Monday, May 27, 2019

Syria: SDF militia predicts ISIL’s last fight to end imminently

The US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) say the battle against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL, also known as ISIS) in Baghouz is as good as over, with the armed group facing imminent defeat. Thick black smoke rose from the ISIL-held encampment on Wednesday, as air strikes and mortar fire pounded Baghouz for a third…

Armed men crossing from Libya alleged to be French spies

A group of armed French nationals intercepted along the Tunisia-Libya border last week are members of France's intelligence services, according to an unnamed source in Tunisia's presidency who was quoted by Radio France International (RFI). Tunisia's government denied the story, which came amid reports suggesting French citizens may have assisted renegade military commander Khalifa Haftar…

Algeria: Joyous scenes of celebrations after Bouteflika resigns

Algiers, Algeria - "I am super happy and excited. We have won a battle. This will be a sleepless night", Bilal, a 27-year-old carpenter, told Al Jazeera in downtown Algiers as he and thousands of other Algerians celebrated President Abdelaziz Bouteflika's resignation.  The ailing, 82-year-old leader announced he was stepping down with immediate effect in…

Erdogan’s AK Party ‘loses’ major Turkey cities in local elections

Istanbul, Turkey - The ruling Justice and Development (AK Party) has lost mayoral elections in the country's three largest cities - Istanbul, Ankara and Izmir - in a stunning election setback for President Recep Tayyip Erdogan according to unofficial results published by state-run Anadolu Agency on Monday. The official results will be released after the…

Zimbabwe: Hard-hit town reels from cyclone as Mnangagwa vows aid

Chimanimani, Zimbabwe - President Emmerson Mnangagwa has flown into a mountainous town on Zimbabwe's eastern border with Mozambique to visit the survivors of a devastating cyclone that has killed scores of people and caused widespread damage. Since Cyclone Idai hit on Friday evening, the farming town of Chimanimani has been largely cut off from the rest of…

UN chief ‘deeply concerned’ by military escalation in Libya

United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has expressed worry about a potential armed showdown in Libya, where eastern military forces have moved west and skirmished with rival forces south of the capital, Tripoli. "I am deeply concerned by the military movement taking place in Libya and the risk of confrontation," Guterres said in a Twitter post…

Israel elections: Netanyahu set to win as rival concedes

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is set to win re-election after his main rival conceded defeat. With more than 99 percent of votes counted, Netanyahu's Likud party was set to lead a right-wing bloc with 65 of the 120 seats in parliament. His main challenger, Benny Gantz, accepted the result on Wednesday, acknowledging that he…

Turkish elections: Much at stake in Kurdish-majority southeast

Ankara, Turkey - As local election day approaches, voting for mayors and municipal councils has an added significance for one corner of Turkey. The Kurdish-majority southeast has seen nearly 100 mayors removed from office in recent years and replaced with government-appointed trustees known as "kayyum". While this move has widely been decried as an affront…

Israel-Hamas ceasefire holds amid tense calm in Gaza Strip

Gaza City - A fraught quiet has settled over the Gaza Strip after a night of Israeli air raids on the besieged coastal enclave following a rocket strike on a home in central Israel.  An Egyptian-brokered ceasefire, announced around 19:00 GMT on Monday, was confirmed by a Hamas spokesperson, but the exchange of fire between armed…

Syria requests urgent UN Security Council meeting on Golan

Syria is calling on the United Nations Security Council to hold an urgent meeting on the US decision to recognise the Golan Heights as Israeli territory. President Donald Trump signed a proclamation on Monday in which the United States recognised Israel's annexation of the strategic plateau, despite UN resolutions recognising the Golan as Israeli-occupied territory.…
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New Zealand mosque attacks: Who is Brenton Tarrant?

Melbourne, Australia - The Australian man allegedly responsible for livestreaming a massacre of Muslims as they prayed in New Zealand mosques was previously not known to security agencies in Australia or New Zealand, authorities have said. Brenton Tarrant, 28, accused of carrying out attacks on two mosques in Christchurch on Friday that resulted in the deaths…

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