WSJ.com What's News - Worldwide News Briefs for May 11

Features Dow Jones Newswires

KURD-LED FORCE HOMES IN ON ISIS BASTION

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A Kurdish-led military force in Syria is closing in on Islamic State's stronghold of Raqqa after taking the strategic Tabqa dam nearby, days after the fighters won rare approval from both Washington and Damascus to battle the extremist group.

WITH TAX REVENUES HIGH, GERMAN POLITICIANS DEBATE HOW TO SPEND THE MONEY

New tax revenue estimates underline the firepower at politicians' disposal ahead of September elections. If they deliver on spending pledges, this could be good news for the U.S., the EU and the international organizations that have been urging Germany to loosen its purse strings.

CHINA NOW HAS A RAIL LINK INTO THE HEART OF EUROPE

President Xi Jinping's 'One Belt One Road' initiative is emerging as the cornerstone of China's bid to be the guarantor of globalization, including improved rail freight routes that logistics companies and other businesses see as a breakthrough.

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SOUTH KOREA'S NEW PRESIDENT PREPARES TO SQUARE OFF WITH CORPORATE DYNASTIES

South Korea's new president, like his predecessors, has promised to loosen the hold that powerful, family-run business empires such as Samsung have over the economy. Though changes are likely to be moderate rather than radical, the current times offer a rare opening for an overhaul.

MACRON INUNDATED WITH APPLICATIONS FOR ELECTION CANDIDATES

French president-elect Emmanuel Macron fell short of naming all of his candidates for June's legislative elections, as his fledgling En Marche movement tried to find a balance of veterans and fresh faces in an influx of applications.

SAUDI REVERSAL MARKS A POWER PLAY IN THE KINGDOM

After Saudi King Salman decreed the reversal of unpopular austerity measures, the future course of the kingdom hinges on whether the move will come to be seen by its people as a sign of weakness or a sign of wisdom.

GREECE EYES BOND SALE AMID OPTIMISM OVER DEBT DEAL

As Greek assets rally on optimism of a deal to restructure the country's crushing debt, Greek government officials are considering a bond issue-the first by the country in three years-possibly as soon as July or September.

COAST GUARD INTERCEPTED NO ILLEGAL CUBAN MIGRANTS IN APRIL

For the first time in nearly a decade, the Coast Guard last month didn't intercept any Cubans trying to sail illegally to the U.S., a change due in large part to new policies set by both the Obama and Trump administrations, the head of the Coast Guard said.

(For continuously updated news from the Wall Street Journal, see WSJ.com at http://wsj.com.)

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

May 11, 2017 17:29 ET (21:29 GMT)