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To secure Mosul, Iraq army makes desert push with US help

- Much of the fighting for west Mosul will be at close quarters, but Iraq's battle against the Islamic State group is also being waged in the open desert.

SpaceX will send two tourists around the moon in 2018

SpaceX founder and CEO, Elon Musk made a startling announcement Monday, saying two private individuals have hired his company to fly a manned mission around the moon in 2018.

Hiding in swamps, S.Sudanese eat little more than lilies

Thar Jath - Thousands of people at the epicentre of a man-made famine in South Sudan emerged from the safety of the swamps this past weekend hoping to receive emergency deliveries of food.

At least 160 killed in clashes on Myanmar-China border: army

- At least 160 people have died in around three months of clashes between the military and ethnic armed groups in Myanmar's northern state of Shan, a senior army official said Tuesday, threatening peace talks set for next month.

Germany's divided anti-migrant AfD alarmed by poll dip

Berlin - With seven months until German elections, support for the right-wing populist AfD party has slipped from highs seen during the mass migrant influx to single digits in the polls, alarming its divided leadership.

Trump aide Conway draws ire for kneeling on White House sofa

Washington - US President Donald Trump's senior adviser Kellyanne Conway has come under fire after a picture of her casually kneeling on a couch in the Oval Office was widely shared on social media.

Trump orders review of Obama rule protecting wetlands and streams

President Trump is expected to sign an executive order on Tuesday, mandating that the Environmental Protection Agency review an Obama-era rule protecting small streams and wetlands from development and pollution.

Syria ex-Qaeda says opposition leaders must 'step aside'

Birut - The head of Al-Qaeda's former Syrian branch said weekend suicide attacks in third city Homs were a message for opposition figures engaged in peace talks in Geneva to "step aside".

As Olympics loom, China plunges into snow biz

Zhangjiakou - Hao Rui only took up skiing this winter, but the 17-year-oldlooked like a veteran as he perched casually atop a slope outside Beijing before schussing downhill."I started my training on November 28.

Solar Probe Plus — Getting up close and personal with our sun

Our sun is a dwarf star of hot and glowing gasses. We know its interaction with the Earth drives our seasons, weather and more. But to understand the connectivity between the Earth and sun fully, we need to get up close, and a Solar Probe will help us.

World's largest wealth fund gains 50 bln euros in 2016

Oslo - Norway's sovereign wealth fund, the world's largest, notched up huge gains in 2016, as it reaped the benefits of a global stock market rally following the election of US President Donald Trump, the Norwegian central bank said Tuesday.

Somali president declares 'national disaster' over drought

Mugadishu - Somali's newly elected President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed on Tuesday declared a "national disaster" due to severe drought which aid agencies say has left some three million in crisis.

Donald Trump: 'Nobody knew healthcare could be so complicated'

Washington - President Donald Trump on Monday expressed bewilderment that managing the health care system of the world's third-most populous nation could be such a complex undertaking.

Pro-Islamic State militants re-emerge as Philippine nightmare

Manila - With ultra-fast boats, millions in ransom payments and sympathetic locals, pro-Islamic State militants on lawless southern Philippines islands who beheaded a German hostage this week have re-emerged as one of the nation's top threats.

Philippine police will return to drug war: Duterte

Manila - Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte said Tuesday he would recall police to fight his drug war, a month after he withdrew them and denounced the force as "corrupt to the core".

Iraqi civilians flee fighting, privation in west Mosul

- Hundreds of civilians fled through the desert Tuesday to escape fighting and privation in Mosul, joining thousands of others who left their homes amid dire conditions in the city's west.

Palestinian municipal elections in West Bank only: government

Ramallah - Palestinian local elections scheduled for May will take place in the West Bank only and not in Gaza, the government announced Tuesday, scuppering hopes of the first vote in both territories in a decade.

Israeli police begin demolishing 9 West Bank settler homes

Ofra - Israeli police began Tuesday demolishing nine West Bank settler homes declared illegal by the Supreme Court, despite hundreds of protesters barricading themselves in them.

Protests in Taiwan as island marks 70 years since massacre

Taipei - Hundreds of protesters rallied in Taiwan on Tuesday to mark the 70th anniversary of a massacre by nationalist Chinese troops, calling for justice as the island's leader vowed to investigate the killings.

Lithuanian court jails Russian spies

Vilnius - A Lithuanian court on Tuesday jailed a Russian citizen and one of its own nationals for spying for Moscow, in the latest case of espionage as tension simmers between Russia and the West.
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