International news in brief

Sarah Gutekunst Feb 12, 2017

Relations soften between U.S and Turkey
ANKARA — Despite his historic disdain for western insensitivity toward Islam, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has not openly criticized President Trump since he has taken office. After a meeting with CIA head Mike Pompeo and a phone call with President Trump, officials from both nations seem highly optimistic about the future of relations. Experts expect that Turkey hopes to convince Trump to reverse Obama-era policies that soured relations. Specifically, Obama supported Syrian Kurds hoping to recapture Islamic State capital Raqqa and refused to extradite Pennsylvania-based religious leader Fethullah Gulen whom Turkey blames for last year's coup attempt.

Source: New York Times

Slovenia offers to host talk between Putin and Trump
MOSCOW — Russian President Vladimir Putin announced on Friday that Slovenian President Borut Pahor has offered capital city Ljubliana as a meeting place for initial talks between President Trump and Putin. Putin has come out in support of the possibility, hoping to fully restore relations between Russia and the US. American sources have not yet responded to the proposition. Not only is Slovenia the birthplace of First Lady Melania Trump, but they also hosted Putin's first meeting with President Bush in 2001 where Bush famously remarked that Putin's eyes gave him a "sense of his soul."

Source: Reuters

Earthquake in the Philippines injured over 100
SURIGAO CITY — On Friday night, around 10 p.m., a 6.5 magnitude earthquake struck off the coast of the Philippines, killing at least eight people and injuring more than 120 in the providence of Surigao del Norte. After the initial earthquake, while buildings remained closed and citizens sought shelter in schools, the area experienced more than 100 aftershocks. The quake was caused by movement in the Philippine fault, a part of the Pacific Ring of Fire where tectonic plates meet, frequently setting off volcanoes, earthquakes, and tsunamis.

Source: ABC

North Korea "test-fires" their missiles in Sea of Japan
WASHINGTON — Early Sunday morning, North Korea "test-fired" a missile into the Sea of Japan, its first missile test since President Trump took office. According to South Korean officials, it was most likely an intermediate-range Musudan-class missile, not an Intercontinental Ballistic Missile. Officials from the White House have said that the U.S. will not escalate tensions. Instead, the administration is committed to strengthening alliances with surrounding nations. This show of force comes just days after President Trump confirmed his commitment to the 'One China' Policy and held a summit with Japanese President Shinzo Abe.

Source: Reuters