- AFRICA: An explosion targeting a security vehicle in Egypt’s Sinai peninsula killed two soldiers and injured one.
- AMERICAS: The wife of the Greek ambassador to Brazil and her lover, a policeman, have been arrested for the diplomat’s murder.
- ASIA: In South Korea large crowds gathered on New Year’s Eve to demand the ouster of impeached President Park Geun-hye.
- EUROPE: Beginning 01JAN French companies will be required to guarantee their employees a “right to disconnect” from technology during their non-working hours.
- MIDDLE EAST: Besieged opposition pockets around Damascus have seen no reprieve in fighting despite the ceasefire that went into effect over 36 hours ago.
- TECHNOLOGY: A Russian hacking operation hacked into the system of a Vermont utility company.
- Iraq: Central Baghdad market blasts kill dozens
- Two suicide bombers attacked the Al-Sinek area, killing at least 27 people and wounding 53.
- Many of the victims were gathered near a cart selling breakfast when the explosions went off.
- The targeted area is packed with shops, workshops and wholesale markets and is usually teeming with delivery trucks and daily labourers unloading vans or wheeling carts around.
- The Islamic State claimed responsibility for the attack, which is the deadliest to hit the capital since mid-October.
- Sources: AFP, AP, Reuters, BBC, CNN
- Democratic Republic of Congo: Political parties struck a deal for Congolese President Joseph Kabila to step down after elections to be held by the end of 2017. (Reuters)
- Egypt: An explosion targeting a security vehicle in the Sinai peninsula killed two soldiers and injured one. (AP)
- Libya: The Government of National Accord (GNA) and central bank in Tripoli say they have agreed to work together to tackle urgent economic problems in 2017. (Reuters)
- Nigeria: Boko Haram released a new video in which their leader urges his fighters to “kill, slaughter and abduct … and detonate bombs everywhere.” (AP)
- Brazil: The wife of the Greek ambassador and her lover, a Brazilian policeman, have been arrested for the diplomat’s murder. (Reuters)
- Ecuador: The UN criticized the government’s order to close a land rights advocacy group that supports an indigenous community protesting mining plans on their ancestral lands. (Reuters)
- Mexico: Popular protests are planned after the finance ministry announced that the price of gasoline would increase by as much as 20.1 percent on January 1. (AFP)
- Venezuela: The country announced it is formally ceding the rotating presidency of Mercosur to Argentina. (Reuters)
- Afghanistan: Some 57 militants were killed and 44 others wounded in fighting with Afghan security forces. (Xinhua)
- China: Sixteen people, mostly medical workers, were sentenced to imprisonment for the illegal trading of human kidneys. (Xinhua)
- India: The government announced it will continue to control how much money people can withdraw from ATMs and banks after the end of a deadline to exchange or deposit its devalued high-value currency bills. (AP)
- South Korea: Large crowds gathered on New Year’s Eve to demand the ouster of impeached President Park Geun-hye. (AP)
- France: Beginning 01JAN French companies will be required to guarantee their employees a “right to disconnect” from technology during their non-working hours. (Guardian)
- Iceland: The country is ending an eventful year in a political quagmire, left without a government for two months after the Panama Papers scandal and a snap election reflecting deep divisions in the island nation. (AFP)
- Kosovo: The Supreme Court ordered a retrial of doctors and officials convicted of involvement in an organ trafficking ring that performed dozens of illegal kidney transplants between 2006 and 2008. (Reuters)
- Region: The Pentagon said it believes that Islamic State chief Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi is indeed alive, despite repeated efforts by the US-led coalition to take out the jihadist group leader. (AFP)
- Syria: The Pentagon announced it believes that Islamic State chief Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi is still alive, despite repeated efforts by the US-led coalition to take him out. (AFP)
- Syria: Activists say besieged opposition pockets around Damascus have seen no reprieve in fighting despite a nationwide ceasefire agreement that went into effect over 36 hours ago. (AP)
TECHNOLOGY AND COMMUNICATIONS
- Technology: A Russian hacking operation hacked into the system of a Vermont utility company. (WP)
- Cyclones: Nothing to Report
- 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 30DEC: 347,647 (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 30DEC: 150,380
- Deaths as of 30DEC: 172
- 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 29DEC: 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 29DEC: 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 29DEC: 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 (01JAN)
- Global: New UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres to assume office (to 31DEC21)
- Global: Kazakhstan, Bolivia, Sweden, Ethiopia, Italy to take seats on UN Security Council
- Global: Ecuador to assume presidency of Group of 77 and China bloc
- Global: New Year’s Day
- Global: Italy to assume rotating Presidency of the G7
- China: New cybersecurity law to take effect
- Cuba: Anniversary of the Cuban Revolution – 1959
- Czech Republic and Slovakia: Anniversary of the dissolution of Czechoslovakia – 1993
- ECOWAS Region: ECOWAS to reach common external tariff
- Europe Region: Austria to become OSCE chair country
- Europe Region: Turkey to become chair of the Organization of Black Sea Economic Cooperation
- European Union: Anniversary of 12 EU countries adopting the Euro – 2002
- Haiti: Independence Day – 1804
- Lithuania: New labor code to come into effect
- Nigeria: Anniversary of Nigeria becoming a protectorate of Britain – 1901
- Poland: Government to introduce the territorial defence laws
- Russia: Visa requirements to be loosened for Japanese visitors
- Sudan: Anniversary of independence from the UK and Egypt – 1956
- Venezuela: State oil company PDVSA to cut output in line with new OPEC quota
- Catholicism: Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God