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VIETNAM – Vietnamese pick up the pieces after 2020’s relentless storms (Sen Nguyen, Al Jazeera)

Before floodwater inundated half their living room one night during the storm season this year, the Trans put their most valuable possessions – their TV and refrigerator – in the attic and told their two daughters to take refuge there.

https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2020/12/31/vietnam-storms

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VENEZUELA – Venezuela Supreme Court rules parliament’s term extension invalid (Al Jazeera)

Venezuela’s Supreme Court has ruled that a move by the opposition-controlled National Assembly to extend its term an additional year was invalid, paving the way for allies of President Nicolas Maduro to take over the body next month.

https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2020/12/31/venezuela-supreme-court-rules-parliaments-term-extension-invalid

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USA – US jobless claims unexpectedly edge downward for second week (Al Jazeera)

The number of Americans filing first-time claims for unemployment benefits has unexpectedly fallen for a second straight week. But the United States’s jobless numbers remain elevated more than nine months into the health and economic crisis triggered by the coronavirus pandemic, signalling a long recovery for the labour market.

https://www.aljazeera.com/economy/2020/12/31/us-weekly-jobless-claims-fall-for-second-straight-week

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PAKISTAN – Pakistan arrests more than a dozen over Hindu temple attack (Al Jazeera)

Police in Pakistan have arrested more than a dozen people in overnight raids a day after Shri Paramhans Ji Maharaj Samadhi, a Hindu temple, was set on fire and badly damaged by a mob in the northwestern province of Khyber Pakthunkhwa, officials said on Thursday.

https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2020/12/31/pakistan-arrests-14-people-over-demolishing-of-hindu-temple

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CHINA – How 2020 left China ‘diplomatically diminished’ (Zaheena Rasheed, Al Jazeera)

China alerted the World Health Organization (WHO) to the first cases of COVID-19 a year ago.

As the respiratory illness spread rapidly across the globe, Beijing’s handling of the disease – first detected in the central city of Wuhan – drew intense international scrutiny and opened a new front in the deteriorating ties between China and the United States.

https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2020/12/31/how-2020-left-china-diplomatically-diminished

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IRAN/UK/USA/GERMANY – Iran implicates UK firm, US base in Germany in Soleimani killing (Maziar Motamedi, Al Jazeera)

An Iranian prosecutor has said a British security firm and an airbase in Germany had a hand in the assassination of Qassem Soleimani almost one year after the top general was assassinated by the United States in Iraq.

https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2020/12/31/iran-implicates-uk-firm-us-base-in-germany-in-soleimanis-murder

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AZERBAIJAN/EUROPE/CASPIAN SEA – Azerbaijan makes first direct gas deliveries to Europe from field in Caspian Sea (Al Arabiya)

Azerbaijan said Thursday it started gas deliveries to Europe from the Shah Deniz field in the Caspian Sea, part of a project aimed at reducing European dependence on Russian supplies.

https://englishbeta.alarabiya.net/en/business/energy/2020/12/31/Azerbaijan-makes-first-direct-gas-deliveries-to-Europe-from-field-in-Caspian-Sea

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IRAN/USA – Iran’s Zarif: Intelligence from Iraq shows Trump aims to fabricate ‘pretext for war’ (Al Arabiya)

Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said on Thursday that intelligence from Iraq indicated outgoing US President Donald Trump aiming to fabricate a “pretext for war.”

https://englishbeta.alarabiya.net/en/News/middle-east/2020/12/31/Iran-s-Zarif-Intelligence-from-Iraq-shows-Trump-aims-to-fabricate-pretext-for-war-

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SUDAN/ETHIOPIA – Sudan says back in full control of border with Ethiopia (Al Arabiya)

Sudan’s foreign minister said Thursday that the army has restored control over all lands along the border that had been taken over by Ethiopian farmers.

https://englishbeta.alarabiya.net/en/News/africa/2020/12/31/Sudan-says-back-in-full-control-of-border-with-Ethiopia

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