Turkish shelling and air strikes killed at least 20 civilians in Syria on Sunday, the fifth day of an incursion against Islamic State group jihadists and Kurdish militia, a monitor said. "At least 20 civilians were killed and 50 others wounded by Turkish artillery fire and air strikes on Sunday morning at Jeb el-Kussa," a village south of Jarabulus, said Rami Abdel Rahman of the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. It comes after Turkey on Saturday suffered its first fatality since launching operation "Euphrates Shield" in Syria, blaming Kurdish militia in a fight for control of the border region.
By Gerauds Wilfried Obangome LIBREVILLE (Reuters) - Gabon voted on Saturday amid discontent over its failure to raise living standards despite oil wealth, in a poll posing the biggest challenge yet to President Ali Bongo, whose family has run the central African nation for half a century. With state machinery and entrenched patronage networks behind him, Bongo, 57, is likely to be returned, seven years after winning his first election following the death of his father Omar, who ruled for 42 years. Bongo faced nine other candidates - compared with 22 in the last poll - but his main rival was veteran diplomat Jean Ping.
By Mark Gleeson PRETORIA (Reuters) - Quinton de Kock top scored as all South Africa’s batsmen got among the runs in a score of 283 for three on the first day of the second test against New Zealand at Centurion on Saturday. De Kock showed sparkling strokeplay in a brisk 82 as he and Stephen Cook became the first opening pair to feature in a 100-run partnership for South Africa since December 2013. Cook scored 56, Hashim Amla 58 and JP Duminy was 67 not out at the close along with captain Faf du Plessis (13).
By Tife Owolabi YENAGOA, Nigeria (Reuters) - Nigeria's military said on Saturday it had launched a new offensive against militants in the oil-producing Niger Delta, killing five and arresting 23. Armed groups have claimed responsibility for a series of attacks on oil and gas pipelines in the southern region, reducing the country's oil output by 700,000 barrels day. "In the course of the operation, five militants that attacked the troops were killed in action, while numerous others were injured and 23 suspects were arrested." There was no immediate reaction from militant groups, which operate from hard-to-access creeks in the swampland.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel's domestic popularity has declined, a poll showed on Sunday, with 50 percent of Germans against her serving a fourth term in office after a federal election next year. A series of violent attacks on civilians in July, two of which were claimed by Islamic State, have focused attention on Merkel's open-door migrant policy, which allowed hundreds of thousands of migrants from the Middle East, Africa and elsewhere into Germany last year. The head of Germany's Federal Office for Migration and Refugees (BAMF), Frank-Juergen Weise, told the newspaper that he expects a maximum of 300,000 refugees to arrive in Germany this year.