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Iraqi families, who fled the city of Ramadi after it was seized by Islamic State group militants, wait to cross Bzeibez bridge, on the southwestern frontier of Baghdad on Friday. Picture: AFP PHOTO/AHMAD AL-RUBAYE

Iraq regains ground from Islamic State

While in Syria the government says the Islamists have killed hundreds of people since capturing the town of Palmyra


Close Polish presidential race spells trouble for ruling party

Poland's President and presidential candidate from the Civic Platform Party Bronislaw Komorowski casts his ballot next to his wife Anna at a polling station in Warsaw, Poland on Sunday. Picture: REUTERS

Despite unprecedented prosperity, many Poles feel the fruits of their labour have been unfairly spread — resulting in increased inequality and discontent


Mathematician John Nash who inspired 'A Beautiful Mind' killed in car accident

An archive picture made available on Sunday of Nobel Prize Laureate, US mathematician John Nash, taken at the Abel Prize ceremony in Oslo, Norway, May 19. Picture: EPA/HAAKON MOSVOLD LARSEN

Nobel prize winner John Nash killed along with wife in New Jersey


Cleveland protests erupt after officer found not guilty in fatal shooting of two unarmed suspects

People block E 4th street and protest on Saturday in reaction to Cleveland police officer Michael Brelo being acquitted of manslaughter charges after he shot two people at the end of a 2012 car chase in which officers fired 137 shots. Picture: AFP/RICKY RHODES

Judge John O’Donnell says officer Michael Brelo acted reasonably in shooting the two suspects while standing on the hood of their surrounded car and firing multiple rounds through the windshield


Draghi urges eurozone to unite for economic reform


European Central Bank president Mario Draghi says sharing sovereignty was an opportunity and not a threat


UK shows how we can iron out crumples in service

An ironing board issue at London’s Tower Bridge brings some perspective on a lot of broader issues that SA perhaps need to iron out as a country

 David Cameron. Picture: AFP PHOTO/LEON NEAL

Conservatives should learn from Greece over Brexit

Newly re-elected British Prime Minister David Cameron must fudge to avoid the fate of Syriza, writes Chris Giles


Ireland backs gay marriage in historic vote, ministers say

A couple watch the count at a count centre in Dublin following the vote on same-sex marriage in Ireland on Saturday. Picture: AFP PHOTO/PAUL FAITH

This marks a dramatic social shift in the traditionally Catholic country


US Senate votes to grant Obama fast-track power on trade deals

Barack Obama. Picture: REUTERS / LARRY DOWNING

Vote will help wrap up negotiations on a 12-nation Pacific Rim trade deal central to projecting American influence in Asia


Mexico gunfight kills 43 as government targets gang

Members of the Mexican Army leave the ranch where gunmen took cover during an intense gun battle with the police, along the Jalisco-Michoacan highway in Vista Hermosa, Michoacan State, on Friday. Picture: AFP PHOTO/HECTOR GUERRERO

This is one of the bloodiest shootouts in a decade of gang violence wracking the country

Middle East

Treasures of Palmyra under threat as Islamic State arrive

A file picture shows a partial view of the ancient oasis city of Palmyra, 215 kilometres northeast of Damascus. Picture: AFP

Syrian officials, preservationists express grave concern about protecting temples, artefacts already eroded by years of war as militants advance

International companies


BlackBerry cuts jobs worldwide as it consolidates businesses

Picture: REUTERS

Company does not specify how many employees will be affected


Dutch government ‘to push ABN AMRO listing’

Eurogroup president and Dutch Finance Minister Jeroen Dijsselbloem gives a press conference after finance ministers met at the European Council in Brussels on Monday.  Picture: AFP PHOTO/EMMANUEL DUNAND

Dutch Finance Minister Jeroen Dijsselbloem’s plan expected on Friday for possibly the country’s biggest IPO


McDonald’s CEO gets grilled at first annual meeting

Shareholders take new CEO Steve Easterbrook to task over wages, advertising and food


UK banks face further fines


Barclays and Royal Bank of Scotland face up to £7bn in additional fines for misconduct within two years


New Agoa deal expects more of SA but offers less, says Davies

Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies launches the Buy SA Back campaign to increase South African exports to the rest of the continent, in Sandton on Tuesday. Picture: PUXLEY MAKGATHO

Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies for the first time shows his disillusionment over African Growth and Opportunities Act concessions


Chinese factory activity slows for third month

Workers produce clothes in a factory in Huaibei, in China’s Anhui province, this week. The latest purchasing managers’ index, released on Thursday, presents a mixed picture. Amid general weakness, domestic demand may be showing signs of stabilising. Picture: AFP PHOTO

Latest HSBC PMI data reinforces analysts’ views that Beijing has to take bolder steps to combat a protracted slowdown


Officials resume talks to overcome US-Cuba barriers

Fourth round of talks between former adversaries focuses on diplomats’ safety and suspected training of Havana rebels by US


Merkel ready with carrot and stick for EU summit in Riga

German Chancellor Angela Merkel at a cabinet meeting in Berlin on Wednesday. On Thursday she told the German parliament that Russia had to mend its ways. File picture: AFP PHOTO/JOHN MACDOUGALL

German Chancellor Angela Merkel makes clear Russia has no reason to fear closer ties between the 28-nation bloc and six of its Soviet-era satellites.


Australia rejects criticism over migrant crisis

Maltese marines toss bottles of water to a group of immigrants whose vessel suffered engine trouble about 30km southwest of Malta. File picture:REUTERS

Australia hits back at criticism of its response to thousands of migrants stranded at sea in Southeast Asia, saying it’s generous towards refugees in region


ECB’s Draghi urges Europe to reform to brighten dim prospects


ECB president calls on eurozone economies to reform , warns of modest future growth in face of entrenched unemployment and low investment


Crews clean up Californian beach after oil spill

Volunteers carry buckets of oil from an oil slick along the coast of Refugio State Beach in Goleta, California, United States, May 20, 2015. A pipeline ruptured along the scenic California coastline, spilling some 79,000 liters of oil into the ocean and on beaches before it could be secured. Picture: REUTERS/LUCY NICHOLSON

Cleanup crews in Santa Barbara scoop up petroleum that spewed from burst pipeline in what may be biggest spill to hit pristine, energy-rich coastline in 46 years


Ferrari approaches pole position for IPO

Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel leads Lewis Hamilton of Mercedes in the Spanish Grand Prix in Barcelona on May 10. REUTERS

Fiat Chrysler is preparing to list a stake in its sportscar division just as the most successful Formula One team is getting its act together again, write Alan Baldwin and Agnieszka Flak


Leading banks fined $6bn after guilty plea in forex probe

US Attorney General Loretta Lynch comments on the outcome of banks' foreign exchange manipulation cases, at the Department of Justice in Washington, DC, the US, on Wednesday. Picture: BLOOMBERG/ANDREW HARRER

US Attorney General Loretta Lynch calls currency-rigging scheme a brazen display of collusion and market subversion


Chinese deals give much-needed boost to Brazil

Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff, right, offers a toast after lunch with Chinese Premier Li Keqiang in Brasilia on Tuesday. Picture: REUTERS

Chinese officials announce sweeping list of investment plans and loans in Brazil totalling many billions of dollars


EU banking watchdog calls for tighter security for online shopping


Banks should provide customers with means to create one-off passwords from August to make buying over internet safer, banking regulators say

Middle East

UN announces Yemeni talks, Iran to allow ship inspection

A Yemeni woman looks at her destroyed house in the Yemeni capital in March, after Saudi air strikes against Huthi rebels near Sanaa Airport. Picture: AFP PHOTO/MOHAMMED HUWAIS

UN chief announces talks between warring Yemeni parties in Geneva to end more than seven weeks of war, as Iran agrees to inspections of aid ship sailing to Yemen


US plans to deliver anti-tank weapons to Iraq in early June


US to deliver 1,000 anti-tank weapons to Iraq to combat Islamic State suicide bombings like those that helped group seize Ramadi, senior State Department official says


Cuban rum fans in good spirits

Cuba's President Raul Castro (left) stands with his US counterpart, Barack Obama, before the start of the Summit of the Americas in Panama City earlier this year. File picture: REUTERS

When the trade embargo on Cuba is lifted, Pernod’s Havana Club will be available in the US, write Elizabeth Pineau and Dominique Vidalon

Middle East

IS sets up defensive positions in Ramadi

Iraq’s Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi has called for national unity in the battle to defend Iraq. File picture: REUTERS

Experts warn of the danger to the wider Middle East posed by Islamic State’s gains in Ramadi and Anbar province


Google search gives Twitter a boost

The shadows of people holding cellphones fall onto a backdrop projected with the Twitter logo in this picture taken in Warsaw. Picture: REUTERS

The appearance of tweets in Google’s search results could mark significant step for Twitter, which is in constant battle to educate masses about value of platform


Mongolia and Rio revive copper mine deal

Heavy machinery operate inside an open pit at the Oyu Tolgoi copper-gold mine, jointly owned by Rio Tinto's Turquoise Hill Resources unit and state-owned Erdenes Oyu Tolgoi, in the Gobi desert, Mongolia. File picture: BLOOMBERG/BRENT LEWIN

Bellwether Oyu Tolgoi project is expected to help revive investment in Mongolia's mining sector


LETTER FROM LONDON: UK out of the frying pan into the referendum

Triumphant in last week’s general election, UK Prime Minister David Cameron must now deliver on promises he made to get elected

Bill Gates. Picture: BLOOMBERG

Billionaires, icons and movie stars — why geek is now chic

The unstoppable rise of the geek over the past few years has resulted in a significant change to their status in popular society, writes Gary Newe


Brazil’s heroes teeter under probe

 Joao Vaccari, treasurer of Brazil's ruling Workers' Party, is escorted by police as he arrives to a legal medical institute in Curitiba April 15, 2015. Brazilian police on Wednesday arrested Vaccari, moving an investigation of graft and political kickbacks at state-run oil company Petrobras closer to President Dilma Rousseff's inner circle. Picture: REUTERS/RODOLFO BUHRER

Ruling Workers Party loses ground among voters, writes Joe Leahy


Finland adopts e-health platform


Self Care digital platform streamlines contact and information exchange between doctors and patients, writes Carol Matlack

Middle East

Documents shed new light on the mindset of Bin Laden

Osama bin Laden, left, and his former deputy Ayman al-Zawahiri. File picture: REUTERS

Declassified documents shed new light on al-Qaeda founder’s debates over tactics, his anxiety over western spying and his fixation with the group’s image


LETTER FROM WASHINGTON: Facebook’s big media party a sign of the Times

Good content costs and has to be paid for. To pay for it, even pay-walled publishers like the New York Times need to sell ads so they need eyeballs, writes Simon Barber


Criminal cases roil US food industry

Supermarket retail. Picture: THINKSTOCK

ConAgra Foods criminal case spotlights how stepped-up enforcement of food-safety laws is shaking up industry


Gay marriage vote marks a quiet revolution in Ireland

Belfast, Ireland XXX.  Picture: THINKSTOCK

The last country in Western Europe to decriminalise homosexuality now looks set to become the first in the world to approve same-sex marriage


Macau gambles on hotel rooms driving recovery

Galaxy Entertainment Group chairman Lui Che-Woo, right, and his son, vice-chairman Francis Lui, are betting on a Broadway theme and high-class entertainment to attract high rollers to their revamped casino. Picture: REUTERS

Casino operators are building new resorts to lure Chinese gamblers, write Stephanie Wong and Christopher Palmeri


Greece cannot make June IMF payment without deal, says legislator

A Greek flag flutters between Saint George's bell tower and an olive tree atop the Lycabettus hill in Athens, Greece.  Picture: REUTERS

Greece will not be able to make payment to International Monetary Fund that falls due on June 5 without deal with international lenders

Middle East

Iran aid ship to dock in Yemen, defying US warnings

Followers of the Houthi movement raise their rifles as they shout slogans against the Saudi-led air strikes in Sanaa, Yemen, on Friday.  Picture: REUTERS

Iranian aid ship bound for Yemen in defiance of US warnings has entered the Gulf of Aden and is expected to reach port on Thursday, media reports


Lawsuits will not help brands fight counterfeiting, says Alibaba

Alibaba.com's head office in Hangzhou, Zhejiang Province, China. Picture: BLOOMBERG

When it comes to fighting fakes, Alibaba’s head of internet security says co-operation beats the courtroom any day


Pope creates first Palestinian saints

A Palestinian holds rosary beads during a canonisation ceremony for new saints led by Pope Francis in St Peter's Square, Vatican City, May 17 2015. Picture: EPA/ANGELO CARCONI

Two nuns become first Palestinians to gain sainthood during an open-air mass celebrated by Pope Francis in St Peter’s Square

African News

Burundian chaos shows anger against long-time African rulers

Protesters run from Burundian policemen and army troops during a demonstration against President Pierre Nkurunziza’s bid for a third term in Bujumbura on Wednesday. Picture: AFP

Riots, announcement of coup that followed Burundian president’s bid for third term highlight rising trend of protests against leaders who try to prolong stay in office


US dismisses call to give up IMF veto

Barack Obama. Picture: AFP PHOTO/NICHOLAS KAMM

Obama administration has no plans to jeopardise the US’s veto over International Monetary Fund decisions to achieve its goal of giving China and others more clout


Section of Antarctica ice shelf likely to ‘disintegrate in next few years’

Adelie penguins walk on the ice at Cape Denison, Commonwealth Bay, East Antarctica.   Picture: REUTERS

Nasa warns that last intact section of Larsen B is weakening fast, likely to break up completely, contributing further to rising sea levels


EU pushes for quotas of migrants taken in

Migrants arrive in the landing dock of the HMS Bulwark in the middle of the Mediterranean on May 13. The migrants are from North Africa, according to the  British Ministry of Defence, which made the picture available. Picture: EPA/CARL OSMOND

Based on country size, economic output and other measures, Germany would take the most migrants followed by France and Italy, assuming Britain opts out


France posts fastest growth rate in two years


Cheap oil, weak euro lift French economy in first quarter to growth of 0.6%, its fastest rate in two years, easily beating analyst expectations


Greece taps IMF reserves to pay debt

A deserted factory stands in the industrial zone of the town of Thebes in Sterea Hellas region, Greece. File picture:  REUTERS/Yannis Behrakis

Athens empties an International Monetary Fund holding account as a deal with its international creditors remains elusive

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