Al-Shabab set to target the Islamic State - The terror group al-Shabab accused the Islamic State of “spoiling the ongoing jihad in Somalia.” The group’s spokesperson said al-Shabab will carry out attacks to wipe out Islamic State fighters. Al-Shabab said Islamic State fighters were a cancer as Islamic State fighters have launched more attacks in Somalia recently.
Bread and fuel costs spark protests in Sudan - As the costs of bread and fuel have risen in Sudan, people held protests where police threw tear gas at them. The protests occurred in the cities of Omdurman and Atbara, and at least eight people were killed. Amnesty International says some of the protesters were detained, and the rights group demanded that they be freed.
Japan to continue whale hunting - Japan is set to leave the International Whaling Commission in a move that will see the country continue whale hunting. The International Whaling commission banned whaling in 1986. Japan says it hunts whales for research and it sells whale meat as well. Japan officials say eating whales is a part of its culture.
North Korea won’t denuclearize anytime soon - As the United States and North Korea continue negotiations over how North Korea should denuclearize, North Korea says it will not renounce its nuclear weapons until the United States isn’t a nuclear threat. Over the summer, Trump and Kim Jong Un pledged to work together to denuclearize North Korea. However, North Korea says the United States’ call for the country to denuclearize is a “delusion.”
Putin holds end of year press conference - During his end of year press conference, Vladimir Putin said the United States political classes don’t want to recognize Donald Trump’s victory. He said its “disrespect of voters,” and he also commented on Brexit, saying the same thing is happening in the United Kingdom as well. Putin warned about the risks of nuclear war, and he said it is in Russia’s and the United Kingdom’s best interest to improve their relations.
Mine explosion kills 13 - Search operations are underway after 13 miners were killed when a methane explosion occurred at a Czech coal mine. At least ten others are injured, and reports suggest that most of the victims were Polish. Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babis tweeted that the blast was a “huge tragedy,” and he was planning on visiting the mine. The country’s parliament held a moment of silence for the victims of the explosion.
MLB/Cuba’s Baseball Federation reach deal - The MLB and Cuba’s Baseball Federation have reached a new deal that will allow Cuban players to sign with MLB teams. Cuban players can join MLB teams without having to defect from the country, and hopes are that the deal will end player trafficking from Cuba. Usually when players defect from Cuba they have to wait at least a year before they can sign with an MLB team.
Chile President calls for police chief to resign - Chile President Sebastian Pinera has asked Hermes Soto, the country’s police chief, to step down from his role after an indigenous man was shot in the head. When the man was shot, police were in the midst of a raid against car thieves, and they allege that they were acting in self-defense. However, videos surfaced showing that the man wasn’t armed. After the man’s death, people held protests in Santiago. Pinera said Chile’s police needs new leadership.
U.S. to withdraw thousands of troops from Afghanistan - The United States is set to withdraw around 7,000 troops from Afghanistan, according to the Trump administration. That number marks nearly half of the number of troops who are still in the country. Multiple analysts have suggested that withdrawing troops could lead to Taliban militants having an easier time spreading propaganda. The United States has had a presence in Afghanistan since 2011.
Supreme Court judge has surgery - According to a statement from the United States Supreme Court, judge Ruth Bader Ginsburg had surgery to remove two cancerous nodules from her lung. She is 85, and the statement says there isn’t evidence that the disease remains in her body. She was appointed to the Supreme Court in 1993, and she has fought for women’s rights throughout her career.