UN Security Council condemns Jerusalem move; peacekeepers killed in DRC

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A protester holds a Palestinian flag as he runs during clashes with Israeli troops as Palestinians call for a "day of rage" in response to U.S. President Donald Trump's recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital, near the border with Israel in the east of Gaza City December 8, 2017. REUTERS/Mohammed Salem
A protester holds a Palestinian flag as he runs during clashes with Israeli troops as Palestinians call for a “day of rage” in response to U.S. President Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, near the border with Israel in the east of Gaza City December 8, 2017. REUTERS/Mohammed Salem
  • The United Nations Security Council, a 15-member international legal body, held an emergency session to discuss the United States recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. All of the other 14 member nations condemned the U.S decision, said Ayman Mohyeldin, a MSNBC reporter who was in attendance. Al Jazeera reported that UN Special Coordinator Nickolay Mladenov, who began the emergency session, expressed concern over the “risk of violent escalation” in light of the decision. Mladenov also referred to recognition of Jerusalem as “perhaps the most emotionally charged and difficult subject.”
  • The UN Security Council meeting came after more unrest within Jerusalem following President Donald Trump’s recognition of the city as Israel’s capital, including Israeli soldiers shooting dead a Palestinian man near the Gaza border. Palestinians clashed with Israeli security forces on Friday in Ramallah, West Bank. Scores of Palestinians were hurt, according to Qatar-owned Al Jazeera.

    • A missile was fired from Gaza into Israeli territory but no casualties were reported, according to Israeli newspaper Haaretz. Meanwhile French President Emmanuel Macron said he “regrets” the declaration.

    • Israel retaliated with aerial strikes on a reported militant training camp in Gaza, injuring at least 25 including 6 children.
  • UN officials said at least 14 UN peacekeepers, from Tanzania and the Democratic Republic of Congo, have been killed in an attack in the DRC. Rebels attacked a peacekeeping base in the east of the country in the worst violence against the mission in years. Congo has seen an immense civil conflict due to its vast mineral sources. Greed and corruption is rampant and the war has claimed up to six million lives.
  • At a conference in Paris, Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri called on world leaders to help his country. He called for investment in Lebanon, which includes support for its security services and the 1.5 million refugees who fled from neighboring Syria. The meeting was attended by The International Lebanon Support Group, a body that includes Britain, China, France, Russia and the United States. French President Emmanuel Macron said that Lebanon must remain a stabilizing force in a hostile region, as reported by Qatar-owned Al Jazeera. The country plunged into crisis when Hariri abruptly resigned on November 4 while in Riyadh instead of Beirut, citing fears over assassination and criticizing the Iranian-backed Hezbollah, a political and military faction operating within his country. He rescinded his resignation on December 5. (Read more: our explainer on how Lebanon’s crisis is rooted in regional geopolitics.)
  • There will be no hard border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland, British Prime Minister Theresa May announced, as EU President Jean-Claude Juncker said sufficient progress had been made in Brexit discussions to move to the next stage. May said European Union citizens in the United Kingdom “will be able to go on living as before.” The Good Friday Agreement, a peace agreement that ended decades of sectarian conflict in Northern Ireland known as ‘The Troubles,” will also be upheld, according to the BBC. The deal secures the rights of EU workers and their families to stay in the UK in line with current freedom of movement principles. The same will go for UK workers in EU countries.
    • The move marks a significant point of progress since the UK voted to leave the EU in June 2016, and is a sign of positive UK-EU relations for the future.
    • The Associated Press reported that a round of overnight telephone calls appeared to have clinched a breakthrough on the issue of Irish borders. The deal was sealed Friday morning over orange juice and croissants.
A firefighter is working on extinguishing the Lilac Fire, a fast moving wildfire, in Bonsall, California, December 7. REUTERS/Mike Blake
  • Wildfires raged across in Southern California for a fourth day on Thursday, destroying hundreds of houses and forcing many schools to close. “Flames hopscotched over highways and railroad tracks, and residents rushed to evacuate their homes with only minutes’ warning, some leaving behind holiday gifts,” Reuters reported. About 200,000 residents were evacuated from their homes, though some were due to return on Thursday evening.
  • Bitcoin’s value fell more than 12 percent, dropping below the $15,000 level after touching a record high above $16,000.

What we’re reading

  • Some dismiss him as a clown. “But like him or loathe him, and few Ukrainians are in-between, there is something of the magician about Mikheil Saakashvili,” writes the BBC’s Jonah Fisher. He outlines the bizarre saga of the former Georgian leader’s would-be detainment by police, who tried to bundle him into a van, and his salvation by his supporters who stopped it from happening. “After three hours of grappling the inevitable occurred and Mr. Saakashvili emerged Houdini-like, brandishing a handcuff on one wrist,” Fisher writes.
  • In 1992, The Atlantic writer James Mann wrote this a piece laying the context for the man who brought down U.S. President Richard Nixon. “Twenty years after Watergate we still do not know the identity of the secret source who gave Bob Woodward, of The Washington Postinformation that led to the downfall of President Richard Nixon.” But the author, a former colleague of Woodward’s at the Post, reveals something almost as important about the source, which throws new light on an old scandal. This is a prescient case for W. Mark Felt as journalism’s most famous leaker.
  • What is a curry, and where does it come from? NPR’s Maanvi Singh takes a look into the colorful history behind this famous dish, which tells a fascinating story about the history of empire and the legacy of multiculturalism in the UK.

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