AFRICA: 1,000 suspected Boko Haram fighters from Nigeria attacked five towns in Cameroon and briefly occupied a military camp before being removed by the Air Force.
AMERICAS: Joaquin Gomez, the commander of the Southern Bloc of the FARC rebel group in Colombia traveled to Havana to participate in the peace talks with the government.
ASIA: Three soldiers were killed in an alleged rebel ambush by the alleged New People’s Army (NPA) militants in the Philippines.
EUROPE: More than 120 people are still awaiting rescue on the deck of a blazing Italian ferry amid freezing temperatures off the island of Corfu, Greece.
MIDDLE EAST: Palestinian President Abbas informed John Kerry that the Palestinian Authority intends to present a draft resolution to the UNSC to end Israeli occupation within three years.
TECHNOLOGY: China’s “Great Firewall” blocked Google mail.
A multinational search effort for AirAsia Flight QZ8501 expanded with hopes fading for locating the wreckage and 162 passengers aboard.
Indonesia began trawling a swath of the Java sea by the island of Belitung on Sunday afternoon, and by Monday, the search effort widened to include 12 navy ships, five planes, three helicopters and a number of warships, said First Admiral Sigit Setiayana of the Surabaya air force base.
An Indonesian helicopter saw two oily spots but search officials said it is too early to know whether either was connected to the missing aircraft.
“The capability of our equipment is not optimum,” Bambang Soelistyo, the head of Indonesia’s National Search and Rescue Agency, said at a news conference.
Indonesian officials expanded the search area for a missing AirAsia jetliner and said they suspect the plane is at “the bottom of the sea.”
Cameroon: 1,000 suspected Boko Haram fighters from Nigeria attacked five towns and briefly occupied a military camp before being removed by the Air Force. (REU)
Egypt: The foreign affairs minister told ABC TV that it was unlikely Australian journalist Peter Greste would be released before his Jan. 1st appeal. (GUA)
Libya: The Air Force struck the western city of Misrata for the first time in the latest clash between government and militant forces. (BBC)
Somalia: A confidential UN report alleged that a representative of the Somali government has been arming al-Shabaab with weapons supplied to combat them. (WSJ)
Colombia: Joaquin Gomez, the commander of the Southern Bloc of the FARC rebel group traveled to Havana to participate in the peace talks with the government. (EFE)
Mexico: The government called for an overhaul of the UNSC, envisaging more member countries across a wider geographical swathe, as the government steps up efforts to raise its profile on the global stage. (REU)
Philippines: Three soldiers were killed in an alleged rebel ambush by the alleged New People’s Army (NPA) militants in Mabini town in Compostela Valley Province. (XIN)
South Korea: A top policymaker in charge of inter-Korean relations offered to hold inter-Korean dialogue in January on issues of mutual concern. (XIN)
South Korea: Military authorities announced their intent to independently carry out the first ‘missile defense exercise of the Korean Peninsula.’ (XIN)
South Korea: The US and Japan signed a sensitive information sharing pact on North Korea’s amid growing security threats to the region. (Yonhap)
Vietnam: In a continued crackdown on political dissent, blogger Nguyen Dinh Ngoc was searched and arrested in the southern commercial hub of Ho Chi Minh City. (AP)
Croatia: Presidential elections produced no winner, leaving incumbent Ivo Josipovic to face a runoff vote against an opposition challenger on Jan. 11. (REU)
Greece: Causing Eurozone concern, the parliament prepared for elections that could bring the country’s hard-left into power. (AFP)
Greece: More than 120 people are still awaiting rescue on the deck of a blazing Italian ferry amid freezing temperatures off the island of Corfu. (BBC)
Russia: Chechen President Kadyrov proposed the creation of a “special regiment” made up from Chechnya’s armed forces to help defend the country from Western aggression. (AFP)
Iraq: Defense forces backed by Sunni tribes advanced north of Baghdad into the town of Dhuluiyah in a new attempt to push out ISIS jihadists. (AFP)
Iraq: A suicide bomber struck a funeral north of Baghdad killing at least 10 mourners and wounding 20 more. (AP)
Palestinian Territories: President Abbas informed John Kerry that the Palestinian Authority intends to present a draft resolution to the UNSC to end Israeli occupation within three years. (XIN)
Syria: The regime intensified efforts to reverse substantial military manpower losses through large-scale mobilizations of reservists, sweeping arrest campaigns, and new regulations to stop deserters and draft-dodging. (WaPo)
TECHNOLOGY AND COMMUNICATIONS
Censorship: Google Inc.’s Gmail service was blocked by China’s “Great Firewall” to stamp out political dissent of the Communist Party’s leadership. (REU)
Suspected Cases as of 13NOV: 885,926 (Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, Aruba, Bahamas, Barbados, Brazil, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Colombia, Costa Rica, Curacao, Dominica, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, French Guiana, Grenada, Guadeloupe, Guatemala, Guyana, Haití, Honduras, Jamaica, Martinique, Mexico, Montserrat, Nicaragua, Panama, Puerto Rico, Saint Barthelemy, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Martin, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Sint Maarten, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago, Turks and Caicos Islands, United States, US Virgin Islands, and Venezuela.)
Deaths as of 13NOV: 153 (Colombia, Puerto Rico, Martinique, Grenada, French Guiana, Guadeloupe, Jamaica, Dominican Republic)
Cases as of 26DEC: 941 (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 and the US)
Deaths as of 17DEC: 347 (Saudi Arabia, France, Qatar, United Kingdom, UAE, Oman)