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France to host talks Thursday on Mosul's future
Paris (AFP) - France will host an international meeting Thursday on the future of Mosul, French Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault said on the second day of a major offensive to retake Iraq's second city from the Islamic State group.
"We must anticipate, plan for the 'day after', and the stabilisation of Mosul after the military battle," Ayrault said Tuesday, adding that Iran, despite its influence in the region, was not invited to the talks.
The French foreign minister said the international coalition fighting IS also had a "responsibility" to retake Raqa, in Syria, which would be the last major city in either country under the group's control if Mosul falls.
"Not to go on to Raqa would be a bad mistake," Ayrault told reporters, adding: "If we want to fight effectively against terrorism it is essential to take this city."
The long-awaited offensive on Mosul was launched on Monday, with some 30,000 forces involved in Iraq's largest military operation since the 2011 pullout of US troops.
The US military, which is leading a coalition providing air and ground support, said Iraqi forces looked "ahead of schedule" but warned the battle would be long and difficult.
UK survey finds 28,000 plant species for medical use
The Royal Botanic Gardens in Kew, west London. (Photo: AFP / Daniel LEAL-OLIVAS) Britain's Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew in London recorded 28,187 species in its latest annual survey and said it was probably a "very conservative figure". New plants discovered over the past year include nine species of a climbing vine used in the treatment of Parkinson's disease, the survey found. "The report is highlighting the huge potential that there is for plants, in areas like diabetes and… chat_bubble_outline Read More...
Farming start-ups need more help
Pragmatic policies are needed for the Government to realise its goal of promoting start-ups in the agriculture sector. A farmer harvests tomatoes planted in a greenhouse in Central Highlands Lam Dong Province’s Don Duong District. Pragmatic policies are thought to be needed for the Government to realise its goal of promoting start-ups in the agriculture sector. During an online discussion held by the Government portal on Friday afternoon, Dau Anh Tuan, head of Viet Nam Chamber of Commerce and… chat_bubble_outline Read More...
Royal Parks launches ‘Park Stories’ video
The video shows the versatility of the parks throughout the seasons Attracting over 77 million visitors a year, London’s eight Royal Parks are some of the most precious, picturesque and entertaining open spaces in the world and for the first time each park has been captured in a new promotional video. Shot throughout 2015/16, the Park Stories video shows highlights of all eight Royal Parks. Covering 5,000 acres, the parks are unique and are used in many different ways by many different… chat_bubble_outline Read More...
Comey memo on Flynn probe: Three key questions
Washington is gripped with the feeling that it may have reached a crucial point in Donald Trump’s presidency following the revelation that Trump may have asked ex-FBI Director James Comey to shut down the federal investigation of former national security adviser Michael Flynn.What this means in terms of concrete action remains unclear. It’s one thing to foresee trouble for the Republican legislative agenda, or a spreading network of investigations of Russia’s meddling in the 2016 election,… chat_bubble_outline Read More...
Haiti hurricane victims lose hope of receiving aid
Les Cayes (Haiti) (AFP) - It's been two weeks since Hurricane Matthew devastated southern Haiti, but large parts of the impoverished country's third-largest city of Les Cayes remain a wasteland and many residents have stopped expecting to receive any help.A coconut tree fell on Yolette Cazenor's small home in the storm's aftermath. A similar fate befell her neighbor Michel Donald. So far, a few pieces of sheet metal is all they have to rebuild."The sheet metal is to provide shade during the… chat_bubble_outline Read More...