Monday, February 20, 2017

World News Briefs -- February 20, 2017

Al Jazeera: Iraqi forces push into ISIL-held southern Mosul

Troops backed by jets battle their way to Mosul airport, as US defence chief arrives in Baghdad on unannounced visit.

Iraqi security forces have pushed into the southern outskirts of Mosul on the second day of a new offensive to drive ISIL fighters from the city's western half, as US Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis arrived in Baghdad on an unannounced visit.

Iraqi forces backed by jets and helicopters battled their way to Mosul airport on Monday as they prepared to take on the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant group's stronghold in the city's west bank.

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Mosul offensive: Iraqi army battles for outskirts of IS city. Iraqi troops push into IS-held southern outskirts of Mosul.

Aid groups brace for surge of displaced Mosul residents.

‘We’re not here to seize oil’: US defense secretary arrives in Baghdad on unannounced visit.

Syria conflict: Rebels warns truce may collapse after attacks.

Rockets fired into southern Israel from Egypt's Sinai.

Iran 'will not instigate hostilities' - foreign minister.

Trial begins for 44 suspected of Erdogan assassination attempt.

Global arms sales surge driven by Middle East demand.


Kim Jong-nam death: Japanese network releases purported CCTV footage of assassination.

North Korea ambassador says Kim Jong Nam died of 'natural causes'. N. Korean envoy blasts Malaysians, calls for joint probe.

South Korea accuses North Korea of Kim Jong Nam assassination.

Cambodia changes political rules in 'triumph of dictatorship', critics say. Cambodia MPs back law barring PM Hun Sen's long-time rival.

Rodrigo Duterte accused of paying police to kill. Leader of Davao Death Squad says Duterte ordered killings.

Police in Sri Lanka arrest intelligence officers over journalist killing.

South China Sea: US carrier group begins 'routine' patrols.

Japan returns to trade deficit.

New Zealand court rules Kim Dotcom can be extradited to US.


Famine declared in parts of South Sudan as 100,000 face starvation. Famine declared in part of South Sudan's Unity state.

South Sudan military officials quit over 'war crimes'.

Suicide bomb in market in Somalia capital kills 39. Death toll in Somalia marketplace blast rises to 34.

Three killed in Boko Haram attack on Nigerian village.

UN-backed Libyan Prime Minister Fayez al-Sarraj not hurt after convoy comes under fire.

Migrants in Morocco's north determined to reach Europe.

Egypt court upholds death sentences over football riot. Egypt high court upholds death sentence of 10 in soccer riot.


Mike Pence pledges 'strong commitment' to EU on Brussels visit. Mike Pence seeks to allay European fears on trip to Brussels.

Moscow slams ‘absurd accusations’ that Russia plotted Montenegro coup. Kremlin denies Montenegro assassination plot. Russia rejects claim of Montenegro plot.

Ukraine ambassador attacks Trump allies' secret peace plan.

Clashes over blockade of coal from eastern Ukraine.

Russian activist leaves Russia for treatment after suspected poisoning.

Greece: EU and IMF in 'common position'.

Ireland PM Enda Kenny expected to resign over police scandal.

Study looks at free-trade-with-Russia scenario.


Trump seeks national security adviser, health care strategy.

Trump administration drafts plan to aggressively detain illegal immigrants.

Ecuador election: Moreno facing runoff as 40% vote looks out of reach.

Venezuela: 75% of population lost 19 pounds amid crisis.

Colombia's Farc rebels complete move to demobilisation zones.

Bomb near Bogota bullring injures more than 30.

California 'bombogenesis' storm pushes north.


Pakistan says airstrikes have killed 'dozens' of militants.

'Islamic State' fighters rape and torture Sunni Arab women: Human Rights Watch.

New York bomb plot mastermind Omar Abdel Rahman dies in prison.


World stocks mostly rise as US remains shut for holiday.

Gibraltar seizes Russian's superyacht over German debt claim.

Hitler's phone sells for $240,000 at auction.

Kraft walks away from 'friendly' bid for Unilever.

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