France asks US to keep up ‘critical’ military support in West Africa Jan 28, 2020 0 278 12345 Washington: France on Monday asked the United States to keep supporting its operations against Islamist extremists in West Africa, after the New York Times reported that the US is considering pulling out of the region.French Armed Forces Minister Florence Parly said she had raised the issue at a Washington meeting with her US counterpart Mark Esper, who is conducting a wide-ranging review of overseas commitments.“I had the opportunity to tell [Esper] again... that the US support is critical to our operations and that its reduction would severely limit our effectiveness against terrorists,” Parly said.French troops have been fighting Islamist extremist groups in West Africa’s Sahel region since 2013, at the invitation of national authorities who have struggled to contain the jihadists. (DPA) RELATED ARTICLES Real number of Wuhan coronavirus cases is 25,000, says HK expert Jan 28, 2020 0 1333 Global alarm grows as China’s capital Beijing reports first virus death, raising toll to 82 Jan 28, 2020 0 400 Bolton book revelations roil Trump impeachment trial Jan 28, 2020 0 263 Billie Eilish dominates the Grammys as music world mourns Kobe AFP Los Angeles Pop iconoclast Billie Eilish cleaned up at the Grammys on Sunday, winning five awards, as the music world mourned the loss of LA’s hometown basketball hero Kobe Bryant with a series of emotional tributes. .. WHO corrects China virus global risk level to ‘high’ Geneva: The World Health Organization on Monday admitted an error in its assessment of the global risk of a deadly virus in China, saying it was “high” and not “moderate”. The Geneva-based UN health agency said in a .. Pakistan’s police arrest activist critical of military Islamabad: Police in Pakistan have arrested an activist whose fierce criticism of the military’s alleged connection with Islamist militants brought thousands out to public rallies, in a rare challenge to the army’s .. Nearly 500 migrants rescued in the Mediterranean seek safe ports In the central Mediterranean: Nearly 500 migrants rescued in the Mediterranean by two boats run by aid agencies were looking for safe ports in Malta and Italy, the groups said on Monday. The Ocean Viking, a rescue vessel .. UK unveils new visa scheme for scientists after Brexit afp London Britain on Sunday announced a new fast-track visa scheme for top scientists, researchers and mathematicians as it prepares a new immigration system for life outside the European Union. Prime Minister Boris .. At least 44 dead in Brazil floods, risk of further landslides Buenos Aires: Devastating floods and landslides in Brazil’s Minas Gerais state have killed at least 44 people, the country’s emergency services said on Sunday. Another 19 people were missing and others injured by the .. US confirms Afghanistan jet crash; no evidence of Taliban shoot-down DPA Kabul/Washington The US has confirmed a military plane crashed in Afghanistan on Monday, but rejected claims by the Taliban that the insurgent forces downed the jet. “A US Bombardier E-11A crashed today in Ghazni ..