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Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Gambian President Jammeh declares state of emergency
Wed, 18 Jan 2017 02:31:37 -0500
Gambian President Yahya Jammeh declared a state of emergency on Tuesday after refusing to hand power to opposition leader Adama Barrow, who won an election last month. State televison said the emergency would prevent a power vacuum while the supreme court rules on Jammeh's petition challenging the election result. Regional leaders have threatened to intervene militarily if Jammeh does not step down and on Tuesday a senior Nigerian army source said Nigeria and other West African states were preparing a military force.


British tour operator evacuating 1,000 Gambia holidaymakers
Wed, 18 Jan 2017 02:25:51 -0500
British tour operator Thomas Cook started evacuating nearly 1,000 holidaymakers from Gambia on Wednesday after President Yahya Jammeh declared a state of emergency on his final day in office, increasing the chances of civil unrest. In a statement on its website, Thomas Cook said it had activated its contingency plans and was laying on extra flights in the next 48 hours to remove 985 package tour customers from the tiny West African nation. It was also trying to contact a further 2,500 'flight only' tourists in Gambia to arrange for their departure on the earliest available flight, it said.


Nigerian air force kills 52 in strike on refugee camp: MSF
Wed, 18 Jan 2017 02:24:37 -0500
By Lanre Ola MAIDUGURI, Nigeria (Reuters) - Nigeria's air force killed at least 52 people and injured 120 in an air strike on a refugee camp in the country's northeast on Tuesday, a spokesman from Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) said after the military earlier disclosed the strike was meant to target Boko Haram militants. MSF said the strike occurred in Rann in Borno state, the epicentre of the jihadist group's seven-year-long bid to create an Islamic caliphate. Nigerian General Lucky Irabor, a regional military commander, located the incident at Kala Balge, a district that includes Rann.


Obama commutes sentence of WikiLeaker Manning
Wed, 18 Jan 2017 02:20:53 -0500
US President Barack Obama slashed the sentence of transgender army private Chelsea Manning, who had been sentenced to 35 years behind bars for handing classified US documents to WikiLeaks. Obama pardoned 64 people and commuted the sentences of 209 others -- including 29-year-old Manning, who will now be released in May -- in one of his final acts as president. Manning was convicted in August 2013 of espionage and other offenses, after admitting to the leak of 700,000 sensitive military and diplomatic documents.


Finance industry's "worst case" on Brexit spurs contingency plans
Wed, 18 Jan 2017 02:20:35 -0500
(This January 17 story has been refiled to add dropped word in first paragraph) By Anjuli Davies and Andrew MacAskill LONDON (Reuters) - Britain's financial services sector will accelerate plans to move some business overseas after Prime Minister Theresa May said on Tuesday the country will quit the European Union's single market. Businesses have been calling for clarity on what Britain's relationship with Europe will be before deciding how to reshape their operations, but most major firms are now set to relocate some business to ensure they can still trade with Europe. London's future as Europe's financial centre is one of the biggest issues in Brexit talks because it is Britain's largest export sector and biggest source of corporate tax revenue.

Federer reaches 3rd round in return at Australian Open
Wed, 18 Jan 2017 02:15:30 -0500
MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) — Roger Federer relied on his Grand Slam experience during the most important points to beat Noah Rubin 7-5, 6-3, 7-6 (3) on Wednesday, maintaining his record of never failing to reach the third round at the 18 Australian Opens he's contested.


Caroline Kennedy boosted US-Japan ties as US ambassador
Wed, 18 Jan 2017 02:14:52 -0500
TOKYO (AP) — Caroline Kennedy stepped down Wednesday after three years as U.S. ambassador to Japan, where she was welcomed like a celebrity and worked to deepen the U.S.-Japan relationship despite regular flare-ups over American military bases on the southern island of Okinawa.


Business group: China preparing to retaliate on trade
Wed, 18 Jan 2017 02:09:46 -0500
BEIJING (AP) — China is preparing to retaliate if U.S. President-elect Donald Trump raises duties on Chinese goods and already has toughened its stance, an American business group said Wednesday.


Nathan Chen leads the way at US figure skating championships
Wed, 18 Jan 2017 02:07:26 -0500
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — The pain in his hip is gone. All that's left is a surgical screw and a scar.


Indian court acquits actor Salman Khan of using illegal arms
Wed, 18 Jan 2017 02:07:23 -0500
NEW DELHI (AP) — An Indian court has acquitted top Bollywood star Salman Khan of the charge of using unlicensed arms while hunting for rare blackbucks in a western India wildlife preserve 18 years ago.



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