Ski Lift: North Korea May Capitalize On Joint Olympics Training Visit
South Korea's offer to send athletes to a North Korean ski resort for joint training ahead of next month's Olympics risks giving leader Kim Jong Un's regime legitimacy and some much needed cash, North Korean defectors and experts say. Already facing criticism for plans to march under a unity flag and field a combined Korean ice hockey team, the administration of South Korean President Moon Jae-in may come under further pressure if it is seen to be endorsing Kim's luxury getaway on North Korea's east coast.
Pence Arrives In Israel on Visit Overshadowed By Trump's Jerusalem Declaration
U.S. Vice President Mike Pence began a visit to Israel on Sunday after being praised as a "great friend" by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and shunned by the Palestinians over U.S. recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital. It is the highest-level U.S. visit to the region since President Donald Trump made his declaration on Dec. 6 and promised to begin the process of moving the American embassy to the city, whose status is at the heart of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Turkish Forces Push into Syria, Battle Kurdish Militia
Turkey's army and rebel allies battled U.S.-backed Kurdish militia in Syria's Afrin province on Sunday, stepping up a two-day-old campaign against YPG fighters that has opened a new front in Syria's civil war. Amid U.S. calls for restraint, Turkish artillery pounded YPG positions, while rockets fired from inside Syria slammed into two Turkish border towns, wounding dozens, according to the local governor's office and a witness.
Airstrikes Pound Syria's Afrin as Turkey Launches 'Operation Olive Branch'
Turkey opened a new front in Syria's nearly seven-year-old war on Saturday, launching airstrikes against a U.S.-backed Kurdish militia in Afrin province that raise the prospect of a further strain on relations between Ankara and Washington.
Several Dead as Gunmen Attack Top Kabul Hotel
Gunmen attacked Kabul's Intercontinental Hotel on Saturday, seizing hostages and exchanging gunfire with security forces as the building in the Afghan capital caught fire and residents and staff fled.
Pence Tells Egypt's Sisi That U.S. Would Back Two-State Solution
Vice President Mike Pence told Egypt's leader on Saturday the United States would support a two-state solution for Israelis and Palestinians if the two sides agreed to it, seeking to reassure a key Arab ally over President Donald Trump's decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital.
Egypt's Sisi to Run For Second Term in March Election
Egypt's President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi said on Friday he will run for a second term in office in an election in March, which the former military commander is widely expected to win. Sisi's rule has brought some stability to the country, but critics say his popularity has been eroded by tough economic reforms that have hit people's livelihoods hard and by a crackdown on dissidents.
Trump Administration Says U.S. Mistakenly Backed China WTO Accession In 2001
The United States mistakenly supported China's membership of the World Trade Organization in 2001 on terms that have failed to force Beijing to open its economy, the Trump administration said on Friday as it prepares to clamp down on Chinese trade. "It seems clear that the United States erred in supporting China's entry into the WTO on terms that have proven to be ineffective in securing China's embrace of an open, market-orientated trade regime," the administration said in an annual report to Congress on China's compliance with WTO commitments.
Turkey Shells Syria's Afrin Region, Minister Says Operation Has Begun
Turkish artillery fired into Syria's Afrin region on Friday in what Ankara said was the start of a military campaign against the Kurdish-controlled area. The cross-border bombardment took place after days of threats from Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan to crush the Syrian Kurdish YPG militia in Afrin in response to growing Kurdish strength across a wide stretch of north Syria.
U.S. won't pay $45 million pledged for Palestinian food aid for now
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The United States will not provide $45 million in food aid for Palestinians that it pledged last month as part of the West Bank/Gaza Emergency Appeal led by the U.N. Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA), the U.S. State Department said on Thursday.