AUSTRALIA For more than a year, the three jailed Al-Jazeera journalists did their best to prepare for the unsettling possibility that one of them would be released from the Egyptian prison, while the others were forced to stay. Yesterday, Peter Greste returned home to Australia, relieved and jubilant in his freedom, but still grappling with the reality that Mohamed Fahmy and Baher Mohammed remained trapped in their cells.
CHINA A Canadian woman detained in China along with her husband on suspicion of stealing state secrets has been released on bail, the Chinese Foreign Ministry said yesterday. Ministry spokesman Hong Lei said Julia Garratt was released while the case remains under investigation. She and her husband Kevin were detained on Aug. 4 by the state security bureau in China’s northeastern city of Dandong, which borders North Korea. Their detentions came amid a crackdown on Christian groups aiding North Korean refugees along the border.
INDIA Police say they have detained dozens of people for protesting against attacks on churches in the Indian capital in recent months, accusing Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government of inaction to prevent or investigate the incidents.
N KOREA A little-known but influential body that fights money laundering and terror financing has an unlikely new suitor: North Korea, a country long accused by the U.S. and others of using illegal activities to prop up its anemic economy.
JORDAN calls for a decisive battle against the Islamic State group, declaring that “this evil can be defeated,” after the militants burn a Jordanian pilot in a cage and gleefully broadcast the horrific images on outdoor screens in their stronghold. Waves of revulsion wash across the Mideast, offering an opening to Jordan’s king to rally support from an up-to-now skeptical public that bombing IS targets is a national and not just a Western interest.
CAMEROON Three militaries, using ground troops and warplanes, fight Boko Haram on at least two fronts with hundreds of the Islamic fighters reported dead as the conflict takes on a growing international perspective. Boko Haram fighters have shot or burned to death about 90 civilians and wounded 500 in ongoing fighting in a Cameroonian border town near Nigeria, officials in Cameroon said yesterday.
USA A San Francisco man has been convicted of creating and operating the underground website Silk Road as a drug-selling haven. The decision after little more than three hours of deliberation was a swift repudiation of 30-year-old Ross William Ulbricht lawyer’s claims that Ulbricht abandoned the site soon after he created it.
UKRAINE In a new push for peace, the leaders of France and Germany headed yesterday to Kiev and Moscow with a proposal to end the fighting in eastern Ukraine. The surprise move appeared aimed at heading off U.S. considerations of giving Ukraine lethal weapons, something Europeans fear could spark even wider hostilities.