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The Pentagon claims that the Islamic State now only controls about two blocks and 50 buildings in the city of Sirte whereas they had once ruled the entire city and a considerable area in all directions surrounding it.

Panama must free Dutch journalist: Transparency International

A Dutch journalist jailed in Panama on charges of defamation for reporting on alleged corruption should be freed immediately, the anti-corruption watchdog Transparency International said Friday.

Haiti presidential candidates challenge vote results

Three Haitian presidential candidates have formally contested the election's preliminary results, their parties said Friday, after the vote count gave the ruling party's Jovenel Moise an outright victory in last month's first-round.

S.Korea opposition files impeachment motion

South Korea's three opposition parties filed an impeachment motion early Saturday against scandal-hit President Park Geun-Hye which will be put to a vote in the national assembly next week.

Bodies of Colombia plane crash victims flown home

The bodies of the 71 victims killed in a plane crash in Colombia that wiped out a Brazilian football team began arriving home Friday, as mourners prepared a massive funeral.

Hostages safe in Paris armed robbery, thief on the run

Several people taken hostage Friday evening in a Paris travel agency were released safe and sound, police said, but the armed robber who seized them was on the run."Armed robbery on Massena Boulevard in Paris: operation over," police tweeted.

Iceland's Pirate Party to try to form government

Iceland's president on Friday invited the anti-establishment Pirate Party to form a government, after both the right and left-wing parties each failed in their bids.

Putin warns artists against 'dangerous behaviour'

Vladimir Putin on Friday told artists not to confuse freedom of expression with "outrageously dangerous behaviour" and suggested the Charlie Hebdo massacre could have been avoided if the magazine had not insulted Islam.

Venezuela fury at Mercosur suspension

Venezuela angrily rejected as a "coup" its suspension from South American economic bloc Mercosur on Friday, the harshest international punishment yet for President Nicolas Maduro's crisis-racked government.

600,000 risk losing water in war-scarred Ukraine

International monitors warned on Friday that around 600,000 impoverished people could be left without water or heat in war-scarred eastern Ukraine this winter.

Yahya Jammeh: devout and erratic leader of The Gambia

Gambian President Yahya Jammeh, who was defeated in this week's poll, seized power in a 1994 coup and clung to office for 22 years with a blend of severity, mysticism and iron-clad self-belief."No matter what people say about me, I am not moved...

Adama Barrow: Gambia's estate agent of change

He is quiet, understated and until recently unknown, but now presidential election winner Adama Barrow has become the flagbearer for a new era of change in The Gambia.

Stolen Dachau 'Work will set you free' gate found in Norway

An iron gate with the infamous slogan "Arbeit macht frei" ("Work will set you free") stolen from the former Nazi concentration camp Dachau in Germany two years ago has been found in Norway, police said Friday.

Race against time as nearly 20,000 children flee Aleppo: UN

Nearly 20,000 children have fled their homes in battered east Aleppo in recent days, the UN said Friday, warning that time is running out to provide them with the help they desperately need.

Aleppo family reunited after months separated by war

Jomaa al-Qassem fell to his knees and burst into tears on the muddy floor outside a reception point for Syrians pouring out of war-ravaged eastern Aleppo.

Torture appeared widespread after Turkey coup: UN expert

Measures taken in Turkey after the July 15 coup attempt created an "environment conducive to torture", and ill treatment appears to have been widespread immediately after the failed putsch, a UN expert said Friday.

Final pitches as Italy referendum battle heads to wire

Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi headed into a constitutional referendum this weekend insisting he could still win his fight for political survival.

Gambia's shock presidential victor hails new era

Opposition candidate Adama Barrow hailed a "new Gambia" Friday after he pulled off a stunning presidential election victory, putting an end to the 22-year rule of Yahya Jammeh.

Half of rebel Aleppo falls to Syrian forces

Syrian government forces have recaptured half the former rebel stronghold of east Aleppo, a monitor said Friday, in an offensive that has left bodies in the streets and sparked global outrage.

International push aims to protect endangered heritage

Representatives from dozens of countries began meeting in Abu Dhabi on Friday to discuss the creation of a $100-million fund to protect and restore heritage sites threatened by extremism and conflict.

Airbnb imposes limit on London home rentals

Airbnb will impose a 90-day limit on the sharing of private homes in London, the home rentals website has revealed amid fears over the British capital's housing market.

Russia says foreign spies plotted huge cyberattack

Russia on Friday said it had uncovered plans by foreign intelligence services to carry out massive cyberattacks this month targeting the country's financial system.

Iran says it will respond to US sanctions renewal

Iran said on Friday that Congress's decision to renew US sanctions for 10 years was a violation of last year's nuclear agreement and promised an "appropriate" response.

China court finds man executed 21 years ago innocent

China's top court on Friday cleared a man executed 21 years ago for murder -- more than a decade after another man confessed to the killing -- in the latest miscarriage of justice in the Communist-ruled country.

Anger rises after India scraps old notes at petrol pumps

India said old notes would no longer be accepted at petrol stations after Friday, fuelling anger over the scrapping of high denomination bills that has caused an unprecedented cash crunch.

'Bad boy' pharma chief mocks Australian student achievements

"Bad boy" pharmaceutical chief Martin Shkreli, who raised the cost of an HIV drug by 5,000 percent, has mocked a group of Sydney school students who recreated the life-saving medicine on the cheap.

New Thai king leads prayers for late father

Thailand's new monarch King Maha Vajiralongkorn led prayers for his late father on Friday, his first appearance at Bangkok's Grand Palace since he was officially appointed the day before after a seven week delay.

Ethnic killings rampant in once-placid South Sudan town

Isaac waited as soldiers came to take away his cellmates, one by one, fearing the worst as the uniformed men returned alone and spattered in blood.

IS tactics evolving, may include car bombs: Europol

Terror networks such as the Islamic State group are evolving their tactics to attack soft targets in Europe, which could see the use of deadly car bombs, Europol warned on Friday.

Italy's referendum: facts

Key facts behind Italy's referendum on constitutional changes this Sunday:- What is proposed?

After Trump and Brexit, Austria far-right eyes presidency

First Brexit. Then Trump. Now Austria?The populist wave rising in many countries could claim a fresh victory Sunday if Norbert Hofer is elected Europe's first far-right president since 1945.

Lagos poor left homeless by ruthless modernisation bid

Efforts by Lagos authorities to turn Nigeria's chaotic commercial capital into a modern megacity have run into controversy after the demolition of an impoverished waterfront neighbourhood left 30,000 people homeless.

Militia groups clash in Tripoli, seven reported dead

Rival militias clashed in Tripoli leaving at least seven people dead, Libyan media said, as AFP journalists reported hearing gunshots and explosions in the south of the capital.

From US to Europe to Syria, stars align for Putin

Held at diplomatic arm's-length for years, Russian President Vladimir Putin is pivoting back to centre stage as his admirers and international allies rise to power, a move that analysts say the Kremlin will be quick to exploit.

Syrians in Germany face tough fight fit to be see their families

Germany, trying to staunch the flow of Syrian refugees, has placed high hurdles for them to be reunited with their families, creating a Kafkaesque nightmare in the courts.

Pro-EU candidate wins 'Brexit by-election' in London

Prime Minister Theresa May's government suffered a rebuke over its plans to pull Britain out of the EU on Friday after voters in the London suburb of Richmond ousted a eurosceptic lawmaker in favour of a pro-European candidate.

Militias clashing in the Libyan capital of Tripoli

Fighting has broken out in the Libyan capital Tripoli between various militia groups. The Libya Observer describes murky clashes sweeping through the city. There are many competing tweets describing the situation.

International push aims to protect endangered heritage

Representatives from dozens of countries meet in Abu Dhabi on Friday to discuss the creation of a $100-million fund to protect and restore heritage sites threatened by extremism and conflict.

French Socialists seek new champion after Hollande bows out

French Socialists were seeking a new standard-bearer Friday after President Francois Hollande decided against running for a second term, paving the way for Prime Minister Manuel Valls to enter a race already rich in upsets.

200,000 Indonesian Muslims protest against Christian governor

More than 200,000 Indonesian Muslims prayed in unison and chanted Koranic verses Friday in the second major demonstration against Jakarta's Christian governor, as conservative groups push for his arrest for allegedly insulting Islam.

With Castro gone, US presence in Cuba grows

Fidel Castro spent his life combating US capitalism, but by the time he died, American cruise ships, regular flights and even the embassy had returned to the communist-ruled island.