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International news in brief

Putin orders withdrawal of forces from Syria

MOSCOW — On Monday, Russian president Vladimir Putin ordered the withdrawal of Russian forces from Syria, saying that the Kremlin had achieved all of its objectives in the war-torn country. The move came as a dramatic surprise, especially in Western capitals and Syria, and set off speculation about Russia’s motives and how the war’s outcome would be affected.

Source: The New York Times

Plane crash at Russian airport kills 62 on board

MOSCOW/DUBAI — A passenger jet flying from Dubai to southern Russia crashed on its second attempt to land at the Rostov-on-Don airport on Saturday. All 55 passengers and seven crew members on board died, most of them Russian. The exact cause of the crash is unknown so far.

Source: Reuters

Four people killed and 36 wounded in bombing

ISTANBUL — A suicide bomber killed four people and wounded 36 in a busy shopping district in Istanbul, Turkey on Saturday. The attack was the fourth of such attacks in Turkey this year, and brought widespread condemnation. At least two Israelis were killed, and Ireland reported that a number of Irish were also hurt. Turkey has recently been targeted by Kurdish militants and the Islamic State.

Source: Reuters

Obama nominates Garland for U.S. Supreme Court

WASHINGTON — This Wednesday, President Barack Obama nominated Merrick B. Garland to the Supreme Court. Garland is 63, well known in Washington legal circles, and is a moderate that has been praised by both Democrats and Republicans. Obama’s choice challenged Republican senators who had vowed to block consideration of any nominee until the next president had been elected.

Source: The New York Times

Suspect of Paris attacks is captured in Brussels

BRUSSELS — On Friday afternoon, Belgian authorities managed to track down Salah Abdeslam, who is believed to be the sole surviving participant in the November terrorist attacks in Paris. Abdeslam is thought to have driven a team of terrorists to the French national soccer stadium outside Paris on the day of the attacks. He was one of ten men involved in the attack.

Source: The New York Times

Chinese journalist Jia Jia believed to be detained

BEIJING — A well-known Chinese journalist, Jia Jia, was detained by authorities on Tuesday as he was about to board a flight to Hong Kong. He was suspected of helping to draft a letter calling for the resignation of President Xi Jinping. Human rights advocates criticized the Chinese government’s handling of the case, as the government seemed to be increasingly focused on harassing and silencing critics.

Source: The New York Times