French Defense Minister 'Optimistic' About Islamic State's Defeat
French Defense Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said Thursday "conditions are coming together" to eradicate the Islamic State group.
He said that for the first time he is optimistic.
France is part of the U.S.-led coalition carrying out airstrikes against Islamic State targets in both Iraq and Syria, while local forces and allied groups fight the militants on the ground.
Le Drian said Islamic State has lost 30 to 40 percent of its territory since June 2014. He also highlighted the coalition's goal of pushing the militants out of Iraq's northern city of Mosul and the group's de facto capital in Raqqa, Syria by the end of the year.
U.S. President Barack Obama said Monday that his expectation for the end of 2016 is that conditions will be in place for the eventual recapture of Mosul.
World Leaders to Sign Climate Accord
On Friday, world leaders will take historic action at the United Nations to try to slow the effects of climate change and fix some of its damage.
More than 60 presidents and prime ministers, as well as dozens of other top officials from more than 130 countries will gather in New York to sign the climate change deal reached in Paris in December.
The agreement works to limit global temperature rise to well below 2 degrees Celsius. It also lays out a road map for reducing greenhouse gas emissions and mitigating the effects of a warming planet.
While leaders hammered out the details in Paris, in New York Friday they will sign and signal their readiness to start implementing the agreement.
U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon hailed the Paris accord as a “turning point” in the world's response to climate change.
China and the United States – which together account for about 40 percent of the world’s emissions -- will be represented at the signing ceremony. They have been using their political influence to urge an early implementation of the accord.