After more than 17 years of fighting and 2,248 American troop deaths, negotiators for the United States and Taliban reached “agreements in principle” on a possible peace deal that would end the longest war in US history, a top American envoy said Monday. In exchange for US troop withdrawals, the Taliban committed to ensure the country never becomes a haven for terrorists, as it was for al Qaeda in the years leading to the 9/11 attacks.
Chinese telecoms giant Huawei has denied any wrongdoing after US prosecutors filed a host of criminal charges against the firm. Huawei has also rejected criminal claims against its chief financial officer Meng Wanzhou, who was arrested in Canada last month. The charges filed against Huawei in the US include bank fraud, obstruction of justice and theft of technology. At a briefing in Beijing, government spokesperson Geng Shuang said there were “political motivations” behind US attempts to “smear and suppress certain Chinese companies”.
The Trump administration announced Monday it is sanctioning Venezuela’s state-owned oil company, blocking $7 billion in assets and potentially costing the country $11 billion in oil revenues, according to National Security Adviser John Bolton. The sanctions block all U.S. persons or businesses from working with Venezuela’s state-owned oil company Petroleos de Venezuela, S.A., known by the acronym PDVSA, and funds from any purchases of Venezuelan oil will now have to go into special accounts Maduro’s government is blocked from accessing, according to the Treasury Department.
Six children in south-western Tanzania have been killed and had their ears and teeth removed, the authorities say. Some of the bodies of the children, aged between two and nine years old, were also missing limbs. “This is all about superstitious beliefs and many believe they will get help from witchcraft,” Njombe District Commissioner Ruth Msafiri said. Ten children in all have gone missing in Njombe since the beginning of December and four have been found alive.
A rare tornado that hit the Cuban capital, Havana, on Sunday night has left four people dead and 195 injured, officials said. Cuban President Miguel Diaz-Canel visited emergency crews around the city overnight and wrote on Twitter that the damage from the tornado was “severe.” The island nation regularly suffers extreme weather events such as hurricanes and Atlantic storms. In September 2017, 10 people died in Cuba as a result of Hurricane Irma, with seven of these deaths in Havana, according to state television.