World News Briefs -- March 19, 2019 (Evening Edition)



Reuters: Islamic State loses big part of enclave, SDF sees defeat 'very soon'

DEIR AL-ZOR PROVINCE, Syria (Reuters) - U.S.-backed Syrian forces said they were close to defeating Islamic State in its final scrap of territory at Baghouz in eastern Syria after seizing an encampment from the jihadists on Tuesday, though the battle was not over yet.

Hardened militant fighters holed up in the encampment had been mounting a last-stand defense of the Baghouz enclave, all that is left of Islamic State’s self-proclaimed “caliphate” that once spanned a third of both Syria and Iraq.

“This is not a victory announcement, but a significant progress in the fight against Daesh,” said Mustafa Bali, a media official with the U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) on Twitter, using an Arabic acronym for Islamic State.

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MIDDLE EAST

The Latest: Russia defense minister meets with Syria’s Assad.

Islamic State loses significant camp in final hold-out territory Baghouz.

Syria force says it arrested jihadists behind attack on US troops.

Syria's Kurds criticise Damascus 'threats'.

Court: Germany must press US over Yemen drone strikes.

UN presents new plan for Yemen pullback from key port.

U.S. says Iran missile program detribalizing Middle East.

Gaza rights groups denounce Hamas crackdown on protests.

Turkey's Erdogan calls on New Zealand to restore death penalty over shooting.

Netanyahu's main election rival sidesteps Palestinian statehood.

Israeli forces kill Palestinian suspected of deadly attack.

ASIA

Kazakhstan’s president announces resignation.

Six wounded in gunfire as Myanmar soldiers hunt insurgents in temple town.

Clashes in Kashmir after teacher dies in police custody.

Pakistan tells China of 'deteriorating situation' in Indian Kashmir.

China backs Pakistan on terrorism measures.

Report: China to fortify South China Sea island with 'logistics base'.

South Korea to discuss 'video reunions' with North.

New Zealand PM vows mosque attacker will remain 'nameless'.

AFRICA

Egypt tightens restrictions on media, social networks.

Tunisian forces kill three Islamic State militants near Algerian border.

Air strike kills four people in Somalia: relatives.

Thousands demonstrate in Algiers as protest leaders tell army to stay away.

11 militias in C.Africa peace deal demand PM's ouster.

Gunmen kill five miners in Ethiopia, TV says foreigners among dead.

At least 10 migrants die when boat sinks off Libyan coast: official.

Relief reaches Zimbabwe's cyclone survivors as death toll rises.

UN calls for aid as displaced from Cyclone Idai may reach 2m.

EUROPE

May seeks Brexit delay after third vote on her deal is derailed.

May's letter to EU on Brexit extension to be sent Wednesday: BBC.

EU ministers tell UK: Make up your mind over Brexit.

US, Russia divided on Venezuela after talks in Rome.


Russia's Putin signs into law bills banning 'fake news,' insults.

Italy may be ready to open up four ports to Chinese investment under ‘Belt and Road Initiative’.

Germany eligible to deport refugees to EU countries with poor living conditions.

Italy blocks NGO ship carrying rescued migrants from docking.

‘Our tolerance has limits!’ Expel US envoy for acting like ‘occupation commissioner’, says German MP.

AMERICAS

Exclusive: Nancy Pelosi pushes back on Democratic critics of her impeachment stance.

Key Senate panel split on Trump-Russia collusion: sources.

Supreme Court sides with Trump in immigrant detention dispute.

Trump to meet with Bolsonaro in boost to US-Brazil alliance.

Mueller suspected Cohen may have been secretly acting as foreign agent in 2017.

U.S.-Russia talks on Venezuela stall over role of Maduro.

US imposes new sanctions against Venezuela - Treasury Dept.

Venezuela: Guaido loyalists seize diplomatic properties in US.

Economy center stage in April election in Canada's Alberta province.

Canada budget offers plenty of perks ahead of federal election.

Colombia war crimes: Mass protests in support of special tribunal.

Third Canadian official resigns in scandal threatening Trudeau.

US strongly looking at NATO membership for Brazil - Trump .

Three dead in record flooding in US Midwestern states.

TERRORISM/THE LONG WAR

Mosque shootings renew fears of terror by lone attackers.

France brings back IS jihadists' children from Syria camps.

'No direct links' between Utrecht suspect and victims: Police.

Letter in Utrecht getaway car may suggest terror motive.

ECONOMY/FINANCE/BUSINESS

Wall Street gives up gains on news of troubled trade talks.

Lyft's IPO oversubscribed on road show's second day: sources.

Palladium hits record high above $1,600/oz on plans for Russia export ban.

Venezuela says it may send U.S.-bound oil To Russia.

US-China trade war could slash US$1 trillion from US economy in a decade warns Chamber of Commerce.

Facebook and YouTube defend response to Christchurch videos.

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