Sunday, June 18, 2017

World News Briefs -- June 18, 2017

Smoke billows from the Islamic State militants positions after an artillery attack by the Iraqi soldiers in western Mosul, Iraq June 18, 2017. REUTERS/Erik De Castro

Reuters: Iraqi forces storm Old City of Islamic State-held Mosul, U.S. reports progress

Iraqi forces began storming the Islamic State-held Old City of Mosul on Sunday, an assault they hope will be the last in the eight-month campaign to seize the militants' stronghold.

The historic district is the last still under control of the militants in the city, which used to be the Iraqi capital of the group, also known as ISIS.

"Iraqi forces early this morning breach into old Mosul, the final ISIS-held district in the city," Brett McGurk, the U.S. envoy to the international coalition fighting Islamic State, said on Twitter. "We are proud to stand with them."

It is a densely-populated maze of narrow alleyways where fighting is often conducted house by house.

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Iraq troops push into last 'Islamic State' bastion in Mosul. Iraqi forces launch final assault on Islamic State-held Mosul Old City.

Islamic State snipers shooting families fleeing Mosul; 100,000 civilians trapped inside Old City.

Syrian army declares two-day ceasefire in Deraa. Partial 48-hour ceasefire announced in Syrian city.

Saudi coalition strikes on Saada market kill dozens.

'We do not trust them': UAE calls for western monitoring of Qatar.

Bahrain orders Qatar troops to leave: source.

Tehran says Saudi coastguard killed Iranian fisherman. Iran fisherman shot and killed by Saudi coast guard.

Hamas: War with Israel unlikely and relations with Egypt improving.

Netanyahu calls to end Palestinian payments to attacker families.


Suicide bombers launch co-ordinated attack in Afghanistan, killing and wounding dozens. Six police killed in attack on Afghanistan police headquarters.

Pakistani diplomats go missing in Afghanistan.

Philippines President Duterte revives Marcos-era memories in threat to extend martial law.

Russian, Chinese foreign ministers to meet in Beijing in coming hours — source. Russia, China fostering strategic relations - Lavrov.

Seven missing sailors found dead in USS Fitzgerald.

Japan PM Abe's support slumps amid doubts about school scandal.

North Korean soldier swims across river to defect.

N. Korea says US 'mugged' delegation. North Korea accuses U.S. authorities of 'mugging' its diplomats at NY airport.

Vanuatu's President Baldwin Lonsdale dies in Port Vila after sudden heart attack.

Myanmar ship recovers black box from crashed plane.

Turbulence on Paris-China flight injures 26.


Soldiers killed in attack on Mali military camp.

Video: Thousands protest in Mali over constitutional reform.

Somalia: 5 killed, 12 hurt in Al-Shabab attack on Somali military base.

Roadside explosion kills Egyptian policeman in Cairo.

More than 900 people rescued from boats off Libya coast.

Tensions flare in Zambia as critics see slide to 'dictatorship'.

South Sudan's displaced see little chance of peace.

Egypt Hisham Barakat killing: 30 sentenced to death.


Forest fires rip through central Portugal as death toll climbs to 62. Dozens killed in Portugal forest fire. 62 dead in central Portugal wildfires; many killed in cars.

London fire: Tragedy caused by years of neglect - Khan.

French voter turnout falls sharply in second round. Rout by Macron’s party expected in French parliament vote.

NATO war game defends Baltic weak spot for first time.

New US policy towards Cuba means return to Cold War — Russia’s Foreign Ministry.

Russia takes 'wait-and-see' position on Ukrainian crisis.

Putin says he changed his views on Russian-European relations due to Helmut Kohl.

Romania leftists ask parliament to oust PM, graft in spotlight.

Business bodies come together in call for softer Brexit.

Excommunicating mobsters? Vatican eyes new legal doctrine.


Bombing at Colombia mall kills 3, including French woman. Bomb in upscale mall kills 3, injures 9 in Colombia.

Trump lawyer: The president is not under investigation for obstruction.

Trump again blasts 'distraction of the witch hunt'.

Trump talks Venezuela crisis, Cuba policy with Peru president.

Venezuela's Maduro slams Twitter after accounts blocked.

Cuba denounces Trump's policy rollback.

Brazil's Michel Temer denies tycoon's corruption allegations.

Scalise upgraded from ‘critical’ to ‘serious’ condition.


IS threat in Southeast Asia raises alarm in Washington. Time bomb ticking: Threat of Daesh hangs over Southeast Asia.

Shabaab details last week’s deadly assault in northern Somalia.

Al Qaeda challenges ISIS for leadership of global jihadist movement, EU police say.

Al Qaeda in Afghanistan: How terror group survives, thrives.


Amazon is leading tech’s takeover of America.

With Whole Foods, Amazon on collision course with Wal-Mart.

For Whole Foods workers, fears of robots, drones and culture clash.

$100 oil is a ‘pipe dream’, says Wells Fargo.

The US weed rush and white-collar cannabis CEOs.

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