WASHINGTON (AP) -- President Barack Obama and dozens of African leaders opened talks Wednesday on two key issues that threaten to disrupt economic progress on the continent: security and government corruption.<br />
The discussions capped an unprecedented three-day gathering of African leaders in Washington. Much of the conference has centered on boosting U.S. financial ties with Africa, a continent that is home to six of the world's 10 fastest-growing economies and a rapidly expanding middle class.<br />
As he has throughout the summit, Obama sought to highlight Africa's potential, particularly as an untapped trading partner for U.S. businesses. During remarks at the State Department, he said that even though the continent faces significant challenges, "a new Africa is emerging."<br />
Yet White House officials acknowledge that security issues and governance challenges continue to constrain Africa's overall prosperity. There are particular concerns about Boko Haram, a violent Islamist group in Nigeria that was responsible for the kidnapping of more than 200 schoolgirls earlier this year.<br />
Obama said the security discussions would center on ways to enable African governments to boost their own peacekeeping and counterterrorism capabilities while moving away from the need for costly outside intervention.<br />
Leaders were also expected to discuss good governance and transparency, with U.S. officials arguing to their African counterparts that both are necessary conditions for economic growth.<br />
The president acknowledged the ongoing Ebola crisis that is gripping three African nations, saying the affected countries have overcome great challenges in the past and are "drawing on that same spirit" now. The leaders of Liberia and Sierra Leone canceled plans to travel to Washington in order to deal with the crisis, while the president of Guinea is attending the talks.
A blustery winter storm dumped snow and ice across the West on Wednesday, making driving treacherous in the mountains from California to the Rockies and forcing residents and party-goers in some usually sun-soaked cities to bundle up for a frosty New Year's.
House Republican leaders rallied around one of their own, Whip Steve Scalise, on Tuesday after he said he regrets speaking 12 years ago to a white supremacist organization and condemns the views of such groups.
President Vladimir Putin's chief political foe was convicted along with his brother on Tuesday in a fraud case widely seen as a vendetta by the Kremlin, triggering one of Russia's boldest anti-government demonstrations in years.
A weeklong search for a Missouri couple wanted in a series of robberies and abductions across the South ended with one suspect dead and the other wounded Friday, after authorities say they chased the pair across the highway and through a rural neighborhood and exchanged gunfire with them in Florida's Panhandle.
Cheap oil will be sticking around for a while.That reality is wreaking havoc and causing uncertainty for some governments and businesses, while creating financial windfalls for others. Less expensive...
Texas Sen. Ted Cruz swept to victory in Iowa's Republican caucuses Monday, overcoming billionaire Donald Trump and Florida Sen. Marco Rubio. Among Democrats, Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders were deadlocked in a tight race.
On the eve of the first contest on the 2016 presidential election calendar, some voters are pushing for bolder, more uncompromising action, with an intensity that has shaken both the Republican and Democratic establishments.