US-led coalition forces said they carried out a series of 16 airstrikes Saturday on the Islamic State in its Syrian stronghold of Raqa, in one of the biggest assaults on the extremists. "The significant airstrikes tonight were executed to deny Daesh (IS) the ability to move military capabilities throughout Syria and into Iraq," spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Thomas Gilleran said in a coalition statement. Coalition forces "successfully engaged multiple targets" throughout Raqa -- the extremists' de facto capital -- the statement said, destroying IS structures and transit routes.
BEIJING/SHANGHAI (Reuters) - China froze share offers and set up a market-stabilization fund on Saturday, the Wall Street Journal said, as Beijing intensified efforts to pull stock markets out of a nose-dive that is threatening the world's second-largest economy. Beijing's reported suspension of initial public offers (IPOs) came a few hours after extraordinary announcements by major brokers and fund managers, which collectively pledged to invest at least $19 billion of their own money into stocks. China's government, regulators and financial institutions are now waging a concerted campaign to prop up the nation's two main share markets, amid fears that a meltdown would rock the financial system and inflict heavy losses across an economy where annual growth is already running at a 24-year low.