Today 22 December
By Carl Odera JUBA (Reuters) - A U.S. aircraft came under fire from unidentified forces on Saturday while trying to evacuate Americans from a spiraling conflict in South Sudan. The U.S. military said four of its members were wounded in the attacks. Nearly a week of fighting in South Sudan threatens to drag the world's newest country into a Dinka-Nuer ethnic civil war just two years after it won independence from Sudan with strong support from successive U.S. administrations. Consequently, U.S. President Barack Obama warned that any move to take power by military means would lead to an end of U.S. and international community support for South Sudan.
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NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) — Gunfire hit three U.S. military aircraft trying to evacuate American citizens in a remote region of South Sudan that on Saturday became a battle ground between the country's military and renegade troops, officials said. Four U.S. service members were wounded in the attack in the same region where gunfire downed a U.N. helicopter the day before.
A Mozambican Airlines captain had a "clear intention" to crash an airplane that went down in Namibia killing 33 at the end of November, according to a preliminary investigation reported Saturday. Flight recorders showed flight TM470 went down on November 29 while Captain Herminio dos Santos Fernandes manipulated the Embraer 190's autopilot in a way which "denotes a clear intention" to bring the plane down, said Mozambican Civil Aviation Institute (IACM) head Joao Abreu. It was flying from the Mozambican capital Maputo to Luanda in Angola. Abreu told a news conference that Dos Santos Fernandes locked himself inside the cockpit, ignored warning signals and did not allow his co-pilot back in moments before the Embraer 190 hit the ground.
President Raul Castro warned Saturday his country could remain estranged from the United States for decades if Washington does not drop political demands. "If we really want to make progress in bilateral relations, we have to learn to respect each other's differences and get used to living peacefully with them. Castro, 82, recently made world headlines for simply sharing a handshake with US President Barack Obama at the funeral of South Africa's iconic anti-apartheid hero Nelson Mandela. The United States and Cuba do not have full bilateral relations.