NEWS OF THE DAY
_1 Sudan sanctions: President Obama signed an executive order Friday easing but not eliminating sanctions against Sudan, in an eleventh-hour push to broaden currently limited talks with the longestranged African government. The eased sanctions will enable trade and investment transactions to resume with Sudan, a U.S.designated terrorism sponsor whose leader — Omar el-Bashir — has been indicted on war crimes charges. But Obama built in a sixmonth waiting period before the benefits for Sudan go into effect. By July 12, several U.S. agencies would have to affirm to the White House — which will be controlled by Presidentelect Donald Trump — that Sudan is continuing taking positive steps before the sanctions would be eased.
_2 Israel bombs Syria base: Syria accused Israel of firing missiles early Friday that landed near a major military base west of Damascus, in the third such reported attack in nearly six weeks to hit near the capital. The Syrian government was quick to respond, warning Israel of the repercussions of such attacks. In the past, Israel has targeted shipments of weapons headed to the Lebanese Hezbollah group. Hezbollah is a main supporter of Syria’s President Bashar Assad in the civil war, and has sent thousands of fighters to fight alongside his army. Israel is widely believed to have carried out a number of air strikes on advanced weapons systems in Syria as well as Hezbollah positions, but it rarely confirms them.
_3 Boko Haram attack: Three female suicide bombers detonated explosions at a checkpoint where scores of people were being searched for a bustling weekly market Friday in Nigeria’s northeastern town of Madagali, witnesses said. The blasts killed two self-defense fighters who wanted to search the bombers. Residents blamed Boko Haram Islamic extremists for the attacks. Boko Haram’s seven-year uprising has killed more than 20,000 people, driven 2.6 million from their homes and created a massive humanitarian crisis that the U.N. says has 5.1 million people in Nigeria facing starvation.
_4 Tillerson enounced: Chinese state news media lashed out Friday at Rex Tillerson, President-elect Donald Trump’s nominee for secretary of state, warning that his call to deny China access to islands it has constructed in the South China Sea could provoke a conflict. Tillerson said during a confirmation hearing this week before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee that China’s efforts to build islands in the sea and to equip some with military equipment were illegal, and he drew comparisons to Russia’s annexation of Crimea in 2014.
_5 Kardashian robbery: Six more suspects have been charged in the armed heist of Kim Kardashian West, raising the number of people facing preliminary charges to 10. Announcing the advance in the probe, the Paris prosecutors’ office Friday hailed the “remarkable work” of the French antibandit crime squad. Robbers are believed to have forced their way into the private apartment where Kardashian West was staying during Paris Fashion Week in October. They allegedly tied up the reality TV star and stole more than $10 million worth of jewelry, with authorities now looking at a possible inside job. The preliminary charges filed Friday covered a wide range of alleged crimes, including armed robbery in an organized gang, kidnapping, criminal association, illegal possession of firearms and ammunition, use of forged papers, and complicity.
_5 _4 _2 _1 _3