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By Kylie MacLellan and Sarah Young LONDON (Reuters) - Britain backed a $22 billion (18 billion pounds) expansion of London's Heathrow Airport on Tuesday, ending 25 years of indecision with an ambitious plan to boost global trade links following the vote to leave the European Union. Heathrow, Europe's busiest airport, defeated a proposal from smaller rival Gatwick to secure the first new full-length runway to be built near London in 70 years after environmental and political protests scuppered previous attempts. The long-awaited decision put Prime Minister Theresa May on a collision course with several senior politicians including her own foreign secretary, Boris Johnson, and the plan is also likely to be challenged in the courts.
The US-led coalition is "laying the groundwork" for the "isolation" of Raqa, the Islamic State group stronghold in Syria, US Defence Secretary Ashton Carter said Tuesday. "We have already begun laying the groundwork for our partners to commence the isolation of Raqa," Carter said after meeting coalition defence ministers in Paris to discuss the aftermath of the planned capture of Mosul from IS in Iraq. Carter was among a dozen ministers from coalition members attending the talks, which come a week after Iraqi forces backed by Kurdish fighters launched a major operation to retake Mosul, Iraq's second-biggest city.