1. Touting progress, Obama says Islamic State is losing ground
    WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama portrayed the U.S.-led coalition Monday as gaining ground against the Islamic State amid an expanded U.S. effort and ample signs of progress, but conceded more difficulties lay ahead in fighting what he described as a nimble and opportunistic enemy.
  2. Nigeria’s Boko Haram crisis: Jos blasts kill scores
    Two bomb attacks on the central Nigerian city of Jos have left at least 44 people dead, the authorities say.
  3. Iran Nuclear Talks on Verge of Another Missed Deadline
    World powers and Iran are on the verge of missing another deadline in Vienna, where diplomats are in a 10th straight day of talks seeking an accord over the Islamic Republic’s nuclear program.
  4. Inside the Saudi prison that’s home to new wave of jihadis
    RIYADH (Reuters) – The man visible on the block’s control room monitor, pacing his small cell in uniform grey robe, is one of a rising number of security prisoners in Saudi Arabia, where the wars in Syria and Iraq have led to a surge in domestic jihadist activity.
  5. In Syria and Iraq, IS courts Sunni tribes with carrot and stick
    Beirut (AFP) – Wearing a white headscarf and a traditional black cloak, the Iraqi tribal sheikh addressed his peers: “We’re all in the same boat, the (Islamic) State is our state.”
  6. Islamic State militants killed in U.S.-led air strikes, fighting with Kurds: monitor
    BEIRUT (Reuters) – At least 37 Islamic State fighters were killed and scores injured in air strikes by the U.S.-led coalition and in clashes with Kurdish YPG militia in northeastern Syria near the border with Turkey, a monitor said.
  7. Israel and Egypt: The next ISIS conquests?
    The Fourth of July – America’s Independence Day – is not an official Israeli holiday, but in recent years it has become an occasion for fireworks.
  8. Iraqi Forces Plan Offensive to Retake Ramadi From ISIS
    Seven weeks after their frenetic retreat from Ramadi, Iraqi security forces are preparing to mount a counteroffensive in the coming weeks to try to reclaim the pivotal western Iraqi city from the Islamic State, American and Iraqi officials say.
  9. How ‘John and Javad’ learned to work together on an Iran deal
    VIENNA — Secretary of State John F. Kerry and Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif are a study in contrasts.
  10. While Saudi Arabia Goes to War Abroad, It’s Simmering at Home
    To hear Saudi leaders tell it, the primary threat to the kingdom’s stability is the Islamic Republic of Iran. Worried over Washington and Tehran’s slowly improving relationship, Riyadh has projected an increasingly militarized and sectarian foreign policy aimed at countering Iran’s alleged hegemonic aims in the Middle East.