The UN launched a $20.1 billion emergency humanitarian appeal yesterday. This is the largest funding request ever made by OCHA, and is driven mostly by conflict in the middle east. The chances of agencies raising that money is rather low. The 2015 appeal is still $10 billion underfunded. “The amount of the appeal, five times that of a decade ago, even tops the revised total appeal for 2015 of $19.9 billion, for which international donors have provided only $9.7 billion, just 49 per cent. The new appeal seeks to deliver life-saving aid to over 87.6 million people across 37 countries, most of which are in conflict…Looking ahead, he said humanitarian needs are expected to increase, especially as the ongoing El Niño weather pattern is already causing severe hardship in East Africa, notably in Ethiopia, where some 10 million people currently need food aid, and in Central America where one of the most severe droughts on record disrupted agricultural production, putting 2.8 million people in need of immediate food assistance, health care and livelihood support.” (UN News Center http://bit.ly/1jKK5Dg)

Venezuela opposition comes away with major electoral victory…”Venezuela’s opposition won control of the National Assembly by a landslide, stunning the ruling party and altering the balance of power 17 years after the late Hugo Chavez kicked off the nation’s socialist revolution. The opposition coalition won at least 99 seats in the incoming 167-seat legislature, electoral authorities announced early Monday. The ruling socialist party won 46 seats.” (AP http://yhoo.it/1NGcB0D)

Ignoble Demagoguery of the Day…The Republican presidential frontrunner, Donald Trump, calls for a ban on all Muslims entering to the USA. ( NYT http://nyti.ms/1jKJH7J )

Africa

Nigeria’s government has vowed to end the Boko Haram insurgency by this month but the deadline looks likely to be missed as attacks persist with little sign of an effective regional response. (AFP http://yhoo.it/1YUELwW)

Government forces and rebels in Sudan’s war-torn border regions say they are preparing for another bout of fighting after the latest talks in Addis Ababa failed to reach a deal. (AFP http://yhoo.it/1OLrxzH)

Immense reserves of gas and coal in northern Mozambique have attracted foreign investors in recent years, but so has its fertile soil, much to the concern of small farmers displaced by agricultural mega-projects. (AFP http://yhoo.it/1YUELNJ)

South Sudan rebels loyal to former vice president Riek Machar said phase one of their new advance team of 262 people will leave Gambella, Ethiopia on December 11 for Juba and the 10 states of South Sudan.  Phase two comprising 339 people will follow on December 18, 21 and 22. (VOA http://bit.ly/1OLruE5)

Rwanda’s president has said he will decide whether to seek a third term in office after a referendum, possibly this month, on a constitutional change that would a allow him to run again. (Reuters http://bit.ly/1NBQtcb)

An Africa-wide mega-scale initiative backed by all African heads of state should see the continent greatly increase its renewable energy over the next 15 years. (Guardian http://bit.ly/1NGd9n8)

MENA

Yemen’s warring parties have agreed to hold peace talks in Switzerland next week, the U.N. special envoy said Monday. (AP http://yhoo.it/1OLqaBa)

Syria’s government said the U.S.-led military coalition have carried out a deadly air strike on a Syrian army camp, but officials from the U.S-led alliance said the report was false. (Reutes http://yhoo.it/1YUEham)

A Palestinian man stabbed and critically wounded an Israeli in the West Bank city of Hebron on Monday and was then shot dead by security forces, Israeli police said. (Reuters http://yhoo.it/1OLqgsx)

Syrian authorities have released 35 opposition detainees in the central city of Homs, ahead of a deal that will lead to the departure of thousands of opposition fighters. (AP http://yhoo.it/1OLqgZD)

Another harsh winter is looming for more than 8 million Syrian children living inside the war-ravaged country or as refugees around the region and beyond. (UNICEF http://bit.ly/1OLsjg5)

Israeli firms Delek Group, Ratio Oil, and Isramco Negev said on Monday they would push ahead with talks to export natural gas to Egypt despite an arbitration ruling in a separate deal that has caused anger in Cairo. (Reuters http://bit.ly/1OLqdgq)

Private American donors have pumped more than $220 million into Jewish West Bank settlements in recent years through tax-deductible donations, effectively subsidizing a policy opposed by U.S. administrations for decades, according to an investigation published in an Israeli newspaper on Monday. (AP http://yhoo.it/1NGdFlj)

Asia

A massive fire sparked by a series of gas cylinder explosions swept through a packed slum in India’s Mumbai on Monday, killing at least one person and destroying around 1,000 homes, officials said. (AFP http://yhoo.it/1OLq6RR)

China’s capital issued its first-ever red alert for pollution on Monday, as a new blanket of choking smog was projected to descend on the city. (AFP http://yhoo.it/1OLqa4d)

The embattled speaker of Indonesia’s House of Representatives denied Monday that he demanded a stake worth billions of dollars in a giant U.S.-owned gold and copper mine in exchange for allegedly helping it extend its operating contract. (AP http://yhoo.it/1OLqfF1)

Malaysia’s anti-graft agency has interviewed the donor behind deposits of $617.3 million that were placed in Prime Minister Najib Razak’s bank account, the New Straits Times reported on its website on Monday, citing an agency official. (Reuters http://yhoo.it/1NGb8r2)

Thailand’s military government blocked an anti-corruption protest Monday, detaining about three dozen students and other activists who were headed to a park honoring past kings that was allegedly built with money from shady dealings involving several senior officers. (AP http://yhoo.it/1YUEnyH)

Struck by a worsening cycle of floods and droughts, Sri Lanka has begun planning for a $675 million project to capture heavy rainfall that can be used for irrigation in dry periods, as well as generating electricity. (IRIN http://bit.ly/1YUF6jp)

The Americas

Syrian refugees are scheduled to arrive in Texas on Monday after the state eased up in its legal fight against resettlement agencies and the federal government. (AP http://yhoo.it/1NGbbU0)

…and the rest

Talks on a universal climate pact shifted to a higher gear Monday, with U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon urging governments to set off an “energy revolution” to rein in heat-trapping carbon emissions and avert disastrous global warming. (AP http://yhoo.it/1YUElXs)

A documentary based on the findings of an anti-corruption activist accusing Russian prosecutors of ties with notorious gangsters on Monday is gaining popularity, while the Kremlin is resisting pressure to dismiss the prosecutor general. (AP http://yhoo.it/1OLqdNj)

French Far-right leader Marine Le Pen is attributing her party’s historic gains in first-round regional elections to a people’s revolt against the political elite, as France’s mainstream parties seek to undo the National Front victories in six of the nation’s 13 regions before the final round. (AP http://yhoo.it/1YUEpXb)

U.S. Vice President Joe Biden assured Ukraine Monday of continuing U.S. support and announced the release of an additional $190 million in U.S. aid to help support reforms. (AP http://yhoo.it/1OLqhN4)

Arson attacks on refugee shelters, assaults, swastikas sprayed on walls — as Germany has taken in record numbers of asylum seekers, it has been rocked by a xenophobic backlash which authorities have appeared unable to stop. (AFP http://yhoo.it/1OLrzYA)

Opinion/Blogs

Can internet access go truly global? (Guardian http://bit.ly/1YUAZ6T)

Will New Forum Boost Compliance With the Rules of War? (IRIN http://bit.ly/1QaZ1cb)

Renewable Energy Key Solution to Climate Problem (Inter Press Service http://bit.ly/1OLrhkf)

We need to radically rethink how we help refugees (Guardian http://bit.ly/1NBOrss)

Climate talks shift from binding targets to ‘name and shame’ (AP http://yhoo.it/1YUEIRP)

Does the Legally Binding Character of the Paris Climate Change Agreement Matter and, If So, Why? (Policy Innovations http://bit.ly/1YUI2fV)

Why I worry experimental social science is headed in the wrong direction (Chris Blattman http://bit.ly/1OLtfRM)

Can the EU challenge China’s proactive role in Africa? (The Conversation http://bit.ly/1YUI0od)

Climate Change Is Killing Us, Literally — And Here’s How (Goats and Soda http://n.pr/1YUGu5s)

Why better climate outcomes require stronger national-to-local chain of decisions (Devex http://bit.ly/1Qb2LdL)

To Catch Big Fish, the World Bank’s Integrity Vice Presidency Should Pay for Tips (Global Anticorruption blog http://bit.ly/1Qb2Pdx)

Paris tears: inequality vs people power at the #COP21 climate talks (Global Dashboard http://bit.ly/1OLtUCS)
Thoughts on Obama’s White House terrorism address (The Interpreter http://bit.ly/1NBRyAD)

Discussion

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