BAGHDAD - Islamic State launched a major counter-attack on the city of Kirkuk as Iraqi and Kurdish forces pursued operations to seize territory around Mosul, the jihadists' last major stronghold in Iraq.
LONDON British American Tobacco has offered to buy out U.S. cigarette maker Reynolds American Inc in a $47 billion takeover that would create the world's biggest listed tobacco company with brands including Newport, Lucky Strike and Pall Mall.
The S&P 500 and the Dow were dragged down on Friday by energy and healthcare stocks, while a record-setting rally in Microsoft kept the Nasdaq in positive territory.
MANILA Philippine officials sought on Friday to play down comments by President Rodrigo Duterte who announced his "separation" from the United States a day earlier, saying their country will maintain U.S. trade and economic ties.
BEIRUT Syria's army and Russia's air force halted their bombardment of rebel-held eastern Aleppo on Friday, a monitoring group said, on the second of four consecutive daytime unilateral ceasefires in the city that have been rejected by insurgents.
ROME/HONG KONG/BEIJING Representatives from the Vatican and China are expected to meet before the end of the month in Rome in an effort to finalize a deal on the ordination of bishops on the mainland, a move aimed at ending a longstanding dispute, according to Catholic Church sources familiar with the negotiations.
McDonald's Corp's turnaround gained momentum in the latest quarter despite intense rivalry in the United States, helped by its all-day breakfast, the "McPick 2 for $2 promotion" and a healthier chicken McNugget, the company said on Friday.