Iraqi Government Launches New Mosul Operation

Zohra Bensemra/Reuters

The Iraqi government on Sunday announced the launch of a new operation aimed at re-taking western Mosul from ISIS. The government air-dropped leaflets in the city to inform the remaining fighters that a new offensive was about to begin. “This is your last opportunity to quit your work with ISIS and to leave those foreigners who are in your homeland. Stay at home, raising the white flags as the forces approach,” the leaflet reads. The less populous eastern part of the city was taken back from ISIS in January. Troops will likely enter the western half of the city on foot due to narrow streets, making them susceptible to suicide attacks. Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi called on soldiers “to move bravely forward to liberate what is left of the city.” As many as 350,000 children are believed to be trapped in western Mosul.


Trump Got Secret Plan to Lift Russia Sanctions

Kevin Lamarque/Reuters

President Donald Trump's attorney hand-delivered a "peace plan" from a Ukranian lawmaker to the White House that would let the U.S. lift sanctions on Russia if it were enacted, The New York Times reported. Michael Cohen, Trump’s personal attorney who delivered the document, said the goal is to “bring about peace” between Russia and Ukraine. The Ukrainian lawmaker pushing the plan, Andrii Artemenko, has praised Trump and Putin and is seeking to oust Ukraine’s president, Petro Poroshenko. “A lot of people will call me a Russian agent, a U.S. agent, a CIA agent,” Artemenko said. “But how can you find a good solution between our countries if we do not talk?” Cohen, whose wife is Ukrainian, told The New York Times that he has not discussed the plan with Trump. Those involved in the plan met at a hotel in Manhattan, according to the Times. Ukraine’s ambassador to the U.S., Valeriy Chaly, chided Artemenko, saying he is “not entitled to present any alternative peace plans on behalf of Ukraine to any foreign government, including the U.S. administration.”


U.S. Sends Aircraft Carrier to South China Sea

Handout/U.S. Navy/Reuters

The U.S. is sending an aircraft carrier to the South China Sea, ignoring warnings from China which views such patrols as a violation of its sovereignty. The U.S. Navy said in a statement that the deployment of the USS Carl Vinson was a “routine operation,” but Geng Shuang, a spokesman for China’s foreign ministry, said Beijing “firmly opposes any country’s attempt to undermine China’s sovereignty and security in the name of the freedom of navigation and overflight.” China says it holds claim to most of the disputed waters, and has been constructing islands equipped with military weaponry. The country has long urged the U.S. against getting involved in its disputes over the waters with other nations.

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Leaked DHS Immigration Memos Foreshadow Crackdown on Illegal Immigration

Jonathan Ernst/Reuters

Leaked memos from Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly reveal the department’s new efforts to implement President Donald Trump’s immigration policies. The memos, obtained by CNN, show that the federal government will have broad authority to detain undocumented immigrants, as well as deport some individuals “more quickly with limited court proceedings,” according to CNN. A DHS spokeswoman declined to comment on the memos, which are subject to changes.


Trump Cites Non-Existent Sweden Attack

Kevin Lamarque/Reuters

At his campaign-style rally on Saturday, President Donald Trump cited a non-existent attack in Sweden in an effort to bolster his argument against taking in refugees. “You look at what’s happening in Germany, you look at what’s happening last night in Sweden,” Trump said. “Sweden, who would believe this?” Trump was likely referring to a Fox News segment the night before which discussed allegations of increased crime tied to refugees. On Twitter, former Swedish Prime Minister Carl Bildt wrote: “Sweden? Terror attack? What he he been smoking? Questions abound.”


SpaceX Successfully Launches Falcon 9 Rocket

Joe Skipper/Reuters

SpaceX successfully launched its Falcon 9 rocket from a NASA launchpad at the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida, on Sunday. It took off for the International Space Station from the same pad used by NASA’s historic Apollo missions, carrying a Dragon cargo shipment. The rocket’s first stage also landed successfully at Landing Zone 1 at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. The Dragon capsule is due to arrive at the ISS on Tuesday. “Baby come back,” SpaceX CEO Elon Musk wrote on Instagram Sunday morning with a picture of the rocket. The launch was initially scheduled for Saturday but was aborted 13 seconds before the planned takeoff. The company later explained that it needed to “take a closer look at positioning of the second stage engine nozzle.”


Suicide Bomb Kills Dozens in Somalia

Feisal Omar/Reuters

A suicide car bombing at a market in Mogadishu on Sunday killed dozens and injured 50 people. “We carried 39 dead bodies and there were many others injured,” an emergency medical official said. Al Shabaab, a jihadist group that has carried out similar bombings throughout the country, did not immediately claim the attack. A witness told Reuters: “I was staying in my shop when a car came in into the market and exploded. I saw more than 20 people lying on the ground. Most of them were dead.”


Malaysia Seeks 7 More in Killing of Kim Jong-un’s Brother

Athit Perawongmetha/Reuters

Police officials in Malaysia are looking for seven more individuals who may be connected to the killing of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un’s estranged half brother, Kim Jong-nam. According to Malaysian officials, four of the individuals being sought are North Korean men who left Malaysia on the day Kim Jong-nam was killed. He died at the Kuala Lumpur airport last Monday after he was allegedly poisoned by two women. South Korea has blamed the north for the killing, which has been described as an assassination. Officials have not indicated a cause of death, but Malaysia’s deputy inspector-general of police, Noor Rashid Ibrahim, said on Sunday that the death was “sudden and suspicious.” The two women reportedly believed that they were engaging in a prank, but officials would not comment on that suggestion.


Merkel Falls Behind in New Poll

Axel Schmidt/Reuters

German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservative party fell behind her center-left rival in a new poll. For the first time since 2006, the Social Democrats (SPD) leads Merkel’s Christian Democrats (CDU/CSU). The margin is only one percentage point—33 percent to 32 percent—but the SPD’s boost in recent months has baffled Germany’s conservatives. The survey was conducted by the Emnid institute and announced by the Bild am Sonntag publication. It showed that in the last four weeks, the SPD has gained an unprecedented 12 points in the polls, coinciding with the party’s announcement that former European Parliament President Martin Schulz would be its standard-bearer. Germans will head to the polls to pick their new leader on Sept. 24.


France Rips Russia for Election Cyberattacks

Michaela Rehle/Reuters

French Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault said on Sunday that efforts to wage cyberattacks in the country’s presidential election are “acceptable.” Emmanuel Macron, a pro-Europe candidate for the French presidency who is enjoying recent polling success, said through a spokesman that Moscow targeted the campaign’s website and email servers. “It's enough to see which candidates, Marine Le Pen or Francois Fillon, Russia expresses preference for in the French electoral campaign,” Ayrault said in an interview with a newspaper, adding: “This form of interference in French democratic life is unacceptable and I denounce it.” Similar allegations have been levied against Russia for its efforts to sway the U.S. presidential election toward Donald Trump.