News summary for Tuesday, October 17, 2017

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A quick look at the most important news of the last 24 hours:

  • A U.S.-backed alliance of Syrian fighters has claimed victory in the battle to take control of Raqqa, where the so-called Islamic State has ruled for more than 3 years. The U.S. military confirmed that the vast majority of Raqqa has been retaken from ISIS, but pockets of ISIS fighters remain. Raqqa served as the de-facto capital of ISIS, which has suffered major losses over the past year. ISIS lost Mosul – Iraq’s second-largest city – in July.

  • The death toll from massive wildfires in Portugal has risen to at least 41. Four other people died in Spain’s Galicia region. The wildfires broke out amid dry conditions and were fanned by Hurricane Ophelia. Some of the fires were caused by arson.

  • A federal judge in Hawaii has blocked President Donald Trump’s latest travel ban, asserting that the order lacks substantiation and discriminates based on nationality. The White House called the judge’s order “dangerously flawed” and the U.S. Justice Department is expected to file an appeal.

  • Severe flooding and landslides caused by a tropical depression have killed at least 83 people in Vietnam. Tropical Depression 23W was a relatively weak system but unleashed torrential rain over northern and central Vietnam. More rain is expected.

  • North Korea’s deputy UN ambassador says the country would be willing to give up its nuclear weapons, but only if world powers such as the United States do the same and take the lead by reducing their own nuclear arsenal.


  • Roy Price, the head of Amazon Studios, has resigned amid allegations of sexual harassment

  • 2 Chicago security officers have been fired for their role in dragging a passenger off a United Airlines flight; a 3rd resigned


  • Wednesday: Opening day of China’s Communist Party congress, the country’s biggest political event. The closed-door summit determines the country’s direction for the next 5 years.

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