The Islamic State group has demolished more treasured monuments in Syria's ancient Palmyra, a month after recapturing it from government forces, the country's antiquities chief said Friday. The news is a fresh blow for the UNESCO World Heritage site, which had already been ravaged by the jihadist group during the nine months of control before being expelled in March last year. "Local sources told us that 10 days ago Daesh destroyed the tetrapylon," a 16-columned structure that marked one end of the ancient city's colonnade, Maamoun Abdulkarim told AFP using an Arabic acronym for IS.
The Turkish parliament early Saturday approved a draft bill that would dramatically expand the powers of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, meaning the country will vote on changing the constitution later this year. The government insists the proposals to create an executive presidency will ensure simpler and more effective administration but critics say it will give Erdogan more power that is unchecked. Each article was put to a vote in the 550-seat parliament, where the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) enjoys a comfortable majority.