President Barack Obama said Monday that the United States has embarked on a long-term mission to defeat the insurgents of the so-called "Islamic State" fighting in Iraq. Ten days after ordering air strikes against the jihadist fighters, Obama warned that IS remains a threat to Iraq and the wider region, telling Baghdad "the wolf is at the door." Previously, Obama has been at pains to describe the US operation as limited but, as American jets pound IS positions outside Mosul, he said it would form part of a broader political strategy.
The United Nations is ready to check imports of construction material sent to Gaza in order to ease Israel's concerns that supplies could be used to rebuild Hamas tunnels, a UN envoy said Monday. UN Mideast envoy Robert Serry told the UN Security Council that reconstruction of Gaza remained the main priority once a durable ceasefire is agreed between Hamas and Israel.
Facebook said on Monday that it is testing a way to let members know when articles posted to the social network are tongue-in-cheek instead of hand-on-heart. Evidently, users of the world's leading social network need a bit of help when it comes to discerning truth from fiction in the form of satire crafted to pushed boundaries of credulity. Facebook told AFP they are testing a "satire" tag to go in front of links to satirical articles that pop up in news feeds at the service. "This is because we received feedback that people wanted a clearer way to distinguish satirical articles from others in these units," a Facebook spokesperson said.
“I got five words for ya… I. Love. This. Basketball team, YEEEEAAAAAAH!!!” If that’s the kind of opening pep talk you expected out of former Microsoft CEO and new Clippers owner Steve Ballmer, then you probably won’t be too disappointed with the real thing. In his opening remarks to fans of the NBA team, Ballmer talked about how much he loves Los Angeles and explained why the Clippers due to their underdog status compared with the crosstown Lakers. At one point, Ballmer seemingly got frustrated when the crowd didn’t cheer loudly enough to his satisfaction and prodded them to go as loud as they can. “THESE GUYS BUST THEIR BUTT FOR YOU, ONE TIME LOUDER!” shouted the ex-Microsoft boss. When outlining
A US gay rights group protested Monday a possible purchase of New York's iconic Plaza Hotel by the sultan of Brunei, set to implement tough punishments for same-sex acts. The sultan, via an intermediary, has offered some $2 billion to snap up the famous hotel at the foot of Central Park, as well as the Dream Downtown in Chelsea and Grosvenor House in London, The Wall Street Journal reported. Since May, oil-rich Brunei's all-powerful Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah -- who holds one of the world's largest fortunes -- has begun implementing a new penal code that will eventually include tough sharia, or Islamic law, penalties such as death by stoning for sodomy and adultery.
The Sikh families found in a shipping container in Britain were fleeing persecution in Afghanistan and had been trapped in darkness without fresh air for 18 hours, their translator said Monday. The group, discovered at Tilbury Docks, east of London, feared they would have all died had they remained inside for a further 20 minutes, said Kamaljit Singh Mataharu, a Punjabi-speaking local man called in by the police to translate. One 40-year-old man did die and his children, aged nine and 12, were in the container with him, said Mataharu. The container had crossed the North Sea on a ferry from Zeebrugge in Belgium.