Afghanistan

Multiple deaths in Kabul mosque bombing

A suicide bomber detonated explosives in a Shiite mosque in Kabul as worshipers were gathering for evening prayer, killing at least 32 people in the latest in a series of attacks against Shiite Muslims in Afghanistan. Police said that in addition to the 32 killed, 41 others were wounded. Witnesses said the number of the dead could be as many as 50, since the mosque had been full.

Syria

U.S.-backed forces declare victory in Raqqa

Syrian Kurdish-led forces backed by the U.S. declared victory over the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria in its former “capital” of Raqqa, declaring the city free of any extremist presence after a four-month battle that left it in ruins. In a symbolic move, a news conference was held inside the city’s sports stadium, which ISIS militants had turned into an arms depot.

South Korea

Pledge to phase out nuclear power reversed

South Korea decided to resume construction of two nuclear plants, reversing a campaign promise by the new president and frustrating supporters who want to phase out nuclear power. Before his election, President Moon Jae-in had vowed not to allow any new reactors. At the time, five nuclear power plants were under construction. Moon promised to scrap two of them.

Belgium

Britain, E.U. wrangle over Brexit terms

Leaders of Britain and the 27 other European Union members agreed that much remains to be done in Brexit talks amid deep divisions over how much London should pay in the divorce. Britain’s exit will take place on March 29, 2019. British Prime Minister Theresa May urged her E.U. counterparts to bring new momentum to the talks, even as an interim goal was missed to widen the talks from more immediate divorce issues to future E.U.-U.K. relations and trade arrangements.

Czech Republic

Billionaire likely to win parliamentary vote

A billionaire facing criminal charges for fraud is poised to win parliamentary elections this weekend, eclipsing traditional political parties on a pledge to run the state like a business, fight Muslim immigration and defy deeper integration with the European Union. Andrej Babis has a wide lead in opinion polls.

News services