International  May 30, 2016
Turkey offers US joint Syria operation -- without the Kurds
Men identified by Syrian Democratic forces as US special operations soldiers in the back of a pickup truck in the village of Fatisah in the northern Syrian province of Raqa, on May 25, 2016 Turkey is offering to "join forces" with Washington for a special operation inside Syria on condition it doesn't include a Syrian Kurdish militia blacklisted by Ankara but seen as an ally by the US, the foreign minister said.Washington's support of Kurdish fighters in Syria in the fight against Islamic State (IS) jihadists has angered Ankara, espec...  Full Story
Iraqi forces enter IS-held Fallujah: commanders
Iraq soldiers reach the boundary of Fallujah, on May 28, 2016, as they take part in a major assault to retake the city from the Islamic State groupIraqi forces entered the Islamic State group bastion of Fallujah from three directions on Monday in a new phase of the operation to recapture the city, commanders said."Iraqi forces entered Fallujah under air cover from the international coalition, the Iraqi air force and army aviation and supported by artillery and tanks, said Lieutenant General A...  Full Story
Starving Iraqis risk all to flee IS's crumbling rule
Displaced Iraqi children from Fallujah stand outside a tent at a newly-opened camp in the government-held town of Amriyat al-Fallujah on May 29, 2016Eight hands stretch towards the aluminium plate -- it's the first meal of rice this Iraqi family who just escaped jihadist rule in the Fallujah area has had in two years.The tent has just been put up, a sheet of bubble wrap strewn on the gravel as a makeshift rug and the heat is searing but Nasra Najm, her daughter and grandchildren have a smile on...  Full Story
UN chief 'baffled' by S. Korea presidency speculation
Ban Ki-moonUN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon denied Monday that his current South Korea visit was testing the waters for an eventual presidential bid, saying his comments on the subject had been exaggerated.Ban arrived in his home country last week for a six-day visit that has been dominated by speculation over a possible run for the South Korean presidency in...  Full Story
Migrant deal off if no visa-free travel, Turkey warns EU
Refugees try to catch a glimpse of the German Chancellor visiting the refugee camp on the Turkish-Syrian border in Gaziantep in April 2016Ankara will abandon a deal with the European Union to reduce migrant flows if its citizens are not granted visa-free travel to most of the bloc, Turkey's foreign minister has warned.With the two sides locked in an increasingly-bitter standoff, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said it was "impossible" for Ankara to change anti-terror laws t...  Full Story
Personal suffering fuels Malaysia trans advocate's fight
Malaysian transgender woman Nisha Ayub was arrested in 2000 by the feared state religious enforcers who swoop on Muslims suspected of "un-Islamic" behaviourNisha Ayub has endured virtually everything thrown at Muslim-majority Malaysia's repressed transgender community: contempt, violence, arrest and sexual assault in a prison where she was sent to become a "real man".She has attempted suicide, beaten down by strict Islamic laws that activists say subject transgender people to increasing legal constrai...  Full Story
Polish grandpa heads from New York to Portugal... in a kayak
Polish kayaker Aleksander Doba begins his translatlantic kayak adventure from New York to Lisbon on May 29, 2016 in New YorkA Polish grandfather left New York Sunday on his third solo trans-Atlantic crossing in a kayak, aiming to arrive in Portugal in time to celebrate his 70th birthday on firm ground in September.Aleksander Doba paddled off from the tip of Manhattan after doing interviews and posing for selfies with a crowd of some 100 onlookers.A star at home, Doba ga...  Full Story
I.Coast's ex-first lady prepares for second trial
Ivory CoastIvory Coast's former first lady Simone Gbagbo will be tried for crimes against humanity starting Tuesday, having already been jailed for 20 years for her part in 2010's post-electoral violence.The wife of former Ivorian president Laurent Gbagbo is currently being held in Abidjan after being convicted of "attacking state authority" over her role in ...  Full Story