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Hard Numbers: Kishida sacks scandal ministers, Chadians vote on constitutional change, Europe arrests alleged terrorists, Russian spooks hawk a very special calendar

FILE PHOTO: Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida speaks during a news conference at the prime minister's office in Tokyo, Japan, 13 December 2023. Prime Minister Kishida said he will replace several ministers implicated in a political fundraising scandal.

FILE PHOTO: Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida speaks during a news conference at the prime minister's office in Tokyo, Japan, 13 December 2023. Prime Minister Kishida said he will replace several ministers implicated in a political fundraising scandal.

FRANCK ROBICHON/Pool via REUTERS

4: Japan’s Prime Minister Kishida fired four of his senior ministers on Thursday in a bid to contain a financial scandal in which they’ve been implicated. It remains unclear whether the deeply unpopular Kishida will himself be accused of wrongdoing and what impact this purge will have on his standing within the governing Liberal Democratic Party.


8 million: About 8 million voters will head to the polls in Chad on Sunday to decide whether the vast Sahelian country should adopt a new constitution. With strong support from the military-led transitional government, the former ruling party, and the main opposition party led by Prime Minister Saleh Kebzabo, analysts say “yes” is assured to win. The “no” campaign unites various opposition parties that want to decentralize power, an issue that the “yes” camp has excluded from the referendum altogether.

7: Authorities in Germany, Denmark, and the Netherlands on Thursday arrested 7 people on suspicion that they were plotting terrorist attacks against Jewish targets in Europe. Four of those arrested allegedly had ties to the senior leadership of Hamas.

50: Seeking a last-minute stocking stuffer for that Russian nationalist or Jan. 6 insurrectionist in your life? How about this calendar, now on sale by Russia’s security services for a mere $50, which features drawings of a muscle-bound Vladimir Putin and Russian soldiers doing various heroic Russian things including securing … the US capitol?

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