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Rebels lose almost all Aleppo / China warns Trump / Turkey arrests after terror attacks / Egypt mourns terror victims / IMF’s Lagarde on trial / Romania elects Social Democrats / Conservatives win in Macedonia / Democrats asked to form Italian government / The weather

12.12.2016

Rebels lose almost all Aleppo

Reports from Syria say government forces have recaptured a key district in Aleppo from rebel fighters, after intense bombardment by government and Russian warplanes. Russia says the Syrian army now controls over 95% of Aleppo. Abdul Qafi Al-Hamadi is a teacher in eastern Aleppo: “The situation inside eastern Aleppo is doomsday. Bombs are everywhere, people are running, they don’t know where, just running. People are injured in the streets. No one can dare to go and help them, they just leave them until they die.” Meanwhile Islamic State militants appear to have reconquered the historic city of Palmyra after days of intense fighting with the Syrian army.

China warns Trump

China has warned that it is seriously concerned by comments from United States president elect Donald Trump indicating he may end the longstanding US position that Taiwan is part of China. Trump has said he could link the so-called One China policy to other issues such as trade. China has said if the policy is compromised, bilateral cooperation in major areas would be out of the question.

Turkey arrests after terror attacks

Turkish authorities say police have arrested 235 people found to be spreading terror propaganda on behalf of the banned PKK militant group, following two bombings in Istanbul on Saturday that killed at least 44 people and wounded over 150 others. Earlier reports said over 100 officials from the main pro-Kurdish party, the HDP, have been detained for alleged terrorism links. The HDP denies any links to militants.

Egypt mourns terror victims

Egypt has begun three days of mourning for the victims of yesterday’s bombing of a chapel next to the main Coptic Christian cathedral in Cairo. Twenty five people died in the attack.

IMF’s Lagarde on trial

The head of the International Monetary Fund, Christine Lagarde, goes on trial in France today in connection with 400 million Euros in state compensation paid to a businessman in 2008, while she was finance minister. Lagarde is accused of negligence leading to misuse of public funds.

Romania elects Social Democrats

In Romania, the Social Democrats have won parliamentary elections with more than 45 percent of the vote, a year after a major anti-corruption drive forced the last socialist prime minister from office. The centre-right Liberals Party came second with about 20 percent. A new anti-corruption party came third.

Conservatives win in Macedonia

Partial results from Macedonia’s general election give the governing conservatives a slim lead over a left-wing coalition. The election was called two years early as part of an internationally-brokered agreement aimed at ending a political crisis over a corruption scandal.

Democrats asked to form Italian government

Italy's foreign minister Paolo Gentiloni has been asked to take over as prime minister to form a new Democrat party-led government. Opposition parties have demanded new elections after the resignation of Matteo Renzi, but Italian president Sergio Mattarella said the center-left government still commands a majority in Parliament.

The weather

Rain showers north of the Alps, some sunny spells in the south. Top temperatures 1 to 12 degrees.

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