AFRICA

  • Mexican drug baron Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman's powerful Sinaloa cartel will likely survive his extradition to the United States, but a well-armed rival gang could intensify a war to seize his empire. Analysts often compare the Sinaloa cartel -- with its multi-billion-dollar drug business spanning the globe -- to an international corporation strong enough to withstand the loss of its CEO. Thursday's extradition "is a great moral victory, but it's not going to have any impact on the Sinaloa cartel," Mike Vigil, a former senior US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) official, told AFP.

  • Months before his death, Osama bin Laden fretted about the Islamic State group's impatient, violent tactics and the fading of Al-Qaeda, documents released by the CIA Thursday showed. The latest release from the trove of documents found when Navy Seals stormed the Al-Qaeda chief's secret Pakistan compound and killed him in 2011 show bin Laden trying to keep his jihadist followers around the world aligned in his war against the United States. One letter to AQAP founder Nasir al-Wuhayshi warns not to move too fast against the government because conditions were not yet right anywhere to form an Islamic state...

  • It was a passion for football that made Cameroonian Yvan Sagnet want to pursue his studies in Turin, home to Italy's most famous club, Juventus. Now 31, Sagnet is soon to be named a Knight of Italy's Order of Merit in recognition of his work in exposing what many have described as a modern form of slavery. "People talk about poverty and misery in Africa but, here, in southern Italy, in the heart of Europe, I have seen human beings stripped of every last scrap of dignity," the activist and writer told AFP in an interview.

  • Port-Gentil (Gabon) (AFP) - Ghana can secure a place in the quarter-finals of the Africa Cup of Nations with a group game to spare if they beat Mali in Group D in Port-Gentil on Saturday. Avram Grant's side, beaten on penalties by the Ivory Coast in the 2015 final, set themselves up nicely in this year's tournament by edging out Uganda 1-0 courtesy of an Andre Ayew spot-kick in their opening match on Tuesday. It was not a vintage performance from the Black Stars but, on a terrible playing surface, Grant is only interested in winning matches for now, regardless...

  • By Tim Cocks and Emma Farge BANJUL/DAKAR (Reuters) - West African armies halted an operation in Gambia aimed at installing the country's new president, Adama Barrow, on Thursday so regional leaders could make one last attempt to convince longtime ruler Yahya Jammeh to step aside. Barrow took the oath of office on Thursday at Gambia's embassy in Senegal, calling for international support from West Africa's ECOWAS bloc, the African Union and the United Nations.

WORLD

  • Dylan Hartley was passed fit to be in the England squad for the Six Nations announced by coach Eddie Jones on Friday. The Northampton hooker, who last season captained England to a Six Nations Grand Slam, is currently serving a six-week ban for striking. Hartley -- who has missed more than a year of his career through suspension -- is not expected to play, however, before England face France in...

  • Damascus (AFP) - Jihadists of the Islamic State group have demolished two more treasured monuments in the ancient Syrian city of Palmyra a month after recapturing it from government forces, the antiquities chief said Friday.

  • MADRID (AP) — Authorities say some 2,000 people were trapped overnight in vehicles as heavy snowfall cut off several roads in eastern Spain.

  • Rescuers dug all night in deep snow and debris in search of some 30 missing people who were staying in a luxury mountain hotel in Italy when an avalanche struck almost two days ago. Officials have confirmed finding two bodies, while Italian media said two more were located overnight. The only survivors so far are two men who were outside the hotel when the avalanche hit.

  • Long-ruling Gambian leader Yahya Jammeh, who lost elections last month, has until midday Friday to hand over power and agree to leave the country or face military action, regional bloc ECOWAS has said. West African troops entered The Gambia on Thursday to bolster its new President Adama Barrow but the military operation was suspended a few hours later, in favour of a final diplomatic effort to convince Jammeh -- who...

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