Xinhua world news summary at 0900 GMT, Jan. 4

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JAKARTA -- The death toll from a landslide triggered by heavy rain in Indonesia's West Java province earlier has risen to at least 18, while 15 others remain missing, disaster agency official said on Friday.

The natural disaster devastated the Sinaresmi village of Sukabumi district on Monday leaving three villagers seriously injured, spokesman of national disaster management agency Sutopo Purwo Nugroho said.

As many as 29 houses were buried by soils sliding from a hill when heavy downpours hit the village. (Indonesia-Landslide)

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WASHINGTON -- The U.S. House of Representatives passed a spending package late Thursday that would end the partial government shutdown, amid a veto threat from the White House.

The Democrats who control the House passed the bills that would fund the departments of State, Commerce, Agriculture, Labor, Treasury and other agencies through Sept. 30, the end of the current fiscal year.

However, the bills appear to be dead on arrival at Senate amid a veto threat from the White House as they do not provide funding for the construction of President Donald Trump's long-promised wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. (US-Trump-Government Shutdown)

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KABUL -- The U.S. army chief of staff paid an unannounced visit to Afghan capital Kabul and held a meeting with President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani on Thursday, said a statement of the Presidential Palace received Friday.

"General Mark A. Milley at the head of ranking delegation visited Kabul and met President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani in Presidential Palace on Thursday evening," said the statement.

"Matters pertaining mutual interests including the U.S. strategy on Afghanistan and South Asia, Afghan peace process under the leadership of Afghans and the Afghan government plans for achieving self-sufficiency came under discussion," the statement added. (Afghanistan-US-Visit)

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WASHINGTON -- U.S. National Security Adviser John Bolton said on Thursday that he will visit Israel and Turkey to discuss issues including withdrawing the U.S. troops from Syria and combatting the Islamic State (IS).

"Leaving tomorrow for Israel & Turkey to discuss the withdrawal of U.S. forces from Syria," said Trump's top security aid in a tweet. Currently, there are more than 2,000 U.S. soldiers deployed in Syria.

Bolton also revealed that he will talk with officials in the two countries about supporting "those who fought with us against ISIS". U.S. Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Joseph Dunford and Special Representative for Syria Engagement James Jeffrey will join Bolton for the meetings in Turkey, said the security adviser in another tweet.(US-Syria-Troop Withdrawal) Enditem

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