Leftist sworn in as prime minister
Greek leftist leader Alex Tsipras was sworn in as the country's new prime minister, hours after clinching a deal with the right-wing Independent Greeks to form an anti-austerity government. Although the alliance between two ideologically opposed parties who share only their opposition to the bailout was a surprise, it nevertheless boosted stock markets across Europe that had fallen on news of the uncertain election results. Tsipras has promised to renegotiate Greece's massive bailout agreements.
Kurdish fights claim key town
Jubilant Kurdish fighters ousted militants of the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) from the key Syrian border town of Kobani after a four-month battle — a significant victory for the U.S.-led coalition. The Kurds raised their flag on a hill that once flew ISIL's black banner. On Kobani's war-ravaged streets, gunmen fired in the air in celebration, male and female fighters embraced, and troops danced in their baggy uniforms. The failure to capture Kobani was a major blow to the extremists whose hopes for an easy victory dissolved into a costly siege under airstrikes by coalition forces and an assault by the Kurdish militia. For the U.S. and its partners, Kobani became a strategic prize.
Prosecutor reporter flees nation
Damian Pachter, the journalist who broke the story of the recent death of an Argentine prosecutor investigating the 1994 bombing of a Jewish center in Buenos Aires, Argentina, has fled to Israel, saying he feared for his life. In a first-person account published in the Israeli newspaper Haaretz, Pachter said he concluded late Friday that he was being followed by an intelligence officer and decided to leave the country. Pachter, a journalist for the English-language Buenos Aires Herald, was the first to publicize the death under murky circumstances of prosecutor Alberto Nisman. Nisman was found dead from a gunshot wound to the head Jan. 18, the day before he was to testify before lawmakers about the Jewish center attack.
Mubarak's sons are released
The two sons of former President Hosny Mubarak were released from prison, one day after at least 20 people were killed in protests marking the anniversary of the 2011 uprising that ended his rule. Gamal and Alaa Mubarak were freed after prosecutors certified that they need not be held over insider trading charges, said a prison official who asked not to be named. Mubarak and his sons last month won a retrial on charges of spending more than $14 million of public money on their residences.
Facebook blocks Mohammed pages
To avoid being banned throughout Turkey, Facebook has blocked a number of pages containing content that Turkish authorities had deemed insulting to the prophet Mohammed, said a company employee with direct knowledge of the matter. Turkey's Islamist government has not hesitated to temporarily cut off access to services like Twitter and YouTube for various political reasons, and it often intervenes to restrict content it finds objectionable, despite strong criticism from the West on freedom-of-speech grounds. Like many U.S. technology companies, Facebook, which has more than 1.2 billion users, has been pushing hard for growth in emerging markets like Turkey.
Twin traffickers to be sentenced
In the underworld of illegal drug trafficking, identical twins Pedro and Margarito Flores rose from middling Chicago dealers to partners of Mexico's most notorious cartel lord, eventually building a nearly $2 billion franchise that spanned much of North America. Anyone convicted of trafficking a fraction as much cocaine and heroin could normally expect a life sentence. But the twins can enter their sentencing hearing Tuesday confident of receiving far less. Because they spilled secrets that led to the indictments of Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman, a half-dozen of his lieutenants and about 40 lower-level traffickers, prosecutors are asking for a remarkably lenient term — around 10 years.