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Top News: World

Iraq forces poised for Mosul airport assault

- Iraqi forces readied on Wednesday for an assault on Mosul airport after blitzing jihadist positions in a renewed offensive to retake the Islamic State group's emblematic stronghold.

Turkey says only 100 jihadists left in IS-held Syria battleground

Istanbul - Turkey said Wednesday fewer than 100 jihadists were still holed up in the flashpoint Islamic-State Syrian town of Al-Bab, as rebel commanders predicted its capture was imminent.

Logistics nightmare: helping the Boko Haram displaced

Yal - Not a single car remains in the town of Dikwa in northeast Nigeria and there's no way to communicate to the outside world, as all the telephone lines have been blown up.

Turkey says '100 IS fighters' left in Syria's Al-Bab

Istanbul - Turkey said Wednesday fewer than 100 Islamic State jihadists were still holed up in a flashpoint Syrian town which has seen the bloodiest clashes of Ankara's half-year campaign inside the conflict-torn country.

The Trump effect? Sweden reflects on its integration policy

Stockholm - Donald Trump's controversial statements linking immigration and crime in Sweden, a country idealised by some for its liberal values, have sparked the nation to weigh the successes and failures of its integration policy.

Toronto police use hearse to catch distracted drivers

Toronto - If people in Toronto insist on driving while talking on a cellphone or texting this week, they should be on the lookout for a black hearse. The Toronto Police Service obtained a hearse to be able to sneak up on unsuspecting distracted drivers.

Somali president says no quick fix for nation's woes

Mugadishu - Somalia's new President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed sought to downplay high expectations of his new administration at his inauguration Wednesday, saying it would take decades to fix the nation's many problems.

Trump hiring freeze forces closure of military childcare programs

Fort Knox - President Donald Trump's federal hiring freeze — which he promised would not include the military —  has forced at least two U.S. Army bases to indefinitely suspend some important child care programs.

Over 30,000 gather to support jailed Hong Kong cops: reports

Hong Kong - More than 30,000 people gathered in Hong Kong Wednesday to show their support for seven police officers who were sentenced to two years in jail for beating up a pro-democracy activist in 2014, reports said.

Germany to send home more rejected asylum seekers

Berlin - Germany will speed up expulsions of rejected asylum seekers under measures agreed by Chancellor Angela Merkel's cabinet Wednesday, as controversy rages over sending people back to strife-torn Afghanistan.

Mogadishu on lockdown for president's inauguration

Mugadishu - Somalia's capital Mogadishu was under security lockdown Wednesday, with roads closed and commercial flights cancelled ahead of the inauguration of President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed.

Argentine researcher, guide fall into Nicaragua volcano, survive

Managua - An Argentine volcanologist and Nicaraguan guide who fell into an active volcano were in good health Wednesday after being rescued by firemen, officials in Nicaragua said.

Turkey lifts ban on army officers wearing Islamic headscarf

Istanbul - Turkey's army is lifting a historic ban on female officers wearing the Islamic headscarf in the officially secular country, the state-run Anadolu news agency said Wednesday.

Top Yemen commander killed as rebels hit back

Aden - Yemeni rebels hit back at government forces advancing up the Red Sea coast killing a deputy army commander in a missile strike, a military source said on Wednesday.

Leak sparks security scare for anti-Islam Dutch MP

Den Haag - A security scare over the safety of outspoken far-right Dutch MP Geert Wilders emerged Wednesday just three weeks before a knife-edge election, after a police agent was arrested for leaking information about him to a Moroccan gang.

Russia asks Syria to halt bombing during UN peace talks

Geneva - Russia has called on Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to stop his bombing campaign while peace talks take place this week, but a political breakthrough on the six-year war remains unlikely, the UN's envoy said Wednesday.

Russia court orders release of opposition activist

Moscow - Russia's Supreme Court on Wednesday ordered the release of an opposition activist who was the only person in the country jailed under a tough law against public protests.

France's Macron accepts centrist's backing in 'turning point'

Paris - French presidential candidate Emmanuel Macron told AFP Wednesday he accepted the offer of an "alliance" with veteran centrist Francois Bayrou and said it was a "turning point" in the campaign.

Stolen 'Work will set you free' gate returned to Dachau

Dachau - An iron gate with the infamous slogan "Arbeit macht frei" ("Work will set you free"), stolen from the former Nazi concentration camp of Dachau in Germany two years ago, was returned to the site Wednesday.
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