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The forces of Al-Bonyan Al-Marsous (Solid Structure) or BAM, loyal to the UN-backed Government of National Unity (GNA) have now reached a decisive phase as they begin an attack on the Islamic State headquarters in Sirte.

Troops loyal to GNA attacking Islamic State headquarters in Sirte

The forces of Al-Bonyan Al-Marsous (Solid Structure) or BAM, loyal to the UN-backed Government of National Unity (GNA) have now reached a decisive phase as they begin an attack on the Islamic State headquarters in Sirte.

Gunmen storm cafe in Bangladesh capital Dhaka, take diners hostage

Gunmen stormed a crowded restaurant popular with foreigners in the Bangladeshi capital Dhaka on Friday night, taking dozens of people hostage and triggering a deadly firefight with police, witnesses and officials said.

French MPs vote to criminalise denial of Armenian genocide

French members of parliament voted unanimously Friday to criminalise the denial of all crimes against humanity, including failure to admit that the mass killings of Armenians by Ottoman forces was a "genocide".

Putin calls for transponders on military flights over Baltics

Russian President Vladimir Putin on Friday backed a call for all military aircraft overflying the Baltic region to be barred from turning off the devices that allow them be detected.

Israel slaps security, cash curbs on Palestinians after attacks

Israel on Friday announced a lockdown on the West Bank city of Hebron and cuts in monthly tax payments made to the Palestinian Authority, after a wave of deadly attacks.

U.S. reveals death tolls from drone and air strikes

The United States on Friday lifted the lid on one of the most controversial tactics of President Barack Obama's secretive counter-terror campaign, detailing for the first time the number killed in air strikes in countries like Pakistan and Libya.

Iceland at a standstill for Euros, but tourism thrives

With a large part of its population in France for the Euro 2016, Iceland has pretty much come to a standstill except for its tourism sector, which is booming.

Tearful graveside reunions as Kabul mourns police cadets

Mohinddin, who loved football and was passionate about joining the Afghan police force, was to return home after his graduation as a cadet to celebrate Eid al-Fitr with his family.

Bangladesh 'hostage' situation as gunmen storm Dhaka restaurant

Gunmen stormed a crowded restaurant popular with foreigners in the Bangladeshi capital on Friday night, apparently taking diners hostage and sparking a firefight with police in which at least two officers were killed, police and witnesses said.

Two new cases of alleged sex abuse by UN peacekeepers in C. Africa

The United Nations is investigating allegations that peacekeepers in the Central African Republic have sexually abused two minors, the latest in a wave of shocking cases to hit the UN mission.

RSF Turkey rep confident ahead of 'terror' trial

The Turkey representative for Reporters Without Borders said Friday he was "confident" ahead of his trial for "terrorist propaganda" after he guest-edited a pro-Kurdish newspaper.

Tunis father on IS rescue bid dies in Istanbul airport attacks

Saida Bayoudh's only son joined the Islamic State group and her husband Fathi flew from Tunisia to Turkey to bring him home.Instead the father returned alone to be buried Friday, a victim of the Istanbul airport attack.

Israel closes Hebron after Palestinian attacks

The Israeli army has imposed a closure on and around the West Bank city of Hebron, a military spokesman said Friday, following a series of deadly attacks in the region.

U.S. attorney general says won't interfere in Clinton email probe

US Attorney General Loretta Lynch pledged Friday to respect FBI and prosecutors' decisions on whether to charge presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton over her use of personal email while at the State Department.

Israel settlements, Palestinian incitement must stop: Quartet

Israel should stop building settlements and the Palestinians should cease incitement to violence, the Middle East diplomatic quartet said in a much-awaited report Friday aimed at reviving peace talks.

Blow for IMF's Lagarde in French Tapie payout case

A French prosecutor on Friday said IMF chief Christine Lagarde should stand trial for her handling of a massive state payout to tycoon Bernard Tapie in 2008 when she was France's finance minister.

Brexit cannot be 'cancelled' or 'delayed' says Hollande

French President Francois Hollande said Friday that Brexit cannot be "cancelled" or "delayed", after meeting with British Prime Minister David Cameron.

EU extends Russia sanctions to January 2017

The European Union on Friday formally extended damaging economic sanctions against Russia by six months due to a lack of progress in resolving the conflict in eastern Ukraine.

Hajj pilgrims to get e-bracelets for safety: Media

Muslim pilgrims joining this year's hajj in Saudi Arabia will have to wear an electronic safety bracelet, newspapers reported Friday, after more than 2,000 died in a stampede last year.

Istanbul airport bombers 'planned hostage-taking'

The suicide attackers who launched the deadly Istanbul airport assault were planning to take dozens of passengers hostage, Turkish media reported Friday, as two of the bombers were identified.

Lagos shuts churches, mosques over noise

Authorities in Nigeria's commercial hub of Lagos have shut down dozens of churches, mosques and hotels in a bid cut noise pollution, officials said Thursday.

Promised work, Myanmar women instead forced to marry in China

Enticed by work in China, hundreds of poor young Myanmar women are instead being forced into marriage, and left to scramble to get back across remote borders before they are compelled into life with husbands they have never met.

Palestinian tries to stab Israeli in West Bank, shot dead: Police

A Palestinian woman attempted to stab an Israeli guard at a flashpoint West Bank shrine on Friday and was shot dead, Israeli police said, the third violent incident in two days.

Organiser of Ankara suicide attack killed: Turkish official

An organiser of a deadly suicide attack in Ankara in February that left at least 28 people dead has been killed in counter-terror operations in Kurdish-majority southeast Turkey, a Turkish official said on Friday.

Taiwan accidentally fires missile towards China, hitting trawler

A Taiwanese warship mistakenly launched a supersonic "aircraft carrier killer" missile towards China on Friday, hitting a fishing boat and killing one person, the navy said, as ties between the island and its once bitter rival deteriorate.

Sri Lanka's latest status symbol, a baby elephant

Expensive and high-maintenance, baby elephants have become the ultimate status symbol for Sri Lanka's wealthy elite -- a trend that has horrified conservationists and prompted a government crackdown.

Israel's batwoman works in secret to heal winged friends

Israel's batwoman works in secret, out of an erstwhile chicken coop in central Israel.There Nora Lifschitz, a purple-haired 29-year-old and longtime animal rights activist, nurses hundreds of fruit bats back to health.

DR Congo risks 'even worse crisis' over Kabila uncertainty

Democratic Republic of Congo opposition leader Moise Katumbi warned President Joseph Kabila risked plunging the country into an "even worse crisis" by letting doubt linger over when he will step down.

'Nothing will change': Post-attack selfies at Istanbul airport

Just two days after triple suicide bombings, Istanbul's main international airport is as usual a hive of activity -- but with passengers snapping selfies in front of bullet-shattered windows.

Hindu temple worker hacked to death in Bangladesh

A Hindu temple worker was hacked to death in western Bangladesh on Friday, police said, the latest in a series of attacks on religious minorities by suspected Islamists.

Troops loyal to GNA suffer casualties during Sirte offensive

Forces loyal to the UN-brokered Libyan Government of National Accord the Al-Bunyan Al-Marsoos (Solid Structure) continue their progress against the remaining fighters of the Islamic State (IS) surrounded in a small area at the center of the city of Sirte.

Polls point to Australian election cliffhanger

Australia's leaders made last-gasp pitches Friday to woo voters on the eve of elections as polls pointed to a cliffhanger and the media swung behind "reformer" Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull.

UN approves deal for Italy, Netherlands to share Council seat

The UN General Assembly on Thursday elected Italy to the Security Council under a deal that will see the Netherlands take over the seat in a year.

Brazil impeachment vote to follow Olympics: Official

Legislators will vote on removing Brazil's suspended president Dilma Rousseff from office just days after the Olympic Games end in Rio, the Senate president said Thursday.

Venezuela accuses U.S. of 'interventionist obsession'

Venezuela's government on Thursday rejected what it called the United States' "interventionist obsession" after US President Barack Obama backed steps for a referendum on removing his Venezuelan counterpart Nicolas Maduro from power.

Austria court to rule Friday on far-right election challenge

Austria's Constitutional Court has said it will rule Friday on the challenge brought by the far-right Freedom Party (FPOe) against its candidate's narrow defeat in May's presidential election.

Turkey paying for 'mistakes' in IS strategy: Analysts

Accused of harbouring links to the Islamic State group in the past, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan risks paying a high price for his new get-tough strategy against the jihadists blamed for the Istanbul airport attack, observers say.

U.S. military lifts ban on transgender personnel

Transgender personnel will no longer be barred from serving openly in the US military, the Pentagon announced Thursday -- a major milestone that immediately drew fire from Republican lawmakers.

Erdogan inaugurates grandiose new Turkish bridge

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Thursday inaugurated the fourth-longest suspension bridge in the world, the latest of his pet mega-projects.The Osman Gazi bridge, which has been under construction since 2013, stretches 2.6 kilometres (1.

Putin officially lifts Turkey tourism ban

Russian President Vladimir Putin on Thursday officially lifted restrictions on tourism in Turkey after mending ties with Ankara over its downing of one of Moscow's warplanes.