Freed from a Venezuela jail, US couple arrive back home An American couple who spent nearly two years in a Venezuelan jail received a heroes' welcome at the White House as they returned home Saturday after Caracas freed them in a bid to spur dialogue with Washington. "Very glad that Josh Holt is now back home with his family where he has always belonged. Sanctions continue until democracy returns to Venezuela," Vice President Mike Pence wrote on Twitter.
China, Burkina Faso establish ties following Taiwan snub China and Burkina Faso signed an agreement to establish diplomatic relations on Saturday, days after the west African nation cut ties with Taiwan in yet another victory for Beijing in its campaign to isolate the island. A communique on establishing relations was signed in Beijing by Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi and his counterpart Alpha Barry. Burkina Faso broke off ties with Taiwan on Thursday, becoming the second country to do so within a month and leaving the democratically ruled island with only 18 diplomatic allies around the world.
Dutch, Australia name Russia as behind MH17 downing The Netherlands and Australia on Friday took the first step towards dragging Russia to court over the shooting down of flight MH17, accusing Moscow of being responsible for the disaster over war-torn eastern Ukraine in 2014. The move won swift support from international allies, a day after investigators concluded that the Russian-made BUK missile which tore apart the Boeing 777 passenger plane in mid-air on July 17, 2014 came from a Russian military brigade based in southwestern Kursk. "There is but one conclusion to be made from yesterday's presentation, namely that Russia is thoroughly responsible for the deployment of this BUK system," Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte told reporters.
Chinese fighter jets complete night landings on carrier, live-fire drills Chinese fighter pilots have carried out night landings on the country's first aircraft carrier, the official China Daily reported on Saturday, the latest demonstration of military muscle as Beijing's pushes to modernize its armed forces. Pilots flying J-15 jets landed at night on the Liaoning, the official paper said, citing a video posted by China's navy. China has ambitious plans to overhaul its armed forces as it ramps up its presence in the disputed South China Sea and around self-ruled Taiwan, an island China considers its own.