News Briefs 11/23/15

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France makes first strikes from aircraft carrier

Claude Paris
French sailors walk by a Super-Etendard jetfighter on the deck of France’s nuclear-powered aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle before to leave its home port of Toulon, southern France, Wednesday, Nov.18, 2015. France has decided to deploy its aircraft carrier in the eastern Mediterranean sea for fighting Islamic State group.(AP Photo/Claude Paris)

The French Defense Ministry says it has launched its first airstrikes from the aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle, bombing Islamic State targets in the Iraqi cities of Ramadi and Mosul.

The ministry said that four Rafal fighter jets were sent from the carrier on Monday afternoon, with two each flying over each city.

President Francois Hollande said on Monday that “we’re going to choose sites that do the most damage possible.”

France has already carried out strikes against Islamic State targets in Syria.

 

Brussels on high alert as police hunt Paris attack fugitive

Virginia Mayo
Belgian Army soldiers patrols in the center of Brussels on Monday, Nov. 23, 2015. The Belgian capital Brussels has entered its third day of lockdown, with schools and underground transport shut and more than 1,000 security personnel deployed across the country. (AP Photo/Virginia Mayo)

Belgian police launched new raids in the capital and beyond early Monday in their hunt for a fugitive suspect in the Paris attacks, as Brussels entered a work week grappling with a third day of unprecedented security measures that have closed subways, shopping districts and now schools.

In Paris, British Prime Minister David Cameron said he will ask for parliamentary approval for the U.K. to join airstrikes against Islamic State extremists in Syria.

The raids in Belgium began late Sunday, capping a tense weekend that saw hundreds of troops patrolling streets and authorities hunting for one or more suspected extremists, including Salah Abdeslam, a fugitive since being named a suspect in the Paris attacks that killed 130 and wounded hundreds of others on Nov. 13. Between Sunday night and midday Monday, 21 people were detained.

 

Russia’s Putin in Iran for talks set to focus on Syria

Russian President Vladimir Putin, left, shakes hands with his Iranian counterpart Hassan Rouhani at the Gas Exporting Countries Forum, GECF, summit meeting in Tehran, Iran, Monday, Nov. 23, 2015. (AP Photo/Ebrahim Noroozi)
Russian President Vladimir Putin, left, shakes hands with his Iranian counterpart Hassan Rouhani at the Gas Exporting Countries Forum, GECF, summit meeting in Tehran, Iran, Monday, Nov. 23, 2015. (AP Photo/Ebrahim Noroozi)

Russia’s President Vladimir Putin was in Tehran on Monday for talks with Iranian leaders expected to focus on the Syrian crisis and an international peace plan intended to end the conflict.

The visit comes as Russia, the United States, France and others are talking about possible joint action against the Islamic State group following the terror attacks in Paris and the downing of a Russian passenger jet in Egypt. Putin’s trip also comes on the heels of agreement on an incomplete peace plan that calls for talks between Syrian President Bashar Assad and his foes.

Moscow and Tehran have been the key backers of Assad throughout his nation’s civil war, which has killed over 250,000 people and turned millions into refugees.

 

Police investigate New Orleans shooting that left 16 wounded

Officials remove a man from the scene following a shooting in New Orleans' 9th Ward on Sunday, Nov. 22, 2015. Police spokesman Tyler Gamble says police were on their way to break up a big crowd when gunfire erupted at Bunny Friend Park. (Michael DeMocker/NOLA.com The Times-Picayune via AP) MAGS OUT; NO SALES; USA TODAY OUT; THE BATON ROUGE ADVOCATE OUT; THE NEW ORLEANS ADVOCATE OUT; MANDATORY CREDIT
Officials remove a man from the scene following a shooting in New Orleans’ 9th Ward on Sunday, Nov. 22, 2015. Police spokesman Tyler Gamble says police were on their way to break up a big crowd when gunfire erupted at Bunny Friend Park. (Michael DeMocker/NOLA.com The Times-Picayune via AP)

Police have been trying to figure out what sparked a gun battle in a crowded New Orleans park that left 16 people wounded and the mayor is calling on witnesses to come forward.

Hundreds of people were gathered at a playground for a block party and music video shoot when two groups in the crowd opened fire on each other Sunday evening, police said.

“At the end of the day, it’s really hard to police against a bunch of guys who decide to pull out guns and settle their disputes with 300 people in between them. That’s just not something you can tolerate in the city,” New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu said.

 

‘Kirchner era’ ends with opposition win in Argentina

Ricardo Mazalan
Argentina’s President elect Mauricio Macri waves to journalists after a press conference in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Monday, Nov. 23, 2015. Macri won Argentina’s runoff election against ruling party candidate Daniel Scioli, putting an end to the era of President Cristina Fernandez, who along with her late husband dominated the country’s politics for 12 years. (AP Photo/Ricardo Mazalan)

President-elect Mauricio Macri’s promises to revitalize Argentina’s sagging economy with free-market reforms and improve strained relations with the United States resonated with voters, carrying him to a historic win that ended 12 years of often-conflictive rule by President Cristina Fernandez and her late husband.

But when the business-friendly opposition candidate takes office Dec. 10, he will inherit a country with around 30 percent inflation, near-zero economic growth and entrenched government social spending that private economists warn is not sustainable. He also lacks majorities in either chamber of Congress to pass his deep reforms.

“Macri will begin his mandate in a difficult political position,” wrote Daniel Kerner from the Eurasia Group, a political risk consultancy. “He will have to make difficult economic adjustments and face serious political constraints.”

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