The Journal Gazette
 
 
Monday, January 18, 2021 1:00 am

World

All US troops leave Somalia

Associated Press

NAIROBI, Kenya – The U.S. military says its troop withdrawal from Somalia is complete, in one of the last actions of President Donald Trump's presidency.

Some experts have warned that the withdrawal of an estimated 700 U.S. military personnel comes at the worst possible time for Somalia, as the al-Qaida-linked al-Shabab extremist group improves its bomb-making skills and continues to attack military and civilian targets even in the capital, Mogadishu.

The withdrawal comes less than a month before Somalia is set to conduct a national election.

The U.S. personnel trained and supported Somali forces, including its elite special forces, in counterterror operations.

They are being moved to other African countries such as neighboring Kenya and Djibouti, home of the only permanent U.S. military base in Africa, but U.S. Africa Command spokesman Col. Chris Karns would not say how many are going where.

Iran upset with nuclear watchdog

Iran urged the United Nations' nuclear watchdog to avoid publishing “unnecessary” details on Tehran's nuclear program, state TV reported Sunday, a day after Germany, France and Britain said Tehran has “no credible civilian use” for its development of uranium metal.

The report quoted a statement from Iran's nuclear department that asked the International Atomic Energy Agency to avoid publishing details on Iran's nuclear program that may cause confusion.

“It is expected the international atomic energy agency avoid providing unnecessary details and prevent paving ground for misunderstanding” in the international community, the statement said. It did not elaborate.

Indonesian quake deaths rise to 78

Indonesian rescuers on Sunday retrieved more bodies from the rubble of homes and buildings toppled by a strong earthquake, raising the death toll to 78, while military engineers managed to reopen ruptured roads to clear access for relief goods.

More heavy equipment reached the hardest-hit city of Mamuju and the neighboring district of Majene on Sulawesi island, where the magnitude 6.2 quake struck early Friday, said Raditya Jati, the National Disaster Mitigation Agency's spokesperson.

Thousands of people were left homeless and more than 800 were injured, with more than half of them still receiving treatment for serious injuries, Jati said.

Israel to build 800 homes in W. Bank

Israeli authorities on Sunday advanced plans to build nearly 800 homes in West Bank settlements, in a last-minute surge of approvals before the friendly Trump administration leaves office later this week.

COGAT, the Israeli defense body that authorizes settlement construction, confirmed the approvals, which drew swift condemnations from the Palestinians.

The anti-settlement monitoring group Peace Now said that over 90% of the homes lay deep inside the West Bank, which the Palestinians seek as the heartland of a future independent state, and over 200 homes were located in unauthorized outposts that the government had decided to legalize.

Jordan, which borders the West Bank, and the European Union condemned the Israeli announcement.

Female judges killed in Kabul

Gunmen fired on a car in northern Kabul on Sunday, killing two women judges who worked for Afghanistan's high court and wounding the driver, a court official said. It was the latest attack in the Afghan capital during peace talks between Taliban and Afghan government officials in Qatar.

Supreme Court of Afghanistan spokesman Ahmad Fahim Qawim, said the women were judges who worked for the high court but he did not name them.

No one claimed responsibility for the attack and Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said the insurgent group wasn't responsible.


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