6 April, 2018, 12:00 am
President Donald Trump agreed in a National Security Council meeting this week to keep US troops in Syria a little longer to defeat Islamic State but wants them out relatively soon. Mr Trump did not approve a specific withdrawal timetable at Tuesday’s meeting, an official said.
The US plans to sanction Russian oligarchs this week under a law targeting Moscow for meddling in the 2016 US election, sources familiar with the matter said on Wednesday, in what could be the most aggressive move so far against Russia’s business elite.
Russia’s call for a joint inquiry to be held into the poisoning of a former Russian double agent in England failed on Wednesday when it was outvoted 15-6 at a meeting of the global chemical weapons watchdog. Russia had called an emergency meeting to counter accusations by Britain.
Brazil’s Supreme Court justices were on the verge of rejecting former leftist president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva’s plea to avoid prison while he appeals a corruption conviction, in a vote that would likely end his political career and deepen divisions in the country. Mr Lula is still Brazil’s most popular politician.
Mexican presidential front-runner Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador sent an open letter to investors, seeking to allay concerns he could damage the economy, and promising to run an austere, zero-deficit government. “We’re not rebels without a cause and we keep our word. We know how to carry out our commitments. Don’t be frightened,” Mr Obrador said.
The Saudi-led coalition fighting in Yemen said Saudi Arabia’s air defence had intercepted a missile that the armed Houthi movement said it fired at storage tanks belonging to Saudi Aramco oil company. Aramco said on Twitter that all its facilities in Jizan were safe and operating normally.
Opposition candidate and former military junta leader Julius Maada Bio was sworn in as Sierra Leone’s President just hours after the election commission announced his victory in a tight run-off poll. He now faces the difficult task of rebuilding the impoverished West African nation’s economy that was dragged down by the world’s deadliest Ebola epidemic.