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Reuters: Islamic State expands its 'state'

Almost a year after Islamic State's shock capture of Mosul, Iraq's second city, the black flags of the jihadis have been raised over Ramadi, the capital of Anbar province to the west of Baghdad, seat of Iraq’s increasingly theoretical central government.

Nobody talks of Mosul or recapturing it from Islamic State. It is a forgotten city. Now it is all about the fall of Ramadi, the neighbouring ancient Syrian city of Palmyra in central Syria and beyond - the Libyan city of Sirte, hometown of former leader Muammar Gaddafi.

MIDDLE EAST

IS captures Iraqi town, purges opponents in Syria's Palmyra.

Key Syria-Iraq border crossing falls to ISIL.

Fears mount over fate of Syria's ancient Palmyra ruins.

Syrian troops withdraw from military compound in northwest after month-long militant siege.

UN looks into aid possibly diverted to Syrian military.

Suicide bomber strikes Saudi Shi'ite mosque, many dead or wounded: residents. Suicide bomber attacks Shia mosque in Saudi Arabia.

Saudi-led coalition steps up air strikes on Houthis in Yemen's Sanaa: residents.

Turkish police swoop on Erdogan foes, dozens detained.

ASIA

China says U.S. actions in South China Sea 'irresponsible, dangerous'.

Dollars disappear in Afghanistan with exiting U.S. troops.

Myanmar navy announces rescue of stranded Rohingya.

ISIL recruit reveals plans to conduct attacks in India – security official.

One year of Thai military rule passes with a whisper. Anti-government protesters arrested in Thailand on first anniversary of military takeover.

Australia opposes any military base on artificial islands in the South China Sea: Defence Minister Kevin Andrews.

Global refugee crises will hinder resettlement of Asian 'boat people': UNHCR.

AFRICA

Kenya says attack by Somali militants thwarted in Garissa. Al-Shabab storms Kenyan village near Garissa.

Burundi protesters defy police crackdown.

UN says Burundi refugees cholera epidemic worsening. Cholera infects 3,000 Burundian refugees, UN calls for help.

Mali separatists say soldiers publicly executed 9 Tuaregs in north village; army investigating.

Mali wants regional military force as rebel violence surges.

Soldier kidnapped by suspected Islamist militants in Egypt's Sinai.

South Sudan close to economic collapse as famine fears resurface.

EUROPE

Ireland votes on gay marriage; Catholic leaders opposed.

NATO says sets date for 2016 summit in Warsaw.

EU agrees 1.8bn-euro loan to cash-strapped Ukraine.

Germany, France usher Greece back to negotiating table.

Cameron to meet Merkel, Juncker and Hollande for EU talks.

Russian space agency Roscosmos misused $1.8bn – audit chamber.

Netherlands plans to ban full-face veil in public places.

Tunisia Bardo attack: Italy alarmed by migrant arrest.

Eiffel Tower closed amid workers' anger about pickpockets.

AMERICAS

Colombia rebels cancel unilateral cease-fire after army raid kills 26 insurgents.

Colombia army raid kills 18 Farc rebels as talks inch on.

U.S. State Department to post set of Clinton emails online on Friday.

FBI admits no major cases cracked with Patriot Act snooping powers.

Brazil’s economic downturn, corruption scandals shake leader.

Venezuela's currency sinks to record low on the black market.

TERRORISM/THE LONG WAR

The ISIS - al Qaeda rivalry is playing out violently in Yemen.

What life is like for teenagers who try to join Islamic State.

British bomber jailed for life for murder of U.S. sergeant in Iraq.

ECONOMY/FINANCE/BUSINESS

Mazda and Mitsubishi recall cars over Takata airbags.

Mazda, Mitsubishi add 624,000 more cars to Takata air bag recall.

Oil market shrugging off turmoil in Middle East.

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