Friday News Roundup - International
This week, the American military confirmed that two service members, one government contractor and one civilian affiliated with the Pentagon had been killed in a suicide bombing in Syria.
The Islamic State claimed responsibility for the attack, although that declaration has not been confirmed.
In a speech at the State Department, Vice President Mike Pence said ISIS has been defeated.
The confirmation of these casualties comes after the U.S. began withdrawing equipment from Syria, although no other “specific timelines, locations or troop movements” have been announced, per The New York Times.
At least 14 people were killed in an al-Shabab attack on a hotel complex in Nairobi. NPR’s Eydar Peralta spoke to a woman who said she was related to two of the men killed. Yasi Yama told Peralta, “I’m a Muslim and I’m Somali, but I’m suffering in their hands. My two young men died because of them.”
And in Brooklyn, a witness in the trial of alleged drug kingpin Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán testified that the former leader of the Sinaloa cartel paid a $100 million bribe to the former president of Mexico, Enrique Peña Nieto.
Peña Nieto’s former chief-of-staff denied the allegation on Twitter.
We couldn’t forget to talk about Brexit. After her deal to leave the European Union failed by a huge margin in the House of Commons, Prime Minister Theresa May survived a vote of no confidence.
The New Yorker’s John Cassidy analyzed the fallout:
With just ten weeks until March 29th, on which Britain is supposed to leave the European Union, May is hoping that the prospect of the country crashing out without any withdrawal agreement—an outcome that could cause shortages of essential medicines and industrial parts, as well as bedlam at the Channel ports—will persuade a majority of parliamentarians to back her plan as the least-bad option available. Of course, this is precisely the same logic that the Prime Minister was relying on when she delayed a vote on the Brexit plan until Monday, after the New Year, and she ended up suffering what was widely described as the biggest loss ever inflicted on a sitting British Prime Minister. But, after what she has been through in the past couple of years, May can perhaps be forgiven for getting a little addled. The entire country is a little addled. More than a little.
We’re wrapping up the busy week in global news.
Jennifer Williams, Foreign editor, Vox; co-host of Vox’s foreign affairs podcast, “Worldly”; @jenn_ruth
Jon Sopel, North America editor, BBC; author, “If Only They Didn’t Speak English: Notes from Trump’s America”; @BBCJonSopel
Nancy Youssef, National security reporter, The Wall Street Journal; @nancyayoussef
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