latest news headlines | Call for Zuma to urgently release Fees Commission report.

The Higher Education Transformation Network has urged President Jacob Zuma to release the final report of the Fees Commission.

- - ZA

Nigeria: Pro-Biafra leader Nnamdi Kanu 'missing' as trial resumes.

The leader of a separatist movement in Nigeria has failed to appear in court at the start of his treason trial. He hasn't been seen in public since soldiers allegedly invaded his home in mid-September.

- Deutsche Welle - DE

Catalans vow to resist after Spain court rules vote illegal.

Spain's top court has ruled a recent independence referendum in Catalonia was unconstitutional, adding legal weight to the government's efforts to block an attempt by the wealthy region's leaders to break away from the rest of the country.

- Stuff - NZ

Trump cites death of chief of staff's son to question if Obama did enough to honor fallen soldiers.

President Donald Trump has pulled bereaved military families into a painful political fight of his own making, going so far Tuesday as to cite the death of his chief of staff's son in Iraq to question whether Barack Obama and other presidents did enough to honor the military dead. He's boasted...

- - US

Key senators reach bipartisan deal on Obamacare subsidies after Trump blocked them.

Republican and Democratic senators joined in announcing a plan Tuesday aimed at stabilizing America's health insurance markets in the wake of President Donald Trump's order to terminate Obamacare subsidies. Trump himself spoke approvingly of the deal, but some conservatives denounced it as an insurance...

- - US

ISIS 'capital' Raqqa falls to U.S.-backed forces. What it means for terror group's future.

The fall of Raqqa marks end of terror group's caliphate in Syria and Iraq.         


Sydney nurse Kelly Clarke mourned at funeral after honeymoon death in Fiji.

Family and friends united to pay tribute to Sydney nurse Kelly Clarke whose life was cruelly cut short after she was struck down with double pneumonia while honeymooning in Fiji.More than 300 mourners packed Our Lady of Good Counsel...

- The New Zealand Herald - NZ

Community Coffin Club makes their own caskets.


- USA TODAY - US | Nzimande's removal 'long overdue' - Limpopo ANCYL.

The ANC Youth League in Limpopo has welcomed the removal of former minister of higher education Blade Nzimande from Cabinet.

- - ZA

'Art 'detectives' probe what lies beneath a Fragonard.

'Art detectives' probe what lies beneath a famous Fragonard painting and believe they've found something amazing. Video provided by AFP         


Asia and Australia Edition: Raqqa, Kirkuk, Marawi: Your Wednesday Briefing.

Here’s what you need to know to start your day.

- New York Times - US

Taliban attacks in Afghanistan kill more than 70 people amid push for peace talks

The commando-style raid on a police compound began with twin car bombs.

- Washington Post - US

Finance chief Wolfgang Schäuble set to wield authority as parliamentary president

Wolfgang Schäuble is probably the most influential German politician never to have been chancellor. Now he faces new challenges as president of a German parliament that includes the far-right AfD.

- Deutsche Welle - DE

Playing with Fire: Trump Risks New Conflagration in Middle East

U.S. President Donald Trump made it clear last week that he is close to withdrawing from the Iran accord unless Iran agrees to make changes. His chances for success are slim - and his blustering risks a dangerous escalation. By DER SPIEGEL staff

- Spiegel Online - DE

Bayern Munich's Jupp Heynckes: Champions League a challenge that tingles

Bayern Munich haven't enjoyed the Champions League this season, but Jupp Heynckes has returned to the dugout to calm the storm. He's won the competition before, but is only looking forwards.

- Deutsche Welle - DE

Taliban kills scores in Afghanistan's Paktia and Ghazni

Coordinated attacks kill 41 and injure 150 at police camp in Paktia while car bombings in Ghazni leave another 30 dead.

- Al Jazeera - QA

Judge in Hawaii blocks latest version of Trump's travel ban

A judge in Hawaii has blocked the Trump administration from enforcing its latest travel ban in the US, just hours before it was set to take effect.

- Stuff - NZ

Most crimes reported to the Police from Western Province

Most crimes reported to the Police from Western Province...

- MENAFN - JO | Zuma's Cabinet reshuffle confuses court

The latest Cabinet reshuffle has momentarily delayed and confused the court as former home affairs director-general Mkuseli Apleni, who is challenging his suspension, now has a new boss.

- - ZA

The price of victory in Raqqa: More than a thousand dead and a city in ruins

A U.S.-backed Kurdish and Arab force claimed a major victory on Tuesday, saying they had taken full control of Raqqa, the Islamic State's former de facto capital, after a four-month-long offensive. The city gained symbolic value as the headquarters of the Islamic State's supposed caliphate, but...

- - US

U.S. mulls potential F-16 sale to Greece: Trump

WASHINGTON - U.S President Donald Trump said on Tuesday that his administration has informed Congress of a potential sale to upgrade the F-16 aircraft in Greece's Air Force, a deal could be worth $2.4 billion.

- Reuters - US

George Saunders wins Man Booker Prize

George Saunders has earned one of the world's most prestigious English-language literary awards. Other famous authors who were long-listed for this year's prize included Paul Auster, Arundhati Roy and Zadie Smith.

- Deutsche Welle - DE

GOP senator says deal set on restoring federal payments to health insurers

A key Republican senator said Tuesday he's reached a deal with his Democratic counterpart on resuming federal payments to health insurers that President Donald Trump has blocked. At the White House, the president spoke favorably about the bipartisan pact. The agreement would involve a two-year...

- - US

Grit and the gridiron rescue a town

It's only 3 p.m., but North Alamo Street is beginning to resemble a Texas ghost town. Closed' signs tilt from mud-flecked doors. An errant piece of corrugated tin scrapes restlessly against a sagging fence post. A tattered American flag whips in the breeze, clanging against a bent flagpole. 

- Yahoo! News - US

Iraqi forces move deeper into Kurdish-held areas, redrawing political map

The military push is raising doubts about the future of Iraqi Kurdistan's leadership.

- Washington Post - US

Arjun Aloysius's private secretary appears before commission

Arjun Aloysius's private secretary appears before commission...


Bangladeshis race to save Rohingya refugees in need

Private donors raise money, food and clothing to fill yawning aid gap as Myanmar displacement into Bangladesh tops 582,000

- UN - INT

Two Chinese Nationals Charged With Fentanyl Trafficking

Two Chinese men have been charged with running massive drug networks that manufactured and shipped thousands of doses of the potentially lethal drug fentanyl directly to U.S. consumers.

- Wall Street Journal - US

200,000 rally in Barcelona against separatist leaders' detention

Around 200,000 people took to the streets of Barcelona on October 17 for a candle-lit protest against the detention of two separatist leaders, a spokesman for the city's municipal police said.Similar...

- The Hindu - IN

A gruesome North Korean murder plot: Trial sheds new light on assassination of Kim Jong Un's brother

On the morning of February 13, a pudgy, balding middle-aged man approached a self-check-in kiosk in a terminal at Malaysia's Kuala Lumpur International Airport. As he punched up the information for his AirAsia flight to Macau, nothing...

- The New Zealand Herald - NZ

Iraqi Forces Sweep Territory From Kurds With Little Resistance

Kurdish forces relinquished control over a huge swath of northern Iraq, ceding territory they gained during the war with Islamic State to triumphant Iraqi forces.

- Wall Street Journal - US

Most countries are named after one of these four things

Countries really only get their names from four things. Buzz60's Nathan Rousseau Smith has the details.         


Syrian Democratic Forces liberate Raqqa from 'Islamic State'

US-backed Syrian militias say they have taken full control of Raqqa after four months of fighting. The city had served as the self-styled capital of the "Islamic State" terror group since 2014.

- Deutsche Welle - DE

After brutal Syrian war, how ready is region to do business with Assad?

After more than six years of bloodshed and destruction, Bashar al-Assad's hold on the presidency of Syria seems assured for now, which leaves neighboring countries beginning to ponder if, how, and when relations can, or should, be restored with Damascus. The issue for Syria's neighbors is more than a tactical one.

- Yahoo! News - US

British Intelligence Chief Says the Country's Terrorism Threat Is 'Evolving Rapidly'

MI5 Director General Andrew Parker said it's the worst he's seen in his career

- TIME Magazine - US | BEF welcomes Cabinet reshuffle, has full confidence in new ministers

The Black Empowerment Foundation has welcomed President Jacob Zuma's Cabinet reshuffle, saying it has full confidence in the new ministers.

- - ZA

Greece passes gender identity law amid church protest

A new law on gender identity will likely improve the lives of transgender people in Greece. But before it was passed, Greek Orthodox clergymen railed against bill, even threatening to excommunicate transgender people.

- Deutsche Welle - DE

Catalonia crisis: Protesters demand release of jailed separatist leaders

Demonstrations have erupted in Barcelona calling for two pro-independence leaders to be released from jail. A court in Madrid said they implemented a "complex strategy" to push Catalonia towards independence.

- Deutsche Welle - DE

Hate Crimes Soared in Parts of the U.K. After Brexit

Hate crime offenses in England and Wales rose to the highest point yet recorded in the year leading up to March 2017

- TIME Magazine - US

New Zealand Rebels gang boss Aaron 'AJ' Graham kicked out of Australia

The New Zealand Rebels motorcycle outlaw gang boss Aaron "AJ" Graham is the latest bikie to be kicked out of Australia after a new law was pushed through targeting organised crime figures. 

- Stuff - NZ | #News24 ICYMI: Zuma reshuffles Cabinet, appoints new SABC board; and Gerrie Nel to prosecute Duduzane Zuma

Tripartite alliance now 'on brink of disintegration' says SACP on Cabinet reshuffle; Springbok and Bath flank Francois Louw could be slapped with a lengthy ban and ANC candidate councillor had been warned not to go out on the day of her murder, the Moerane Commission has heard.

- - ZA

What To Expect As China's Ruling Communist Party Prepares For 19th National Congress

China's ruling Communist Party's 19th national congress will likely decide the country's leadership lineup for the next five to 10 years. While leaders will go all out to present a facade of orderly transition and party unity, analysts believe that the facade conceals some brutal political power struggles, due in part to a ...

- NPR - US

Jesus Campos, Vegas security guard shot before rampage, appears to have vanished

The story seemed straightforward: The unarmed security guard approached Stephen Paddock's room on the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino, distracting the gunman and potentially saving lives.

- Stuff - NZ

Raqqa Is Captured From ISIS, U.S.-Backed Forces Say

Losing the Syrian city is a heavy blow to the Islamic State, but it could also inflame tensions between Kurds and Arabs in the U.S.-led coalition.

- New York Times - US

The world must not turn its back on the Syrian refugee crisis

Conditions are not yet in place for the more than five million Syrians living as refugees in neighboring countries to return home.

- UN - INT

Iraq sweeps up more territories as Kurds quarrel amongst themselves

The Iraqi government has bloodlessly seized more territory from the Kurds after retaking Kirkuk. Baghdad's rapid advances have triggered bitter Kurdish infighting.

- Deutsche Welle - DE

U.S.-backed forces capture Islamic State 'capital' of Raqqa

U.S.-backed Syrian forces celebrated in the devastated streets of Raqqa on Tuesday after gaining control of the northern city that once was the heart of the Islamic State's self-styled caliphate, dealing a major defeat to the extremist group that has seen its territory shrink ever smaller since...

- - US | Mantashe disses 'royal' Sisulu as irrational

ANC secretary general Gwede Mantashe has hit back at presidential hopeful Lindiwe Sisulu, dismissing her 'royal tendencies', after she questioned his struggle credentials.

- - ZA

Senate moves ahead on GOP budget that's key to taxes

The Senate is moving ahead on a Republican budget plan, a critical step in President Donald Trump and the party's politically imperative drive to cut taxes and simplify the IRS code. The nonbinding budget plan would permit Republicans to pass follow-up tax cuts later this year that would cost up...

- - US

For Theresa May, the Brexit News Only Gets Worse

Things have gotten so bad that European Union officials are considering offering positive tidbits, if only to help her fend off cabinet hard-liners.

- New York Times - US