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The Chinese navy seized a U.S. vessel in the South China Sea. A Pentagon spokesman said the vessel was a part of an unclassified research mission to map underwater channels and to test water salinity. Analysts say this incident increases tensions and uncertainty between officials in Beijing and the incoming administration in Washington.
Leaders in the EU reached a compromise with the Netherlands to enact an agreement that will facilitate closer ties with Ukraine. This new deal will counter growing Russian influence. The Netherlands has been the lone nation to ratify the agreement with the European Union.
Supported by Russia and Iran, Syrian government forces have recaptured most of Aleppo from the rebels.. At least 6,000 civilians and rebels are said to have left Aleppo, Syria's largest city, since Thursday after the government recaptured most of the city. Among the evacuees are at least 2,700 children, a UN agency reports.
Earlier this week, a terrorist attack in Egypt’s main Coptic cathedral left 26 people dead, most of them women and children. It is considered one of the deadliest attacks on Egypt’s Christian minority in years. Egypt held three days of mourning following the attack.
Meanwhile, Egyptian investigators announced that they found traces of explosives on the bodies of victims who were onboard an Egypt-air plane traveling from Paris to Cairo that crashed into the Mediterranean. A criminal investigation will now begin to understand the circumstances that led to the crash.
Two bombs exploded in Istanbul, Turkey, leaving 44 people dead and 155 injured. One of the bombs exploded near a bustling soccer stadium. A Kurdish militant group claimed responsibility for the attack.
Twelve soldiers were killed in Burkina Faso by Islamic militants. No official Islamist group has claimed responsibility for the attack. This is allegedly the deadliest jihadi attack on Burkina Faso’s army.
U.S. intelligence officials reported that they had a “high level of confidence” that Russian President Vladimir Putin directed how documents hacked from the Democratic Party and the Democratic National Committee were used to influence the U.S. presidential election to favor Republican Donald Trump, who ended up winning the vote.
President-elect Donald Trump has nominated Rex Tillerson as secretary of state. The former chief executive of ExxonMobil has no experience in formal diplomacy, but does have friendly ties with Russia.
Venezuela withdrew the 100-bolivar bill on Wednesday. The country's highest-valued note, which is currently only worth two U.S. cents on the black market, represents nearly 77% of the country’s cash. President Nicolas Maduro mandated it to help stop criminal gangs from racketeering on the Colombian border.
Yahoo announced that an August 2013 data breach might have resulted in the theft of personal data from more than one billion accounts. This report, separate from the one announced in September that exposed information from 500 million accounts, is believed to be the biggest data breach on record.