World News

Jan. 21 (UPI) — At least 20 people were killed and 50 others were injured after a bomb exploded at a busy vegetable market in Pakistan on Saturday. Officials said the death toll was expected to rise after a homemade bomb was reportedly placed inside a pile of tomatoes before being detonated at the crowded vegetable market in the northwestern city of Parachinar on the border near Afghanistan, Pakistan Today reported. “We received 21 bodies of the local tribal people killed in the blast,” member of the National Assembly Sajid Hussain Turi said. Turi added that there would be a mass funeral and demonstration for those who died in the attack. The injured were transferred to Agency Headquarters Hospital Parachinar where at least 10 patients are in critical condition. A faction of the Pakistani Taliban claimed responsibility for the blast stating they sought to “to avenge the killing of our associates,” according to the BBC. …

Jan. 21 (UPI) — Defeated Gambian President Yahya Jammeh announced he has agreed to step down two days after new President Adama Barrow was sworn in. Following tense negotiations and the threat of military intervention from other West African nations Jammeh held a televised address to announce he would step down and uphold his duty to “preserve at every instant” Gambian lives, CNN reported. “I have decided today in good conscience to relinquish the mantle of leadership of this great nation with infinite gratitude to all Gambians,” he said. Troops from Senegal entered Gambia the day before Jammeh made his announcement to enforce the results of December’s election in which Barrow defeated Jammeh by claiming 45 percent of the vote. Barrow was sworn in as president in Senegal on Thursday, as he and 45,000 other people fled Gambia in anticipation of the potential standoff between Jammeh and West African military forces, according to the New …

Jan. 21 (UPI) — Protesters worldwide began gathering early Saturday for the Women’s March on Washington and other demonstrations following the inauguration of President Donald Trump. The march, which began as a movement on Facebook, quickly spawned more than 600 “sister marches” in major U.S. cities outside of Washington D.C. and international marches in Sydney, Hong Kong, London, Rome and Paris, according to CNN. Some 2.2 million people were expected to participate worldwide. Organizers estimated about 5,000 participants Saturday morning in the first major international march in downtown Sydney, Australia. Police said the number of protesters was closer to 3,000, as people chanted “women united will never be defeated” and carried anti-Trump signs supporting women’s rights. “We’re not marching as an anti-Trump movement per se, we’re marching to protest the hate speech, the hateful rhetoric, the misogyny, the bigotry, the xenophobia and we want to present a united voice with women around the globe,” Australian …

South Korea’s military says there are no signs of provocations from North Korea, dispelling some concerns Pyongyang would try to draw attention to its nuclear weapons program during a critical transition period in the United States. An official with South Korea’s joint chiefs of staff who spoke to Yonhap on the condition of anonymity said there have been “no unusual trends” detected in the movements of the North Korean military. The official added there is “no indication that an intercontinental ballistic missile test is imminent.” Earlier in the week South Korean media reported two North Korea intercontinental ballistic missiles had been detected, and the new road-mobile ICBMs appear to be shorter than Pyongyang’s other models. South Korea’s military remains on high alert. The official said North Korea could still shoot a missile “whenever Kim Jong Un makes a final decision.” “We are closely watching movements, without easing up on our alert system,” the official said. …

Jan. 20 (UPI) — The Pakistan Foreign Office accused India on Friday of financing and supporting terrorism within Pakistan. At a weekly briefing in Islamabad, spokesman Nafees Zakaria said Indian involvement in Pakistani internal affairs is a longstanding issue. “Unfortunately Pakistan is the victim of terrorism, especially the Indian state terrorism,” he said. “Pakistan has called upon India to pursue the path of dialogue rather than confrontation and terrorism.” Zakaria cited the recent arrest of alleged Indian espionage agent Kulbhushan Jadhav and statements by Indian officials, saying they show that India uses terrorism in an attempt to subvert Pakistan. Zakaria noted that former U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said in 2013 that “New Delhi was trying to destabilize Pakistan,” and that a dossier on Jadhav, which includes “confessions and revelations,” has been sent to the United Nations. Zakaria also said no country has done more to defeat terrorism than Pakistan – “Our successes in counter-terrorism …

Jan. 20 (UPI) — Nigerian soldiers repelled a Boko Haram attack on a refugee camp, days after the camp was accidentally bombed, witnesses said. The Rann IDP camp in northeastern Borno state was attacked by over 100 Boko Haram insurgents on Thursday. The hours-long fight resulted in eight Boko Haram deaths and one injury to a Nigerian soldier guarding the camp, a source in the camp told the Nigerian newspaper Premium Times. The camp currently holds 43,000 people displaced from years-long terrorist actions by the Islamist insurgent group. The attack came after the camp was inadvertently bombed by the Nigerian air force, resulting in at least 52 deaths and 120 injuries. Maj. Gen. Lucky Irabor, theater commander of Nigeria’s counterinsurgency operations, said the jet that bombed the camp was seeking Boko Haram forces gathering nearby. It remains unclear if those involved in the attack on the camp Thursday were the intended targets of the aerial …

The United States and South Korea are aiming to deploy the U.S. missile defense system THAAD on the peninsula by July, according to a Japanese press report. The decision comes as uncertainty remains over whether South Korea will hold presidential elections in December, or earlier, depending on the outcome of a final impeachment decision from Korea’s constitutional court, Asahi Shimbun reported on Friday. If impeachment fails, President Park Geun-hye could return to finish her five-year term as president. But elections could be held as early as this spring, and China, South Korea’s biggest trading partner, has shown no signs of easing pressure on Seoul for its decision to deploy THAAD. Seoul and Washington reached a bilateral decision to deploy THAAD in July 2016. At the time, the two countries agreed the missile defense system would be placed at its designated location by mid-2017. More than half of South Koreans surveyed in a local Gallup poll …

Jan. 20 (UPI) — Mexico’s Ministry of Health said it is investigating allegations made by Veracruz Gov. Miguel Ángel Yunes that children battling cancer were given water instead of chemotherapy under his fugitive predecessor. Former Veracruz Gov. Javier Duarte resigned in October to face a corruption investigation and disappeared a week later. Officials said they believe Duarte, who has been charged with money laundering and organized crime, is on the run. In a press conference this week, Yunes said officials discovered medical fraud under Duarte’s leadership. “We already have results from a laboratory that pointed out that the medication given to children, a chemotherapy given to children, was not really a drug, but an inert compound. It was practically distilled water,” Yunes said. “This really seems to be a brutal sin, an assault on the lives of children, and it is being analyzed and, at its moment, charges will be filed.” In December, police raided …

Jan. 20 (UPI) — The mandate of Denmark’s military forces in Iraq was extended Friday, allowing troops to venture into Syria to combat terrorists. The action was not unexpected. In 2015 Danish Defense Minister Peter Christiansen pledged to accelerate efforts of Denmark’s special forces, working within NATO, against the Islamic State in the Middle East. The decision can also be seen as a response to U.S. President-elect Donald Trump, who has asked all NATO countries to become more engaged in the fight against IS. Denmark joined the international coalition in Iraq in 2014. Danish Foreign Minister Anders Samuelson said Friday that Denmark’s involvement in the Middle East is “an important foreign affairs and security priority for the government. The government has thus decided, on the basis of specific requests from the coalition, to expand the missions of the special operations troops in Iraq and Syria.” A majority of Denmark’s parliament supports the plan. The Danish …

Former United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon isn’t worried about the future of U.S.-South Korea relations in the new era of U.S. President Donald Trump. Ban, 72, who has yet to officially announce a presidential run in his native South Korea but has been traveling across the country and speaking to the press, told reporters Friday that he is not “greatly concerned” about changes under Trump. “I’m not greatly concerned. All [issues] can be resolved diplomatically,” Ban said, according to South Korean newspaper JoongAng Ilbo. Ban was attending a reception at Seoul’s foreign ministry where he met with top envoys to South Korea. Ban, who worked at the U.N. for 10 years, presided over issues including climate change and the conflicts in the Ukraine and Syria. On Friday, Ban added, “The relationship between the United States and South Korea is very important in itself, and for that reason I am confident even if there is a …

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