PAKISTAN Warplanes strike five militant hideouts in a Taliban stronghold near the Afghan border, killing 65 insurgents, the military says. The strikes, carried out in two phases hours apart, targeted areas in the North Waziristan tribal region, where the military has been conducting a major offensive since mid-June.
AFGHANISTAN Officials say 14 people, including civilians, are killed and 13 others are wounded in a U.S. airstrike in eastern Afghanistan.
JAPAN A nuclear power plant in southern Japan wins regulators’ approval under new safety standards imposed after the 2011 Fukushima disaster, a key step toward becoming the first to restart under the tighter rules. The Nuclear Regulation Authority unanimously approved an inspection report for the Sendai Nuclear Power Station’s two reactors. It concluded that the reactors complied with new regulations designed to avoid major damage during disasters such as the massive earthquake and tsunami that caused meltdowns at the Fukushima Dai-ichi plant.
INDONESIA A strong earthquake hits off the coast of eastern Indonesia’s Sulawesi island, causing panic among residents, but there are no immediate reports of injuries or damage or threat of a tsunami. The magnitude-6.5 quake struck at a depth of 22.5 kilometers and was centered about 122 kilometers southeast of Mondayang, a town in northern Sulawesi, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.
AUSTRALIA Police arrest two men for allegedly preparing to fight in Syria, recruiting jihadists and raising money for an al-Qaida offshoot group, as a national spy chief warns that Australia may elevate its terrorism threat to its second-highest level within days.
USA A Missouri inmate convicted in a 1998 robbery and double murder was put to death yesterday, the eighth execution in the state this year and the 10th since November.
LIBERIA A surge in Ebola infections in Liberia is driving a spiraling outbreak in West Africa that is increasingly putting health workers at risk as they struggle to treat an overwhelming number of patients. The outbreak sweeping West Africa is thought to have killed more than 2,200 people, and public health experts agree that it is out of control. More than 4,200 people have believed to have been sickened in Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Nigeria and Senegal.
UKRAINE’s president promised yesterday to introduce a bill as early as next week that would offer greater autonomy to rebellious regions in the pro-Russia east, where separatists have been battling government troops for almost five months. But President Petro Poroshenko said the regions would remain part of Ukraine and rejected the idea of federalization, something both Russia and the separatists are still pushing for even after a cease-fire that began last Friday.
SYRIA A Syrian rebel group named a new leader and military chief yesterday, less than 24 hours after an explosion killed nearly a dozen of its senior figures in a devastating blow to one of the most powerful factions in the country’s armed opposition. The group, Ahrar al-Sham, has been among the steadiest and most effective forces fighting to oust President Bashar Assad in Syria’s civil war. It has also been on the front lines of a now nine-month battle in northern Syria against the extremist Islamic State group.
IRAQ Secretary of State John Kerry said yesterday that neither the United States nor the rest of the world will stand by and watch the Islamic State militant group spread its evil.” This is a fight that the Iraqi people must win, but it’s also a fight that the rest of the world needs them to win,” Kerry told reporters. “It’s a fight the United States and the rest of the world needs to support every step of the way.” Kerry was in Baghdad to meet with Iraq’s new leaders and pledge U.S. support for eliminating the extremist group and the threat it poses.