October 22, 2016
From Washington, this is VOA news. I'm Sarah Williams reporting.
Islamic State militants launched an assault on the northern oil city of Kirkuk Friday, drawing troops and resources away from the battle towards Mosul as Iraqi and Kurdish Peshmerga forces continue to move in on the country's second-largest city.
A suicide attack on an Iranian-run construction site in the town of Dibis in northern Iraq Friday also killed at least 14 people, including four Iranians. Six Iraqi police and 12 Islamic State fighters were killed during a similar attack on a police compound in Kirkuk earlier in the day.
U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan Friday discussed the need to increase military cooperation between the two countries in the campaign to defeat Islamic State in Syria and Iraq.
Carter arrived Friday in Ankara, Turkey, where he met with Erdoğan and other top Turkish political and defense officials. VOA's Wayne Lee reports.
Carter's trip to Ankara comes amid tensions between Turkey and Iraq over the campaign to retake Mosul from Islamic State fighters.
Turkey wants to have a larger role in the battle for Iraq's second city, but Iraq is opposed. The U.S. fears tensions could kill an agreement that is keeping rival militias out of Mosul.
Carter said it is important for Turkey to respect Iraqi sovereignty.
"The United States will continue to work with both of them and keep everybody focused on the objective of defeating ISIL because it has struck Turkish homeland even as it has struck the homelands of the United States and many of our other coalition partners."
Wayne Lee, VOA news, Washington.
Please look at our website at www.voanews. This is VOA news.
A spokeswoman for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security said the agency is investigating "all possible causes" of an Internet outage that affected several popular websites Friday.
The outages began in the eastern United States and then spread across the country, and even to parts of Western Europe.
Sites affected included the social network Twitter, money transfer services PayPal, music-streamer Spotify and the discussion site Reddit.
Internet users affected by the outage experienced sluggish surfing as a result of a distributed denial of service attack, according to service provider Dyn. The company said it had resolved one cyberattack early Friday, only to face a second attack later in the day.
South Africa says it plans to withdraw from the International Criminal Court.
Analysts fear South Africa's decision, which follows Burundi's move to leave the court, could encourage other African nations to abandon the Hague-based tribunal. VOA's Anita Powell reports from Johannesburg.
South Africa's justice minister defended the decision to leave the ICC by citing his nation's interest in being a broker of peace in Africa.
Justice and Correctional Services Minister Michael Masutha says South Africa can't provide a safe space for leaders to talk peace if they are compelled to comply with all the court's arrest warrants, like the one for Sudan's President Omar al-Bashir, wanted for war crimes and crimes against humanity.
Masutha says the nation's cabinet decided this week that its only option was to leave the court and has delivered a notification to the United Nations, saying it would leave in one year.
"In exercising its international relations with foreign countries, particularly with countries in which serious conflicts occur, or have occurred, South Africa is hindered by the implementation of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court."
Anita Powell, VOA news, Johannesburg.
Faced with disappointing polling numbers and less than three weeks to bridge the gap, Donald Trump on Friday nonetheless stayed upbeat as he campaigned in two key battleground states.
Trump highlighted three recent polls showing him ahead of his rival, Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, who campaigned Friday in the hotly contested state of Ohio.
Pakistan has called on warring sides in Afghanistan to resume talks, promising it will follow "the priorities the elected Afghan government determines" for pursuing peace and reconciliation with the Taliban.
Seven years of talks over a trade deal between the European Union and Canada are hanging in the balance after EU leaders failed to convince Wallonia, the French-speaking region of Belgium, to approve it.
Negotiations and discussions at an EU leaders summit in Brussels ended Friday with no set deadline for a deal.
I'm Sarah Williams in Washington.
That's the latest world news from VOA.