Thursday, December 31, 2015

World News Briefs -- December 31, 2015

A Belgian soldier on patrol in Brussels, where official New Year’s Eve celebrations have been cancelled. Photograph: Francois Lenoir/Reuters

The Guardian: Cities around world tighten New Year's Eve security amid terror attack fears

London, Paris, Moscow, Brussels, Ankara, Madrid and New York among cities taking extra precautions for end-of-year celebrations

Brussels has cancelled its official celebrations, Paris called off an annual fireworks display on the Champs-Élysées and London increased the numbers of firearms officers on the streets as authorities across the world stepped up security measures for New Year’s Eve.

Belgian police detained six people during house searches in Brussels on Thursday in an investigation into an alleged plot to carry out an attack in the city. Earlier in the week two other people were arrested on suspicion of preparing attacks on “emblematic sites” in Brussels during the celebrations. Another man was questioned over links to last month’s Paris attacks.


Dozens killed, wounded in multiple suicide bombings in Kurdish-controlled Syrian city.

Rescued Ramadi residents recount horrors of life in grip of IS. UN offers to help Iraqi refugees return to Ramadi.

Iraq says Turkey not honouring pledge to remove troops.

Erdogan vows no respite in Turkey's war on Kurdish militants.

Iran denies claims of rocket launch near US warships as 'psychological war'.

US planning new Iran sanctions over ballistic missile programme – report.

Iran warns against new 'illegal' US sanctions.

Kuwait to send troops to join Saudi war in Yemen.

Palestinian shot dead after ramming car into Israeli troops: army.

Israeli military admits destroying Gaza crops on border.


Afghan leader says end to terrorism a condition for peace talks.

Pakistan-Afghanistan hotline set up to reduce tension.

Afghan protesters demand Kabul step up fight against IS, Taliban.

Philippine troops kill 10 suspected Islamist militants.

China sends Japan a ‘don't meddle’ message via an Ex-Navy ship.

Chinese shares end turbulent year down.

Two sentenced to death for murdering Bangladesh blogger.


Defections from Burundi army highlight ethnic divisions amid looming threat of war.

Mali extends state of emergency.

CAR defies the odds, holds peaceful poll.

Chibok girls: Nigeria ready for Boko Haram negotiations.

Morocco plays key role in Europe's security, but has jitters.

Republic of Congo sets presidential election date.

King of Mandela's clan jailed in South Africa: media.


Brussels police arrest six over 'New Year terror plot'.

Paris scales back New Year celebrations after November attacks.

Putin calls for cooperation with US in message to Obama.

Ukraine: Leaders focus on elections, cease-fire in East.

Crimea loses power as Ukraine line cut.

Germany's Merkel calls refugee influx ‘an opportunity’.

Spain gets 600 tip-offs about possible Islamic extremists.

Trump may be barred from Britain for 'public good' as petition gains 556k signatures.


Security tight as terror threat looms over New York, Los Angeles New Year's celebrations. U.S. warily eyes New Year's threats in cities abroad.

S America: Over 160,000 flee worst floods in 50 years.

Venezuela top court bars 4 lawmakers from taking office.

Two UN police officers found dead in Haiti.

Mexico missing students: Mayor charged over 'gang ties'.

Brazilian Real weakens to nearly 4 reais to the dollar.

Texas 'affluenza' teen delays extradition, mother deported from Mexico.

Turbulence on Air Canada flight from China injures 21.

Rising floodwaters close parts of interstate highways near St. Louis.

El Nino weather 'could be as bad as 1998', says Nasa.


Syria ceasefire plan struggles to define a 'terrorist'.

Russia attack: IS claims shooting in Dagestan.

Ramadi residents fleeing ISIS: 'They wanted to use us as human shields.


Sky-high stocks book fourth year of gains, tipped for more.

Oil ends 2015 in downbeat mood; hangover to be long, painful.

Exclusive: Microsoft to warn email users of suspected hacking by governments.

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