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The Journal Gazette

Wednesday, April 10, 2019 1:00 am


Taliban attack kills 20 Afghanistan troops

News services

KABUL, Afghanistan – Taliban fighters stormed army checkpoints in southern Afghanistan near the Pakistani border overnight, killing 20 troops, an official said Tuesday. Eight other security forces were also wounded in Monday night's attack in Shorabak district, said Mohammad Yousof Younosi, a provincial council member in Kandahar.

In northern Sari Pul province, at least five members of the country's security forces were killed when the Taliban attacked a joint army and police base, said Zabihullah Amani, the provincial governor's spokesman.

Also on Tuesday, U.S. forces in Afghanistan revised the death toll from a Taliban attack a day earlier near the main American base in the country, saying three Marines were killed but not a contractor who was initially reported among the fatalities.

France softens stance on delaying British EU exit

Tough-guy France softened its stance Tuesday and showed willingness to accept yet another delay in the long-awaited Brexit, diminishing the chances that Britain would crash out of the European Union this week without a future plan.

But British Prime Minister Theresa May still has a rough day ahead of her as she heads to an emergency summit in Brussels today to plead for a new Brexit extension – for the second time in three weeks.

With nearly everyone fully resigned to Britain's departure from the European Union, two questions took center stage Tuesday: How – and when – to get the U.K. politely out the door.

On a charm offensive with key leaders, May flew first to Berlin to plead for good terms with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, then set off for Paris for an encounter with President Emmanuel Macron, seen as her counterpart with the toughest demands.

Joblessness in Venezuela soon to surpass 44%

Venezuela's unemployment rate is soaring to levels unseen in the world since the Bosnian war came to an end more than two decades ago, according to the International Monetary Fund.

Joblessness will reach 44.3% in 2019 and will slam nearly half of Venezuela's labor force in 2020, the IMF said in its World Economic Outlook published on Tuesday. Bosnia and Herzegovina's joblessness was 50% in 1996, immediately after its 31/2-year domestic war, according to the multilateral's database.

The Venezuelan depression is among the deepest economic catastrophes ever suffered by a nation outside of wartime.

This year alone, the Andean nation's output will shrink by a quarter – the most worldwide since the 2014 start of the Libyan civil war, according to the IMF. The contraction has become so large that it's generating “sizable drag” on growth not just in Latin America, but also in emerging markets as a whole.

Woman accused in Dubai of making insults in Farsi

In 2016, a British woman discovered that her ex-husband of 18 years had remarried after seeing photos of the new couple on Facebook. Angered, she posted comments in her native Farsi, branding him an “idiot” and his new wife a “horse.” Now, the mother faces a three-year jail sentence in the United Arab Emirates and a fine of up to $65,000.

According to a human rights organization called Detained In Dubai, 55-year-old Laleh Shahravesh was arrested March 10 at Dubai's airport after flying in with her teenage daughter Paris to attend the funeral of her ex, who had been living there with his second wife.

Despite having posted her 2016 Facebook comments while on British soil, Shahravesh is now awaiting trial in Dubai for breaking a cybercrime law by publishing the insults.