The United States has yet to explain exactly what victory might look like in its war against the Islamic State group, but it is becoming clear that success will depend heavily on political events in Syria and Iraq that are beyond its control, experts say.
In 1993, French neurosurgeon Francois-Xavier Roux received a phone call in Paris from an unidentified North Korean official. The then leader-in-waiting, Kim Jong Il, had suffered a head injury from a horse-riding accident and they wanted his advice.
The exhausted Kurdish fighters leaned against a pair of antiquated green cannons on a hill overlooking this northern Iraqi village, the ground around them littered with shrapnel from fierce battles with Islamic State militants.
Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi responded on Wednesday to comments by the United States and others on pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong, saying foreign countries should not meddle in China's domestic affairs.
The director of the US Secret Service resigned on Wednesday following a string of lapses by the elite presidential protection branch, including one in which an intruder ran through the front door of the White House.
The World Summit of Nobel Peace laureates, scheduled for this month in South Africa, has been cancelled and shifted out of the country, owing to the denial of a travel visa to Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama.