By Yesim Dikmen ANKARA, Turkey (Reuters) - Turkey will shut down its military academies and put the armed forces under the command of the defense minister, President Tayyip Erdogan said on Saturday in a move designed to bring the military under tighter government control after a failed coup. The changes, some of which Erdogan said would likely be announced in the government's official gazette by Sunday, come after more than 1,700 military personnel were dishonorably discharged this week for their role in the abortive July 15-16 putsch. Erdogan, who narrowly escaped capture and possible death on the night of the coup, told Reuters in an interview last week that the military, NATO's second-biggest, needed "fresh blood".
Russia's intelligence service said on Saturday that the computer networks of 20 organizations, including state agencies and defense companies, have been infected with spyware in what it described as a targeted and coordinated attack. The Federal Security Service, the FSB, said the malware and the way the networks were infected were similar to those used in previous cases of cyber espionage found in Russia and other countries. "Information technology resources of government agencies, scientific and military institutions, defense industry companies and other entities involved in crucial infrastructure have been infected," the FSB said in a statement on its website.
Many Islamic State leaders have fled Mosul with their families toward Syria ahead of a planned offensive by U.S.-backed Iraqi forces on the city, Iraq's defense minister said on Saturday. Khaled al-Obeidi said he had intelligence of increasing conflict, especially over financial issues, among ultra-hardline militants of the group known as Daesh in Arabic by its enemies. "Many Daesh families and leaders in Mosul have sold their property and sneaked out towards Syria, and a segment even tried to sneak out towards (Iraq's Kurdish) region", he said in an interview on state television.
By Mohammed Argoubi TUNIS (Reuters) - Tunisian lawmakers voted on Saturday to dismiss Prime Minister Habib Essid from office during a no-confidence ballot in parliament, clearing the way for a new government that must push through delayed economic reforms. President Beji Caid Essebsi also called for a new unity government to speed up reforms. Out of the 191 lawmakers present for the vote, 118 voted to sack Essid.
European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker is concerned that a deal struck with Turkey in March on handling a wave of migrants bound for Europe could collapse, he told an Austrian newspaper. If that happened, "then you can expect that again refugees are standing at the gates of Europe," he added in an interview published on Saturday. Turkey has so far lived up to its side of the landmark deal with Brussels to stop illegal migration to Europe via its shores, in return for financial aid, the promise of visa-free travel to much of the bloc and accelerated talks on membership.
More than 150 civilians, mostly women and children, left besieged eastern parts of Aleppo through a safety zone that Moscow and its Syrian ally say they have set up to evacuate people trapped in opposition-held areas. Syrian state television on Saturday showed scores of mostly women gathered in a government-controlled area of the city, saying how conditions in rebel-held areas were difficult and chanting praise for Syrian President Bashar al Assad. Russia's defence ministry said that 169 civilians had left since Thursday through three safety crossings.
Simona Halep reasserted herself in the third set to seal a 6-0, 3-6, 6-2 victory over Angelique Kerber and reach the final of the WTA hardcourt tournament in Montreal. Romania's Halep, the fifth seed, avenged a loss to Germany's Kerber in the quarter-finals at Wimbledon, settling her second-set nerves to secure the win in one hour and 38 minutes. "I knew it was going to be a tough one," Halep said.
By Patrick Doyle OTTAWA (Reuters) - More than 500 people rallied in Canada's capital on Saturday to protest the death of a mentally ill black man following an arrest, marching against what they see as race-based police brutality in a country that prides itself for being tolerant. Abdirahman Abdi, 37, died on Monday after being hospitalized in critical condition following his arrest. Witnesses told local media he was beaten by Ottawa police officers who responded to calls of a disturbance.
UN-brokered Yemen peace talks have been extended for one week, host Kuwait said, after seven Saudi troops were killed in border clashes with Iran-backed Yemeni rebels. The Saudis died after Shiite Huthi rebels backed by soldiers loyal to the former president tried to infiltrate the southern Najran area of the kingdom, said the Riyadh-led coalition fighting in Yemen. Southern Saudi Arabia has come under sporadic attack since March 2015, when Riyadh took the lead in an Arab military coalition battling Shiite Huthi rebels who control northern Yemen.
MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - Seven members of a family, including two minors, were shot dead in the violent Mexican state of Guerrero, the state public safety agency said on Saturday. The attack occurred in the municipality of Tepecoacuilco de Trujano, according to a statement from the state public safety agency. Tepecoacuilco de Trujano is close to Iguala, where 43 students disappeared in 2014. The students were apparently massacred. Last year, there were 20,525 homicides in Mexico, including 2,402 homicides in the state of Guerrero, according to the national statistics agency (INEGI). ...
SPRINGFIELD, N.J. (AP) — Thunderstorms shut down the PGA Championship on Saturday before 10 players could even hit a shot, setting up what could be a long, wet and wild conclusion to the final major of the year — whenever it ends.
Donald Trump hit back at accusations from the father of a slain Muslim soldier that the billionaire has "sacrificed nothing" for his country on Saturday, saying he had employed thousands of people. Khizr Khan -- whose son died in Iraq -- accused the Republican presidential nominee of vilifying American Muslims in a steely rebuke that electrified the Democratic convention on Thursday. "Go look at the graves of brave patriots who died defending the United States of America," Khan said to Trump.
RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) — The main ramp of Marina da Gloria, the sailing venue of the Rio de Janeiro Olympics, partially collapsed on Saturday. Organizers said no one was injured in the incident that raises further questions about the quality of construction in the Olympic host city.
Saints dropping disco moves and nuns belting their hearts out rocked the final night of a Catholic youth extravaganza headlined by Pope Francis in Poland on Saturday. A grinning Francis was cheered on by over one million pilgrims from around the world as he arrived and walked through a special Holy Door with six youngsters he then insisted hitch a lift with him in his pope-mobile. Youngsters got up and danced as Italy's famous singing nun Sister Cristina rocked a hymn and performers acted out a scene in which Poland's Saint Faustina feels her calling during a night out dancing.
Tunisian Prime Minister Habib Essid lost a confidence vote in parliament Saturday, in a move that risks plunging the country into fresh political uncertainty. Lawmakers voted overwhelmingly in favour of dismissing Essid, whose government has been criticised for failing to tackle the country's economic crisis, high unemployment and a series of jihadist attacks since coming to power 18 months ago. A total of 118 voted to unseat Essid, three voted for him to stay at the helm of the North African nation and 27 abstained.
Japan's Kei Nishikori took advantage of a fade in form from Stan Wawrinka on Saturday as Asia's top player reached the final of the ATP Toronto Masters with a 7-6 (8/6), 6-1 victory. Swiss second seed Wawrinka's game went away during the tiebreaker, allowing Nishikori to move into his second Masters 1000 final of 2016. "Both guys are playing great tennis right now, especially Monfils," Nishikori said.
Up to 16 people are feared dead in what is believed to be one of the deadliest hot air balloon accidents in history, after a fiery crash in central Texas field Saturday, officials said. The accident took place shortly after 7:40 am (1240 GMT), when the balloon crashed outside of Lockhart, around 30 miles (50 kilometers) south of Austin, Lynn Lunsford of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) said in a statement. "When the Emergency Responders and the Sheriff's Office arrived on the scene, it was apparent that the reported fire was the basket portion of a hot air balloon," it added in a statement posted on Twitter.
Harry Potter fans were buzzing with excitement Saturday as "Harry Potter and the Cursed Child", a stage play that imagines the fictional boy wizard as a grown-up father of three, opened in London. After nearly eight weeks of well-received preview performances, London's Palace Theatre hosted the opening gala as the general public strapped themselves in for a new adventure in the saga that has captivated millions around the globe. Arriving for the opening gala, creator J.K. Rowling told the Press Association she was "so happy" that fans had heeded her pleas to keep the plot a secret, and said she hoped the play would one day appear on Broadway.
A Saudi army officer and six soldiers were killed Saturday in clashes with Iran-backed Yemeni rebels who attempted to infiltrate the kingdom's borders, the Riyadh-led coalition said. Shiite Huthi rebels backed by renegade troops loyal to former president Ali Abdullah Saleh tried to infiltrate the borders in the southern Najran area, the coalition fighting the rebels said in a statement carried by the SPA state news agency. "An officer and six soldiers of the Saudi armed forces fell martyrs," said the statement, adding that Saudi warplanes had repelled the attackers.
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Saturday said he wanted to introduce constitutional changes to bring the Turkish spy agency and military chief of staff directly under his control as he seeks to tighten his grip on the country after the failed coup. Turkey meanwhile pressed ahead with a crackdown on the alleged accomplices of the coup, which Erdogan said has resulted in the detention of almost 19,000 people but has also sparked international concern. "We are going to introduce a small constitutional package (to parliament) which, if approved, will bring the National Intelligence Organisation (MIT) and chief of staff under the control of the presidency," Erdogan told A-Haber television in an interview.
Lawmakers in Mali agreed Saturday to extend a 10-day state of emergency in the violence-wracked country by another eight months, officials told AFP. In an extraordinary session of the National Assembly in Bamako, the 99 MPs present unanimously voted to maintain the state of emergency, a parliamentary source said. The government had declared a state of emergency on July 21, a day after an attack at an army base in central Nampala left 17 soldiers dead and 35 wounded.
Palestinian President Mahmud Abbas on Saturday said any reboot of peace talks with Israel should happen within a clear timeframe and under international supervision, after meeting with US Secretary of State John Kerry in Paris. Abbas also held talks with French Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault on the prospects of achieving a two-state solution, senior Palestinian official Saeb Erakat said, describing both discussions as "very constructive". France has been leading a fresh initiative to revive the stalled Israeli-Palestinian peace talks, after the last round of negotiations collapsed in 2014.
WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) — Flyhalf Beauden Barrett led the Hurricanes to a 25-9 win over the Chiefs in an all-New Zealand semifinal on Saturday, ensuring the Wellington-based team will host Super Rugby's final for the second consecutive year.
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Saturday said he wanted to introduce constitutional changes to bring the Turkish spy agency and military chief of staff directly under his control after the failed coup. "We are going to introduce a small constitutional package (to parliament) which, if approved, will bring the National Intelligence Organisation (MIT) and chief of staff under the control of the presidency," he told A-Haber television in an interview. The government would need support from opposition parties to push through the shift as a super majority of two-thirds of deputies is needed to make constitutional changes.
The state prosecutor's office in Mexico's western state of Michoacan said on Saturday that nine people were found dead near Pemex pipelines in the municipality of Cuitzeo. In a statement, the prosecutor's office said it was investigating whether the incident was related to fuel theft.