World Briefs: UN gearing up for Mosul exodus

UN gearing up for Mosul exodus

GENEVA • The United Nations (UN) said yesterday it was rushing to build camps to accommodate what it expects to be a mass exodus from Mosul once the battle for the Iraqi city begins.

After retaking Fallujah, west of Baghdad, from the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) in June, the main focus of Iraqi security forces is now Mosul, which is ISIS' de facto capital in Iraq.

Iraqi special forces led an operation yesterday aimed at retaking the militant-held town of Qayyarah, which is expected to be used as a launchpad for a broader operation against Mosul in the coming weeks or months.


Stabbing suspect shouted 'Allah akbar'

VIRGINIA • A Virginia man has been charged with stabbing two people while shouting the Muslim phrase "Allah akbar", and the attack is being investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, police said.

Wasil Farooqui, 20, is suspected of randomly attacking a man and a woman with a knife last Saturday when they entered an apartment building in Roanoke county, police said yesterday.


Real-life 'Little Red-Haired Girl' dies

CHICAGO • The real-life inspiration for the "Little Red-Haired Girl", the Peanuts comic strip character whom Charlie Brown was infatuated with, has died at age 87.

Mrs Donna Wold, a red-haired young woman who captivated Peanuts creator Charles Schulz and formed the basis for the beloved cartoon character, died earlier this month, the Minneapolis Star Tribune reported.

According to The Washington Post, the two dated for about two years, with Mr Schulz even proposing marriage.


Turkey cuts service of military officers

ANKARA • Turkey's Supreme Military Council has cut the length of military officers' service to 28 years in order to reduce the accumulation of high-ranking officers.

The Defence Ministry said yesterday in a statement that the council, meeting for the second time within a month since the July 15 attempted coup, had decided to retire 586 colonels while extending the period of service of 434 other colonels by two years.


Germany to take in hundreds of migrants

ROME • Germany has agreed to take in hundreds of migrants who are blocked in Italy in a move that might revive the European Union's failed relocation programme, Italy's Interior Minister Angelino Alfano said yesterday.

As part of a deal to relieve pressure on Europe's frontline states in the migration crisis, the European Commission last year devised a plan aimed at moving thousands of new arrivals away from Italy and Greece and towards other EU members.

Under the scheme, up to 40,000 migrants could be relocated from Italy over two years, but so far only a few hundred have been flown out, with many EU allies apparently reluctant to welcome asylum seekers and refugees.


A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 24, 2016, with the headline 'World Briefs'. Subscribe