Thursday, October 20, 2016

World News Briefs -- October 20, 2016

Reuters: Mosul offensive going faster than planned, Iraqi PM says

The offensive to seize back Mosul from Islamic State is going faster than planned, Iraq's prime minister said on Thursday, as Iraqi and Kurdish forces launched a new military operation to clear villages on the city's outskirts.

Howitzer and mortar fire started at dawn, hitting a group of villages held by Islamic State about 10-20 km (6-12 miles) from Mosul, while helicopters flew overhead, according to Reuters reporters at two frontline locations north and east of Mosul.

To the sound of machine gun fire and explosions, dozens of black Humvees of the elite Counter Terrorism Service (CTS), mounted with machine guns, headed toward Bartella, an abandoned Christian village just east of Mosul.

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Iraqi PM upbeat on Mosul offensive.

Mosul: Islamic State is 'a brutal opponent', says US general.

Mosul: Iraqi special forces 'already inside' battleground city held by Islamic State. Iraqi special forces join Mosul offensive against IS.

Tunnelling under an ISIL commander's house.

Syria conflict: Russia extends Aleppo ceasefire by 24 hours. Putin extends Aleppo humanitarian pause by 24 hours — minister.

Turkish air strikes pound US-backed Kurdish militia in Syria. Turkey: Army kills up to 200 YPG fighters in Aleppo. Turkey escalates campaign against Syrian Kurds.

Yemen conflict: Fragile ceasefire holds despite small clashes.

Iran's supreme leader slams US election.

Israeli troops kill Palestinian suspected of throwing rocks at them: army.


Duterte announces cutting of economic, military ties with U.S.. South China Sea: Rodrigo Duterte says 'US has lost' during Beijing visit, aligns Philippines with China.

China and Philippines agree to put territorial disputes aside.

North Korea carries out second failed missile launch - South.

US pledges to do all it can to fight 'grave threat' of nuclear North Korea.

UN 'deeply concerned' about rising child casualties in Afghanistan.

Afghan displaced crisis may be larger than expected, U.N. says.

U.N. official urges Sri Lanka to take stronger measures to protect minorities.


Boko Haram overruns Nigerian military base in northeast.

Kenya accused of 'dumping' Somali refugees ​back over the border with no support.

Arms deals with Europe, Israel fuel South Sudan war: UN.

Ethiopia 'detains 1,600' under state of emergency.

Iran 'wanted Egypt at Syria talks' as Middle Eastern alliances shift.

Nearly 850,000 people in Madagascar face 'alarming' hunger levels : U.N.

Ivory Coast police crack down on march against new constitution.

South African police disperse student protesters outside Zuma's office.


Four-way talks move ahead on Ukraine, scant progress on Syria.

Kremlin satisfied with Normandy Four meeting in Berlin. Slight optimism after Putin visit to Berlin.

Dutch PM not optimistic on deal over EU-Ukraine partnership.

Aleppo atrocities force EU leaders to confront tense Russian relationship.

UK warships shadowing Russian naval task force.

UK police launch terrorism investigation after London Tube incident.

France's Hollande under pressure over crime as police protest snowballs.


US election: Trump will accept result 'if I win'.

Trump's stance on election results deepens rifts in Republican Party.

Venezuela opposition politician Rosales granted house arrest.

Mexico seeks arrest of state governors caught in corruption rows.

Ex-leader of Brazil's lower house arrested on graft charges.

Edward Snowden blames ‘politics of fear’ for discouraging Canadian PM Justin Trudeau from repealing anti-terror law.


Terrorism is top fear for countries worldwide.

Treasury, Saudi Arabia team up to target Hezbollah financiers. U.S. government sanctions Hezbollah operatives, fundraisers.

Jakarta attacks: IS bombmaker smiles after 10-year sentence.


Apple complains Amazon's US site is selling fake products.

China is the big winner as Clinton, Trump disavow hard-fought Asia-Pacific trade deal.

World wine output expected to hit four-year low.

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