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Iraqi forces seize most of Tal Afar from Islamic State

Iraqi forces seize most of Tal Afar from Islamic State

World
Aug. 26 (UPI) -- Iraqi forces have reclaimed a majority of the Islamic State controlled city of Tal Afar as part of a weeklong offensive.Iraqi Joint Military Command spokesman Brig. Gen. Yahya Rasool said Saturday joint troops controlled 60 percent of the battlefield and 90 percent of the city center of Tal Afar in the northwestern Nineveh province.Troops liberated al-Qadisiya, al-Rabei and al-Salam and al-Bawari, as well as the central areas of the Citadel and al-Basateen, where they raised the Iraqi flag.Also on Saturday, paramilitary troops seized the Islamic State's largest telecommunications tower and burned it completely to hide information.The offensive began on Sunday as troops worked to reclaim the last remaining IS enclave in the province after the fall of Mosul.Nearly 500 famili...
Hurricane Harvey's high winds make landfall in Texas

Hurricane Harvey's high winds make landfall in Texas

World
Media playback is unsupported on your deviceHurricane Harvey has slammed into Texas with winds of up to 130mph (215 km/h) battering coastal areas.The storm, which has even stronger gusts, is the most powerful to hit the US mainland for 12 years. Up to 40in (1m) of rain is expected to fall.President Donald Trump has signed a disaster proclamation for the state, which will free up federal aid for the worst-affected areas. Texas Governor Greg Abbott has warned of record flooding in multiple regions.Harvey made landfall around 22:00 local time (03:00 GMT) as a Category 4 storm, and has already brought down trees and cut power in the city of Corpus Christi. Thousands of residents have boarded up their homes and fled.About three hours after it struck, the storm was downgraded to Category 3 after...
Rohingya raids on Myanmar forces leave dozens dead

Rohingya raids on Myanmar forces leave dozens dead

World
Aug. 25 (UPI) -- A series of attacks on Myanmar government forces claimed by Rohingya fighters left dozens of people dead, Myanmar officials said.The raids took place on 30 posts on the Bangladesh frontier in the Maungdaw district and left a Myanmar solider, 10 police and an immigration official dead, the Office of State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi said in a statement. Seventy-seven Rohingya militants also died.The Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army, an insurgent group seeking to create a democratic Muslim state for the ethnic group, said it carried out the attacks in response to "atrocities" and a blockade carried out by the government against Rohingya people. The group said the blockade is starving people to death."Over the last two days, Burmese security forces along with some Rakhine extre...
Russian ambassador to Sudan latest in string of Kremlin diplomat deaths

Russian ambassador to Sudan latest in string of Kremlin diplomat deaths

World
Russia's ambassador to Sudan, Mirgayas Shirinsky, was found dead at his residence in Khartoum on Wednesday night, officials said. According to Russia's foreign ministry, Shirinsky appeared to have suffered symptoms consistent with a heart attack when he was discovered. Russian embassy staff at the residence in Sudan's capital city called for medical assistance, but doctors were unable to save the ambassador's life. He died around 6 p.m. local time, the ministry said. "Mirgayas Shirinsky was a top professional who dedicated his life to diplomatic service," Russia's Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesperson Maria Zakharova said at a press briefing in Moscow on Thursday. "We express our sincere condolences to the family and friends of the ambassador. May he rest in peace." Shirinsky, who w...
Kim Wall case: Murder charge sought for Peter Madsen

Kim Wall case: Murder charge sought for Peter Madsen

World
Media playback is unsupported on your deviceProsecutors in Denmark say they will bring murder charges against the inventor suspected of killing a Swedish journalist on board his submarine.They are expected to ask for the new charges when Mr Madsen appears in court in early September.Ms Wall was last seen alive on 10 August as she departed with Mr Madsen on his self-built underwater vessel.On Wednesday a headless torso found in waters off Denmark was identified as belonging to Ms Wall.DNA from the torso - which had been weighted down with metal - matched that on Ms Wall's hairbrush and toothbrush.Mr Madsen initially said he had dropped her off safely near Copenhagen, but then said she died in an accident and that he had "buried" her at sea.He denies killing Ms Wall and was initially charged...