Monday, August 22, 2016

World News Briefs -- August 22, 2016

BBC: Rio Olympics 2016: Spectacular closing ceremony as Olympic flag goes to Tokyo

The Rio Olympics ended with a spectacular carnival-inspired closing ceremony, and the official handover to 2020 hosts Tokyo.

The colourful ceremony, lasting almost three hours, celebrated Brazil's arts and was held in a wet Maracana.

Among the highlights were Tokyo's impressive showcase and a vibrant carnival parade.

"These were a marvellous Olympics, in a marvellous city," said International Olympic Committee chief Thomas Bach.

"Over the last 16 days a united Brazil inspired the world, in difficult times for all of us, with its irresistible joy for life."

Read more ....


Kurdish militia launches assault to evict Syrian army from key city of Hasaka. Syria: YPG launches assault to take all of Hasaka. Kurdish YPG, Assad regime clash in Hasakeh.

Iran: Russia has stopped using Iran base for Syria strikes.

Iraq hangs 36 people sentenced to death for killing of troops in 2014.

Turkey vows to cleanse Islamic State from its border after wedding attack kills 54.

Israeli air strikes pound Gaza after rocket attack. Palestinian rocket strikes Israel, drawing Israeli reprisal. Israel launches up to 50 strikes on Gaza after rocket attack on Sderot.

Tens of thousands of Yemenis rally to support Houthi-led council.

Cut weapons sales to Saudi over Yemen, arms watchdog says.


Afghan forces retake Khanabad district from Taliban.

Pakistani forces kill six in new offensive near Afghan border.

‘Red line’: China warned Japan against joining US freedom of navigation stunts.

S. Korea, US start drills despite N. Korea's nuclear threat. Tensions run high in Asia as South Korea, US begin annual military drills.

Thailand bomb attacks the work of 'at least' 20 people: police.

Philippine senators investigate hundreds of drugs killings. Philippine police anti-drugs operations have killed 712 since July, Senate hears. Philippines drug war deaths climb to 1,800, president spars with U.N..

Philippines' Rodrigo Duterte threatens to leave UN. Philippines backtracks on threat to pull out of UN.

Singapore PM suffers spell during live televised speech.

India floods: Several dead and thousands rescued.


Somali bombings leave 23 dead; Al-Shabaab claims responsibility.

Libyan forces say they capture mosque, prison from Islamic State in Sirte. Anti-IS forces seize more ground in Libya's Sirte.

Nigerian militant group says agrees on ceasefire, ready for dialogue with government. Anger in the Delta keeps oil majors quiet - and Nigeria's crude offline.

Motorcycle suicide bomber kills three in north Cameroon market.

Kerry, African ministers meet on South Sudan violence.

Two French aid workers killed in Madagascar.

Angola passes laws to crack down on press and social media.

Morocco king urges diaspora to reject Islamist extremism.

Tunisian premier names government, appoints new finance minister.


'We are heading towards a European 9/11': Counter-terrorism official says terror groups are plotting 'simultaneous attacks in various countries this year'.

Germany tightens Swiss border controls: Swiss minister.

Hungarian politician slammed for proposing pig heads along border to stop refugees entering country.

Italian warship plays host as leaders discuss post-Brexit EU.

Italy to hold elections in 2018 whatever referendum outcome: Renzi.

Germany to tell people to stockpile food and water in case of attacks: FAS.

Promised prosperity never arrived in Russian-held Crimea, locals say.


Rio 2016 concludes amid fireworks and concerns.

Rio hangover as Tokyo grabs Olympic baton.

Obama will finally travel to flood-ravaged Louisiana.

More than 100,000 ask for federal help in aftermath of Louisiana floods.

Nicaragua election campaign begins with Ortega as clear favorite.

Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto 'plagiarised thesis'.

Protesters demand reforms to Chile's private pension system.


Jihadi pleads guilt at ICC's Timbuktu trial. Islamist rebel apologises for destroying Timbuktu shrines at ICC trial.

'Un-Islamic' cultural heritage in jihadists' crosshairs.

Extremist prisoners 'may be separated' from other inmates.


Federal Reserve 'close to meeting targets' for US economy.

Bin Laden raid bestseller's author to pay $7m.

Pfizer to buy Medivation in $14 billion deal.

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