Upcoming Rocket Launch — North Korea’s announcement has spawned condemnation from its neighbors, the AP reports. South Korea, China, the United States and the United Kingdom issued statements that conveyed their dismay and caution over the launch that will occur at some point between December 10 and 22. According to CNN, the planned launch is seen as unusual, as it is set during the winter and come mere months after the most recent launch in April, which, like the two attempts in 2006 and 2009, was a failure.
Christians and Police Killed — On Saturday, a group of men wielding machetes and guns slit the throats of 10 Christians in northeast Nigeria. The next day, gunmen killed five policemen near the border with Cameroon, the BBC reports. Though it is unclear who was behind the attacks, the authorities suspect Boko Haram, an Islamist group that has killed more than 3,000 people since 2010, according to human rights organizations. The group, aiming to overthrow the government and enforce extreme Islamic law, is known to target police and Christians.
Young, Educated, and Jobless — Recent college graduates in the European Union are having a much more difficult time looking for full-time jobs than those who graduated a decade ago, the New York Times reports. They are called “the floating generation,” who drift from one temporary job to another. Experts state that these educated but either unemployed or underemployed young people are casualties of, “a tax system that makes it expensive for companies to hire full-time employees and both difficult and expensive to lay them off,” the Times writes, adding that the unemployment rates of the floating generation are rising: 51% in Spain, 36% in Italy and 22% in France.
Israeli Settlements – The Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has ignored the worldwide condemnation of his country’s plan to expand Jewish settlements to “all the places that are on the map of Israel’s strategic interest,” writes Reuters. His announcement follows last week’s vote at the U.N. General Assembly to upgrade Palestine’s status from “observer entity” to “non-member state.” An Israeli official said the government has ordered “preliminary zoning and planning work” for thousands of housing units in the “E1” zone near Jerusalem. Israel’s settlement plans have seen international condemnation from the United States, France, Britain and the European Union, with the U.K. summoning Israel’s ambassador in London over the proposed plans. While the Foreign Office warned of a “strong reaction,” it denied reports that the British ambassador in Tel Aviv would be withdrawn.
Japanese Tunnel Collapses – A tunnel which connects Tokyo with central Japan collapsed on Sunday morning killing nine, reports the Guardian. It is believed that as many as 150 concrete slabs, each weighing 1.2 tons, crashed to the ground along a 110-metre-long stretch of the tunnel. It’s not clear whether emergency workers expect to find more bodies beneath the rubble. Motorway officials believe that the collapse may have been due to loose metal rods in the concrete panels, while others theorize that the structure could have been weakened by a 4.9 earthquake that hit Tokyo on Nov. 24.
Colombian Bombing – At least 20 FARC rebels were killed on Saturday in a south-western province of Colombia following a military bombing strike on one of their camps, reports the BBC. Peace talks between the government and the rebel group began in Norway in October, aimed at ending five decades of conflict. They have since moved to Havana, Cuba, with talks expected to resume on Wednesday. The last peace talks ended in 2002. The military attack comes as President Juan Manuel Santos gave the rebels less than a year to abandon their weapons. The FARC has not responded to the president’s deadline.