana
- ASIA: Pakistan’s army chief left for Kabul amid efforts to revive peace talks between the Afghan government and the Taliban.
- EUROPE: Austrian police said they stepped up security in Vienna and other cities after receiving a warning of possible attacks during the holiday season.
- MIDDLE EAST: The Saudi military intercepted a missile fired on its territory from Yemen’s rebel-held capital.
- TECHNOLOGY: Around 12,000 hackers and online activists began gathering in the German city of Hamburg for the launch of the Chaos Communication Congress, an annual event focussing on internet security and freedom of speech in the digital age.
- Nigeria: Boko Haram kill at least fourteen in Christmas Day attack in Nigeria
- The attackers rode into the village of Kimba on bicycles, firing indiscriminately on residents.
- The group burned down every house in the village, leaving nothing behind.
- Many Kimba residents fled to a nearby refugee camp already overflowing with people.
- This comes ahead of the self-imposed deadline of 31DEC by President Muhammadu Buhari to rid the country of the vigilanties.
- Since the conflict began six years ago, over 17,000 people have been killed.
- Boko Haram has since aligned itself with the Islamic State although the relationship remains ambiguous.
- Coverage: (AFP, AP, Business Standard, Tass)
- Benin: The country’s Prime Minister walked away unscathed after the helicopter in which he was travelling crashed in the northwest of the country. (BBC)
- Mali: The government signed an agreement with China Railway Construction Corp to renovate a rail line linking its capital Bamako to the border with neighbouring Senegal at a cost of $1.486 billion. (Reuters)
- Somalia: The port of Berbera is on the brink of a major expansion that not only could transform it into a regional transportation hub but also could fund the ambitions of a peaceful, orderly swath of the country to build its own state. (WP)
- Brazil: Eight military police officers were arrested on suspicion of torturing four youths in Rio de Janeiro. (EFE)
- Mexico: Forces clashed with suspected organized-crime figures in the hometown of fugitive drug kingpin Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman, killing two and netting 4.5 tons of marijuana. (AFP)
- United States: A Chicago police officer responding to a domestic disturbance call accidentally shot and killed a 55-year-old woman, who was among two people fatally wounded. (AP)
- Region: Pakistan’s army chief left for Kabul amid efforts to revive peace talks between the Afghan government and the Taliban.. (AP)
- China: The government passed an anti-terrorism law after its draft legislation drew U.S. criticism for the assistance that foreign technology companies may be required to give to snooping by Chinese authorities. (Bloomberg)
- Philippines: Almost 50 young people are camping on a remote Philippine-held island in the South China Sea in a symbolic stand against China’s claim to most of the waterway. (AFP).
- Austria: Police said they stepped up security in Vienna and other cities after receiving a warning of possible attacks during the holiday season. (AFP)
- Germany: The armed forces commissioner is calling for 7,000 more soldiers. (DPA)
- Russia: A counter-terrorist operation regime has been imposed in the North Caucasus republic of Dagestan, according to a representative of National Anti-Terrorist Committee operational headquarters in Dagestan. (TASS)
- Egypt: Brig. Gen. Mohammed Samir says the military has pursued and killed two “terrorist elements” and injured another in northern Sinai, where military forces are battling an insurgency by a local Islamic State affiliate. (AP)
- Israel: Jerusalem’s court closed for publication all materials related to the case on the detention of Russian national Alexei Burkov. (TASS)
- Israel: A Palestinian stabbed an Israeli soldier with a kitchen knife in Jerusalem wounding him moderately before he was arrested. (AFP)
- Saudi Arabia: The military intercepted a missile fired on its territory from Yemen’s rebel-held capital. (AFP)
TECHNOLOGY AND COMMUNICATIONS
- Cybersecurity: Around 12,000 hackers and online activists began gathering in the German city of Hamburg for the launch of the Chaos Communication Congress, an annual event focussing on internet security and freedom of speech in the digital age. (DPA)
- Cyclones: Nothing to Report
- Hurricanes: Nothing to Report
- Earthquakes: Nothing to Report
- Volcanoes: Colima, Mexico
- Ash is spewing
- Global Disease Outbreaks:
- Chikungunya Virus Disease (CHIK)
- Suspected Cases as of 18DEC: 607,961 (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: 35,019
- Deaths as of 18DEC: 77 (Colombia, Puerto Rico, Martinique, Grenada, French Guiana, Guadeloupe, Jamaica, Dominican Republic)
- Sourcing: WHO, WHO-2, CDC, CDC-2
- Novel Coronavirus (MERS-CoV, SARS-related)
- Cases as of 26DEC: 1621 (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 26DEC: 584 (Saudi Arabia, France, Qatar, United Kingdom, UAE, Oman, South Korea)
- Sourcing: WHO, WHO-2
TOMORROW’S OUTLOOK (28DEC)
- Nothing to Report