Welcome to the last ‘Mire’ of 2016. It is a truncated version due to the time of year. The W&Y wishes you a very happy 2017!
CHINA/CARRIER – China’s only aircraft carrier will carry out ‘exercises far out at sea’ in the Western Pacific according to a navy statement. The statement gave few details but it’s thought this will be the first blue water exercise by the carrier.
ISRAEL/UN – Israel summoned the ambassadors of 10 nations to Jerusalem on Dec 25 as a reprimand for last week’s U.N. Security Council resolution demanding an end to settlement building in the West Bank. The ambassadors from New Zealand, UK, Russia, China, Japan, Uruguay, Egypt, France, Spain and Ukraine were all summoned. Calling in an ambassador on Christmas Day is very unusual.
IRAN/DRONE – An Iranian anti-aircraft battery shot down a drone as it flew close to the offices of the Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei in Tehran. It was later discovered to belong to state TV and was being used to film a Friday prayer ceremony.
IRAN/SYRIA – Iranian news agencies report that the latest casualty fighting with Iranian forces is Syria was Mohammed Issa Mohammadi from an Afghan Shia Militia unit.
GAMBIA/SENEGAL – The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) says forces from Senegal are on alert to lead a possible military intervention in Gambia if President Yahya Jammeh continues to refuse to step down having lost the Dec 1st presidential election. The opposition has brought the matter to the Supreme Court which will hear the case on Jan 10th.
LEBANON/RAPE LAW – Lebanon’s Parliamentary Justice Committee has repealed Article 522 of the Penal Code, which enabled a rapist to avoid punishment by marrying his victim. Parliament must now approve the move. This follows a campaign by women’s rights activists. They also want to change another law so that children whose mothers are Lebanese, but whose fathers are not, can be granted Lebanese citizenship.
Dec 27 – Russia/Turkey/Iran summit in Moscow to discuss Syria.
Dec 27 – Final day of Japanese Prime Minister Abe’s trip to Hawaii to visit Pearl Harbor.
Dec 27 – At least 35 MP’s set to leave ruling Saenuri Party of South Korean President Park Geun Hye.
Jan 1 – Kazakhstan becomes 1st Central Asian state to take non-permanent seat on the U.N. Security Council.
Jan 1 – OPEC’s oil output ceiling of 52.5 million barrels per day comes into force for all members except Nigeria, Iran and Libya.