Key Storylines

  • AFRICA: Sudan will send “large numbers” of troops to the South Darfur state after the killing of 15 people in tribal violence, the state news agency reported.
  • AMERICAS: US Federal officials identified the man believed to be responsible for Nashville’s Christmas Day bombing, and authorities now seek to find the motive behind the explosion that severely damaged dozens of downtown buildings and injured three people.
  • ASIA: The U.S. embassy in China asked the government to immediately release 12 fugitives from Hong Kong and allow them to depart the country on Monday, according to a statement released.
  • EUROPE: Most British businesses are prepared for the end of the Brexit transition period, Cabinet Office Minister Michael Gove announced, adding it was important they be ready for changes to trading and regulatory rules.
  • MIDDLE EAST: The leader of the national branch of Hezbollah in Lebanon said his group obtained twice as many precision-guided missiles as they had a year ago, and stated Israel’s efforts to stop them from acquiring the missiles failed.
  • TECH & COMMUNICATIONS: A Reuters cameraman, Kumerra Gemechu, was arrested in the Ethiopian capital city Addis Ababa and will be detained for at least two weeks, his family said despite not being charged with a crime. 

 

Top Story

  • United States: Coronavirus relief and government spending bills both pass averting a government shutdown. 
    • U.S. President Donald Trump signed into law a $2.3 trillion pandemic aid and spending package, renewing unemployment benefits to millions of Americans, a source familiar with the matter reported.
    •  Democrats in the U.S. Congress will still try to push through an expanded $2,000 pandemic relief payments for Americans after President Donald Trump backed down from a fight with lawmakers over a government shutdown. 
    • President Trump said he was signing the bill with “a strong message that makes clear to Congress that wasteful items need to be removed”.
    • In response to the President, Democrats “will reject any rescissions” submitted by the President, according to Appropriations Committee Chairwoman Nita Lowey, D-N.Y., in a statement.
    • Reporting: Reuters, Reuters, BBC, AP

 

Africa

  • Guinea: Two days of communal clashes in the southeast left at least 11 people dead and more than 40 injured, officials announced. (AFP)  
  • Kenya: National Defense Forces (KDF) troops killed three al-Shabab terrorists in a raid in their stronghold in the Boni Forest, Lamu County in the coast region, an official confirmed. (Xinhua)
  • Sudan: The federal government will send “large numbers” of troops to South Darfur state after the killing of 15 people in tribal violence, the state news agency. (Reuters)

 

Americas

  • Argentina: The country registered 5,030 new cases of COVID-19, bringing the total number of cases in the country to 1,583,297, the Ministry of Health announced. (Xinhua)  
  • Colombia: The nation recorded 9,594 additional COVID-19 cases in the past 24 hours, bringing the nationwide tally to 1,594,497, health authorities reported. (Xinhua)  
  • United States: Federal officials identified the man believed to be responsible for Nashville’s Christmas Day bombing, and authorities now seek to find the motive behind the explosion that severely damaged dozens of downtown buildings and injured three people. (AP)

 

Asia  

  • China: Zhang Zhan, a 37-year-old former lawyer and citizen journalist, who was arrested in May while reporting on the COVID-19 pandemic in Wuhan, was sentenced to four years in jail. (The Guardian
  • China: The U.S. embassy in Beijing asked the government to immediately release 12 fugitives from Hong Kong and allow them to depart the country on Monday, according to a statement released. (Reuters)  
  • South Korea: Government health authorities confirmed the country’s first cases of a more transmissible strain of coronavirus from three arrivals from Britain, and decided to extend the suspension of flights from the United Kingdom by one more week. (YNA)
  • Thailand: The nation confirmed 144 additional COVID-19 cases, the majority of which were locally transmitted infections, the public health ministry stated. (Reuters)  

 

Europe

  • Germany: A court in Berlin issued two arrest warrants in connection with a shooting believed to be connected to organized crime, the state prosecutor’s office stated. (DPA)
  • Russia: National authorities say a fishing boat sunk in the Arctic Ocean, with 17 people missing. (RFE
  • United Kingdom: Most businesses are prepared for the end of the Brexit transition period, Cabinet Office Minister Michael Gove announced, adding it was important they were ready for changes to trading and regulatory rules. (Reuters
  • United Kingdom: Businesses and travelers should prepare for “substantial” changes starting on New Year’s Eve, when the country leaves the EU, the government stated. (BBC)

 

Middle East

  • Region: The body of one of the seven missing crew members of a sunken Iranian transport vessel was found in the Gulf waters, the semi-official ISNA news agency announced. (Reuters)  
  • Lebanon: The leader of the national branch of Hezbollah said his group obtained twice as many precision-guided missiles as they had a year ago, and stated Israel’s efforts to stop them from acquiring the missiles failed. (AP)  
  • Saudi Arabia: The Interior Ministry extended a ban on entry to the country by air, land and sea for another week amid fears over a fast-spreading variant of COVID-19, the state news agency SPA reported. (Reuters)

 

Tech & Communications

  • Media: A Reuters cameraman, Kumerra Gemechu, was arrested in the Ethiopian capital city Addis Ababa and will be detained for at least two weeks, his family said despite not being charged with a crime. (Reuters)

 

World

  • Cyclones
    • Tropical Cyclone Chalane
      • Location: 20S 43.7E
      • Movement: WSW
      • Wind: 40 mph
      • Map
  • Hurricanes: Nothing to report.
  • Earthquakes: Nothing to report. 
  • Volcanoes: Nothing to report.
  • Global Disease Outbreaks:
    • COVID-19 Coronavirus Disease: Global
      • Confirmed Cases as of 28DEC20: 80,838,206
      • Total Recovered Cases as of 28DEC20: 333,129
      • Deaths as of 28DEC20: 45,741,619
      • Countries with Confirmed Cases: 191 
      • Sourcing: John Hopkins University

 

Tomorrow’s Outlook (29DEC20)

  • Global: U.N. Security Council Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA) report due

 

END