US

Syria: US tells Russia it will end talks if bombing continues

In a phone call with Sergei Lavrov, Mr Kerry said the US held Russia responsible for the use of incendiary and bunker bombs against the city.

The US state department said it was making preparations to suspend talks.

Aleppo has come under heavy aerial bombardment since the end of a ceasefire a week ago.

In response to Mr Kerry's phone call, the Russian Deputy Ambassador to the UN, Evgeny Zagaynov, said the "trend" of Russia being blamed for the attacks in Syria must stop.

US slaps sanctions on Chinese firm over North Korea ties

Dandong Hongxiang is accused of acting on behalf of a North Korean bank that is on a UN sanctions list to stop the spread of weapons of mass destruction.

The sanctions come after North Korea sparked a global outcry this month byconducting its fifth nuclear test.

The engineering company and its bosses are also under investigation by Chinese authorities.

US confirms IS used chemical rocket in attack on troops in Iraq

No-one was hurt in Tuesday's attack on the Qayyarah air base near the IS stronghold of Mosul.

Marine Gen Joseph Dunford, chairman of US joint chiefs of staff, said the group's capability to deliver chemical weapons was rudimentary.

But the attack, he added, was a "concerning development".

IS has long been suspected of making and using crude chemical weapons in Iraq and Syria, where it also controls territory.

Gen Dunford told the US Senate armed services committee on Thursday that the rocket had contained a "sulphur-mustard blister agent".

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South Korea, US to simulate attack on nuclear facility

Though the official said the drills are not aimed particularly at North Korea, the announcement comes less than two weeks after North Korea claimed to have successfully tested a nuclear warhead -- its second nuclear test this year and fifth one ever.

The US and South Korea will also simulate what to do in the event of a sudden missile attack.

US says it killed IS information minister al-Fayad

Also known as "Dr Wa'il", he was minister of information for IS, and oversaw the production of propaganda videos showing executions.

The Pentagon said the strike had taken place near Raqqa on 7 September.

Fayad was a close associate of IS strategist Abu Muhammad al-Adnani, who was killed in an air strike last month.

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US lifts decades-long trade sanctions against Myanmar

The news came as Myanmar's de facto leader, Aung San Suu Kyi, arrived in Washington on her first official visit.

Myanmar's access to trade benefits for poorer nations had been suspended in 1989 over human rights abuses.

President Obama said the country should now be allowed to benefit from preferential tariffs as it emerges from decades of military rule.

He confirmed the move in a letter to Congress on Wednesday, adding Myanmar - also known as Burma - to the Generalised System of Preferences, a list which exempts certain countries from high import taxes.

US approves record $38bn Israel military aid deal

The pact will elevate US aid to Israel from $3.1bn a year currently to $3.8bn, officials say, but the Israelis had to make concessions to secure the money.

The agreement, to be signed on Wednesday, follows 10 months of talks.

It was approved despite frustration within the Obama administration at Israeli settlement building.

The agreement, which replaces a 10-year package set to expire in 2018, "constitutes the single largest pledge of bilateral military assistance in US history", said the state department.

Syrian conflict: US and Russia agree peace moves

The plan will begin with a "cessation of hostilities" from sunset on Monday. Syrian forces will end combat missions in specified opposition-held areas.

Russia and the US will then establish a joint centre to combat jihadist groups, including so-called Islamic State (IS).

A Syrian opposition coalition has cautiously welcomed the agreement.

"We hope this will be the beginning of the end of the civilians' ordeal," said Bassma Kodmani, a spokeswoman for the High Negotiations Committee.

"We welcome the deal if it is going to be enforced."

US and Russia clinch Syria peace deal, flag joint air strikes

After a day of marathon talks in Geneva, US Secretary of State John Kerry and Russia's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov announced the truce, which is set to come into force on Monday (local time), the first day of the Muslim holiday of Eid.

Mr Kerry said he believed the plan would lead to talks to "stop the conflict" which has raged for more than five years, killing more than 290,000 people and displacing millions.

He called on "every Syrian stakeholder" to support the plan to "bring this catastrophic conflict to the quickest possible end through a political process".

US says Russian jet flew 10ft from plane over Black Sea

US officials described the intercept by the SU-27 jet on Wednesday as "dangerous and unprofessional".

Russia's defence ministry said the US plane had been approaching Russian territory and the SU-27 pilots had adhered to international rules.

Russia is currently carrying out military exercises in the Black Sea.

Pentagon spokesman Capt Jeff Davis said the US Navy P-8A Poseidon aircraft had been conducting routine operations in international airspace when the Russian fighter made the unsafe manoeuvre.