AFRICA: Libyan security forces rescued two out of three International Organization for Migration (IOM) officials who were kidnapped in the country’s southern region.
AMERICAS: Members of the Venezuelan government and opposition leaders failed to reach a deal to address the country’s political and economic crisis.
ASIA: Officials from Myanmar and Bangladesh meet to discuss how to implement another deal on the return of more than 650,000 Rohingya.
EUROPE: Scottish leader Nicola Sturgeon said she would be able to decide whether to hold a second referendum on Scottish independence by the end of this year.
MIDDLE EAST: The Israeli military said it had destroyed a Hamas cross-border attack tunnel that ran from Gaza into Israel and Egypt.
TECHNOLOGY: Iran’s semi-official ILNA news agency reported that the ban on the encrypted messaging app Telegram has been lifted, two weeks after anti-government protests in which more than 21 people were killed.
United States: False alarm missile warning in Hawaii causes brief panic.
An emergency alert went out via cell phone, which read “BALLISTIC MISSILE THREAT INBOUND TO HAWAII. SEEK IMMEDIATE SHELTER. THIS IS NOT A DRILL.”
A correction was not sent out until 40 minutes later.
Authorities determined human error was to blame, and that an investigation will be carried out.
Fears of such an attack on the islands was already high, due to recent nuclear tensions with North Korea, and their proximity to missile range.
Residents described scenes of panic before the all clear was given, and have voiced extreme frustration that such an incident was able to occur.
Angola: President Joao Lourenco removed José Filomeno, son of former president Dos Santos, from his post at the top of the nation’s $5 billion sovereign wealth fund. (AFP)
Libya: Security forces rescued two out of three International Organization for Migration officials who were kidnapped by militants in the country’s southern region. (Xinhua)
Nigeria: Two leading Chinese companies held a ceremony to start the construction of an underwater oil pipeline installation in Lagos. (Xinhua)
Tunisia: The government announced a wave of social reforms, following days of demonstrations by anti-austerity protesters. (BBC)
Region: A 7.3 magnitude earthquake struck off the coast of Peru, briefly causing a tsunami warning for Peru and Chile. (AP)
Chile: President Michelle Bachelet criticized the World Bank for a negative business review, saying it reflected a political bias against her left-leaning government. (NYT)
Colombia: Gunmen claiming to belong to the ELN rebel group kidnapped an oil engineer in the country’s east, police said. (AFP)
Venezuela: Members of the government and opposition leaders concluded a round of talks in the Dominican Republic, failing to reach a deal to address the country’s political and economic crisis. (Reuters)
Region: Officials from Myanmar and Bangladesh meet to discuss how to implement another deal on the return of more than 650,000 Rohingya. (Reuters)
Region: An Iranian official said there was no chance any crew members had survived among the 32 aboard an oil tanker that sank off the coast of China after more than a week. (AFP)
Afghanistan: The Taliban has rejected reports that a delegation was taking part in a peace negotiation with the central government in Turkey. (Xinhua)
Cambodia: Foreign-based members of the dissolved opposition party have launched a movement to demand the release of their detained leader and to call for free and fair elections and possibly protests. (Reuters)
Region: Brexit campaigner Nigel Farage said he was concerned that a vote for Britain to leave the European Union could be overturned by a powerful group of the bloc’s supporters. (Reuters)
Region: Hungary’s Prime Minister Viktor Orban criticized the European Union’s policy towards Russia as “too one-sided.” (Tass)
Britain: Scottish leader Nicola Sturgeon said she would be able to decide whether to hold a second referendum on Scottish independence by the end of this year. (Reuters)
Switzerland: Anti-globalisation demonstrators in Zurich protested against a planned visit by US President Donald Trump to the World Economic Forum. (Reuters)
Iraq: Incumbent Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi announced his candidacy for the May 12 parliamentary elections to choose a prime minister. (Reuters)
Israel: The military said it had destroyed a cross-border attack tunnel that ran from Gaza into Israel and Egypt, dug by Hamas. (Reuters)
Saudi Arabia: Saudi Binladin Group said some shareholders might transfer part of their holdings to the state in a settlement with authorities, which detained several members of the founding family in an anti-graft drive. (Reuters)
Yemen: Forces loyal to the internationally-backed government killed about 35 Houthi militants in the ongoing fighting in al-Bayda province. (Xinhua)
TECHNOLOGY AND COMMUNICATIONS
Communication: Iran’s semi-official ILNA news agency reported that the ban on the encrypted messaging app Telegram has been lifted, two weeks after anti-government protests in which more than 21 people were killed. (AP)
Suspected Cases as of 22DEC: 61,613 (Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, El Salvador, French Guiana, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Panamá, Paraguay, Perú, and Venezuela)
Suspected Cases (01JAN16-31DEC16): 349,936
Confirmed Cases as of 22DEC: 123,087 (Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, French Guiana, Guadeloupe, Martinique, México, Nicaragua, Panamá, Paraguay, Perú, Puerto Rico, Saint Barthélemy, Saint Martin (French part), and Venezuela)
Confirmed Cases (01JAN16-31DEC16): 152,250
Deaths as of 22DEC: 101 (Brazil, Ecuador)
Deaths (01JAN16-31DEC16): 172
Deaths (01JAN15-31DEC15): 91 (Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, French Guiana, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Puerto Rico)
Cases as of 08JAN: 2,122 (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 08JAN: 740 (Saudi Arabia, France, Qatar, United Kingdom, UAE, Oman, South Korea)