In the wake of Michael Flynn's resignation as President Trump's national security adviser and the coming announcement of his replacement, Yahoo Global News Anchor Katie Couric takes a look at what that job entails and how some in history, from Henry Kissinger to Brent Scowcroft, have handled the role differently.
By John Irish and Sabine Siebold BONN, Germany (Reuters) - U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, trying to reassure allies that Washington was not tilting towards Moscow over the Syrian conflict, told them on Friday that the United States backed U.N. efforts to broker a political solution to the war, officials and diplomats said. Tillerson also said military ties with Russia hinged on its stance towards rebels fighting the government of President Bashar al-Assad, who Russia backs.
By Tulay Karadeniz and Angus McDowall ANKARA/BEIRUT (Reuters) - Turkey's military said on Friday it was close to taking Syria's al-Bab from Islamic State, but a war monitor said the jihadists still controlled 90 percent of the town itself and that shelling and air strikes had killed dozens of civilians in recent days. Al-Bab, an Islamic State stronghold 30 km (20 miles) from the Turkish border, has been a prime target since Turkey launched an incursion last August to push the jihadists from its frontier and prevent gains by a Kurdish militia also fighting them. Taking control of the town would deepen Turkish influence in an area of Syria where it has already effectively created a buffer zone and allow Turkish forces to press on towards Raqqa, Islamic State's de facto capital in Syria.
Seven suspected Boko Haram militants blew themselves on the outskirts of a northeast Nigerian city on Friday, a local aid agency said, in an attack witnesses said targeted refugees preparing to return to their home villages. The bombing took place outside Maiduguri, the population center at the heart of a government campaign to eradicate the Islamist group, whose more than seven-year insurgency has killed 15,000 people and forced some two million from their homes. The Borno State Emergency Management Agency said eight members of a local militia, the civilian Joint Task Force, were wounded in the attack, which underscored Boko Haram's ability to continue to operate despite the government's insistence it has crushed the group.
The assassinated half-brother of North Korea's leader Kim Jong-Un was a courageous man who sought to reform his country, a Japanese journalist who wrote a book about him said Friday. Kim Jong-Nam, who was killed Monday at Kuala Lumpur's international airport, had regularly corresponded with Tokyo Shimbun senior writer Yoji Gomi. "Even if it put him in danger, he wanted to tell his opinions to Pyongyang through me or other media," Gomi told reporters.
It is, according to North Korean orthodoxy, the mountainside birthplace of Kim Jong-Il, who inherited power from his father and passed it in turn to his son, current leader Kim Jong-Un. The image of the Day of the Shining Star, as the occasion is known, is a recurring motif at the Kimjongilia flower festival in Pyongyang, appearing in mosaics and models surrounded by the eponymous red blooms. "The great leader general Kim Jong-Il was born in a secret camp on Mount Paektu," she said -– a volcano straddling the Chinese-Korean border seen as the spiritual birthplace of the Korean nation.
A Zimbabwean pastor who led a popular protest movement last year against strongman President Robert Mugabe said Friday that he might stand in the 2018 general election. Evan Mawarire was publicly threatened by Mugabe, 92, after starting the "This Flag" internet campaign that triggered the largest surge of anti-government street protests in many years. Mugabe has vowed to run again and has already been chosen as the candidate for the ruling ZANU-PF party, which has been involved in brutal violence and vote-rigging in past elections.
Three Chinese warships on Friday wrapped up a week of scheduled training exercises in the South China Sea, state media said, shortly after China's sole aircraft carrier tested its weapons in the disputed region. The flotilla of warships, including a destroyer that can launch guided missiles, had been conducting drills since Friday last week and were now sailing to the eastern India Ocean and the Western Pacific, the official Xinhua News Agency said. Exercises by the Chinese ships, in particular the aircraft carrier Liaoning, in recent months have unnerved its neighbors, especially given long-running territorial disputes in the South China Sea.
By Brian Ellsworth CARACAS (Reuters) - Venezuela's government is pushing forward with measures that could exclude some opposition political parties from future elections, potentially paving the way for the ruling Socialists to remain in power despite widespread anger over the country's collapsing economy. The Supreme Court, loyal to socialist president Nicolas Maduro, has ordered the main opposition parties to "renew" themselves through petition drives whose conditions are so strict that party leaders and even an election official described them as impossible to meet. Socialist Party officials scoff at the complaints.