In brief: U.S. recognizes Somali government
Washington – The United States has recognized Somalia’s government for the first time in more than two decades.
Calling it a milestone in the country’s fight against Islamist extremists, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton made the announcement Thursday alongside Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud.
The U.S. hadn’t recognized a Somali government since warlords toppled dictator Mohamed Siad Barre in 1991. American intervention failed two years later after militants shot down two U.S. helicopters and killed 18 American servicemen.
Clinton said times have changed, citing the militant group al-Shabab’s retreat from every major Somali city. The U.S. provided $780 million to African forces to help that effort.
China’s economic recovery tenuous
Beijing – China’s economy rebounded in the final quarter of 2012, but optimism was tempered by warnings the shaky recovery could be vulnerable to a possible downturn in global trade.
Economic growth rose to 7.9 percent in the three months ending in December as a recovery from China’s deepest slowdown since the 2008 global crisis took hold, data showed today. That was up from the previous quarter’s 7.4 percent rate and raised total growth for the year to 7.8 percent – China’s weakest annual performance since the 1990s.
Forecasters expect China’s growth to rise to 8 percent or above in 2013 but say the recovery still could be vulnerable to a downturn in trade or if the communist government fails to keep investment rising.