December 2020 Current Events: World News

Updated January 1, 2021 | Infoplease Staff

Science and Technology News | US News | Disaster News

The world is a very busy place, and it's hard to stay on top of everything. Infoplease has got you covered. Here are the world news events you need to know so far for December 2020:

  1. Coronavirus Updates
  2. More News Revealed Behind Scientist’s Death
  3. Car Hits Pedestrians in Germany
  4. Coronavirus Updates (2)
  5. Venezuelans Asked to Vote Twice
  6. Unidentified Illness and Protests in India
  7. Protests in Iraq
  8. Coronavirus Updates (3)
  9. Lebanese Prime Minister Charged
  10. Ethiopia Crisis Continues
  11. Kidnapped Nigerian Schoolboys Rescued
  12. Coronavirus Updates (4)
  13. Three Officers Shot in France
  14. Boko Haram Attack in Nigeria
  15. Shipwreck in Tunisia
  16. Shooting in Berlin
  17. Coronavirus Updates (5)
  18. Israel Government Collapses
  19. Uganda Election Continues to Make Headlines
  20. Attacks in Yemen and Syria

Coronavirus Updates

Russia Vaccine

On December 2, the UK officially approved the Pfizer vaccine, announcing that the first shots will be given out starting next week. The vaccine is 95% effective in preventing the worst of coronavirus. On December 5, Russia began its vaccination program in Moscow. Its own vaccine, the Sputnik V (developed in August), is being used. While officials say it is 95% effective with no major side effects, it is still undergoing mass testing. On December 5, Argentina passed a new tax law that will tax its wealthiest residents (those with more than $2.5 million) to help pay for medical supplies and needs due to coronavirus. (CNN/BBC)

Photo Source: AP Photo/Pavel Golovkin

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More News Revealed Behind Scientist’s Death

Iran Scientist

In late November, Iran’s top nuclear scientist, Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, was killed in what appeared to be an assassination. On December 2, a top US official reported that the assassination was carried out by Israel. The official has refused to say whether the Trump Administration knew about the attack or helped support it. (CNN)

Photo Source: Iranian Defense Ministry via AP

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Car Hits Pedestrians in Germany

Germany Car Crash

On December 1, a driver rammed his car into pedestrians in the southwest German city Trier. The 51-year-old driver killed 5 people, including a 9-month-old baby, and injured many more. An investigator has said the driver was extremely intoxicated, with a blood alcohol level of 1.4. As of now, there seems to be no political motivation behind the incident. (CNN)

Photo Source: AP Photo/Michael Probst

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Coronavirus Updates (2)

Europe Coronavirus

On December 7, CNN reported on the hardships of Kenya. More than two thirds of the ICU beds are in the country’s most populated cities, meaning it may take hours for those in rural areas to get help. Many people have died due to the lack of response and care in lesser populated areas. Kenya worries Christmas travel will only exacerbate the problem. On December 7, CNN also reported that many Venezuelans are taking care of themselves at home while hospitals are crippling under the number of Covid cases. On December 7, a man in Taiwan was charged $3,500 for breaking coronavirus restrictions for 8 seconds. The man was quarantining in a hotel when he briefly stepped into the hallway, getting caught by CCTV. On December 9, after two UK health workers had reactions to the vaccine, Pfizer issued a warning that people with severe allergies should not get the vaccine. On December 9, experts warned that richer countries are hoarding the coronavirus vaccine, causing a possible downfall for poorer countries as they continue to battle the virus. On December 11, one of Australia’s vaccine trials was put on hold after a participant had a false positive HIV test come back. This is another setback as many countries around the world are seeing their worst numbers yet. Both Germany and Russia have reached the highest deaths they’ve had throughout the pandemic, causing possible lockdowns to happen before Christmas. (CNN)

Photo Source: AP Photo/Burhan Ozbilici

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Venezuelans Asked to Vote Twice

Venezuela Election

On December 7, President Nicolas Maduro celebrated a victory that has largely been rejected on an international level. Citizens are being asked to vote again so the opposition can contest the vote. Venezuela has had two dueling presidents for the last two years, and many hope this election will put an end to that. (CNN)

Photo Source: AP Photo/Matias Delacroix

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Unidentified Illness and Protests in India

Mysterious Illness in India

On December 7, over 300 people were hospitalized with a mystery illness in India, one of whom has died. The people were committed with seizures, unconsciousness, and nausea. Every patient tested negative for coronavirus and other mosquito born illnesses, so authorities are testing water systems in the area. That same day, much of India shut down after thousands of farmers protested a new farming reform. The protest, which calls for a nation-wide strike, has been happening for at least 12 days. (CNN)

Photo Source: AP Photo/ Dar Yasin

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Protests in Iraq

Iraq Protests

On December 11, at least seven people were killed during violent protests in Iraq. Many government employees are protesting the fact that they aren’t receiving a salary during the pandemic. Local security officials shot into the crowd, killing at least 6 protesters. Protesters continue to set fire to government buildings. (CNN)

Photo Source: AP Photo/Khalid Mohammed

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Coronavirus Updates (3)

London Outbreak

On December 14, the Netherlands announced a five-week lockdown designed to quell travel during Christmas and New Year’s. Non-essential shops, gyms, hairdressers, and cinemas, as well as schools, have closed for the time being. Restrictions will be lifted slightly for Christmas, allowing three guests over 13 in a house instead of the standard 2. The UK also announced a lockdown that will omit travel restrictions for three days of Christmas, even allowing people to stay overnight and have indoor gatherings. However, the “bubbles” may only contain a maximum of three households. Italy announced that there will be no Christmas markets and a nationwide curfew; however, churches are allowed to remain open with the exception of Midnight Mass. On December 15, France lifted lockdown in time for Christmas, but continues to impose strict guidelines. The country is under a nationwide curfew, and ski resorts are closed in the area. Germany announced that non-essential businesses and schools have been closed, and the hard shutdown will continue through Christmas. Travel has been allowed in Spain and Austria, but gatherings still have limited numbers. Russia has extended some restrictions to January 15, as well as telling the elderly and immunocompromised to self-isolate until this date. On December 16, South Korea announced that after seeing a large rise in numbers, it may face its first lockdown. The day before, South Korea reported 1,078 new cases, the largest number reported since the pandemic began. On December 19, Brazil announced that it plans to start vaccinations early next year. While the country hasn’t approved any vaccines, it has purchased the Oxford Vaccination in advance. On December 19, residents in both Sydney and London rushed to cross the border as Australia and Ireland announced strict restrictions ahead of Christmas. Anyone within city limits by midnight are not permitted to leave the boundaries for the next few weeks. On December 19, at least 9 people died in Turkey after a ventilator blast affected a covid-wing in a private hospital. (CNN/BBC)

Photo Source: AP Photo/Alberto Pezzali

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Lebanese Prime Minister Charged

Lebanon Blast

On December 14, Hassan Diab, Prime Minister of Lebanon, was charged with neglect for the Belarus blast that occurred over the summer. The blast is believed to have been caused by the detonation of thousands of tons of ammonium nitrate being stored in the area. Diab allegedly received prior warnings regarding the nitrate, and refused to act. His whole cabinet has since stepped down and a new team will take its place. (CNN)

Photo Source: AP Photo/Hussein Malla

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Ethiopia Crisis Continues

Ethiopia Crisis

On December 16, the United Nations warned that millions of children are still cut off from aid in the Tigray region, which has had conflicts for the last month. An estimated 2.3 million minors are cut off from basic humanitarian rights, such as water, vaccines, sanitation supplies, and medicines. (CNN)

Photo Source: AP Photo/Nariman El-Mofty

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Kidnapped Nigerian Schoolboys Rescued

Nigeria Schoolboys

On December 19, Nigeria announced that 344 Nigerian schoolboys were rescued after being kidnapped by bandits pretending to be the terrorist group Boko Haram. The boys were kidnapped December 11, and told tales of abuse and torture and starving for two days. (CNN)

Photo Source: AP Photo/Sunday Alamba

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Coronavirus Updates (4)

japan Outbreak

On December 21, Ontario, Canada announced that it will shut down the day after Christmas. Rising coronavirus cases despite active restrictions has forced the region to place stronger restrictions on the residents. On December 21, various countries placed a travel ban on the UK after a coronavirus mutant was found in the area. Many worry that this can lead to food and medicine shortages as exporters are nervous to get stuck in the UK due to travel bans. On December 21, the Vatican gave the OK for people to use the COVID-19 vaccine despite its use of aborted fetus cell lines. On December 23, thousands of delivery drivers at the UK port rushed to take coronavirus tests after France eased some restrictions to allow them back in the country. Many are incredibly frustrated at having been stranded by the sudden restrictions, and must supply a negative coronavirus test before reentering France. On December 23, Taiwan announced it has had its first local COVID case in the last 255 days. The report stated that a woman tested positive after coming into contact with a foreign pilot who also tested positive. On December 26, as most countries entered their second or third week of vaccines, Brazil announced it won’t start vaccinations until February or March. Many experts worry this could be disastrous for the country, which has some of the highest infection rates in the world. On December 26, Japan announced it will ban foreign nationals from entering the country until the end of January after a new variant of COVID-19 was discovered in the country. Citizens and residents may still enter, but are required to quarantine for 14 days upon entry. Canada has also detected this new variant in the country. (CNN)

Photo Source: AP Photo/Hiro Komae

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Three Officers Shot in France

French Officer Shooting

On December 23, three police officers were killed after responding to a domestic violence call in Lyons, France. The suspect, a 48-year-old man, was known for child custody issues. He shot three officers upon entry, one of whom died. Later, he set fire to the house, killing two more police officers with gunshots. He fled in a car before crashing into a tree. He was found dead with a pistol in his hand. The woman who called the police escaped to safety. (BBC)

Photo Source: AP Photo/Francois Mori

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Boko Haram Attack in Nigeria

Nigeria Attack

On December 24, at least 7 people were killed in an attack on Pemi village (a primarily Christian area) in Nigeria. The attackers also kidnapped seven people, including a pastor, and burned down the church. Boko Haram has claimed responsibility for the attack. (CNN)

Photo Source: AP Photo/Sunday Alamba

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Shipwreck in Tunisia

Tunisia Shipwreck

On December 24, at least 20 African migrants died in a shipwreck off the Tunisian coast. At least five people have been rescued, with 20 more still missing. The migrants are all from sub-Saharan Africa. It is believed that they were traveling to either Italy or Malta, both of which have seen an increase in migrants. (CNN)

Photo Source: AP Photo/Houssem Zouari

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Shooting in Berlin

Berlin Shooting

On December 26, a shooting in Berlin left at least four people seriously injured. The area was quickly filled with heavily-armed guards. Police believe the shooting was between two rival organized crime gangs; however, police don’t know how many perpetrators there could be. (BBC)

Photo Source: AP Photo/Markus Schreiber

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Coronavirus Updates (5)

France New Year

On December 27, Zhang Zhan, the Chinese journalist who recorded the outbreak of COVID in Wuhan, was sentenced to four years in prison. Zhan, 37, was convicted of “picking quarrels and provoking trouble.” This charge is common when the Chinese government is honing in on human rights activists. On December 28, Spain announced that while the vaccine is not mandatory, the country will keep a registry of those who refuse to take it. This registry will be shared with other EU nations, but not to other individuals or employers. On December 28, after a significant increase in cases, South Africa announced new restrictions. Indoor and outdoor activities have been banned, as well as the sale of alcohol, and a curfew has been set. The decision comes after authorities discovered a new, faster-spreading variant of the virus in the country. On December 30, China reported that it approved its first homegrown vaccine from Sinopharm. Sinopharm has stated that the vaccine is 79.34% effective and is still thought to be in Phase 3 of the process. On December 30, France deployed 100,000 police officers ahead of New Year’s Eve to aid in the coronavirus restrictions. Police are expected to enforce the strict curfew and also prevent the burning of cars, which occurs every new year. On December 31, despite restrictions, more than 2,500 people attended a New Year’s Eve party in France. Local police attempted to shut down the party, but they faced too much hostility. That same night, crowds flooded the streets of Wuhan to celebrate the new year. There were still restrictions and heavy security to ensure that all participants were wearing masks. (CNN)

Photo Source: AP Photo/Thibault Camus

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Israel Government Collapses


On December 28, after failing to meet a deadline for the 2021-22 budget, Israel’s government collapsed. The country will now face its fourth election in the last two years, which is expected to begin in March. The last three elections were inconclusive, and with the pandemic causing much stress, Netanyahu and Gantz agreed to join forces as a coalition government. Unfortunately, the two have not seen eye-to-eye, causing the collapse and the need for another election. (CNN)

Photo Source: Yonatan Sindel/Pool Photo via AP

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Uganda Election Continues to Make Headlines

Bobi Wine

On December 28, Bobi Wine, the opponent to Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni, stated that his bodyguard was “deliberately run over and killed.” The candidate accused a military-police truck of the intentional act. The next day, Wine and his entire campaign team were arrested. No further details have been released. (CNN)

Photo Source: AP Photo/Ronald Kabuubi

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Attacks in Yemen and Syria


On December 30, at least 22 people died and another 50 were wounded after an attack at an airport in Aden, Yemen. The explosion occurred near an airplane carrying the newly implemented government as they returned from Saudi Arabia. Many are accusing rebels, but the investigation is still ongoing. That same day, 28 people were killed in a bus ambush in Syria. All the victims are reportedly soldiers, but other reports state all victims were civilians. No group has claimed responsibility for the attack. (BBC)

Photo Source: AP Photo/ Wael Qubady

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