BAGHDAD Iranian-backed Iraqi Shi'ite paramilitary groups are about to launch an offensive on Islamic State positions west of Mosul, assisting in the military campaign to take back the city, a spokesman said on Friday.
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ISLAMABAD Pakistani opposition leader Imran Khan called for nationwide protests on Friday after dozens of activists from his party were arrested, adding to political deadlock ahead of his plans to shut down the capital next week.
BEIRUT Syrian rebels launched Grad rockets at Aleppo's Nairab air base on Friday, part of their preparations for a new offensive aimed at breaking the government siege of insurgent-held areas of the city, a rebel official and a monitoring group said.
MANILA Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has made a promise to stop swearing, saying God spoke to him during a flight from Japan on Thursday and warned him the plane would crash if he kept using bad language.
U SHEY KYA/YANGON Rohingya Muslims say Myanmar soldiers raped or sexually assaulted dozens of women in a remote village in the northwest of the country during the biggest upsurge in violence against the persecuted minority in four years.
SYDNEY Twenty-four countries and the European Union agreed on Friday to create the world's largest marine park in the Antarctic Ocean, covering a massive 1.55 million square km (600,000 square miles) of ocean.