News Rounds: Israel rebuffs UN, which Trump calls ‘just a club … so sad’

Construction cranes in East Jerusalem. Israel captured and annexed the eastern portion of Jerusalem in 1967, contending it is their land. The Palestinians claim East Jerusalem as their future capital, and most of the world considers settlement construction in this part of Jerusalem and in the West Bank illegal or illegitimate. (AP file photo/Sebastian Scheiner, 2011)

Defying the United Nations, Israel prepares to build more settlements. Undeterred by a UN Security Council vote condemning Israeli settlements built in a predominantly Palestinian section of East Jerusalem, Israel’s government said it would move ahead with thousands of new homes. Israeli officials further warned nations against taking any actions to undermine the settlements, declaring that Israel does not “turn the other cheek.” Jerusalem’s municipal government said that it intends to approve 600 housing units in the predominantly Palestinian eastern section of town in what a top official called a first installment on 5,600 new homes. (NY Times)

Donald Trump disses UN as ‘just a club for people to get together and have a good time. So sad.’  President-elect Trump lashed out at the United Nations days after the Security Council voted to condemn Israeli settlements in the West Bank and east Jerusalem. (Fox News)

Chicago’s bloody red Christmas: 11 shot dead and 50 wounded in gun violence over the weekend. A total of 61 people were shot in the city during the holiday weekend and 11 of them died of their wounds. Seven people were killed on Christmas Day alone, more than on the holiday the past three years combined. (Chicago Tribune)

George Michael is still dead but Britney Spears, contrary to social media, is not.

Top Stories

First ‘black box’ recovered from crashed Russian plane. The flight data recorder of the Russian military airliner which crashed in the Black Sea on Sunday has been recovered and brought to Moscow. The jet went down in the Black Sea killing all 92 passengers and crew. At least 12 bodies have been recovered so far. (BBC)

India to build world’s tallest statue of a famous Hindu warrior king and not everyone is pleased. (WaPo)

Philippines searches for 18 crew members of ship sunk in typhoon. The Philippine coast guard pressed its search Tuesday for 18 missing Filipino crewmen from a cargo ship that sank at the height of Typhoon Nock-Ten, which struck the country on Christmas Day. (USA Today)

Somalis say they were deceived into leaving Kenya refugee camp. As Humanosphere reported in September, efforts by Kenyan officials to close the massive Dadaab refugee camp have involved misleading Somalis by falsely claiming they had been provided with settlements back home. (AP Big Story)

Cheetahs at risk of extinction. Urgent action is needed to stop the cheetah – the world’s fastest land animal – from becoming extinct, experts have warned. Scientists estimate that only 7,100 of the fleet-footed cats remain in the wild, occupying 9% of the territory they once lived in. Asiatic populations have been hit the hardest (Guardian)

Christmas time is the best time to put human rights activists on trial. Or so it appears is the strategy of the Chinese government because they assume few will pay attention. (Guardian)

Mozambique opposition agrees to week-long truce. Mozambique’s Renamo opposition party will cease all military operations against government forces, run by the Frelimo party, for the next seven days to allow the public to enjoy New Year festivities, its leader Afonso Dhlakama said on Tuesday. Renamo and Frelimo fought on opposing sides in a civil war from 1976 to 1992 in which a million people died. (Reuters)

Uganda: 30 drown after boat capsizes on Lake Albert.  A boat carrying a football team and their fans, about 45 people, was overcrowded and capsized, Ugandan police say. The boat became unbalanced when too many passengers moved to one side. (BBC)

Congo is tense. On the streets of the DRC’s capital, people are losing patience with both President Kabila and the opposition, as poverty and corruption spark nostalgia for the authoritarian Mobutu era. (Guardian)

Turkey puts coup plotters on trial. Almost 30 Turkish police went on trial in Istanbul on Tuesday charged with involvement in the July 15 coup, the city’s first trial of alleged putschists in the massive crackdown that followed the failed bid to oust President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. (AFP)

Death toll from bad booze climbs in Pakistan. At least 31 people have died from drinking tainted liquor over the Christmas holiday in Pakistan, police and doctors said Tuesday, raising an earlier toll. (AP)

Opinion/Blogs

What’s the point of protesting anyway? A feminist activist explains why she changed her mind and is going to join the Women’s March, scheduled to take place the day after President-elect Donald Trump’s inauguration. (The Guardian)

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