16th December 2016

  • The Islamic State bombing of a Coptic church in Cairo killed 25 people.
  • Egyptian-American Aya Hijazi and her husband, founders of an organization assisting Cairo’s street children, have spent over 900 days in pre-trial detention.
  • Traces of explosives were found on the remains of victims who died in the EgyptAir crash in May.
  • Tunisians describe the abuses they were subjected to under dictatorship.
  • A bombing at a tea shop in Somalia’s capital killed 6 people.
  • Long read: Escaping the Islamic State does not meanescaping horror and abuse.
  • Impending genocide in South Sudan is fueling a refugee crisis in Uganda.
  • Three years ago, the UN supplied a rebel general in South Sudan with weapons. Shortly afterwards, his troops slaughtered hundreds of civilians in Bentiu.
  • In sub-Saharan Africa, the Islamic State “has failed to displace al Qaeda as the continent’s premier jihadi franchise.”
  • Can a $2.2 billion five-year rescue plan save the Central African Republic?
  • Long read: Climate change is driving West Africans from their homes.
  • After losing the election, Gambian president Yahya Jammeh initially conceded defeat, but then pivoted and challenged the election’s legitimacy.
  • Congolese President Joseph Kabila’s term ends on December 19th, but he is refusing to relinquish power.
  • Anglophone Cameroon wants to secede.
  • 38 people were killed and many more injured in an explosion at Turkey’s Besiktas stadium in Istanbul. The attack was claimed by the Kurdistan Freedom Falcons.
  • Borzou Daraghi on the complexities of Turkey’s “Kurdish problem.”
  • The Islamic State retook Palmyra and video from the group shows fighters opening up boxes of equipment and arms left behind by Russians.
  • Civilians in eastern Aleppo pleaded for help as the remaining rebel hold crumbled against advancing pro-government forces. The UN reported that some civilians were shot on the spot with bodies left lying in the streets.
  • After Aleppo’s fall, thousands have already been evacuated from the city under a deal brokered by Turkey and Russia and overseen by the Red Cross. The evacuation has been suspended after a day over what appears to be contention regarding the evacuation of two Shi’a neighborhoods.
  • Analysis: What war crimes have occurred in Syria?
  • This is what Aleppo looked like before the civil war. Janine di Giovanni: “Twisted narratives won’t spare Aleppo a moment of its agony.”
  • Analysis: The Islamic State may be the main beneficiaryof Russia’s campaign in Aleppo.
  • Long read: “Despair and Debauchery in Assad’s Capital
  • Photojournalist Giles Duley visited a refugee camp in Lebanon.
  • Yemen is on the brink of famine.
  • The US will halt planned arms sales to Saudi Arabia over concerns about civilian deaths in airstrikes on Yemen. The UK will continue its sales.
  • Trump named David Friedman, a bankruptcy lawyer who represented him over his failed Atlantic City hotels, as the new ambassador to Israel.
  • The Mosul offensive enters its third month.
  • Afghan Vice President Abdurrashid Dostum faces fresh allegations of brutality.
  • Pakistan says that Indian forces opened fire on a school van in Kashmir, killing the driver and wounding children.
  • The US halted economic aid to the Philippines over concerns regarding rule of law and the ongoing drug war.
  • China appears to have installed weapons on the disputed Spratly Islands in the South China Sea.
  • China’s Liaoning aircraft carrier conducted large-scale military exercises with live fire in the Bohai Sea, seen as an escalation of tension after Trump’s actions call into question continued US support for Beijing’s One China Policy.
  • Evan Osnos on autocracy in China: “Tyranny does not begin with violence; it begins with the first gesture of collaboration.”
  • China claims to have released human rights lawyer Jiang Tianyong, but his family has not heard from him.
  • The US and its NATO allies are increasing their presence in eastern Europe. Three years after American tanks left Europe, they are returning.
  • Meanwhile, Europe is quietly debating the issue of nuclear deterrence as Trump’s election casts doubts over whether America will continue to offer a last line of defense against Russian aggression.
  • The European Union reached a deal to enact closer ties with Ukraine.
  • How journalists covered the rise of Mussolini and Hitler.
  • France renewed its national state of emergency for the fifth time.
  • Twitter blocked domestic spy agencies from using a social media monitoring tool to surveil users.
  • Yahoo revealed that 1 billion accounts were hacked in 2013, the largest data breach in history.
  • Intelligence officials are confident that Putin was himself directly involved in the hack of the US election.
  • News of Russian influence on the US election is heightening concerns heading into elections in France and Germany.

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