Today, the entire world is appalled by the brutal murder of Jim Foley by the terrorist group ISIL. Jim was a journalist, a son, a brother and a friend. He reported from difficult and dangerous places, bearing witness to the lives of people a world away. He was taken hostage nearly two years ago in Syria, and he was courageously reporting at the time on the conflict there. Jim was taken from us in an act of violence that shocked the conscience of the entire world. He was 40 years old, one of five siblings, the son of a mom and dad who worked tirelessly for his release. Earlier today, I spoke to the Foleys and told them that we are all heartbroken at their loss and join them in honoring Jim and all that he did.
Thailand's coup leader General Prayuth Chan-ocha has been appointed prime minister by a legislature he hand-picked, giving the army chief a veneer of legitimacy even while the military presses on with efforts to silence its critics. Although Prayuth's appointment on Thursday paves the way for an interim government to be set up in the coming weeks, power will remain firmly in the junta's hands.
"The United States attempted a rescue operation recently to free a number of American hostages held in Syria by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (IS)," Pentagon spokesman Rear Admiral John Kirby said in a statement. "This operation involved air and ground components and was focused on a particular captor network within ISIL (IS). "Unfortunately, the mission was not successful because the hostages were not present at the targeted location."
The computers of high-ranking officials in agencies involved in the MH370 investigation were hacked and classified information was stolen. The stolen information was allegedly being sent to a computer in China before CyberSecurity Malaysia - a Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation agency - had the transmissions blocked and the infected machines shut down.
A leading Saudi cleric warned women who drive cars could cause damage to their ovaries and pelvises and that they are at risk of having children born with "clinical problems." Sheikh Saleh Al-Loheidan's widely derided remarks have gone viral as activists claim a website urging women to defy their country's driving ban has been blocked in Saudi Arabia.
The Economic Intelligence Unit (EIU) claims its annual Liveability Survey could be used to "assign a hardship allowance as part of expatriate relocation packages," among other things. But that needn't apply to those in Melbourne, which for the fourth year running has been declared the best city in the world to live. The Australian culture hub was buoyed by superlative healthcare, infrastructure and education as well as a murder rate of 3.1 per 100,000 people, half the global average of 6.2.
A video showing the beheading of an American journalist has been posted online, purporting to be a message to the United States from the terrorist group Islamic State (IS). The high-resolution video shows the killing of 40-year-old James Foley, a freelancer who had been missing since being kidnapped in Syria in 2012. Foley's family has confirmed his death, saying: "We have never been prouder of our son Jim. He gave his life trying to expose the world to the suffering of the Syrian people." The video, titled "A message to America", shows Foley on his knees, dressed in an orange jumpsuit, next to a militant clad completely in black with his face covered.
Malaysian police have foiled plans for a wave of bombings drawn up by radical Islamist militants inspired by Iraq's extremist jihad group Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria (ISIS), a top counter-terrorism official said Tuesday. The 19 suspected militants arrested from April-June were formulating plans to bomb pubs, discos and a Malaysian brewery of Danish beer producer Carlsberg, said Ayob Khan Mydin, deputy chief of the Malaysian police counter-terrorism division.