By Sylvia Westall and Ayla Jean Yackley BEIRUT/ISTANBUL (Reuters) - Kurdish forces took control of the Syrian town of Kobani on Monday after driving out Islamic State fighters, a monitoring group and Syrian state media said, although Washington said the four-month battle was not yet over. Some Islamic State supporters took to Twitter to say the fight for Kobani, a focal point of the international struggle against the ultra-hardline Islamist group, was still raging. The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the Syrian Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG) had retaken the town, close to the Turkish border, but were proceeding carefully in the eastern outskirts where Islamic State had planted mines before fleeing. "I can see the YPG flag flying over Kobani.
Federal agents on Monday arrested an alleged Russian spy in New York accused of trying to recruit sources and collect economic intelligence while working as a Manhattan banker, officials said. US prosecutors named the alleged covert intelligence agent as Evgeny Buryakov, 39. He appeared before Judge Sarah Netburn in a Manhattan federal court on Monday, a court official said. Prosecutors said he was assisted in covert espionage by Russian spies Igor Sporyshev, 40, and Victor Podobnyy, 27, who had been attached to the Russian trade and UN missions in New York.
Video from a US Coast Guard aircraft released Monday captured the drama of a single-engine airplane and its pilot splashing safely onto the Pacific Ocean thanks to a parachute built inside its fuselage. The factory-new Cirrus SR22 was en route to Hawaii on Sunday afternoon on a ferry flight from the San Francisco area when it "ran out of fuel," the Coast Guard said in a press release. Video from the C-130 Hercules rescue plane showed the ill-starred aircraft deploy its airframe parachute -- standard equipment on the five-seat aircraft that sells for $725,000 in its turbocharged version -- several hundred feet above the sea. Seconds after the Cirrus hit the water with a splash, the unidentified pilot is seen climbing into a small life raft to await a passing cruise ship to pick him up, about 250 miles (400 kilometers) off the Hawaiian island of Maui, a half-hour later.