Here is CurrentHow’s Daily Briefing™ for the 24th of December, 2016 :-
1. Libyan Plane hijack ends peacefully in Malta :-
Two hijackers of a Libyan aircraft with 118 people on board surrendered to authorities on the island of Malta hours after claiming to have hand grenades and threatening to blow the plane up unless their demands were met.
Maltese prime minister Joseph Muscat said on Twitter that all passengers and crew had been safely released by Friday evening.
The hijackers, Muscat said, had “surrendered” and been “searched and taken [into] custody”.
The prime minister said the hijackers had one pistol and one hand grenade on them, and a second handgun was later found on the plane. In a later statement, the government said initial forensic investigations showed that the weapons used by the hijackers were identical “replica” weapons – imitation weapons that may not actually fire, but are difficult to distinguish visually from real guns.
One of the hijackers told the flight crew of the Afriqiyah Airways plane that he was “pro-Gaddafi”. Former Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi was killed in an uprising in 2011, and the country has been racked by factional violence since. Mohamed Taher Siala, Libyan foreign minister, confirmed the two hijackers were supporters of the slain dictator Gaddafi and had requested political asylum in Malta.
Siala, from Libya’s internationally backed Government of National Accord, said the hijackers also said they want to set up a pro-Gaddafi political party. Hours after landing, people could be seen disembarking from the aircraft.
2.UN demands end to Israeli settlements in Palestine :-
The UN Security Council on Friday demanded that Israel halt settlements in Palestinian territory, after the United States refrained from vetoing a resolution condemning its closest Middle East ally.
In a rare and momentous step, the United States instead abstained, enabling the adoption of the first UN resolution since 1979 to condemn Israel over its settlement policy.
Applause broke out in the chamber after the text was passed with support from all remaining members of the 15-member council.
The landmark move by the Security Council came despite an effort led by Israel and backed by US President-elect Donald Trump to block the text. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu immediately rejected the UN resolution and slammed the outgoing administration of President Barack Obama for refusing to veto it.
“Israel rejects this shameful anti-Israel resolution at the UN and will not abide by its terms,” a statement from Netanyahu’s office said.
“The Obama administration not only failed to protect Israel against this gang-up at the UN, it colluded with it behind the scenes,” it said. “Israel looks forward to working with President-elect Trump and with all our friends in Congress, Republicans and Democrats alike, to negate the harmful effects of this absurd resolution.”
Trump reacted after the vote by promising change at the world body after he takes office next month. “As to the U.N., things will be different after Jan. 20th,” he tweeted.
3. Typhoon expected to strike Philippines on Christmas :-
A major typhoon is gaining strength as it draws closer to the Philippines, where it’s expected to make landfall on Christmas Day.