IS leader’s wife and son captured by the Lebanese Army.
The second wife and eight-year-old son of the infamous and elusive IS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi have been detained in Lebanon near the Syrian border. According to Lebanese military sources Saja al-Dulaimi, an Iraqi believed to be one of al-Baghdadi’s three wives, is a “high-value catch” detained with the assistance of foreign intelligence services. Lebanese and Iraqi intelligence sources suggested Mrs al-Dulaimi would possess little information of value, but that she could be a valuable commodity as Lebanon seeks to negotiate the release of 20-odd soldiers taken hostage by IS in August.
North Korea refuses to deny involvement in cyber-attack
North Korea has refused to deny its involvement in a cyber-attack on Sony Pictures in which several unreleased films were leaked onto the internet. The attack occurred last week and saw some of the companies biggest films including Fury, Still Alice and Annie leaked onto file-sharing sites. The hackers also gained access to corporate emails and Sony’s internal network, disclosing information such as employee salaries. North Korea is a prime suspect for the hacking – seen as possible retaliation against a Sony Pictures film in which a North Korean leader is assassinated.
Ashton Carter believed to be new US defence secretary
Senior US administration officials have said President Barack Obama is set to announce Ashton Carter as his new defence secretary, replacing Chuck Hagel who announced his resignation two weeks ago. Carter has an impressive resume: a former physicist he has worked as a civilian at the Pentagon and was previously the defence department’s chief weapons buyer. President Obama is expected to formally announce the appointment by the end of the week.
Iraq and Kurdistan reach deal on oil
The Iraq government has agreed to a long term deal that would see it share the country’s oil revenues with the autonomous Kurdish region. The deal was made yesterday in an attempt to reunite the two sides in the face of conflict with Islamic State. Iraq’s Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi also announced that his government would pay the salaries of Kurdish security workers. – Compiled from web sources by Brian Ennew and Daniel Stringer