23rd December 2016

  • Ongoing news this morning: A hijacked Libyan plane with 111 passengers has landed in Malta.
  • An Egyptian court suspended novelist Ahmed Naji’s two-year sentence pending an appeal.
  • Tuareg separatists in Mali have withdrawn from the committee implementing the 2015 peace deal.
  • Deadly protests erupted in the Democratic Republic of Congo after President Joseph Kabila refused to leave office. Politicians have now agreed in principle to a transition deal in which Kabila would leave office next year.
  • Six were killed and 150 injured in clashes between the Pygmies and Bantus, a persistent three-year conflict, in southeastern Congo.
  • Gambian President Yahya Jammeh is refusing to bow to pressure from other African nations and continues to say he will remain in power despite losing the election.
  • South Sudanese refugees face grim conditions in Uganda.
  • Over the past year, a new armed group in the Central African Republic called 3R, for “Return, Reclamation, Rehabilitation,” has raped and killed civilians and caused significant displacement.
  • The Russian ambassador to Turkey was assassinatedwhile speaking at an art exhibit in Ankara.
  • Three photojournalists were at the exhibit and continued to take photographs, resulting in some incredible images and witness accounts.
  • A new Islamic State propaganda film shows two Turkish soldiers being burned alive (video not in link).
  • Under pressure from Israel, and apparently Donald Trump, Egypt postponed a UN Security Council vote on a resolution to condemn illegal Israeli settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem.
  • The Obama administration was planning to abstain in the vote, and Trump took to his favorite medium to warn the current administration against doing so.
  • The Assad regime has taken complete control of Aleppoand the final evacuees have left.
  • The UN General Assembly adopted a resolution to set up a panel to gather evidence of war crimes in Syria.
  • 19 of the 57 journalists killed doing their job this year died in Syria, most of them local reporters.
  • A Syrian refugee recounts his detention by Lebanese authorities, who interrogated, tortured, and raped him because they suspected he was gay. (He has since been resettled in Europe.)
  • The death toll from Mediterranean crossings has surpassed 5,000 this year, an awful annual record.
  • In Iraq, armed groups associated with the Kurdistan Workers’ Party are recruiting child soldiers.
  • A look at Iraq’s Shi’a militias.
  • The Mosul offensive is at a stalemate.
  • 23 people were killed in a bombing in the Gogjali district of Mosul, a district liberated from the Islamic State last month.
  • Fiction: Matt Gallagher’s futuristic “Know Your Enemy: Celebrating 50 Years of the Forever War” in WIRED
  • The Philippine Commission on Human Rights has announced an investigation into President Rodrigo Duterte, after he bragged about having personally killed criminals as mayor of the city of Davao.
  • Refugee accounts and satellite imagery from northern Rakhine state show that the Burmese army is conducting a violent campaign of arson, murder, and rape against the Rohingya.
  • Infographic: A look at global aid donations in 2016
  • The US returned nearly 10,000 acres of land on Okinawa to Japan amid tensions over continued American military presence.
  • Tokyo’s turn away from pacifism continues with another defense spending boost.
  • Australian police say they have foiled a series of Christmas Day bomb attacks in Melbourne.
  • On Monday evening, an attacker drove a truck into crowds at the Breitscheidplatz Christmas market in Berlin, killing 12 people. The suspect, a young Tunisian man named Anis Amri, died this morning in a shootoutat a routine checkpoint in Milan.
  • The evergreen question about terror attacks: could it have been prevented?
  • Analysis: Understanding the Islamic State’s claim of responsibility
  • The cybersecurity firm CrowdStrike found strong evidencethat a unit of the GRU (Russia’s military intelligence agency), referred to as Fancy Bear, was behind the hack of the DNC.
  • The DNC was targeted by the same unit and with the same code that also targeted Ukrainian artillery forces.
  • Russian President Vladimir Putin held his annual press conference today. Here it is as it happened.
  • In their new report, “Putin’s Undeclared War,” Bellingcat’s open source investigation details Russian artillery attacks against Ukraine in the summer of 2014.
  • On the front lines in Ukraine, American-supplied drones are vulnerable to jamming and hacking.
  • Lithuania says it found Russian spyware on government computers.
  • Infographic: European populism in the age of Trump
  • Donald Trump tweeted an alarming call for the expansion of American nuclear capability.
  • A partially declassified House Intelligence Committee report accuses Edward Snowden of being in contact with Russian intelligence agencies.
  • NSEERS, a registry set up after 9/11 to track Arabs and Muslims in the United States and which lay unused since 2011, is being fully dismantled by the outgoing Obama administration.
  • Two of America’s deadliest law enforcement agencies, the Bakersfield Police Department and the Kern County Sheriff’s office, are being investigated by the California Attorney General’s office.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s