Iraqi Prime Minister and Coalition Ministers to Discuss Campaign to Fight Islamic State
Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi and foreign ministers from a coalition of countries that have been helping his forces fight Islamic State militants are meeting Tuesday in Paris to discuss plans for retaking control of Iraq's Anbar province.
The talks come two weeks after the Islamic State group seized Ramadi, a provincial capital 125 kilometers west of Baghdad, prompting Mr. Abadi to call on militias to rush to the area to take part in a counter offensive that launched last week.
A senior U.S. State Department official said there will be a focus on the prime minister getting Sunni tribal fighters to take part in the fight against the militants in the predominantly Sunni province.
Secretary of State John Kerry will take part in the meetings remotely after breaking his leg in a bicycle crash in France and returning home for treatment.
Deputy Secretary of State Anthony Blinken will lead the U.S. delegation as the coalition discusses the months-long broader efforts to "degrade and destroy" the Islamic State group, including cutting off financing and the flow of foreign fighters to Iraq and Syria.
China: Ship with Hundreds on Board Sinks in Yangtze River
Rescue crews in central China continued Tuesday to search for survivors after a passenger ship carrying 450 people sank during a storm in the Yangtze River.
The Xinhua news agency says only 12 people have been rescued and five bodies recovered so far. Heavy winds and rain are hampering efforts to find others.
The People's Daily newspaper said five more passengers have been located in the ship's cabin and that a rescue effort is under way. Earlier, a 65-year-old woman was pulled from the water.
Many passengers are believed to be trapped inside. Rescuers report hearing cries for help from inside the capsized vessel, according to state media reports.
The cause of the accident is not clear. The vessel ((Dongfangzhixing or Eastern Star)) was headed from Nanjing to Chongqing city in southwest China when it sank quickly during what were described as cyclone conditions.
Premier Li Keqiang is personally overseeing rescue efforts, and arrived early Tuesday at the rescue site with a work team from the State Council ((China's chief administrative body)), according to Xinhua.
President Xi Jinping has demanded an "all-out" effort to rescue the passengers, most of whom are believed to be between 50 and 80 years old, according to state media.
China's state broadcaster, CCTV said the vessel was capable of holding up to 534 people.