Washington braces for massive protests as Trump becomes U.S. president

A supporter of U.S. President-elect Donald Trump carries a flag bearing Trump's likeness into a march of protesters against Trump along the inaugural parade route outside the Trump International Hotel on Pennsylvania Avenue in WashingtonBy Ian Simpson and Scott Malone WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Tens of thousands of law enforcement officers and miles of barriers were in place in Washington on Friday, as officials braced for hundreds of thousands of people planning to celebrate or protest Donald Trump's inauguration as president of the United States. About 900,000 people were expected to pack central Washington, including the grassy National Mall facing the Capitol, where the New York businessman and former reality TV star will be sworn in, and the parade route along Pennsylvania Avenue to the White House.



Thirty people still missing at Italian hotel buried by massive avalanche

Firefighters work at Hotel Rigopiano in FarindolaRescuers dug all night in deep snow and debris in search of some 30 missing people who were staying in a luxury mountain hotel in Italy when an avalanche struck almost two days ago. Officials have confirmed finding two bodies, while Italian media said two more were located overnight. The only survivors so far are two men who were outside the hotel when the avalanche hit.



Gambia leader Jammeh faces noon deadline to hand over power

Gambian President Yahya Jammeh has been told to stand down after 22 years in powerLong-ruling Gambian leader Yahya Jammeh, who lost elections last month, has until midday Friday to hand over power and agree to leave the country or face military action, regional bloc ECOWAS has said. West African troops entered The Gambia on Thursday to bolster its new President Adama Barrow but the military operation was suspended a few hours later, in favour of a final diplomatic effort to convince Jammeh -- who has refused to quit -- to exit the country. "We have suspended operations and given him an ultimatum," said Marcel Alain de Souza, head of the 15-nation Economic Community of West African States.



Chinese growth slows in 2016 with outlook uncertain

After a tumultuous start to 2016, China's leaders managed to steer the world's number two economy with further stimulus to hit their annual target and even record the first quarterly pick-up in two yearsChinese growth hit its weakest rate for more than a quarter-century last year but while Friday's data pointed to stability in the world's number two economy, Beijing faces an uncertain outlook that could see a trade stand-off with Donald Trump. Tighter real-estate policies will turn the sector from a growth driver in 2016 to a drag in 2017, spurring more infrastructure investment to fill the void, Zhao Yang of Nomura said in a note.



Sweden crosses 10-million population threshold

COPENHAGEN, Denmark (AP) — Swedish authorities say the Scandinavian country on Friday has statistically crossed the 10-million population threshold, saying mainly migration and more birth than deaths contribute to the population growth.


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