France and the United States pledged on Tuesday to step up the fight against the Islamic State group, urging Russia to throw its weight behind global efforts to resolve the four-year Syrian conflict. President Francois Hollande met his US counterpart Barack Obama at the White House as Turkey's downing of a Russian warplane dealt a severe blow to efforts to coordinate the fight against IS. Speaking 11 days after jihadists killed 130 people in the French capital, Hollande urged an "implacable" joint response to crush the group in Syria and Iraq.
The international community must secure a binding deal against climate change at key UN talks in Paris next week, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said Wednesday. "We must now agree on a binding review mechanism under international law, so that this century can credibly be called a century of decarbonisation," said Merkel. A total of 147 heads of state and government will attend the climate summit in Paris next week, at a time of heightened security after the French capital was hit by deadly jihadist attacks in mid-November.