Twenty-five Pakistani soldiers were martyred while 27 terrorists were killed in three separate incidents in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa's Dera Ismail Khan, the military's media affairs wing said on Tuesday (Dec. 12). While all three incidents took place within hours of each other, the deadliest was an attack on a security forces' check post which claimed the lives of 23 soldiers. Tehreek-i-Jihad Pakistan (TJP), a new group affiliated with the Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), claimed responsibility for the attack on the checkpost.

The TJP spokesman in his claim said four bombers, belonging to Lakki, Dera Ismail Khan, Swat and Mardan districts, took part in the attack. Pakistan has recently been claiming the involvement of Afghans in terrorist attacks but the statement by the TJP appears to suggest otherwise. Meanwhile, the military said 17 terrorists were killed in a separate intelligence-based operation in the Darazinda area of Dera Ismail Khan, while two soldiers and four more terrorists were killed in another intelligence-based operation in the Kulachi area.

The US House of Representatives voted to formalise its impeachment inquiry into President Joe Biden. Lawmakers voted along party lines to back a resolution that Republicans say will give them more power to gather evidence and enforce legal demands. Three Republican-led House committees allege bribery and corruption during Biden's tenure as vice-president. But they have yet to present evidence of wrongdoing, and Biden says his opponents are "attacking me with lies".

The lower chamber of Congress, which Republicans control by a slim eight-seat margin, approved the inquiry by a vote of 221 to 212. Voting to authorise an inquiry is not the same as voting for impeachment, but it advances the likelihood that the House will eventually seek to impeach Biden. In a statement, House Speaker Mike Johnson said the chamber "will not prejudge the investigation's outcome" but "the evidentiary record is impossible to ignore". Even if the House ultimately opts to impeach the president, the Democrat-controlled Senate is all but certain to acquit him.

Four cabinet ministers in Japan quit over a fundraising scandal involving the ruling party's most powerful faction. More than 500m yen (£2.8m; $3.4m) is alleged to have ended up in slush funds over a five-year period through 2022. Tokyo prosecutors have also launched a corruption probe, Nikkei reported. It is the latest blow to Japan Prime Minister Fumio Kishida's increasingly unpopular government, whose approval ratings have plunged.

Public support for the ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), which has been in power almost continuously since 1955, fell below 30% for the first time since 2012, an NHK survey showed. Voters have been angered by inflation, as well as Kishida's handling of earlier scandals. The faction allegedly failed to report hundreds of millions of yen in fundraising income.

Argentina announced a sharp devaluation of its currency and cuts to energy and transportation subsidies as part of shock measures new President Javier Milei says are needed to deal with an economic emergency. Economy Minister Luis Caputo said in a televised message the Argentine peso will be devalued by 50% to 800 to the U.S. dollar from 400 pesos to the dollar.

"For a few months, we're going to be worse than before," Caputo said, two days after the libertarian Milei was sworn in as president of the second largest economy in South America and immediately warned of tough measures. Argentina is suffering 143% annual inflation, its currency has plunged and four in 10 Argentines are impoverished. The nation has also a yawning fiscal deficit, a trade deficit of $43 billion, plus a daunting $45 billion debt to the International Monetary Fund, with $10.6 billion due to the multilateral and private creditors by April.

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