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News in Brief — December 31st — 03:30 GMT



1. The United Nations Security Council is due to vote on a Russian draft resolution that would endorse a newly-inked cease-fire agreement in Syria.

2. A nationwide ceasefire between the Syrian army and foreign-backed militants appears to be largely holding.

3. Donald Trump hails Russia’s president for not retaliating against the US administration’s sanctions for Moscow’s alleged hack of the presidential election.

4. Officials in Brazil say a police officer confesses to murdering the Greek ambassador to Brazil.

5. Catalonia’s president Carles Puigdemont says a legal and binding referendum for the region’s independence from Spain will be held next year.

6. Political parties in the Democratic Republic of Congo clinch a deal that will see President Joseph Kabila step down next year.

7. Officials in European capitals have ratcheted up security over fears of terror attacks ahead of New Year’s festivities.

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