Sudan protesters, police clash as anti-Bashir unrest spreads

KHARTOUM (Reuters) – Stone-throwing Sudanese demonstrators battled security forces in Khartoum on Thursday, witnesses said, and a child and a doctor were reported killed at the start of a fifth week of protests against President Omar al-Bashir’s 30-year rule. Protests also broke out in six other cities in some of the most widespread disturbances since the unrest began on Dec. 19. The Sudan Doctors’ Committee, a group linked to the opposition, said the doctor and child were killed by gunshot wounds during the violence. Hundreds of protesters gathered in front…

Read More

North Korea envoy in U.S. for talks with Pompeo, possibly Trump

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A North Korean envoy arrived in Washington on Thursday for expected talks with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and a possible encounter with President Donald Trump aimed a laying the groundwork for a second U.S.-North Korea summit. The envoy arrived on the same day Trump unveiled a revamped U.S. missile defense strategy that singled out North Korea as an ongoing and “extraordinary threat,” seven months after he declared after his first summit with leader Kim Jong Un that the North Korean threat had been eliminated. Kim Yong…

Read More

Brazil's Bolsonaro pledges action to 'restore democracy' in Venezuela

BRASILIA (Reuters) – Brazil’s far-right President Jair Bolsonaro said on Thursday he would do all he could to “to re-establish order and democracy” in Venezuela, while his foreign minister met with Venezuelan opposition leaders. The right-wing government of Bolsonaro on Saturday said it recognized Juan Guaido, a Venezuelan opposition leader who is head of the congress, as the rightful president of Venezuela – even though Guaido himself has not proclaimed himself president. Socialist President Nicolas Maduro began a new term last week under a cloud of international criticism by governments…

Read More

Venezuela to receive 2,000 Cuban doctors pulled from Brazil: Maduro

CARACAS (Reuters) – Venezuela will receive 2,000 Cuban doctors who left Brazil following a dispute between the Communist-run island and the government of far-right Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, who ordered an end to their stay after taking office this year. Bolsonaro said some 11,000 doctors were being used as “slave labor” and demanded that the Cuban government, which took 75 percent of their salaries, allow them to be paid in full and have their families join them. Cuba refused and pulled the doctors out. “Next week, we’re going to have…

Read More

North Korea's top envoy arrives in Washington: South Korea's Yonhap

SEOUL (Reuters) – North Korea’s top envoy, Kim Yong Chol, arrived at Washington D.C.’s Dulles International Airport to discuss a second summit between U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, the South Korean news agency Yonhap reported on Friday. U.S. and South Korean media previously quoted unidentified sources as saying U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Kim Yong Chol were expected to meet in the U.S. capital on Friday.

Read More

U.S. believes Islamic State likely responsible for Manbij blast: sources

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. government believes the Islamic State militant group is likely responsible for Wednesday’s attack in northern Syria that killed four Americans, although it has not reached a firm conclusion, two U.S. government sources said on Thursday. The sources, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the Pentagon and other U.S. agencies were investigating who carried out the attack in Manbij, Syria. Officials studying the incident are not dismissing Islamic State’s claim of responsibility for the blast, which killed two U.S. troops and two civilians working for the…

Read More

Yemen's warring parties hopeful on prisoner swap as Hodeidah stalls

AMMAN (Reuters) – Yemen’s warring parties hope to deliver final lists of prisoners to the United Nations after talks in Amman on Thursday under an exchange agreement, a government delegate said. The United Nations is pushing for the swap and a peace deal in the main port city of Hodeidah to pave the way for a second round of talks to end the nearly four-year war that has killed tens of thousands of people. While there is progress on the prisoners, the United Nations has struggled to implement a troop…

Read More

African Union cites 'serious doubts', urges delay to final Congo election result

ADDIS ABABA/KINSHASA (Reuters) – The African Union on Thursday called on Democratic Republic of Congo to suspend the release of the final results of its disputed presidential election due to its doubts over the provisional results. The rare move from the group injects fresh uncertainty into the post-election process, which was meant to usher in the country’s first democratic transfer of power in 59 years of independence, but has been mired in controversy since the Dec. 30 vote. The final tally is scheduled to be released by the election commission…

Read More

At Bolsonaro son's request, Brazil top court suspends probe of his ex-driver

BRASILIA (Reuters) – Brazil’s supreme court on Thursday ordered Rio de Janeiro state prosecutors to temporarily suspend a probe into suspicious payments made by the former driver of President Jair Bolsonaro’s son, whose lawyers requested the injunction. According to a copy of the ruling by Supreme Court Justice Luiz Fux seen by Reuters, Flavio Bolsonaro’s lawyers argued that, as a senator-elect, he now enjoys certain legal protections, including that any case involving him should only be decided by the top court. The case has clouded the first few weeks in…

Read More

Trump missile defense review calls North Korea 'extraordinary threat'

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Donald Trump unveiled a revamped U.S. missile defense strategy on Thursday that called North Korea an ongoing and “extraordinary threat,” seven months after he declared the threat posed by Pyongyang had been eliminated.  The plan, which also detailed concerns about the burgeoning capabilities of Iran, Russia and China, called for developing space-based sensors to detect incoming enemy missiles and exploring space-based weapons to shoot down missiles among other steps to shield the United States. The open acknowledgment in the Missile Defense Review of U.S. plans to…

Read More