Macron heads to Riyadh, Syria declares victory over ISIS


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  • In a dramatic twist to an already complex week in Saudi Arabia and Middle Eastern politics, French President Emmanuel Macron said he’s heading to Riyadh on an unscheduled visit. He had been in the region for the opening of the Louvre Abu Dhabi. Macron’s move coincided with claims by Lebanon that its prime minister, who announced his resignation in Riyadh earlier this week, was being held against his will in the Saudi capital.
  • Syria’s military said it has “liberated” the town of Abu Kamal from ISIS, according to the BBC. It reported that Syrian commanders called the achievement proof of ISIS’s “fall” in the region.
  • The U.S. Treasury Department will impose additional sanctions on top officials of the Venezuelan government, according to the Wall Street Journal. This would be the second wave of U.S. sanctions on President Nicolas Maduro’s government since President Donald J. Trump took office.
  • A U.N. watchdog says Australia needs to change its migration laws to align with international standards. Australia has been criticized by human-rights groups for its treatment of asylum seekers, as well as its offshore detention centers in Nauru and Papua New Guinea. Last week, Manus Island center in PNG closed despite 600 asylum seekers refusing to leave.

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