AFRICA: In DR Congo, fighting between Hutu and Nande ethnic militias killed 17 civilians and one police officer in a sign of worsening insecurity across the country.
AMERICAS: President-elect Donald Trump named Carl Icahn and Peter Navarro to economic posts, vocal critics of China and government regulation.
ASIA: South Korea’s Constitutional Court began deliberations on a parliamentary impeachment vote against President Park Geun-hye.
EUROPE: In Russia, President Putin bade farewell to Andrei Karlov at a packed memorial ceremony in Moscow for the diplomat who was assassinated in Turkey.
MIDDLE EAST: The last Syrian rebel convoy started leaving eastern Aleppo city through the Ramouseh crossing.
TECHNOLOGY: Cybersecurity firm CrowdStrike uncovered strong proof of the tie between the group that hacked the Democratic National Committee and Russia’s military intelligence arm, the primary agency behind the Kremlin’s interference in the 2016 election.
Germany: Berlin market reopens as international manhunt continues.
The international manhunt for the prime suspect in Berlin’s deadly truck attack raised questions and public ire, with many wondering how Tunisian national Anis Amri was able to avoid arrest and deportation despite being on the radar of German security agencies.
Four people have reportedly been arrested in Germany as a Europe-wide search continues for the suspected Berlin attacker.
German authorities denied any arrests, but confirmed police raids in the city of Dortmund and a migrant center in Emmerich.
The Berlin Christmas market has reopened to the public with concrete blocks put in place at the roadside to heighten security.
DR Congo: Fighting between Hutu and Nande ethnic militias killed 17 civilians and one police officer in a sign of worsening insecurity across the vast country. (AFP)
DR Congo: Seventeen people were killed in clashes between police and members of a cult that believes the end of President Joseph Kabila’s mandate will usher in the apocalypse. (AFP)
Nigeria: The country promised to protect and hand out hefty rewards to whistleblowers in its battle against endemic corruption and a sharp decline in oil revenues. (AFP)
South Sudan: The UN decried continued fighting in the country which it said has brought enormous humanitarian challenges since the fighting erupted three years ago. (Xinhua)
Guatemala: Human rights groups expressed concern at hundreds of “alarming” attacks against activists that left 14 people dead. (AFP)
United States: President-elect Donald Trump named Carl Icahn and Peter Navarro to economic posts, vocal critics of China and government regulation. (AFP)
Venezuela: Authorities arrested 233 people in nine states for a variety of violent crimes carried out over the weekend. (Xinhua)
Australia: Authorities arrested a 27-year-old man for allegedly attempting to join the conflict in Syria and Iraq as part of an investigation into travelling and returned foreign fighters. (Xinhua)
Indonesia: Some 150,000 police and military personnel were deployed to secure the capital city of Jakarta during the year-end holiday season. (Xinhua)
Japan: PM Abe’s cabinet approved the country’s biggest annual defense budget in the face of North Korea’s nuclear threats and a territorial row with China. (AFP)
South Korea: The country’s Constitutional Court began deliberations on a parliamentary impeachment vote against President Park Geun-hye. (Reuters)
Thailand: Hacktivist group, Thai Netizens against Single Gateway: Thailand Internet Firewall, threatened to strike a Thai government website in an ongoing cyber protest against a newly passed cyber-crime law. (DPA)
Britain: Transparency International claims the country gave USD 1.6B in foreign aid to help people in the 20 most corrupt countries in the world in 2015. (Telegraph)
Greece: PM Alexis Tsipras promised to return the country to international bond markets in 2017, despite delays in a bailout review. (AP)
Russia: President Putin bade farewell to Andrei Karlov at a packed memorial ceremony in Moscow for the diplomat who was assassinated in Turkey. (AFP)
Russia: The military is now stronger than any possible foe, President Putin told an annual end-of-year meeting with the defense ministry. (AP)
Russia: President Putin called for reinforcing the country’s military nuclear potential and making sure its missiles can penetrate any missile-defense systems. (AFP)
Region: A Palestinian man was killed during clashes with Israeli soldiers as they arrived to demolish the home of the alleged perpetrator of a deadly attack on Israelis. (AFP)
Iraq: Three suicide car bombs detonated in the city of Mosul killed at least 25 people and wounded dozens. (Xinhua)
Iraq: Mortar fire killed 11 people including four aid workers in Mosul. (AFP)
Saudi Arabia: The country released its first budget since announcing a wide-ranging economic reform plan in response to collapsed oil prices. (AFP)
Syria: The last rebel convoy started leaving eastern Aleppo city through the Ramouseh crossing. (Xinhua)
TECHNOLOGY AND COMMUNICATIONS
Technology: Cybersecurity firm CrowdStrike uncovered strong proof of the tie between the group that hacked the Democratic National Committee and Russia’s military intelligence arm, the primary agency behind the Kremlin’s interference in the 2016 election. (WP)
Technology: The US put a division of the Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba back on a blacklist of “notorious markets” known for selling counterfeit goods and violating intellectual property rights. (AFP)
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)
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)
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.