Closed Gaza crossing set to reopen Monday

JERUSALEM — Israel’s defense minister has announced he will reopen the country’s main personnel crossing with the Gaza Strip following a week of relative calm along the border.

Avigdor Lieberman said Sunday that after consultation with the country’s security agencies, he ordered the opening of the Erez border crossing on Monday.

The decision to reopen the crossing comes amid efforts by Egypt to mediate a possible ceasefire between Gaza’s Hamas rulers and Israel following weeks of intense violence at the border.

The sides have come close to serious conflict in recent weeks, as militants have fired rockets at Israel, which responded with airstrikes.


President to meet with Trump, discuss trade

NAIROBI — Kenya’s president will meet with President Trump on Monday as East Africa’s commercial hub emerges from months of electoral turmoil.

President Uhuru Kenyatta is the second African leader to meet with Trump at the White House. Nigeria’s president visited earlier this year.

Kenyatta’s office says he and Trump will focus on trade and regional security. Kenya is the third highest recipient of U.S. security aid in sub-Saharan Africa, according to the Security Assistance Monitor.

Both Kenya and the U.S. have troops in Somalia, and the al-Qaida-linked al-Shabab extremist group has crossed the border to carry out dozens of attacks inside Kenya, calling it retribution for sending troops.

The Kenyan president during his Washington visit also is meeting with U.S. business leaders to promote investment.

The meeting with Trump will help Kenyatta’s image after a crisis in which the Supreme Court overturned the August presidential election.


Weekend quakes kill

at least 2, injure 310

TEHRAN — Four earthquakes, including one at magnitude 6, shook temblor-prone western Iran on Sunday, killing at least two people and injuring 310, state media reported.

The earthquakes in Iran’s Kermanshah province come as some still remain homeless after a major 7.3 magnitude earthquake in November struck the same region, killing over 530 people.

On Sunday, the quakes began after 2:30 a.m. with the magnitude 6 striking near the city of Javanrud, some 285 miles west of the capital, Tehran. There were then three apparent aftershocks until sunrise, all at least magnitude 4.

State television aired images of bricks and masonry that smashed a sedan, shattered glass filling a stairwell and cracks in walls. It said every city in Kermanshah province felt the initial temblor.

At least two people were killed, according to state television, including a pregnant woman and a 70-year-old man.


After killing, ride-hail company takes action

BEIJING — Chinese ride-hailing giant Didi Chuxing has fired two executives and will suspend one of its carpooling services nationwide starting Monday after a woman was raped and killed allegedly by a driver in eastern China, the company said Sunday.

The moves come as the country’s largest online ride-hailing platform scrambles to address public complaints that it isn’t doing enough to ensure the safety of its users who it says book 30 million rides daily.

Police in the city of Yueqing in Zhejiang province said they arrested a Didi driver who admitted raping and killing the 20-year-old woman on Friday.

The victim had used the carpooling service and after getting into a car sent a text message to her friends calling for help, police said.

The Associated Press