Wednesday October 17, 2018
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Battle against Islamic State: US to give F-16 fighter jets to Iraqi forces along with 200 million dollars aid

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By Newsgram Staff Writer

With the aim to combat Islamic State in Iraq, US President Barack Obama has decided to continue supporting Iraqi security forces with a humanitarian aid and military training.

According to reports from Xinhua News agency, Obama’s talk on Tuesday with Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi, who is on a visit to the White House, comprised mainly of the ongoing fight against the Islamic State, the Syria-based militant group.

In a joint statement issued by the two countries at the conclusion of the talks Obama “pledged to continue to support Iraqi security forces and tribal engagement initiatives with US training and equipment.”

“Success will not occur overnight, but what is clear is that we will be successful,”  Obama told reporters.

Obama further said that “Serious progress” was being made in pushing back the militants from the areas it had seized.

The joint statement said Abadi stressed the importance of ” stabilising” areas liberated from the militant group, asking for assistance from Washington and the coalition to enable “immediate and long-term stabilisation” in these areas.

Obama on Tuesday announced an additional 200 million dollars in humanitarian aid to Iraq, as more than 2.6 million Iraqis have been internally displaced since January 2014.

Further, Washington is working on the delivery of F-16 fighters to Baghdad, with 30 Iraqi pilots being trained in the US.

Also some 3,000 American troops have been sent back to help train and advise the Iraqi and Kurdish forces after Obama ordered a complete troop withdrawal from the Arab country in 2011.

Before leaving for Washington DC, the Iraqi leader indicated that he would ask for stepped-up air raids on IS targets as well as US drones and other arms worth billions of dollars.

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Canada Legalizes Recreational Cannabis

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau began the push to legalize marijuana across the country more than two years ago

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Marijuana, Canada
Different strains of marijuana are displayed for sale at the Warmland Centre, a medical marijuana dispensary in Mill Bay, British Columbia on Vancouver Island in Canada. VOA

A new era begins in Canada Wednesday when it becomes only the second country to legalize recreational marijuana.

Although medicinal pot has been legal since 2001, Canada will join Uruguay as the only nation where customers can buy it in retail shops.

Marijuana, Canada
An employee inspects the leaf of a cannabis plant at a medical marijuana plantation in northern Israel. (VOA)

The first cannabis store opens at midnight Wednesday in Newfoundland, the country’s easternmost province.

Each of the 13 provinces will set its own rules for selling marijuana. Some will allow private shops while others will only sell it through government-run stores. But mail order sales will be permitted across all of Canada.

Only licensed growers can sell marijuana on the retail market.

Marijuana, Canada
In this July 12, 2018 file photo, a newly-transplanted cannabis cuttings grow in pots at a medical marijuana cultivation facility in Massachusetts. (VOA)

The federal minimum age for using marijuana is 18, but most provinces have set it at 19.

Also Read: New Marijuana Study Poses Question About Mind-Altering Breast Milk

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau began the push to legalize marijuana across the country more than two years ago, in part, to shut down the black market and prevent underage use. (VOA)