News Rounds: Islamic State terrorists claim credit for deadly attacks in Turkey and Iraq

Turkish police on guard after bombing in Ankara in February 2016. Turkey has experienced a lot of terror attacks this year.

Islamic State claims credit for attack on Istanbul night club. The terrorist and paramilitary organization on Monday claimed responsibility for the New Year’s attack at a popular Istanbul nightclub that killed 39 people and wounded scores of others. Turkish police have detained eight people in connection to the attack but were still hunting for the gunman who disappeared amid the chaos of the attack. The IS-linked Aamaq News Agency said the attack was carried out by a “heroic soldier of the caliphate” who attacked the nightclub “where Christians were celebrating their pagan feast.” (AP)

A look back at the many terror attacks in Turkey this year. (AP)

IS also claims credit for deadly bombing in Iraq. The Islamic State group claimed responsibility for a suicide car bomb attack that killed at least 32 people Monday in Baghdad, hours after French President Francois Hollande had arrived in Iraq. (AFP)

Top Stories

Inside the coming war between the U.S. and the U.N. Even before Donald Trump’s inauguration as president, Congress is planning to escalate the clash over the U.N. Security Council’s anti-Israel resolution into a full-on conflict between the United States and the United Nations. (WaPo)

Gambian officials close radio stations amid political crisis. Gambian security agents closed three private radio stations near the capital, Banjul, amid an escalating political crisis triggered by President Yahya Jammeh’s refusal to accept his election defeat. (Reuters)

Government assaults undermine cease-fire in Syria. Army and militia units supporting the Syrian president, Bashar al-Assad, advanced further on Monday on a rebel region that is key to the capital’s water supply, launching strikes and artillery fire threatening a fragile nationwide truce. (Guardian)

Universal basic income trials considered for Scotland. Given concerns about a ‘world without enough jobs‘ and rising wealth concentration, many countries are starting to seriously consider providing people with a guaranteed basic income. Finland is testing this out and now Scotland is exploring the concept. (Guardian)

Cuba puts on show of strength as signal to Trump. Cuban citizens march and soldiers go on parade to celebrate their independence and also make a point aimed at President-elect Donald Trump, who said he will cancel a detente with Cuba begun by President Barack Obama two years ago unless he gets a “better deal” and has resorted to the hostile rhetoric of the past when referring to the Communist-run Caribbean island. (Reuters)

Dozens killed in prison riot in Brazil. Around 60 people have been killed in a jail riot sparked by a war between rival drug gangs in the Amazon jungle city of Manaus. (Guardian)

New land law will hurt farmers in India, activists say. Farmers and activists are protesting legislative efforts in two south Indian states that would make it easier to acquire land for infrastructure projects, as the battle for scarce land in the country becomes more contentious. (Reuters)

The WHO has a plan to protect against pandemic, but no money. As a new year begins, the WHO is beginning to implement a new pandemic preparedness plan, so that countries around the world are ready for the next Ebola or Zika. Unfortunately, it’s only half funded. (Quartz)

Opinion/Blogs

Here are 10 humanitarian stories to look out for in 2017. Number one is, not surprisingly, the uncertainty the new Trump Administration may bring to the aid and development sector. Other stories highlighted include Venezuela unraveling, Yemen’s downward spiral, Myanmar’s treatment of the Rohingya and on (IRIN)

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