The US Republican Senator Jeff Sessions has appeared before a congressionalcommittee to defend his nomination for the post of Attorney General in Donald Trump’s new administration. He rejected allegations of racial animosity and said he accepted that same sex marriage and the right to abortion were the law of the land. Mr. Sessions also said if confirmed as Attorney General he would excuse himself from investigations into Hilary Clinton’s use of a private email server while she was Secretary of State.
The outgoing director of national intelligence James Clapper says the US intelligence report concluding that the Kremlin used computer hacking to influence the November election was based on a mix of human sources,collection of technical data, and open source information.
Dozens of people have been killed in a succession of militant attacks in Afghanistan. The Taliban said it was responsible for the twin bombattack on an intelligence agency vehicle in the center of Kabul. The car wasresponding to a blast minutes earlier. There’s also been an explosion in the compound of the governor of the southern province of Kandahar. Up to 12 people were killed in that incident. The governor is in a critical condition.
The Gambia’s Information Minister says it would be unconstitutional to swear in Adama Barrow as President until a legal challenge is resolved. Mr. Barrow was announced the winner of last month’s election, but the incumbent Yahya Jammeh is challenging the result. Meanwhile a planned visitby a delegation from the regional bloc ECOWAS has unexpectedly been postponed until Friday.
The new UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres has called for a fresh approach to conflict prevention. In his first address to the Security Council, he said some council members had failed to stop wars breaking out even when there was evidence of a gathering storm. He said he would use his office to change that.
And the Colombian government says most FARC rebels are now within 10 kilometers of the concentration zones where they will lay down theirarms in accordance with the peace accord signed in November. That’s the latest BBC news.