U.N. peacekeepers and armed men exchanged fire on Monday in Central African Republic's capital Bangui, the United Nations said, while hundreds of protesters gathered to call for the mission's departure. Central African Republic has been in chaos since early 2013 when fighting between mostly Muslim Seleka rebels and anti-Balaka Christian militias prompted the establishment of the MINUSCA mission a year later. Civil society groups called for a general strike on Monday to pressure the mission to leave.
PALM SPRINGS, Calif. (AP) — A maintenance crew had slowed down traffic on a California highway through the night, and the work had gone on for hours without problems. Then a tour bus returning to Los Angeles from a casino trip slammed into the back of a semi-truck. Passengers who were asleep on the bus woke up to loud screams and the sound of crushing metal.
By Maher Chmaytelli and Stephen Kalin BAGHDAD/BARTELLA, Iraq (Reuters) - Islamic State expanded its attacks on Monday against Iraqi army and Kurdish forces to relieve pressure on its militants confronting an offensive on Mosul, its last major urban stronghold in the country. About 80 Islamic State-held villages and towns have been retaken in the first week of the offensive, bringing the Iraqi and Kurdish forces closer to the edge of the city itself - where the battle will be hardest fought. The Mosul campaign, which aims to crush the Iraqi half of Islamic State's declared caliphate in Iraq and Syria, may be the biggest battle yet in the 13 years of turmoil triggered by the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq in 2003, and could require a massive humanitarian relief operation.