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Head of Islamic State in Sahara killed, France says

France's president announced the death of Islamic State in the Greater Sahara's leader late Wednesday, calling Abu al-Walid al-Sahrawi's killing 'a major success' for the French military after more than eight years fighting extremists in the Sahel.

French President Emmanuel Macron delivers a speech at the Cité de l'architecture et du patrimoine, or architecture museum, Sept. 7, 2021, in Paris. (AP Photo/Francois Mori, Pool)

U.S. general defends calls to Chinese as effort to avoid conflict

The top U.S. military officer on Wednesday defended the phone calls he made to his Chinese counterpart in the turbulent final months of Donald Trump's presidency, saying the conversations were intended to convey 'reassurance' to the Chinese military and were in line with his responsibilities as chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

U.S. President Donald Trump speaks about the coronavirus in the James Brady Press Briefing Room of the White House, Wednesday, April 1, 2020, in Washington, as Chairman of the Joint Chiefs Gen. Mark Milley, listens. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

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This undated electron microscope image made available by the U.S. National Institutes of Health in February 2020 shows the Novel Coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, orange, emerging from the surface of cells, green, cultured in the lab. (NIAID-RML via AP)