Today’s top world news from The Washington Post:
EXCLUSIVE: Military trial in U.S. being considered for Russian detained in Afghanistan—The Obama administration is actively considering the use of a military commission in the United States to try a Russian who was captured fighting with the Taliban several years ago and has been held by the U.S. military at a detention facility near Bagram air base in Afghanistan, former and current U.S. officials said, report Adam Goldman and Karen DeYoung.
-Russia gives Ukraine a financial lift—Russian President Vladimir Putin gave Ukraine’s hard-pressed government a strong financial assist in the form of a $15 billion loan and a sharp cut in the price of natural gas Tuesday, preempting European Union leaders, report Will Englund.
-Giza Zoo in Cairo is beset by poverty, tear gas and suspicious animal deaths—The giraffe committed suicide, an Egyptian newspaper reported. And the government pulled a former zoo director out of retirement to deal with the resulting media storm. The deceased animal in question was a 3-year-old giraffe named Roqa, who, Sedki said, inadvertently hung herself in early December after getting tangled in a wire inside her enclosure, reports Abigail Hauslohner.
-In visit to Philippines, Kerry vows U.S. help for ‘however long it takes’—At the typhoon-hit airport where Secretary of State John F. Kerry landed Wednesday, workers were pinning sheet metal to the punctured roof and vendors were hawking sodas and fried banana chips. But beyond the airstrip, white refugee tents formed grids in the mud and children scavenged through piles of trash, reports Chico Harlan.
-Obamas, Biden to skip the Winter Olympics in Russia—The White House announced Tuesday that President Obama, Vice President Biden and the first lady will not attend the Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, in February, a pointed snub by an administration that is feuding with Russian leaders on a range of foreign policy and human rights issues, reports David Nakamura.
-Obama, to sell trade pacts, will outline the benefits of globalization—After months of international negotiations over two new trade treaties, the Obama administration is planning a major push to make the case that the agreements will put Americans to work at a decent wage and not further winnow the country’s manufacturing base. European and U.S. negotiators are in Washington this week to continue work on an agreement that would mesh the world’s two largest economies more closely together, reports Howard Schneider.