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A Polish grandfather left New York Sunday on his third solo trans-Atlantic crossing in a kayak, aiming to arrive in Portugal in time to celebrate his 70th birthday on firm ground in September. Aleksander Doba paddled off from the tip of Manhattan after doing interviews and posing for selfies with a crowd of some 100 onlookers. A star at home, Doba gained global attention when he was named a National Geographic adventurer of the year in 2015.
Elite Iraqi troops were poised to assault one of the Islamic State group's most emblematic bastions, Fallujah, as the jihadists counterattacked in Iraq and neighbouring Syria where thousands of civilians have fled the fighting. Meanwhile, the Syrian opposition's chief negotiator Mohammed Alloush announced his resignation Sunday, citing the failure of UN-brokered peace talks and the continued shelling of rebel-held areas by President Bashar al-Assad's regime. Fighting in Syria and Iraq has prompted a new exodus of thousands of desperate civilians and deep concern for the many more trapped in the battlegrounds.