By Patricia Zengerle and Arshad Mohammed WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Donald Trump's pick for U.N. ambassador echoed his condemnation of the world body and pledged to push for reforms at her confirmation hearing on Wednesday, but broke from the president-elect on some foreign policy issues, including Russia. Nikki Haley, a rising star in the Republican Party, was questioned by some members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee about her lack of diplomatic experience. Haley, who turns 45 on Friday when Trump takes office, has been governor of South Carolina since 2011.
Nigeria sent troops and fighter jets to Senegal in a show of military force Wednesday aimed at persuading Gambian President Yahya Jammeh to finally surrender power after an election defeat. Jammeh's mandate was due to end at midnight in Banjul but in recent weeks has steadfastly refused to leave office, prompting west African states to up the pressure on him after weeks of failed diplomacy. Jammeh lost the poll to outsider Adama Barrow, who is currently sheltering in Senegal.
Key rebel group Ahrar al-Sham said on Wednesday it will not take part in peace talks in the Kazakh capital next week aimed at ending Syria's nearly six-year-old war. The announcement came as Russia and Turkey -- which along with Iran organised the talks starting in Astana on Monday -- carried out their first joint air strikes against the Islamic State jihadist group in the war-torn country. Ahrar al-Sham, which counts thousands of fighters in central and northern Syria, said it would not attend the Astana talks due to "the lack of implementation of the ceasefire" in force since December 30 and ongoing Russian air strikes over Syria.