World News Briefs — October 31, 2019

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Reuters: Trump impeachment effort passes first test in split Congress

BEIRUT (Reuters) – U.S. armored vehicles were seen on Thursday near the Syria-Turkey border in a part of northeastern Syria where they had not been observed since early October when Washington announced the withdrawal of American forces, according to a witness and Reuters video footage.

A military source from the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) described the movement as a patrol running between the towns of Rmeilan and Qahtaniyah, which is 20 km (12 miles) to the west. The source said it would “not be a one-time” event.

The witness saw the U.S. military vehicles outside the town of Qahtaniyah, roughly 6 km (4 miles) south of the border.

Read more ….

MIDDLE EAST

Fierce clashes erupt between Syrian army, Turkish-led forces.

‘Best bad option’: Syria Kurds brace for regime return.

US-Turkey alliance in downward spiral as Congress mulls sanctions.

Iraq president says PM willing to quit, vows poll after new law.

Khamenei says US stoking ‘chaos’ amid Iraq, Lebanon protests.

Lebanon protesters fight on amid political deadlock.

Lebanon’s Hezbollah, France call for new government.

U.S. envoy for Iran says Tehran spent $16 billion on ‘militias’ in Iraq, Syria: Al Arabiya.

N. Korean leader sends condolences to Moon over mother’s death.

Pompeo says U.S. must confront China’s Communist Party.

Mongolia arrests 800 Chinese citizens in cybercrime probe.

Indian Kashmir officially loses its autonomy, with flag and constitution thrown out. Modi’s government strengthens hold on India-administered Kashmir.

Afghan woman politician sees Taliban talks as only hope for future.

Halloween protests in Hong Kong: police fire tear gas in Mong Kok, Central and Sheung Wan as people denounce alleged force brutality and march against mask ban.

At least 73 dead in Pakistan after fire burns commuter train.

Fire rips through Shuri Castle on Japan’s Okinawa island, destroying historic buildings.

Frontline clashes ebb and flow as Libya’s war hits impasse.

At least 78 people killed in Ethiopian protests last week: prime minister’s office.

Guinea counter-rally backs president’s constitutional bid.

South Sudan declares state of emergency in flood-hit areas.

Italy to renew deal with Libya to block migrants.

Sisi suggests floating Egypt military firms on stock exchange.

Record 45 million people in southern Africa facing food crisis: U.N. agencies.

Spain offers to host COP25 climate change summit after Chile’s withdrawal.

Brexit: UK political leaders clash in campaign bid. British election campaign kicks off on no-Brexit day.

Offering ‘real change’, UK Labour’s Corbyn vows to oust Conservatives.

Nord Stream 2: Go-ahead for Russian gas pipeline angers Ukraine.

Spain election campaign starts with Catalonia as battleground.

Angela Merkel visiting India to bolster ties amid China’s growing clout.

EU leaders face legal action over Czech PM’s alleged conflict of interest.

Migrants in Greece living in ‘horrible’ conditions, says Europe rights watchdog.

House approves Trump impeachment procedures.

Trump slams ‘witch hunt’ after House impeachment vote.

Bolton will not voluntarily testify, says his lawyer.

Firefighters battle new blazes in California.

OAS begins Bolivia election audit after street clashes turn deadly.

Bolivia’s post-election clashes turn deadly as two are killed.

Oil production paralyzed as Venezuela’s electricity crisis worsens.

TERRORISM/THE LONG WAR

ISIS names new leader, confirming al-Baghdadi’s death – reports.

Pentagon: Islamic State still dangerous despite Baghdadi’s death.

US official predicts Islamic State will replace slain leader.

Pentagon releases images of al-Baghdadi raid.

Pentagon: US on alert for possible ‘retribution attacks’ following al-Baghdadi raid.

ECONOMY/FINANCE/BUSINESS

Quarter of world’s pig population ‘to die of African swine fever’.

Vauxhall fears after car giants Fiat and PSA announce merger.

Saudi Aramco flotation ‘coming soon’.

Boeing grounds dozens of 737 ‘NG’ models after cracks found.

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