Friday, May 19, 2017

World News Briefs -- May 19, 2017



Daily Mail: An Islam speech, an audience with the Pope he mocked last year and meetings on both sides of the Arab-Israeli conflict: Trump undertakes high-stakes diplomacy tour

* Trump will visit Saudi Arabia, Israel, Vatican City, Belgium and Italy
* Includes stops honoring Islam, Judaism and Christianity
* NATO and G7 summits will conclude the 15,600-mile diplomacy tour
* Trump will have an audience with Pope Francis and coffee with the Saudi king
* Mid-East peace meetings scheduled with both Netanyahu and Abbas

The last four U.S. presidents kept their first international voyages confined to North America. Not so Donald Trump, who launches a
five-stop diplomacy tour through Europe and the Middle East on Friday that will cover 15,600 miles in the air over the course of nine days.

He will deliver a high-stakes speech about Islam in the heart of Saudi Arabia, meet with both Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin

Netanyahu and his nemesis Mahmoud Abbas and take in an audience with Pope Francis.

And that's before a NATO summit and a meeting of the G7 leaders.

Read more ....

MIDDLE EAST

Syrian war: US military strikes pro-Assad convoy amid clashes with coalition forces, officials say.

High-stakes airstrike in Syria: Pro-Assad militia threatens US troops in defiance of Russia.

Syria and Russia condemn US-led attack on pro-Assad forces. Moscow slams US-led coalition airstrikes on Syrian forces as 'unacceptable'.

Amid Raqqa, Mosul fights, US prepares for IS endgame effort.

WHO: Speed of Yemen cholera outbreak 'unprecedented'. Nearly 23,500 cholera cases, 242 deaths in Yemen in three weeks : WHO.

Iran election: Voters go to the polls to pick president. Iran votes in first presidential election since nuclear deal. Huge turnout as Iranians deliver verdict on Rouhani.

Saudi looks to assert regional role with Trump summit.

ASIA

Kim's missile developers receive a hero's parade as North Korea celebrates the launch of its longest-range rocket yet in huge step forward in creating a nuke that can hit America.

Experts question North Korea role in WannaCry cyberattack.

China says willing to put South Korea ties back on track, urges THAAD resolution.

Chinese, Japanese, US jets intercept over disputed territory. Chinese jet 'flies upside down' over US spy plane. Japan scrambles jets after China allegedly flies drone.

Heatwave grips northern China.

Myanmar failing to stop spread of religious violence, UN envoy says.

Suspected Pakistani militants gun down three workers on China 'Silk Road' project.

Duterte bans public smoking in Philippines, asks citizens to help.

Emperor Akihito: Japan's government approves abdication bill.

AFRICA

Libya clashes 'kill 60' at Brak El-Shati airbase.

Somalis needing food aid increase to 6.7 mln: UN.

Angola opposition demands answers about dos Santos' health.

South Sudan government forces killed 114 civilians, UN says.

Sudan president will not attend Saudi summit with Trump.

Churches warn South Africa becoming a 'mafia state'.

Number of suspected Ebola cases in Congo now up to 29.

EUROPE

Swedish prosecutors drop rape probe against WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange. Julian Assange: Sweden drops rape investigation.

Trump under pressure to assure NATO allies he has their back.

Greece approves more austerity to unlock bailout.

Merkel says Britain to be treated fairly, but will pay Brexit price.

Russia to discuss Ukraine’s missile drills near Crimea with ICAO.

Spain's Podemos files motion of no confidence against PM Rajoy.

Macron arrives in Mali for visit to French troops.

AMERICAS

White House reveals details on military and wall ahead of budget proposal.

Michel Temer: Brazil president 'won't quit' over bribe claim.

Venezuela protests: Passport of opposition leader Capriles 'seized'.

Trump administration sanctions Venezuela Supreme Court.

Biden isn't ruling out 2020 run for president.

Suspect in deadly Times Square mayhem charged with murder.

Connecticut, nation’s wealthiest state, may be tapped out on taxing the rich.

TERRORISM/THE LONG WAR

US VP warns of ISIL 'genocide' against Christians.

Laptop bombs a question of when, not if - UN official.

AFRICOM: 'Terrorist groups' remain a challenge across Africa.

Wave of ‘more dangerous, skilled’ ISIS jihadists bound to hit Europe – UN counterterrorism chief.

ECONOMY/FINANCE/BUSINESS

Trump pulls trigger on Nafta negotiations.

China, Japan extract combustible ice from seafloor.

US oil output back near records, challenging OPEC.

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