REUTERS/Yannis Kolesidis/Pool Good morning! It’s the last day of the year. Before you break open the champagne tonight, here’s what you need to know for Wednesday.
1. Divers will search for wreckage from AirAsia Flight QZ8501 on Wednesday after finding debris and several floating bodies off the coast of Borneo.
2. Scientists believe they have traced the source of the current Ebola epidemic to a hollow tree inhabited by free-tailed bats in a remote Guinea village.
3. The Norman Atlantic ferry has been ordered back to Italy as part of a criminal investigation after a fire broke out on the car deck on Sunday, while confusion over the number of passengers missing remains.
4. German chancellor Angela Merkel will make her most direct plea to Germans not to get involved in protests against the “Islamization” of Europe in her New Year’s speech, broadcast at midnight on Wednesday.
5. Hong Kong has suspended imports of live poultry from mainland China for three weeks and began culling 15,000 chickens on Wednesday after the H7 bird flu strain was found in a group of live chickens that came from the southern province of Guangdong.
6. Venezuela’s economy has officially entered recession.
7. Korean Air’s former executive, Heather Cho, has been arrested in Seoul following her now infamous “nut rage” incident, which forced the flight she was on to return to the gate.
8. Oil magnate Harold Hamm has appealed his $ 1 billion divorce ruling after losing half of his $ 19 billion fortune due to falling oil prices.
9. An Idaho woman was shot and killed in a Walmart when her toddler pulled a gun from her purse and it accidentally fired.
10. At least 53 people have died in the Philippines after a tropical storm triggered flash floods and landslides.
And finally …
A Chinese man has been jailed for 10 years for buying and eating endangered tigers.