Monday, October 24, 2016

World News Briefs -- October 24, 2016

A Kurdish Peshmerga fighter aims to fire during a battle with Islamic State militants at Topzawa village, near Bashiqa, near Mosul, Iraq October 24, 2016. REUTERS/Ahmed Jadallah

Reuters: Islamic State steps up counter-attacks as fighting edges closer to Mosul

Islamic State expanded its attacks on Monday against the army and Kurdish forces across Iraq, trying to relieve pressure on the militant group's defenses around Mosul, its last major urban stronghold in the country.

About 80 Islamic State-held villages and towns have been retaken in the first week of the offensive, bringing Iraqi and Kurdish forces closer to the edge of the city itself - where the battle will be hardest fought.

The Mosul campaign, which aims to crush the Iraqi half of Islamic State's declared caliphate in Iraq and Syria, may become the biggest battle yet in the 13 years of turmoil triggered by the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq in 2003, and could require a massive humanitarian relief operation.

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Mosul: Islamic State militants step up counter-attacks as Iraqi coalition offensive enters second week.

ISIS unleashes 'heavy resistance' outside Mosul, Pentagon reports. ISIL captures Iraq town of Rutba as Mosul battle rages.

Mosul offensive: Iraqi Kurdish forces besiege key town of Bashiqa.

Iraq denies Turkish involvement in military operation to retake Mosul.

Mosul's fate to be discussed in Paris talks.

Civilian deaths as Syrian forces hit rebel-held Idlib.

Reports: Syrian troops capture high point in city of Aleppo.

Russia rules out renewed Syrian ceasefire for the time being.

Lavrov, Kerry agree to continue consultations on Aleppo — ministry.

Hezbollah to stay in Syria until 'apostate project' defeated.


Pakistan: Gunmen storm police training centre in Quetta. Pakistan militants attack Quetta police college.

Exclusive: Philippines police plan new phase in drugs war - sources.

Kerry confident U.S. and Philippines can 'work through' Duterte confusion.

Deadly explosion hits Thailand's Pattani province.

South Korean president suggests end to presidential term limit. South Korea's President Park Geun-hye calls for two-term, longer presidencies.

India's Modi wades into political battle over Muslim divorce law.

China starts key four-day meeting to set tone for rest of President Xi's tenure.

One million' Chinese officials punished for corruption.

Myanmar army forces hundreds of Rohingya from homes.

US 'consternation' over Philippines' Duterte comments.


Nigeria to meet Niger Delta leaders, militants on October 31.

Some 2,200 migrants rescued in Mediterranean, 16 bodies recovered.

Central African Republic: Four dead in UN Bangui shooting.

EU to continue Libyan coast guard training after attack on migrants.

ICC oversight chief calls on South Africa, Burundi to remain.

After rail crash, Cameroonians vent grief, frustration with longtime ruler.

South Africa: ANC chief whip urges Jacob Zuma to quit.

Somali pirates free hostages after five years.


Germany says 35 Turkish diplomats applied for asylum.

Calais migrants: Hundreds moved from 'Jungle' camp. Calais 'Jungle': Thousands of migrants leave as France begins clearing camp. France moving more than 6,000 migrants from makeshift camp.

Asylum seekers burn EU offices in Greek migrant camp (VIDEO, PHOTOS). Greece migrant protest wrecks EU Lesbos offices.

Austrian party head calls Germany's Merkel 'dangerous woman'.

Pirates lead in polls, prepare to govern Iceland.

Russian ministry website hacks part of a new kind of war.

At odds over Brexit, UK nations hold 'frustrating' talks on common stance.

Plane crash in Malta kills 5 in surveillance operation.


Clinton slams Trump for comments on offensive against Islamic State.

Trump rejects 'phony' polls, insists 'we are winning'.

A look at the fight for control of the US Senate.

Obama administration confirms double-digit premium hikes.

Venezuela political foes to hold talks as crisis deepens.

Brazil's police seek corruption charges against ex-finance minister.

Haiti jailbreak: At least 150 inmates still on the run.


The ISIS chemical weapons arsenal is weak but instills fear.

US airstrikes kill 8 al Qaeda operatives in central Yemen.

Pentagon wxpects Mosul push to unlock trove of ISIS intelligence.

Guantanamo: Former inmate Jihad Diyab 'to leave' Uruguay.


US to examine AT&T deal to buy Time Warner.

EU, Canada still hope to sign trade deal after Belgian 'Non'. EU, Canada express confidence on CETA trade deal.

Elon Musk reveals SpaceX Mars plan including crewed mission in Reddit AMA.

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