World briefs


BRITAIN will begin divorce proceedings from the European Union on March 29, starting the clock on two years of intense political and economic negotiations that will fundamentally change both the nation and its European neighbors. The European Commission — the bloc’s legislative arm — said it stood ready to help launch the negotiations.

THAILAND Police said yesterday that they’re looking for more weapons believed to be part of a plot to assassinate the prime minister, after police discovered guns and thousands of bullets allegedly belonging to an anti-establishment leader.

NORTH KOREA Six people died when the roof of a mine in North Korea collapsed in January, the North’s state media reported yesterday, in a rare admission of a deadly accident in the secretive country.

AUSTRALIA Private cellphone numbers of most Australian federal lawmakers, their staff and several former prime ministers have been made public after a government department failed to properly remove them from a routine report.

INDIA-PAKISTAN Pakistani and Indian experts yesterday opened round-table talks in Islamabad over water disputes between the two nuclear-armed neighbors, even as tensions over competing claims to Kashmir remain high.

US-RUSSIA FBI Director James Comey confirmed yesterday that the bureau is investigating possible links and coordination between Russia and associates of President Donald Trump as part of a broader probe of Russian interference in last year’s presidential election. The extraordinary revelation came at the outset of Comey’s opening statement in a congressional hearing examining Russian meddling and possible connections between Moscow and Trump’s campaign.

ISRAEL A senior Israeli air force official said a joint U.S.-Israeli missile interceptor will be operational soon, completing the country’s multi-layer defense system. He said yesterday that David’s Sling, meant to counter medium-range missiles possessed by Iranian-backed Hezbollah militants in Lebanon, will be operational in early April.

US-ROMANIA U.S. Marines and Romanian troops are taking part in joint exercises on the Black Sea coast to simulate the defense of coastline and urban areas. In one maneuver yesterday, they launched a Stinger missile at a surface-to-air firing range.

EU-TURKEY The European Union is praising its migrant agreement with Turkey, one year after the deal officially entered force. A European Commission spokesman said yesterday that “the EU-Turkey statement was a game changer which allowed us to break the cruel business model of smugglers exploiting human misery and putting people’s lives in danger.”

MEXICO An attacker has shot a journalist to death in the Mexican state of Veracruz, adding to the toll in a region plagued by drug gang violence and allegations of government corruption.

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