President Obama has ordered the expulsion of 35 Russian diplomats in response to what he called the Russian government's aggressive harrassment to US officials and cyber operations aimed at the US election. Two Russian compounds have been closed and sanctions will be imposed on named individuals. Mr. Obama said more actions would follow. A Kremlin spokesman called the sanctions unlawful.
A ceasefire agreed by the Syrian government and rebel factions is due to come into effect across the country shortly. The deal stems from coordination between Russia, Turkey and Iran. But President Putin has described the agreements as fragile.
United Nations says it's alarmed that 4m people in the Syrian capital, Damascus, have now been without safe drinking water for more than a week. The UN said this was because the springs outside the city had been deliberately damaged.
The Iraqi military says its forces are advancing after launching a fresh wave of attacks against Islamic State militants in Mosul. The military says a new phase in its offence is underway.
A new video released by the Nigerian Islamic Group Boko Haram has denied President Buhari's claim that the group had been defeated and driven away from its last known bastion. The man on the video, purporting to be its leader, says the group has not been flushed out of anywhere.
London's 100 share index has hit an all-time closing high of 7120. Britain's economy has continued to grow since the decision in June to leave the EU. But the fall in the value of the pound after the vote is also central to the market games.
The Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro has extended until January 20th the deadline to withdraw from circulation the country's most common currency note. Mr. Maduro said he didn't want Venezuelans to worry about the currency near the new year festivities.