First lady starts 3-nation trip
First lady Michelle Obama visited a leadership camp for girls in Liberia to launch her latest Africa visit Monday, urging the teens in one of the world’s poorest countries to keep fighting to stay in school. With her own teenage daughters joining her, Obama told the girls she was “just so thrilled to be here with you.” Education for girls is the central theme of the first lady’s trip, which also includes stops in Morocco and Spain. In connection with the first lady’s visit, USAID announced up to $27 million in funding in Liberia programming for Let Girls Learn, an initiative launched by Mrs. Obama and President Barack Obama last year. The first lady is traveling with her mother and daughters Malia, 17, and Sasha, 15.
Deal is reached with Turkey
Israel and Turkey struck a broad reconciliation pact Monday that will restore full diplomatic relations after six years of animosity between the once-close Mideast powers. The deal gave a welcome boost to the leaders of the two countries, both of whom have seen their international standing deteriorate in recent months. But differences remain over a root cause of the rift — Israel’s blockade of the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip — and there’s no indication the two countries will restore their once strong security ties.
Turkish president apologizes
Turkey’s president has apologized for the downing of a Russian military jet at the Syrian border, the Kremlin said Monday, an unexpected move that could open the way for easing a bitter strain in Russia-Turkey ties. Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s letter to Russian President Vladimir Putin comes seven months after the incident, which has triggered a slew of Russian sanctions that have dealt a severe blow to the Turkish economy.
Dozens killed in bombings
An Islamic State affiliate carried out a series of attacks in Yemen’s southern port city of Mukalla on Monday, killing at least 43 people and wounding several others, officials said. The attacks came as the government and Shiite Houthi rebels planned to suspend talks on ending Yemen’s larger conflict after failing to reach a breakthrough in two months of negotiations held in Kuwait. The officials said two suicide bombers and other militants carried out at least seven simultaneous attacks in Mukalla targeting intelligence offices, army barracks and checkpoints.
Compiled from wire reports