North Korea preparing for another missile test - North Korean leader, Kim Jong Un, announced that the country is close to testing the capability of its long-range missiles. During his year-end message, Kim Jong Un said that the missiles were in their final stages of development. Despite questions of the country’s nuclear capabilities, North Korea has never successfully test-fired a long-range missile.
Ferry catches fire in Indonesia - The Zahro Express ferry in Indonesia caught fire and killed at least 23 people on New Year’s Day. Authorities in the area are searching for 17 others who are missing. The ferry was carrying more than double the amount of people it was allowed to and multiple passengers aboard the ferry jumped into the sea. Nine people are hospitalized.
Mali sends back migrants to France Mali sent back two people who were deported from France. The Malian government said the two people did not have passports or proof that they were from the country. The Malian Government also said it could not accept the migrants because people assume that they are Malian. Malian officials called European “laissez-passers” (permit holders) as being against international conventions. They also warned against people flying from using a laissez-passers.
Cheetahs on the verge of extinction According to a report by the International Union for Conservation of Nature, cheetahs are on the verge of extinction. More than 91 percent of cheetahs have become extinct in Africa and southwest Asia. The report called for cheetahs to be re-categorized as an endangered species rather than being considered vulnerable. Zimbabwe saw its cheetah population fall to 170 while in 1999 there were more than 1,200 cheetahs in the country.
German Chancellor gives end-of-year message - In her end-of-year message, German Chancellor, Angela Merkel, said Islamist terrorism is the biggest challenge facing the country. Merkel called 2016 a year of “severe tests”, but also said that she is confident in Germany. The country recently faced a terrorist attack when a truck drove through a crowded Christmas market and killed 12 people. Merkel will look to serve her fourth term as Chancellor. German elections are expected to occur in September.
Turkey on the hunt for gunman Turkish officials are searching for a gunman who attacked an Istanbul nightclub. The gunman opened fire in the club and killed 39 people while people were celebrating the start of the New Year. Authorities believe the Islamic State group is responsible for the attack. According to Turkish media, more than half of the victims were foreign.
Colombia rescues child soldiers The Colombian Defense Ministry announced that the country rescued eight children from the National Liberation Army guerrilla group. The children were being used as soldiers and were rescued during an Army operation. The National Liberation Army is scheduled to meet with the Colombian Government in February to discuss a peace agreement. The children are currently under state protection.
Protestors throw rocks at Argentine President’s car - Protests in Argentina turned dangerous when a group of people threw stones at Argentine President Mauricio Marci’s car. People were protesting the steps Marci has taken in an effort to boost the economy. The Argentine Government said Marci wasn’t injured on his trip to a ceremony.
Obama announces sanctions against Russia - In response to Russia being involved in election hacking, President Obama demanded that 35 Russian diplomats leave the country. The FBI and the CIA both concluded that Russia released information about the Democratic Party and Hillary Clinton through WikiLeaks in an attempt to help Trump win the election. Russia has yet to respond to Obama’s sanctions. Trump tweeted that Putin was making a great move by not responding to the sanctions yet. He also called the Russian leader “very smart”.
Republican politician arrested for domestic violence - Chris Corley, a Republican representative in South Carolina, was charged with first-degree domestic violence. The Aiken Standard newspaper released the 911call recording when the alleged assault took place. In the recording you can hear a woman screaming and a child saying, “Just stop, Daddy.” Corley is known for his support to keep the Confederate flag flying outside the South Carolina state house and Corley could face up to 15 years in jail.