22:40 Iraq leader-in-waiting calls for unity against insurgents:
Iraq's leader-in-waiting Haidar al-Abadi vowed to fight graft and build an inclusive government to counter a spreading Islamist insurgency in his first comments since ending a dispute over who will lead the country.
Poised to replace caretaker Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, Abadi won backing from Iraq's top Shiite cleric, while Massoud Barzani, president of the largely autonomous Kurdish region, said he'd support the premier-designate in a call for a government that "involves all Iraqi factions,' state-run National Iraqi News Agency reported.
22:14 Boko Haram kidnaps scores in Nigeria: Witnesses:
Boko Haram Islamists kidnapped scores of people from fishing communities in Nigeria's extreme northeast, hauling some of the hostages away on boats across Lake Chad, witnesses said today. Several people were also reportedly killed in the militant raids on a number of villages in the Kukawa Local Government area in Borno state, a Boko Haram stronghold.
22:13 Swaraj arrives in Singapore to bolster ties:
External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj arrived here today on a two-day visit during which she will hold talks with the top leadership of Singapore including the Prime Minister to explore ways to further enhance cooperation in a range of areas such as trade and investment, water conservation and infrastructure development.
22:12 Pope warns of 'cancer' of despair in newly affluent Asia:
Pope Francis today warned of a "cancer" of despair in materially obsessed, outwardly affluent societies and urged South Korean Catholics to reject "inhumane economic models" in a stark message to wealthier Asian nations.
In an apparent reference to South Korea's high suicide rate he also warned 45,000 people at a mass in a World Cup stadium in Daejeon of the "culture of death" that can pervade countries where the quest for rapid growth marginalises the poor and vulnerable.
22:10 24 killed in Syria's Daraa, Aleppo: NGO:
At least 14 people were killed today when a car bomb exploded in front of a mosque in Daraa province of southern Syria, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.
The Britain-based monitoring group said the death toll for the bombing in the rebel-controlled town of Namar was likely to rise because of the high number of serious injuries.
22:09 Mumbai: 47 doctors suffer food-poisoning at govt-run hospital:
Forty-seven doctors at government-run Sion hospital today fell sick after eating sweets during the Independence Day celebration.
Dean of the hospital, Dr Avinash Supe, said the sweets had been bought from a shop in nearby Koliwada area.
22:07 Ebola outbreak could take six months to control, say MSF:
The Ebola epidemic is moving faster than the authorities can handle and could take six months to bring under control, the medical charity MSF said today.
The warning came a day after the World Health Organization said the scale of the epidemic had been vastly underestimated and that "extraordinary measures" were needed to contain the killer disease.
22:07 Qaeda warns US hostage risks 'lonely death':
Al-Qaeda has urged the family of an American kidnapped in Pakistan in 2011 to press their government to negotiate an exchange or face the risk of his "dying a lonely death".
"If you want Warren Weinstein to be released, do whatever you can to pressurise your government," it said in a statement posted this week on Islamist websites.
19:45 Navy to host international fleet review at Vizag in 2016:
The Indian Navy will host the international fleet review here in February 2016, a senior naval officer said today. Speaking after the Independence Day functions here, Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Eastern Naval Command, Vice Admiral Satish Soni said that the Indian Navy will be hosting the international fleet review in February 2016 at Visakhapatnam.
18:57 Britain to consider arming Iraqi Kurds:
Britain will "consider favourably" any request for arming Iraqi Kurds in their battle against the Islamic extremists, foreign secretary Philip Hammond said today. Hammond is attending the EU foreign ministers meet in Brussels where the issue is being discussed.
18:43 IPS officer accused in Sohrabuddin encounter case reinstated:
The Gujarat government has reinstated an Indian Police Service (IPS) officer, who is an accused in Sohrabuddin Sheikh fake encounter case and given him a plum posting as Superintendent, DGP Vigilance Squad, according to a Gujarat state home department notification issued yesterday midnight.
18:33 PM's Independence speech lacked vision:CPI-M:
CPI-M politburo member Sitaram Yechury today said the Independence day speech of Prime Minister Narendra Modi lacked vision and took serious exception to the decision to do away with the Planning Commission.
"He is still in the hangover of election and speech looked like an poll campaign one," Yechury told a meet-the-press programme here.
18:32 No exchange of sweets between BSF, Pak Rangers along Jammu IB:
In the backdrop of ceasefire violations and firings, there was no traditional exchange of sweets and greetings between BSF and Pakistan Rangers along the International Border in Jammu frontier on Independence Day today.
However, the exchange of sweets took place along the Line of Control (LoC) in Poonch district of Jammu and Kashmir.
18:30 Govt decision to abolish Planning Commission 'dangerous': AAP:
AAP today slammed the government for its decision to abolish the Planning Commission and replace it with a new institution, saying the move was "dangerous" for the country as it will end a platform meant to review policies and programmes.
"Despite several shortcomings, the Planning Commission is a platform to review government's policies and programmes concerning the poor, dalits and tribals," AAP leader Yogendra Yadav said here.
18:19 RBI's forex reserves fall by $643.3 million:
Foreign exchange reserves fell by $643.3 million for the week ending August 8 to $319.35 billion, according to Reserve Bank of India (RBI) data released Friday.
Foreign currency assets, a key component of reserves fell by $646.7 million to $292.05 billion. Gold reserves remained unchanged during the week at $21.17 billion.
16:56 Toddler killed, 13 wounded in gas blast near Taipei:
A toddler was killed and 13 people were injured in a gas explosion near Taipei today, officials said, two weeks after powerful gas blasts claimed 30 lives in southern Taiwan.
Firefighters rushed to put out a fire after the explosion in an apartment in a 17-storey building in the Xindian district of New Taipei City earlier today, shattering the glass in several nearby stores, television footage showed.
16:52 National flag hoisted upside down at Kashmir BJP office:
The Kashmir unit of BJP today celebrated Independence Day at its headquarters here, but hoisted the national flag upside down, a "mistake" the party soon regretted.
BJP workers led by spokesman Khalid Jehangir hoisted the tricolour at the Rajbagh office of the party.
16:37 KNPP Unit-I to restart soon:
Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant Site Director R.S.Sundar today said Unit-I, which has been shut down for maintenance, has generated 2624 million units so far. "The unit has been on line approximately for six months," he said, participating in the independence day celebrations.
"After shutting down for maintenance, we have to achieve an important milestone.That is restarting the Unit-I and achieving commercial operation at the earliest so that KNPP could contribute financially to the million unit target of the NPCIL," he said.
15:46 Pak PM greets Modi on Independence Day:
Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif today greeted his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi on India's Independence Day and wished its people prosperity.
Yesterday, Modi had congratulated Pakistan on its Independence Day, which comes a day before India's Independence Day.
"Prime Minister Sharif greets Prime Minister Modi on India's Independence Day, wishing prosperity to the people of India," the Pakistan High Commission said here.
The exchange of greetings came days after a war of words broke out following Modi's comments that Pakistan was involved in a "proxy war" against India.
Pakistan had termed Modi's comments as "baseless rhetoric" which was strongly criticised by External Affairs Ministry.
In a strong rebuttal, the External Affairs Ministry said terrorism was a "core concern" in its bilateral ties with Pakistan and its "tool kit" is not restricted in any manner to combat it effectively.
15:39 BSF gifts sweets to Pakistan on I-Day:
Border Security Force in Attari, Amritsar gifted eight boxes of famous Indian sweets and fruits to Pakistan on the occasion of Independence Day today.
BSF Inspector General (Punjab Frontier) Ashok Kumar, DIG M F Farooqui along with other senior officials were present there when the boxes of sweets and fruits were gifted to Pakistan at the Joint Check Post Attari/Wagah border, BSF officials said.
From the Pakistan side, rangers led by Wing Commander Asher Khan accepted the gifts, they said.
For the occasion, borders on both sides were decorated and people of surrounding villages were present there to witness the ceremony.
Personnel from both the forces were in a happy mood, hugging each other and shaking hands, besides exchanging pleasantries, the officials said.
Yesterday, Pakistan Rangers (Punjab) Director General Khan Tahir Javed Khan and colleagues had greeted Farooqui and the Indian jawans on Pakistan's Independence Day, the officials said.
14:44 For once, foreign missions were drawn to Red Fort:
The external affairs ministry was taken pleasantly by surprise by the overwhelming interest evinced by Heads of Foreign Missions posted in Delhi in the Prime Minister's Independence Day speech delivered from the ramparts of the Red Fort today.
Usually, out of the 153 foreign missions in New Delhi, 50-60 missions approach MEA for passes to attend the ceremony at Red Fort.
However, this time government received an unprecedented request from 150 missions to attend.
Given paucity of space, only 144 of these could be accommodated.
Given the enormous interest shown by foreign Missions, for the very first time, arrangements were made for simultaneous English translation for the benefit of the foreign diplomatic corps, official sources said.
13:51 Rahul not responsible for Cong defeat in LS polls: Antony:
Rejecting criticism about Rahul Gandhi's leadership, Congress leader A K Antony today said he was not responsible for the party's Lok Sabha poll debacle and exuded optimism that it will revive under Sonia Gandhi and Rahul.
Antony, who headed a committee that probed the reasons for the party's poll debacle and submitted its report to Sonia Gandhi yesterday, dismissed reports that there was a question mark on the leadership of Rahul after the elections and that the committee has suggested something like that.
"This is all speculation. Nothing. Absolutely wrong.Those who are spreading this kind of rumours want to weaken the party...such things are being spread by mischievous people, who want to to weaken the party," he told reporters on the sidelines of the flag hoisting ceremony at AICC headquarters.
Antony said the "reasons for the Congress defeat were something else".
However, he did not elaborate as to what conclusions the panel has arrived at for the worst-ever defeat of Congress in the 2014 general elections.
Sonia and Rahul did not take questions from the media and left after wishing 'Happy Independence Day' to all.
13:49 Akhilesh Yadav to felicitate students with laptops:
Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav will felicitate around 500 students each of intermediate and high school, who scored maximum marks in the UP Board examinations, besides three toppers of every district in the state on August 22.
A laptop would also be presented by the government to each of these students as an encouragement, an official release said.
A meeting presided over by the Chief Secretary Alok Ranjan held in the state capital yesterday reviewed the preparations for the programme to be held at the Indira Gandhi pratishthan on August 22, it said.
The chief secretary instructed the concerned officials that the responsibility of bringing the 1,316 students to the event rests with the respective district inspectors of the schools.
12:32 Naxals trigger IED explosion; one CRPF jawan injured:
A CRPF jawan was today injured in an IED explosion triggered by naxals in Sukma district of Chhattisgarh, police said.
The incident occurred in the restive Tadmetla forests under Chintalnar police outpost limits when the paramilitary personnel were on an operation to cordon off the region, Sukma Superintendent of Police D Shrawan told PTI.
A squad of Central Reserve Police Force was on an area domination exercise in Chintagufa forests, located around 500 kms away from Raipur, early this morning.
When they reached near Tademtla, naxals triggered a land mine blast and opened indiscriminate firing on security forces leaving one of them injured, the SP said.
However, when security forces launched retaliatory attack Maoists fled to the core forests, he added.
Soon after being informed, reinforcement was rushed to the spot and the injured jawan was admitted to a local hospital, he said.
11:04 Hope judiciary, executive, Parliament are allowed to work independently: CJI:
A day after Parliament unanimously passed the Constitution (99th Amendment) Bill to do away with the collegium system, Chief Justice of India RM Lodha on Friday said that he hoped that judiciary, executive and Parliament work without any interference.
"I am sure people in judiciary, executive and Parliament have mutual respect for one another and each is allowed to work unhindered," the CJI said.
Stressing on the need for use of technology, Justice Lodha said it is high time that tools of technology are provided to police and judiciary for quick disposal of cases.
Meanwhile, allaying fears of any interference in the working of the judiciary, Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad assured that the Government is committed to independence of judiciary.
In order to do away with the outdated laws, the Union Minister said his government will ensure that 200-300 obsolete laws are repealed.
11:00 Just In: Prime Minister Narendra Modi to visit Japan from August 31 to September 3.
10:18 BJP using Hinduism as a badge of political identity: Tharoor:
Congress leader Shashi Tharoor has attacked the BJP-led government at the Centre over the alleged "systematic increase" in cases of communal violence since the party came to power and accused it of using Hinduism as a badge of political identity to fit their "political agenda".
"The communal violence debate in Parliament from the last couple of days was a serious attempt by my party to highlight the fact that in last 11 weeks since they (BJP) have come to power...we have seen a systematic increase in communal violence, an increase in polarisation of communities, particularly acute in places in UP which are going for by-elections. This is clearly a political agenda," he charged.
The Congress MP from Thiruvananthapuram was addressing students in Mumbai on Thursday at the student-conference of St Xavier's annual inter-college festival "Malhar".
On performance of the Narendra Modi government, the former Union Minister said it shows that there is minimum governance when it comes to protecting the "aam aadmi" (common man).
10:06 Governor taken ill while addressing I-Day speech:
Jharkhand Governor Syed Ahmed was today taken ill while addressing the Independence Day function.
"He fell ill and was brought to Sadar Hospital. There is nothing to worry about," attending doctor at the hospital Dr Ramesh Verma told reporters in Dumka.
Later Dumka Deputy Commissioner Harsha Mangla said, "The governor has been discharged from the hospital and is being
taken to Raj Bhavan in Ranchi."
Dumka is the second capital of Jharkhand where Governor speaks on Independence Day.
08:37 PM @ Red Fort: 'The need to the hour is to eliminate poverty. Can't we overcome poverty? Come, let a billion countrymen promise to eradicate poverty.
To SAARC neighbours: 'Let's give up fighting each other and instead work to ensure that we are a force to reckon with.'
08:31 PM Modi @ Red Fort: 'Planning Commission has done a commendable job in the past. But now times have changed. The federal structure has changed. We are replacing it with a new statute.'
08:28 PM Modi @ Red Fort: 'Let's make model villages':
'Many programmes are running in the names of PMs and other leaders. Today, I announce a Sansad Adarsh Gram Yojana. Let each MP adopt a village and take care of its sanitation, education and other needs. Make model villages.'
'I will place the blueprint for this programme before MPs and state government on October 11 of Jai Prakash Narayan's birth anniversary.'
08:24 PM Modi @ Red Fort:
'Do we want to live in unhygienic conditions? Can't our nation be clean? If billions of Indians pledge to keep the surroundings clean, can't this nation be cleaner? What do we give Mahatma Gandhi on his October 2? People's participation is necessary to ensure that our schools, hospitals, roads and infrastructure are clean.
'Can't we arrange public toilets? Why do our womenfolk need to wait till dark to use the toilets?'
'You may wonder what kind of PM talks of toilets and cleanliness from the ramparts of the Red Fort. But I have come from a poor background; I know how the situation is on the ground.'
'So I want to, starting from Oct 2, set a 4 year target to bring about a change. MPs must use their MPLAD funds to set up toilets in schools; so should corporates.'
08:17 PM Modi @ Red Fort: 'The mantra of our country's youth should be to at least make 1 product that we import. Don't compromise in manufacturing; Stress on Zero defect, Zero effect (impact of environment).'
'India used to be known as land of snake charmers. Today, our IT professionals have left the world spellbound. Technology must be adopted increasingly.'
'We have to head towards a digital India. We today import a huge proportion of electronic items. If we dream of a digital India, we have to aim for good governance via e-governance.'
08:11 PM Modi to the world: 'Come, Make in India':
PM Modi @ Red Fort:
'Why are farmers committing suicide? Who will protect the poor? We are rolling out a PM Jan Dhan Yojana will connect the poor with bank accounts. They will be given a debit card. Every account holder will be provided with Rs 1 lakh insurance.'
'We are nation of the young. Have we ever thought of harnessing the power of the youth? We need skilled workers. The youth needs to imparted with skills that earn them fame around the world. We want to develop job creators.'
'The world has changed. India is not alone, cannot operate alone. Economic powers have changed. We have to think differently. The government has taken some measures. We have to improve our manufacturing sector. We invite world nations and the Diaspora, 'Come Make in India'.
'From automobile to pharmaceutical to satellite to satellite to plastic, I am telling the world, 'Come, Make in India'.'
08:02 PM Modi @ Red Fort: 'India's sex ratio is 1000 boys for 940 girls. Who creates this disparity? Don't fill your coffers at the altar of the mother's womb. People feel that sons will take care of them when they are old. But I have seen aged parents in old-age homes or single daughter taking care of old parents.'
'Indian athletes made us proud in the Commonwealth Games. 29 of the medals were won by girls. Let's honour them.'
07:58 PM Modi @ Red Fort:
'Let's abhor violence and walk the path of peace'
'We have had enough of divisiveness and communal wounds inflicted on Mother India. Peace and brotherhood will give strength to take the country forwards. I am sure it can be done.'
07:54 PM Modi @ Red Fort: 'It is easy to give expert opinions. I want to ask parents, when daughters turn 11 or 14, they keep a tab on their movements. Have these parents ever asked their sons where they have been, who they have been meeting? Rapists are somebody's sons as well! Parents must take the responsibility to ensure that their sons don't go the wrong direction.'
07:51 PM Modi @ Red Fort: 'Can someone tell me, whatever we are doing, have we asked ourselves if our work has helped the poor or come to benefit the nation in any way? We should come out of the 'Why should I care' attitude and dedicate ourselves to the nation's progress'
07:49 PM Modi @ Red Fort: 'How can govt officials going to office on time be news?':
PM Modi @ Red Fort:
'We don't want to go ahead with the strength of numbers; we want to go ahead with unanimity. This could be seen in the just concluded Parliament session. We have taken the Opposition in agreement at every step.'
'I am an outsider in New Delhi. I have been away from the elite in this city. In the 2 months I have been here I now have an insider view. I was astonished. I saw many governments functioning within a government. One department fighting the other. So we are trying to break this wall; we want to have one mission and target: Take the nation forward.'
'Have been taken back by reports in the media about government officials coming to office on time ever since Modi government came to power. How can that be news? That's their duty.'
07:41 PM Modi @ Red Fort: 'Politicians haven't made this nation, parties haven't made this nation, governments haven't made this nation. Instead it is the farmers, scientists and common people who have built this nation."
07:37 PM Modi @ Red Fort: 'Mere pyaare deshvaasiyon':
Modi begins his maiden address with: "Mere pyaare deshvaasiyon!"
"I salute all those people who have have sacrificed their lives, spent lives in jail, died for the nation."
"I salute the billions of people of this nation."
07:20 PM Modi to deliver his maiden Independence Day speech today:
The stage is set for Prime Minister Narendra Modi to address the nation from the ramparts of the historic Red Fort for the first time on its 68th Independence Day.
It will be his first big address to the nation and comes just weeks before his government completes 100 days in office.
04:15 Maliki finally steps aside as Iraq Sunni leader sees US help:
Nuri al-Maliki finally bowed to pressure with Iraqand beyond on Thursday and stepped down as prime minister, paving the way for a new coalition that world and regional powers hope can quash a Sunni Islamist insurgency that threatens Baghdad.
Maliki ended eight years of often divisive, sectarian rule and endorsed fellow Shi'ite Haider al-Abadi in a televised speech during which he stood next to his successor. Earlier, a leading figure in the Sunni minority told Reuters he had been promised U.S. help to fight the Islamic State militants.
04:13 Pope starts Asia visit with call for peace:
Pope Francis arrived in South Korea on Thursday for his first trip to Asia as pontiff, kicking off a five-day visit that will showcase the Vatican's efforts to spread the faith on a continent where just 3% of the population is Catholic.
The opening day of the visit'"Pope Francis' third abroad and the first papal trip to Asia since St. John Paul II went to India in 1999'"included meetings with bishops and South Korean President Park Geun-hye, who said the pontiff's decision to make the trip demonstrated his special interest in the country'"whose population is 10% Catholic'"and a desire to bring peace to a divided continent.
04:12 Sir Cliff Richard's Berkshire property searched by police:
The pop star Sir Cliff Richard has had his home in Berkshire searched by South Yorkshire Police, in connection with an allegation of sexual assault involving a boy who was under 16 at the time.
The allegation was made recently but dates back to the 1980s.
The BBC understands the alleged sexual assault is claimed to have taken place at a rally by the Christian evangelist Billy Graham at a football stadium in Sheffield.Sir Cliff, who hasn't been arrested, strongly denies the allegation.
02:26 Maliki to concede defeat, back Iraq PM designate: spokesman:
Nuri al-Maliki was due to drop his bid to remain Iraq's prime minister in a joint televised appearance with his designated successor, his spokesman said today.
"Maliki will withdraw the complaint against the president and will back the prime minister designate," Ali Mussawi told AFP, referring to a lawsuit the outgoing premier had vowed to file.
02:26 Still 4,000-5,000 Yazidis on Iraq mountain: Pentagon:
There are still 4,000 to 5,000 Yazidi refugees sheltering on Mount Sinjar in northern Iraq, the Pentagon said today, after President Barack Obama said the siege of the range had been broken. Pentagon spokesman Rear Admiral John Kirby said US special forces had found that not all of the Yazidis, a religious minority under attack from Islamist extremists, planned to flee.
01:38 Under artillery fire, Ukraine rebels switch their leaders:
Two of the most senior rebels battling government troops in eastern Ukraine quit on Thursday, deepening the disarray in a pro-Moscow separatist movement that is being pushed back by an Ukrainian military offensive.
The resignations came on the same day that artillery shells landed for the first time since the conflict began in the centre of the eastern city of Donetsk, the separatists' main stronghold.The reverses suffered by the rebels could force a tactical rethink by Russian President Vladimir Putin.
01:24 Militants attack Samangi airbase, Quetta airport in Pak:
Militants tonight tried to storm the heavily-guarded Samangi airbase and airport in Quetta, the capital of Pakistan's Balochistan province, but the attack was thwarted by security forces who killed one attacker.
Initial reports said that armed militants first fired rockets from a Nallah near the airbase and then tried to storm the complex but were repulsed by security forces. TV channels reported that firing was going on and hand grenades were also hurled towards the airbase and airport - located in the west of the city.
01:22 10,000 Israelis demand end to rocket attacks:
Around 10,000 Israelis poured into downtown Tel Aviv today, calling on the government and the army to end Palestinian rocket attacks from Gaza once and for all.
It was the first major demonstration in Israel since the country went to war against Hamas on July 8, launching a punishing air campaign followed by a ground offensive designed to stop rocket attacks and destroy attack tunnels.
01:22 Putin tones down rhetoric on Ukraine:
Russian President Vladimir Putin travelled to a much-hyped meeting in Crimea amid expectations of more saber-rattling over Ukraine, but he instead struck a conciliatory note and called for peace in a speech today that received surprisingly brief coverage on Russian television.
Putin's cautious statements and the terse reports in state media could signal a Kremlin desire to de-escalate the worst crisis in Russia-West relations since the Cold War. Putin's remarks contrasted with hawkish speeches by senior lawmakers in a carefully choreographed performance apparently intended to contain the nationalist fervor that has become a problem for the Kremlin.
01:21 Robin Williams' wife: He had Parkinson's disease:
Robin Williams was in the early stages of Parkinson's disease and was sober at the time of his apparent suicide, his wife said today. In a statement, Susan Schneider said that Williams, 63, was struggling with depression, anxiety and the Parkinson's diagnosis when he was found dead earlier this week.
Authorities said the actor-comedian's death was suicide. Schneider did not offer details on when Williams had been diagnosed or his symptoms.
01:21 US police crack down, Obama calls for calm:
President Barack Obama called for "peace and calm" today in the tense town where authorities fired tear gas at protesters and arrested reporters following the police shooting of an unarmed black teenager.
Michael Brown died Saturday in the St Louis suburb of Ferguson, Missouri, sparking unrest and allegations of police racism. Witnesses and law enforcement have given conflicting versions of how the 18-year-old was shot dead in broad daylight, just two days before he was due to start college.
00:09 127 victims of MH17 identified: report:
Dutch forensic experts have identified a total of 127 victims of downed flight MH17, with 20 new names being released to families today, the Dutch national broadcaster said. "Of the 20, some 15 were Dutch. The nationalities of the rest of the victims were not released," the NOS said on its website.
00:07 Ebola: US orders embassy families out of Sierra Leone:
The United States today told the families of its diplomats in Sierra Leone to leave the country to avoid exposure to the deadly Ebola epidemic.
"The embassy recommended this step out of an abundance of caution," State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf said, citing "a lack of options for routine health care services at major medical facilities due to the Ebola outbreak."
00:07 US broke ISIL seize of Mount Sinjar: Obama:
US President Barack Obama today said that the successful American military air strikes and humanitarian mission in the last few days has broken the Islamic State's seize of Iraq's Sinjar mountain where thousands of refugees were trapped.
"The situation on the mountain has greatly improved and Americans should be very proud of our efforts. Because of the skill and professionalism of our military and the generosity of our people, we broke the ISIL siege of Mount Sinjar, we helped vulnerable people reach safety and we helped save many innocent lives," Obama said in his remarks to the press at his vacation home in Martha's Vineyard in Massachusetts.