Thursday, February 23, 2017

World News Briefs -- February 23, 2017



Reuters: Iraqi forces storm Mosul airport, military base

U.S.-backed Iraqi security forces captured Mosul airport on Thursday, state television said, in a major gain in operations to drive Islamic State from the western half of the city.

Elite Counter Terrorism forces advanced from the southwestern side and entered the Ghozlani army base along with the southwestern districts of Tal al-Rumman and al-Mamoun.

Losing Mosul could spell the end of the Iraqi side of militants' self-styled caliphate in Iraq and Syria, which Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi declared from the city after sweeping through vast areas of Iraq in 2014.

Read more ....

MIDDLE EAST

Iraqi forces push up to Mosul’s key military base by airport. Iraqi forces storm Mosul airport in effort to seize city from Isis. Iraqi forces take control of Mosul Airport. Mosul offensive: Iraqi forces recapture airport in bid to retake city.

Syria rebels announce capture of Al-Bab from IS. Turkey-backed rebels in 'near full control' of Al Bab.

Syria's warring sides brought together for Geneva talks. UN envoy doubts 'breakthrough' at Syria peace talks.

McCain makes secret trip to Syria as US debates new plans to fight Islamic State.

Tension rising between regional rivals Turkey and Iran.

Yemen loyalists push back rebels on Red Sea coast.

Netanyahu backs pardon for Israel soldier who shot Palestinian.

ASIA

Deadly blast rocks upscale market in Pakistani city of Lahore. Blast hits Lahore Defence area market. Pakistan blast: At least six dead in Lahore.

Pakistan army launches nationwide anti-terror operation.

Asean unsettled by China action in disputed waters

Pyongyang blames Malaysia for death of Kim Jong Un's half-brother. Kim Jong-nam murder: North Korea blames Malaysia for death of 'DPRK Citizen'.

South Korea resumes loudspeaker operations after Kim Jong Nam assassination.

Philippine court orders arrest of President Duterte's leading critic.

Japan's next emperor announces readiness for Akihito to abdicate.

AFRICA

South Sudan accused of blocking aid, despite famine.

Somalia's new President appoints Prime Minister.

Two Christians killed by militants in Egypt’s north Sinai amid growing attacks on Copts.

S.Africa struggles to quell anti-immigrant violence.

Libya's eastern authority freezes women's travel ban.

New claims over scale of ex-Gambian leader's theft from state coffers.

Gunmen kidnap two Germans in northern Nigeria: police.

EUROPE

Cyprus talks falter over nationalist commemoration row.

French elections: Emmanuel Macron and Fran├žois Bayrou form alliance.

IMF chief Lagarde meets Merkel over Greek debt forgiveness.

Germany's migration agency taking longer to process asylum requests.

Romania: 1,300 officials prosecuted for graft last year.

Paris protests: Students tear-gassed by police.

Russian military admits significant cyber-war effort.

AMERICAS

US Treasury's Mnuchin promises 3% growth by end-2018.

Trump expected to submit budget blueprint March 13.

Mexico will not accept Trump's immigration plans, says foreign minister. Outrage in Mexico over immigration policies ahead of Rex Tillerson talks. Mexico's foreign minister rejects Trump deportation policy.

Number of refugees who are fleeing America and traveling to Canada nearly doubles in the wake of Trump's immigration crackdown.

Trump administration revokes Obama-era transgender bathroom guidance for schools.

Ecuador will hold run-off poll to choose new president.

Venezuelan vice president slams drug sanctions in full-page NYT ad.

TERRORISM/THE LONG WAR

Al Qaeda-linked Uzbek groups advertise operations in Afghanistan.

Columbia man charged with plotting Islamic State terror attack on Kansas City.

German police arrest 26 year-old over terror plot.

ECONOMY/FINANCE/BUSINESS

US Treasury Secretary Mnuchin says he won’t label China a currency manipulator...yet.

Google launches robo-tool to flag hate speech online.

Military plane cost hits Airbus profits.

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