- AFRICA: Burundi government and opposition representatives are in Uganda for negotiations aimed at ending political violence.
- AMERICAS: Vast areas in Paraguay, Argentina, Uruguay, and Brazil are being hit by the worst flooding in 50 years, forcing the evacuation of more than 150,000 people.
- ASIA: In Afghanistan, a Taliban bomber detonated an explosives-packed vehicle near the Kabul airport, killing one civilian in an attack targeting a NATO convoy.
- EUROPE: Police in Vienna have scheduled two security meetings in the wake of warning to several European capitals about the possibility of an attack using explosives or firearms between Christmas and New Year.
- MIDDLE EAST: Iraqi forces have liberated the city of Ramadi and raised the national flag above the flashpoint government complex.
- TECHNOLOGY: Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg urged India to approve a controversial plan that would provide a free Internet service to the poor, his latest bid amid an escalating row with authorities.
- Japan and South Korea: Resolution over wartime sexual slavery reached.
- Japan and South Korea announced they had reached a “final and irrevocable resolution” of their decades-old historical dispute over Korean women who were forced to serve as sex slaves for Japan’s Imperial Army in the early 20th century.
- Japanese FM Fumio Kishida said the agreement includes support services for the women, using USD 8.3M in Japanese government funds.
- An apology from Japanese PM Shinzo Abe was also included in the agreement.
- The agreement represents the first deal on the issue since 1965 and comes after both sides agreed to speed up talks.
- South Korea will consider the matter resolved “finally and irreversibly” if the steps pledged by Japan are fully carried out.
- Coverage: BBC, NYT, Reuters, VOA, WSJ
- Burundi: Government and opposition representatives are in Uganda for negotiations aimed at ending political violence. (AP)
- Cameroon: Two suicide bombers killed themselves in the country’s far north region when they attempted to attack local villagers. (Xinhua)
- Somalia: Nine Al-Shabaab militants and five soldiers died following a heavy gun battle outside the southern town of Qoyolay. (Xinhua)
- Region: Pope Francis has called for Central American countries to show generosity in dealing with the rising numbers of Cuban migrants stranded in the region. (BBC)
- Region: Vast areas in Paraguay, Argentina, Uruguay and Brazil are being hit by the worst flooding in 50 years, forcing the evacuation of more than 150,000 people. (BBC)
- Brazil: The country’s reluctance to accept an Israeli ambassador who is a West Bank settler has set off a diplomatic crisis, causing concerns it could encourage pro-Palestinian activism against Israel. (Reuters)
- Afghanistan: A Taliban bomber detonated an explosives-packed vehicle near Kabul airport, killing one civilian in an attack targeting a NATO convoy. (AFP)
- Bangladesh: Two suspected followers of a banned militant outfit were killed in an explosion outside the capital Dhaka by security forces. (AFP)
- Philippines: Two soldiers were killed in a pre-dawn attack by Islamic extremists in the country’s conflict-racked south. (AFP)
- Region: Police in Vienna have scheduled two security meetings in the wake of warning to several European capitals about the possibility of an attack using explosives or firearms between Christmas and New Year. (AP)
- Region: The Russian Foreign Ministry said it hoped the US would drop plans to store military hardware for as many as 5,000 American troops in several Baltic and Eastern European countries. (Reuters)
- Corsica: Several hundred people marched in defiance of a ban on protests introduced after a Muslim prayer hall was vandalized on the French island. (BBC)
- Turkey: PM Ahmet Davutoglu said it would not be appropriate to have discussions with the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) over a new constitution because of its “disrespectful” comments. (Reuters)
- Region: A convoy of more than 30 Lebanese Red Cross ambulances crossed into Syria to evacuate opposition fighters and civilians from the border village of Zabadani. (AP)
- Iraq: Government forces have liberated the city of Ramadi and raised the national flag above the flashpoint government complex. (AFP)
- Syria: At least 32 people were killed and 90 others wounded when two car bombs tore through a pro-government district in the central city of Homs. (Xinhua)
- Yemen: Former president and ally of Houthi Shiite rebels, Ali Abdala Saleh, called for direct talks with Saudi Arabia to put an end to violence in the country. (EFE)
TECHNOLOGY AND COMMUNICATIONS
- Technology: Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg urged India to approve a controversial plan that would provide a free Internet service to the poor, his latest bid amid an escalating row with authorities. (AFP)
- Cyclones: Nothing to Report
- Hurricanes: Nothing to Report
- Earthquakes: Nothing to Report
- Volcanoes: Kanlaon, Philippines
- Ash eruption. (GMA)
- Global Disease Outbreaks:
- Chikungunya Virus Disease (CHIK)
- Suspected Cases as of 28DEC: 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 28DEC: 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 28DEC: 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 28DEC: 584 (Saudi Arabia, France, Qatar, United Kingdom, UAE, Oman, South Korea)
- Sourcing: WHO, WHO-2
TOMORROW’S OUTLOOK (29DEC)
- Botswana: Botswana’s Independence – 1965