Three US Army soldiers were killed and more than 30 service members were injured in a drone attack overnight on a small US outpost in Jordan, US officials told CNN, marking the first time US troops have been killed by enemy fire in the Middle East since the beginning of the Gaza war. “We shall respond,” President Joe Biden said while speaking in South Carolina on Sunday. The killing of three Americans at Tower 22 in Jordan near the border with Syria is a significant escalation of an already-precarious situation in the Middle East. Officials said the drone was fired by Iran-backed militants and appeared to come from Syria. It is still being determined which militia group specifically is responsible. US Central Command confirmed in a statement on Sunday that three service members were killed and 25 injured in a one-way drone attack that “impacted at a base in northeast Jordan.” Two US officials told CNN the drone hit in the vicinity of living quarters on base, and that three the injured service members were medically evacuated from the area. The number of wounded is expected to rise - CNN
UN chief António Guterres has urged countries that halted funding for the UN agency for Palestinian refugees, UNRWA, to continue its operations. "The dire needs of the desperate populations they serve must be met," Mr Guterres said. Nine countries, including the UK, have taken action since Israel told UNRWA some staff were involved in the 7 October deadly Hamas attacks on Israel. The agency says it is investigating and has already sacked some employees. The countries that have now suspended funding UNRWA are Australia, Canada, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, the UK and the US - BBC
Ukraine's air defenses say all eight drones launched by Russia early on January 29 at targets in four regions -- Mykolayiv, Dnipropetrovsk, Khmelnytskiy, and Rivne -- were shot down. Meanwhile, Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto is due to meet his Ukrainian counterpart, Dmytro Kuleba, in the western Ukrainian border town of Uzhhorod on January 29 - RFE/RL
A Russian man tailgated an unsuspecting passenger through security at a Denmark airport before he boarded a US-bound flight without a passport or ticket the next day, prosecutors said. Sergey Vladimirovich Ochigava, 46, was found guilty after sneaking onboard a Scandinavian Airlines flight from Copenhagen to Los Angeles International Airport on Nov. 4, 2023. Following a three-day trial, a jury found Ochigava guilty of one count of being a stowaway on an aircraft, which carries a maximum sentence of five years in federal prison. Ochigava, who held both Russian and Israeli passports, followed another flyer through a security turnstile at Copenhagen Airport on Nov. 3, 2023 to gain access to one of the terminals, where he remained overnight. The following day, Ochigava later boarded Scandinavian Airlines flight 931 undetected - New York Post
Angolan authorities want to remove the Russian company 'Alrosa' from the joint diamond mining business. Due to the sanctions imposed on Russia, suppliers and banks refuse to work with the Russian company. This was reported by Expansão, according to Ukrinform. As noted, the Angolan authorities are putting pressure on the Russian diamond company 'Alrosa' to withdraw from the joint business Sociedade de Catoca, which owns the fourth-largest diamond mine in the world. According to Expansão, diamond production at the mine has declined, and many suppliers and banks refuse to work with Catoca because of its ties to the Russians. The newspaper also claims that last week, Angolan representatives met with a Russian delegation in Dubai to discuss the terms of 'Alrosa's' withdrawal from Sociedade Mineira de Catoca. 'Alrosa' currently holds 41% of the shares. The Angolan side allegedly demands that the Russians leave the business without conditions, while the Russians want compensation for their investments.
Canadian authorities have issued a deportation order against a Chinese woman on the grounds she was part of Beijing’s foreign interference program. The Immigration and Refugee Board ruled that Jing Zhang had worked for the Overseas Chinese Affairs Office (OCAO), which it said conducts espionage in Canada. While immigration officials did not argue that Zhang committed espionage, the Refugee Board found that as an 11-year OCAO employee, she had contributed to its efforts to pressure the Chinese diaspora. According to the 32-page decision, the Peoples Republic of China (PRC) uses the OCAO to silence dissent overseas. The organization “was and remains involved in espionage against the PRC‘s targeted individuals and groups in Canada,” the IRB added - Global News.
This review is reprinted with the author’s permission from his World Briefing blog. See the original here.
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