World News Briefs -- January 9, 2019 (Evening Edition)

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo (L) talks with Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul-Mahdi (R) in Baghdad, Iraq, during a Middle East tour, January 9, 2019. Andrew Caballero-Reynolds/Pool via REUTERS

Reuters: Erdogan threats against Kurds will not stop Syria withdrawal, Pompeo says

BAGHDAD/CAIRO (Reuters) - The U.S. troop withdrawal from Syria will not be scuppered despite Turkish threats against Washington’s Kurdish allies there, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Wednesday, promising to ensure that the Kurds would still be protected.

Pompeo met leaders in Iraq’s capital and its semi-autonomous Kurdistan region on Wednesday, aiming to reassure them about Washington’s plans following President Donald Trump’s surprise announcement last month of an abrupt withdrawal from Syria.

The unannounced visits to Baghdad and the Kurdish regional capital Erbil came on the second day of a Middle East tour also taking in Jordan, Egypt, Bahrain, Qatar, United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Oman.

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Jihadists expand control in Syria rebel bastion: monitor.

HTS offensive could draw in Syria and Turkey.

Turkey calls for joint control with Russia & Iran over US troop pullout from Syria.

Pompeo meets Iraqi leaders in unannounced Baghdad visit. Pompeo in reassurance mission to Iraq over US Syria pullout plans.

Saudi Arabia says 6 suspects killed in raid on Shiite stronghold.

Iran's Khamenei: some US officials are 'first-class idiots'.

Iran says it will reciprocate after EU sanctions Iranians.

Iran says it holds US Navy veteran, 1st arrest of Trump era.

Israeli former minister Gonen Segev to be jailed for spying for Iran.


Russia accuses Japan of whipping up tensions in islands dispute.

'Panic' grips Rohingya as Myanmar army battles Buddhist rebels.

Afghan envoy hopes 2019 to be year of peace for Afghanistan.

Kim Jong-un leaves Beijing after visit to traditional Chinese medicine factory.

China, North Korea quiet after Kim visit to Chinese plant.

China 'to let thousands of ethnic Kazakhs leave Xinjiang'.

Suspicious packages sent to US, Pakistani and other consulates in Melbourne.

Japan, Korea forced labour dispute deepens amid asset freeze.

Facebook allowed users in Vietnam to post anti-government content, state media says.


C. Africa sets peace talks for January 24: AU.

Tunisia convicts dozens of jihadists over teen beheading.

UN says some 30,000 people flee new Nigeria fighting.

Madagascar's ex-leader Ravalomanana accepts defeat.

Riot police deployed at DRC electoral body before vote result. Security tight as Congo poised to release election results.

Hopes rise that DR Congo's elections are in home stretch.

Sudan's Bashir vows to stay in power as protests rage nearby.

Sudan: Crowds rally for Bashir as police tear gas rival protest.

S.Africa court backs arrest of Mozambique ex-minister.

Teachers join doctors in Zimbabwe strike.


Italy and Poland want 'new spring' in Europe: Salvini.

EU sanctions Iran over thwarted attacks on European soil.

British PM Theresa May loses vote on no-deal Brexit powers. Theresa May suffers Commons defeat over Brexit plan B.

EU parliament laments trans-Atlantic relations under Trump.

Kremlin says we won't use detained ex-U.S. marine as a pawn.

Italy's Salvini refuses to back EU deal on rescue ship migrants.

Malta reaches deal for 49 stranded migrants to disembark. EU nations reach deal on stranded migrants, Malta announces.

German police cast doubt on details of attack on rightwing politician.


US detained over 50,000 illegal immigrants in December.

Trump stalks out of shutdown session with Dems -- ‘Bye-bye’.

House Democrats to test Republicans on Trump’s wall demand.

US Congress poised to push back at Trump on Saudi Arabia, Syria.

Trump says has halted U.S. funds for California wildfires, forest management.

Donald Trump will have final say in Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou’s case, says former US federal prosecutor.

Trump wall debate an internal U.S. matter: Mexico president.

President calls on Mexicans to help in battling fuel thefts.

'It's complete chaos': Brazilian state overwhelmed by rash of gang violence.

Guatemala court blocks government's bid to expel UN team.

Chinese ambassador accuses Canada of 'white supremacy' in Huawei case.


Problem of captured IS fighters grows as US plans Syria exit.

Fate of detained ISIS fighters uncertain as US exits Syria.

Counterterrorism strikes in Somalia continue, despite reports of a drawdown.

Al Qaeda-linked operations room calls for another mediation effort in Syria.


Stocks post 4th straight gain as hopes build on China trade.

Judge dismisses opioid crisis lawsuits against drugmakers.

US-China trade war talks end on a positive note, as American delegate says they went ‘just fine’.

China pledges to buy 'substantial amount' of U.S. goods: USTR.

Amazon boss Jeff Bezos, world's richest man, and wife MacKenzie divorce.

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