This week around the world Dec. 6–12

Dec. 7
Philippine President Duterte found himself again in the spotlight after a spirited defense of several police officers suspected of killing a mayor with alleged ties to illegal drugs. Duterte also announced on Dec. 7 that he will be pursuing Macau-based casino magnate Jack Lam who is accused of financial misdealings in the Philippines.

Dec. 8
Solomon Islands
The Solomon Islands were struck by a swarm of earthquakes, the largest of which, registering magnitude 7.8, struck mid-morning. Subsequent aftershocks have ranged in intensities of up to magnitude 6.9.

Dec. 11
The United States claimed that more than 2000 Islamic State fighters were killed or wounded in the effort to retake Mosul. In spite of these losses, IS fighters still hold on to a majority of Mosul, where fighting has raged since October.

Dec. 12
Syrian forces began a seemingly final, fatal push into Aleppo to retake the beleaguered city from rebels. The anti-government Syria Civil Defense reported bodies throughout the streets as they called for international action to help them evacuate 100,000 civilians.

Dec. 12
New York, NY
The United Nations swore in António Guterres of Portugal, who will replace Ban-Ki Moon as Secretary General on Jan. 1. Guterres, a former prime minister and the outgoing head of the UN’s refugee organizations, will be replacing Ban-Ki Moon on the last day of the latter’s 10th year as Secretary General.