Islamic State group militants inched closer on Friday to carving out a caliphate state, after seizing the last government-controlled border crossing between Syria and Iraq. It follows the group's takeover of the ancient Syrian city of Palmyra and the Iraqi town of Ramadi in just a week.
China is negotiating a military base in the strategic port of Djibouti, an historic development that would see the US and China each have bases in the small nation that guards the entrance to the Red Sea and the Suez Canal.
The UN's peace envoy for Syria, Staffan de Mistura, has announced the start of new consultations in Geneva with regional and domestic players. He hopes the initiative can revive the stalled dialogue on the conflict.