A U.S. court has found the Syrian government liable in the 2012 death of American journalist Marie Colvin, ordering it to pay $300 million in punitive damages. Colvin was reporting from in the western Syrian city of Homs when the makeshift media center where she was working came under artillery attack. Colvin’s sister Cathleen and Cathleen’s three children filed the lawsuit in 2016. The Syrian government ignored the lawsuit. By failing to appear, it defaulted in the case.
U.S. President Donald Trump said on Thursday he will meet with Chinese President Xi Jinping soon to try to seal a comprehensive trade deal as Trump and his top trade negotiator both cited substantial progress in two days of high-level talks. Trump, speaking at the White House during a meeting with Chinese Vice Premier Liu He, said he was optimistic that the world’s two largest economies could reach “the biggest deal ever made.”
North Korea has pledged to destroy all its nuclear material enrichment facilities, according to the US special envoy for the country, Stephen Biegun. He said the promise had been made to US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo when he visited North Korea in October. However Pyongyang has not confirmed making any such pledge. President Donald Trump had earlier claimed “tremendous progress” in talks between the countries.
Lebanon announced the formation of a government on Thursday ending over eight months of wrangling amid heightened fears of a major economic collapse. The Western-backed Prime Minister-designate Saad Hariri now faces a big challenge in delivering the reforms needed to address dire public finances and unlock billions of dollars in pledged aid and loans to boost growth.