Congress' familiar path: short-term solutions
U.S., coalition hit Islamic State targets near Ramadi in IraqWASHINGTON (Reuters) - The United States and its allies have staged 22 air strikes on Islamic State targets since Friday, including four near Ramadi, the city taken by the militants this week, the U.S. military said on Saturday. Coalition forces also attacked five Islamic State sites in Syria between Friday and Saturday, a statement from the Combined Joint Task Force said. The strikes near Ramadi hit tactical units, armored vehicles and a fighting position in militant-controlled territory. ...
Shi'ite militias deploy to take on Islamic State insurgents near Iraq's Ramadi
BAGHDAD/BEIRUT (Reuters) - A convoy of Shi'ite Muslim militia and Iraqi army forces set out from a base near Ramadi on Saturday to advance on areas held by Islamic State, a Shi'ite spokesman said, launching a counter-offensive to reverse stunning gains by the jihadi insurgents. The fall of Ramadi, the Anbar provincial capital, to Islamic State on May 17 could be a shattering blow to Baghdad's weak central government. The Sunni Muslim jihadis now control most of Anbar and could threaten the western approaches to Baghdad, or even surge south into Iraq's Shi?ite heartland.
Italian nun moves towards sainthood in first Kenyan ceremony
By Humphrey Malalo NYERI, Kenya (Reuters) - An Italian nun, who tended the sick and wounded in World War One in east Africa and died in 1930 in Kenya, was beatified on Saturday, taking the final step before sainthood at the first ceremony of its kind in the African nation. To grant Sister Irene Stefani the title "Blessed", the Roman Catholic church said a miracle had been attributed to her during Mozambique's civil war. Reading a letter of beatification in Latin from Pope Francis at a ceremony near the Kenyan town of Nyeri, Tanzanian Cardinal Polycarp Pengo declared that the sister "from now on will be called Blessed".
Five Tunisian migrants die in shipwreckAt least five Tunisian migrants died on Saturday when their boat sailing to Italy capsized off the Tunisian coast, officials said. "A migrant boat carrying dozens capsized on Saturday off the coast of Monastir ... Naval forces rescued 49 Tunisian migrants and recovered five bodies of Tunisian migrants," a naval official told Reuters. Boat smugglers make use of Tunisia's proximity to the Italian island of Lampedusa to ship migrants there, with Tunisian authorities rescuing dozens of people travelling in unsafe boats in the past few weeks.
Al Shabaab attacks soldiers in south Somalia, two dozen dead
By Feisal Omar and Abdi Sheikh MOGADISHU (Reuters) - At least 24 people were killed in southern Somalia after fighting between al Shabaab Islamist militants and government forces, residents and the rebel group said on Saturday. Al Shabaab launched an attack on government troops on Friday evening in the Awdigle district and Mubarak village in the Lower Shabelle region, south of the capital. Rebels and government troops, which control the two places, also fought there last week.
After break, Senate to reconsider Patriot Act extension
WASHINGTON (AP) ? Unable to end a struggle over how to deal with government surveillance programs, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell scheduled a last-minute session to consider retaining the National Security Agency's bulk collection of domestic phone records.
AP Interview: Top UN official says Europe must open bordersSOUTHERN SHUNEH, Jordan (AP) ? Borders must be "open to Syrians everywhere," including in Europe, to help ease the burden of Middle Eastern countries that have absorbed close to 4 million Syrian refugees, the head of the U.N. refugee agency said Saturday.
Syrian official: Islamic State militants in Palmyra's museum
Irish voters back gay marriage in 'social revolution'
By Padraic Halpin and Conor Humphries DUBLIN (Reuters) - Irish voters backed same-sex marriage by a landslide in a referendum marking a dramatic social shift in the traditionally Catholic country, government ministers and opponents of the bill said on Saturday. Final results were not expected until later in the day, but ministers predicted Ireland had become the first country to adopt same-sex marriage via a popular vote by a margin of around two-to-one, just two decades after it decriminalized homosexuality. "This has really touched a nerve in Ireland," Equality Minister Aodhan O'Riordain said at the main count center in Dublin.