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Serbia frees three captured Kosovo police officers: Kosovo PM

Serbia freed three Kosovo police officers taken into custody by its security forces earlier this month, Kosovo's Prime Minister Albin Kurti said Monday, after a court ordered the trio's release.. The prime minister said the "kidnapping" of its police was likely "revenge" for the arrest of an alleged Serb paramilitary leader in Kosovo this month, whom Kurti claimed was a major figure linked to the smuggling gangs. 

Russia bids to show return to order after Wagner mutiny

Moscow was striving Monday to portray a return to business as usual after a weekend mutiny by mercenary troops threatened Kremlin chief Vladimir Putin's grip on power. . The Western allies -- who are backing Ukraine with modern weaponry, training and cash -- see Putin's grip on power weakened by both Wagner's revolt and the operation in Ukraine.

Mitsotakis back as Greek premier after election landslide

Kyriakos Mitsotakis embarked Monday on his second term as Greece's prime minister with a vow to accelerate institutional and economic reforms, after voters handed him a huge election victory for the second time in five weeks.. - 'Visible' threat - Mitsotakis, who first became prime minister in 2019, has vowed to make economic stability a feature of his new term.

Huge crowds circle Kaaba as hajj begins in Saudi heat

Vast crowds of robed pilgrims made solemn circles around the Kaaba, the black cube at Mecca's Grand Mosque, on Sunday as the biggest hajj pilgrimage in years began in the heat of the Saudi summer.. The hajj began early on Sunday with the "tawaf" -– the circumambulation of the Kaaba, the large cubic structure draped in black cloth with gold trimmings that millions of Muslims pray towards every day.

Greece votes with conservative premier favourite to win

Greek voters head to the polls again Sunday in an election where conservative front-runner Kyriakos Mitsotakis is seeking a second term and an absolute parliamentary majority to form a "stable government".. But having fallen short of five seats in parliament to be able to form a single-party government, Mitsotakis chose to ask 9.8 million Greek voters back to the ballot boxes.

US, allies consult but tread carefully as Russia crisis unfolds

The United States and its allies held close consultations but publicly stayed on the sidelines Saturday as officials waited to see how the armed revolt by longtime Kremlin insider Yevgeny Prigozhin and his private Wagner army would play out.. US Secretary of State Antony Blinken held a call with counterparts from Western Europe and Japan, with the partners pledging to "stay in close coordination," said State Department spokesman Matt Miller after the call.

Tanks and armed Wagner rebels deploy in southern Russia town

The sound of ambulance and police sirens filled the air on Saturday in Rostov-on-Don -- a hub for Russia's Ukraine campaign -- where the rebellious Wagner mercenary force said it had taken over key facilities.. Unlike other large Russian cities further from the front lines, Rostov-on-Don -- with a population of just over one million people -- has experienced the ripple effects of Russia's large-scale military operation in Ukraine.

Bangladesh arrests chief of Islamist militant outfit

Bangladesh police have arrested the leader of an Islamist organisation at his hideout in Dhaka, officers said Saturday, months after the launch of a crackdown against the group.. Bangladesh police shot dead more than 100 people in nationwide raids on extremist hideouts and arrested thousands of alleged members of extremist groups. mma/sa/gle/leg

Putin slams 'betrayal' as Wagner boss launches revolt

President Vladimir Putin vowed Saturday he would not allow Russia to slip into civil war, after the leader of the Wagner mercenary force seized a key military headquarters overseeing the offensive in Ukraine.. Russia's headquarters in Rostov-on-Don is a key logistical base for its offensive in Ukraine.

With an eye toward China, Biden goes all-in for Modi

Laser-focused on countering China, US President Joe Biden has embraced Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi as he has few other world leaders, casting aside any concerns about the Hindu nationalist's authoritarian streak.. - Sidestepping rights concerns - Modi enjoyed more obvious kinship with fellow right-wing populist Donald Trump, for whom the prime minister arranged a packed stadium rally in his home state of Gujarat, a scene hard to imagine with Biden, who is not known for exciting the masses.