Welcome to the Overnight News Digest with a crew consisting of founder Magnifico, current leader Neon Vincent, regular editors side pocket, maggiejean, Chitown Kev, Interceptor7, Magnifico, annetteboardman, jck, and Besame. Alumni editors include (but not limited to) Man Oh Man, wader, palantir, Patriot Daily News Clearinghouse (RIP), ek hornbeck (RIP), ScottyUrb, Doctor RJ, BentLiberal, Oke (RIP) and jlms qkw.
OND is a regular community feature on Daily Kos, consisting of news stories from around the world, sometimes coupled with a daily theme, original research or commentary. Editors of OND impart their own presentation styles and content choices, typically publishing each day near 12:00 AM Eastern Time.
Please feel free to share your articles and stories in the comments.
From CNN, photos of New Year’s Eve. And the same from Al Jazeera.
From Al Jazeera:
At least 11 people were killed and several injured during New Year’s Eve celebrations across the world on Thursday.
Eight young men and women were reported dead in a cottage in southwest Bosnia and Herzegovina, apparently from carbon monoxide poisoning during a New Year’s Eve celebration, police said on Friday.
From CBS News:
Australia has changed one word in its national anthem to reflect what the prime minister called "the spirit of unity" and the country's Indigenous population. Prime Minister Scott Morrison on New Year's Eve announced that the second line of the anthem, Advance Australia Fair, has been changed from "For we are young and free" to "For we are one and free."
From the Daily Beast:
Japan’s new leader was the most popular kid in the class, but his obstinacy, meanness, and ineptness have cost him.
TOKYO—Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga won the hearts of Japan with the story of his upbringing as the son of a poor (not really) strawberry farmer in the cold regions of Japan. But if the Japanese public were giving grades to their leader right now, he would be flunking out. His hubris in flatly rejecting academics who were appointed to Japan’s Science Council has angered a nation in which academic freedom is taken seriously—and then he compounded matters by stubbornly promoting a domestic travel program in the middle of the pandemic.
From The Guardian:
Find is chance for species’ survival say scientists as DNA results confirm turtle found in Hanoi district is a Swinhoe’s softshell
The last known male giant Swinhoe’s softshell turtle is no longer alone on the planet after the discovery of a female of his species in Vietnam.
The female 86kg (13 stone) turtle was found in Dong Mo lake, in Hanoi’s Son Tay district, and captured for genetic testing in October.
DNA tests have now confirmed the animal is a Swinhoe’s softshell turtle, (Rafetus swinhoei), the most endangered turtle in the world.
From Yahoo News:
Lilit Marcus and Kocha Olarn
(CNN) — In an effort to stem the tide of the coronavirus, Thailand has banned food, drink and any printed materials other than safety information cards on board domestic flights. The airlines will have to follow the regulations or could face possible penalty from their regulator, Civil Aviation Authority of Thailand.
This is the second time that such a move has been taken. Thailand previously banned in-flight food and drink service on April 26, 2020, but than ban was lifted on August 31.
From The Hill:
Unidentified gunmen have shot and killed an Afghan journalist, a local spokesperson said Friday, the fifth journalist to be killed in the country in the past two months.
According to The Associated Press, Bismillah Adil Aimaq was driving near Feroz Koh, the provincial capital of Ghor, traveling home after a visit with family in a nearby village.
Arif Abir, the governor’s spokesman, said that gunmen then opened fire on the vehicle, killing Aimaq. Abir added that others that others in the vehicle, including Aimaq’s brother, were unharmed in the attack.
From the Washington Post:
TEHRAN, Iran — Iranian Ayatollah Mohammad Taqi Mesbah Yazdi, a prominent hard-liner and supporter of the country’s ex-president, died on Friday, the state-run IRNA news agency reported. He was 85.
The cleric was known as a backer of former hard-line President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who questioned the Holocaust and claimed there were no gays or lesbians in Iran. Ahmadinejad was succeeded in 2013 by Hassan Rouhani, a relative moderate.
From The Hil:
Saudi Arabia is bracing itself for a tougher relationship with the incoming Biden administration after four years in which President Trump gave it a direct line to the Oval Office and offered support even as some of its policies and actions drew controversy and bipartisan scorn.
The Trump-Saudi relationship was a constant source of tension between the White House and many Republicans in Congress, who chafed at the Kingdom's involvement in the killing of U.S.-based Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi and the White House's unbridled support of the Saudi war effort in Yemen. These actions also drew heavy criticism from Democrats.
From the New York Times:
Badly hit by the coronavirus, Israel has distributed the first of two vaccine doses to more than 10 percent of its population. Prime Minister Netanyahu is leading the charge, bolstering his own battered image along the way.
JERUSALEM — More than 10 percent of Israel’s population has received a first dose of a coronavirus vaccine, a rate that has far outstripped the rest of the world and buoyed the battered domestic image of the country’s leader, Benjamin Netanyahu, at a critical juncture.
Israel’s campaign, which began Dec. 20, has distributed the vaccine to three times as much of its population as the second-fastest nation, the tiny Persian Gulf kingdom of Bahrain, according to figures compiled mostly from local government sources by Our World in Data.
From Al Jazeera:
After months of delays caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the African Continental Free Trade Area launches, but full implementation of the historic pact may take years.
African countries began officially trading under a new continent-wide free trade area on Friday, after months of delays caused by the global coronavirus pandemic.
But experts view the New Year’s Day launch as largely symbolic with full implementation of the deal expected to take years.
NAIROBI(Reuters) - Ethiopia’s state-appointed human rights commission said on Friday that security forces killed at least 76 people and wounded nearly 200 during violent unrest in June and July that followed the killing of a popular singer.
The commission also detailed brutality by civilians involved in the clashes, saying some attackers beheaded and tortured people after dragging them from their homes and using ethnic slurs.
Blog posts accusing a famous Egyptian film director of sexual harassment and assault raise little hope for an investigation, but put the question of social punishment on the agenda
All three women admired Islam el Azzazi. Each one explained that she had been so excited and could not believe that the famous director had invited her to his home to discuss her future in film.
One woman wrote that though she hadn't studied film, she had an idea for a movie and was seeking a grant to produce it. "People recommended that I turn to I.A. [the initials of Egyptian film director Islam el Azzazi] because he was on many judging panels and he knows how to present proposals for this kind of grant," she wrote. Her story was published last month, alongside stories of many other women, in the Egyptian, Arabic-language feminist
blog "Daftar Hekayat" (which translates to "Story Book"). The blog is intended to serve as a forum for women who have suffered sexual harassment and violence. The woman added that she knew Azzazi was married with a daughter, and he knew she was married – he had even met members of her family.
From the New York Times:
Turkey slammed its doors to travelers from Britain on Friday, saying that it had found 15 infections with the new, more transmissible variant of the virus that first emerged in England. All were among recent arrivals from the United Kingdom.
From KTLA (Associated Press):
Hundreds of birds died after many people set off fireworks in the Italian capital on New Year’s Eve, animal rights groups said Friday, calling it a “massacre.”
Footage of streets near Rome’s main train station showed dozens and dozens of birds — mostly starlings — scattered lifeless on the ground.
Authorities in Belgium say a 27th elderly person has died in an outbreak at a nursing home from a super-spreading St. Nick party last month.
By The Associated Press
BRUSSELS — Authorities in Belgium say a 27th elderly person has died in a coronavirus outbreak at a nursing home from a super-spreading St. Nick party last month but they hope the situation is now under control.
The Hemelrijck home in the northern Belgium city of Mol had organized a Dec. 4 visit from a troupe playing the beloved saint who usually spreads mirth and presents. But the city and families of some of the deceased have complained that the nursing home should never have organized the party when restrictive measures on events were in place throughout the country to contain the pandemic.
From The Guardian (AP):
Bottles and stones thrown at officers at event in Brittany attended by 2,500 people
Police attempting to shut down an underground, curfew-busting New Year’s Eve party that drew at least 2,500 people in western France were attacked by ravers who torched one police vehicle and injured officers with volleys of bottles and stones.
Hundreds of vehicles started converging on a hangar in Lieuron, Brittany, on Thursday night to party into the new year, the regional government said on Friday. It said police were attacked when they tried to stop ravers from installing their party gear.
From The Hill:
The U.K. on Friday got rid of the sales tax on menstrual products after breaking from the European Union and its tax rules regarding sanitary products.
Treasury chief Rishi Sunak followed through with his March promise to remove the tax on tampons and sanitary pads, which was only possible after the U.K.’s official separation from the EU, The Associated Press reported.
The U.K. departed the EU Thursday at 11 p.m. London time.
(CNN) — After four years of confusion, it has finally happened.
The United Kingdom officially severed ties with the European Union last night, as the Brexit transition period ended at 11 p.m. UK time.
Brexit hasn't been an easy road politically, and the UK -- which voted 52-48 to leave the EU in 2016 -- is going into the new year more divided than ever.
But what does that mean for travel?