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Austrian voters concerned about immigration, Islam

Austrian voters concerned about immigration, Islam

World
Wrapping up a bruising political campaign season, Austrian political parties were counting down to an election Sunday that could turn the country to the right amid voter concerns over immigration and Islam. The vote is coming a year ahead of schedule after squabbles led to the breakup last spring of the coalition government of the Social Democrats and the People's Party. A total of 16 parties are vying for 183 seats in the national parliament and will be chosen by Austria's 6.4 million eligible voters. But less than a dozen parties have a chance of getting seats. The People's Party, which has shifted from centrist to right-wing positions, is leading in the pre-vote polls after an image make-over by its leader, 31-year-old Sebastian Kurz. Austria's traditionally right-wing, anti-migrant Fr...
Freed hostage says Taliban-linked captors killed infant daughter, raped American wife

Freed hostage says Taliban-linked captors killed infant daughter, raped American wife

World
After being held hostage for five years by a Taliban-affiliated terrorist network in the mountains of Afghanistan, a Canadian man, his American wife and their three children born in captivity arrived in Toronto Friday night. Joshua Boyle -- who arrived at Toronto's Pearson International Airport with his wife Caitlan Coleman and their children -- told reporters inside the Air Canada terminal that the Haqqani network killed a fourth child born in captivity, an infant daughter, and raped his wife. "The stupidity and the evil of the Haqqani networks, kidnapping of a pilgrim and his heavily pregnant wife engaged in helping ordinary villagers in Taliban-controlled regions of Afghanistan was eclipsed only by the stupidity and evil of authorizing the murder of my infant daughter, Martyr Boyle,"...
'Final' battle to oust IS fighters from Raqqa

'Final' battle to oust IS fighters from Raqqa

World
US-backed fighters say they are engaged in a "final" battle to oust Islamic State militants from Raqqa, the extremist group's de facto capital in Syria.The Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), led by the Kurds, say jihadists are still putting up resistance in a number of neighbourhoods in their one-time stronghold and the fighting could take hours or days.It comes amid reports the city could be "liberated" by Sunday.Around 100 IS fighters have surrendered in the past 24 hours and were "removed from the city", said a spokesman for the US-led coalition.Video:British fighter: UK must do more against ISSyrian IS fighters and their families have left Raqqa and buses arrived to evacuate foreign fighters and their families under a deal brokered by the SDF, the coalition and IS.The Kurdish YPG militia ...
Turkish troops enter Syria's Idlib province

Turkish troops enter Syria's Idlib province

World
Oct. 13 (UPI) -- Turkish forces on Friday began crossing into Syria's Idlib province in order to monitor de-escalation zones, the Turkish military said.The troop movement is part of a joint mission between Turkey, Russia and Iran to observe de-escalation zones and remove a stronghold of former al-Qaida militants from the area. The three countries agreed in May to be guarantors of a cease-fire to help end the six-year civil war in Syria.Turkey backs groups opposed to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, while Russia and Iran support the leader.A statement from the Turkish government said troops were establishing observation posts as part of the Astana agreement."The Turkish armed forces continue to carry out their duties in the territory within the engagement rules agreed by the guarantor coun...
Report: German police made 'gross mistakes' before Christmas attack

Report: German police made 'gross mistakes' before Christmas attack

World
Oct. 12 (UPI) -- An investigation into the Christmas market attack in Berlin last year concluded Germany police made "gross mistakes" before the deadly incident that killed 12 people.Special investigator Bruno Jost said attacker Anis Amri, a Tunisian national, was detained several months before the attack and flagged for deportation. Officials also apparently had some evidence that Amri had radical Islamist ties, but not enough to deport him on that alone. Amri also was arrested on a drug charge, which could have been enough for deportation."There is no mathematical certainty that Amri could have been arrested and detained, but if everything had gone well, then there would have been a real chance of detaining him and at least to get him remanded in custody for a while," Jost said, accordin...