Obama, Castro shake hands as U.S., Cuba seek better ties

By Matt Spetalnick and Dave Graham PANAMA CITY (Reuters) – President Barack Obama and Cuban President Raul Castro shook hands on Friday at a summit in Panama, a symbolically charged gesture as the pair seek to restore ties between the Cold War foes. A photograph showed Obama and Castro, both wearing dark suits, chatting in a small group of leaders at the summit’s opening ceremony. Obama and Castro are expected

U.S., allies conduct air strikes in Syria and Iraq: U.S. military

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S.-led forces have targeted Islamic State militants with eight air strikes in Syria and nine in Iraq since early on Friday, the U.S. military said on Saturday. In Syria, the air strikes hit Islamic State positions near Al Hasakah and Kobani, the Combined Joint Task Force said in a statement. In Iraq, they hit Islamic State positions near Bayji, Mosul and Fallujah, among other places, it said.

Egypt sentences Muslim Brotherhood leader, others to death

By Mahmoud Mourad CAIRO (Reuters) – An Egyptian court sentenced Mohamed Badie, leader of the outlawed Muslim Brotherhood, and 13 other senior members of the group to death for inciting chaos and violence, and gave a life term to a U.S.-Egyptian citizen for ties to the Brotherhood. The men were among thousands of people detained after freely elected Islamist president Mohamed Mursi was toppled in 2013 by the military under

Yemeni militiamen say captured two Iranian officers in Aden

By Mohammed Mukhashaf ADEN (Reuters) – Local militiamen in the Yemeni city of Aden said they captured two Iranian military officers advising Houthi rebels during fighting on Friday evening. Tehran has denied providing military support for Houthi fighters, whose advances have drawn air strikes by a regional coalition led by Saudi Arabia, the Islamic Republic’s main rival for influence in the Gulf. If confirmed, the presence of two Iranian officers,

Syrian Kurds battle Islamic State in northeast

At least two dozen Islamic State fighters have been killed in northeastern Syria in a battle with Kurdish forces supported by U.S.-led air strikes, a Kurdish official and a group monitoring the war said on Saturday. Ten members of the Kurdish YPG militia were also killed in the fighting in Hasaka province, a strategically important region that borders Turkey and Iraq and where Islamic State has recently lost ground, said

Turkey says sends more troops, aerial support to fight Kurdish militants

By Humeyra Pamuk ISTANBUL (Reuters) – Turkey sent extra troops, reconnaissance planes and armed helicopters into its eastern Agri province on Saturday after four soldiers were wounded in a clash with Kurdish insurgents, the military said. The government said militants from the Kurdish Workers Party (PKK) were trying to destabilize the country before a parliamentary election in June. “We have sent reconnaissance planes, armed helicopters and additional ground troops to