This week in news: December 18-24 rundown
TL;DR - TOP 10 STORIES FOR THE WEEK
- Trump officially set to be next US president
- US bans drilling in Arctic
- China returns drone to USA
- Fireworks explosion in Mexico kills or wounds 100
- Terrorist attacks in Zurich and Berlin
- Plane drama involving JetBlue and Delta
- Russian Ambassador assassinated
- UN demands Israel stop settlements in Palestine
- Aleppo returns to full government control
- A new Ebola vaccine is promising
As expected, Donald Trump secured the necessary amounts of votes to win the presidency of the United States. Hillary Clinton's popular vote lead ended up being just under 3 million (48 percent of the vote compared to Trump's 46 percent).
"The Obama administration is abolishing a national registry program created to track visitors from countries with active terrorist groups... . The American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee praised the move, calling the registry a 'failed program rooted in discriminatory profiling.'" (TH)
"The Obama administration announced Tuesday that it would indefinitely block oil and natural-gas drilling in vast swaths of the Arctic Ocean and smaller parts of the Atlantic Ocean, the latest in a string of last-minute actions.... The announcement carries symbolic significance but little immediate impact, since no commercial drilling is currently taking place in U.S. federal waters of either the Atlantic off the East Coast or the Arctic north of Alaska." (WSJ)
"China's Foreign Ministry says an underwater drone taken by one of Beijing's naval vessels last week has been returned to the U.S." (TH)
"An explosion at a fireworks market outside Mexico City has killed at least 31 people.... More than 70 others were injured as the blast hit the San Pablito fireworks market in Tultepec, about 20 miles (32km) outside the city." (BBC)
"A man burst into a Muslim prayer hall in the Swiss city of Zurich on Monday and started shooting, injuring three men, according to police, who have launched a manhunt for the shooter." (AFP)
"...the European Court of Justice declared that the 'general and indiscriminate retention' of data about people’s communications and locations was inconsistent with privacy rights. The court stated that the 'highly invasive' bulk storage of private data 'exceeds the limits of what is strictly necessary and cannot be considered to be justified, within a democratic society.'" (TI)
A Youtube prankster and his friends were removed from a Delta flight after a commotion. He posted a misleading video on Twitter and began the hashtag #BoycottDelta, which went viral. He accused the airline of racism. Delta and other passengers disputed the claim, saying he "sought to disrupt the cabin with provocative behavior, including shouting." Although some people were supportive of the prankster, others were skeptical because of his history of faking videos.
"A gunman killed Russia’s envoy to Turkey during a gallery opening in Ankara, according to Russia’s foreign ministry. Turkish television stations broadcast a photograph showing Ambassador Andrei Karlov splayed on the floor by a podium, with a man in a suit holding a handgun behind him." (WSJ) (BBC) The assassination appears unlikely to damage relations between the countries, despite fears.
"Aleppo returned to full government control for the first time since 2012, the Syrian army said Thursday.... As the last convoy left eastern Aleppo, meanwhile, the weeklong evacuation of tens of thousands of civilians and rebels from the final remaining opposition-held areas of the city drew to a close Thursday night." (WSJ)
"The UN Security Council on Friday demanded that Israel halt its settlement activities in Palestinian territory, in a resolution adopted after the United States refrained from vetoing the measure condemning its closest Middle East ally." (AFP)
Science and technology
A new vaccine for Ebola may be 100 percent effective. Further testing is required before it's approved.
"Scientists with the China Academy of Space Technology (CAST) claim... they’ve created a working prototype of the ‘impossible’ reactionless engine – and they say they’re already testing it in orbit aboard the Tiangong-2 space laboratory. The radical, fuel-free EmDrive recently stirred up controversy after a paper published by a team of NASA researchers appeared to show they’d successfully built the technology." (DG)
Last week's news
I didn't do a summary last week because of medical reasons.
Most-shared headlines between December 11 and 17:
- Charleston church shooter found guilty
- "Russian Hacking" (often just reporters from NBC and the Washington Post quoting extravagant claims from anonymous sources)
- France extended their state of emergency
- Venezuela temporarily closed their border with Colombia
- Yahoo was hacked again
- Aleppo evacuation