US-backed Syrian force declares victory over IS in Raqqa


BEIRUT (AP) — A U.S.-backed Syrian force declared victory over the Islamic State group in its former "capital" of Raqqa on Friday, declaring the northern Syrian city free of any extremist presence after a four-month battle that left it in ruins.

  • Written by ZEINA KARAM, Associated Press

California fires cause $1B in damage, burn 7,000 buildings


SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — The wildfires that have devastated Northern California this month caused at least $1 billion in damage to insured property, officials said Thursday, as authorities increased the count of homes and other buildings destroyed to nearly 7,000.

  • Written by JANIE HAR, Associated Press, MICHAEL R. BLOOD, Associated Press

Spain's leader prepares to unveil specific Catalan measures


BARCELONA, Spain (AP) — Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy said his government will unveil on Saturday specific measures agreed with opposition parties to halt Catalonia's independence bid, but refused to confirm if the deal includes plans to hold a regional election in January.

  • Written by ARITZ PARRA, Associated Press