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UN Chief: Islamic State Has as Much as $300 Million to Fight

The Islamic State extremist group has been left with as much as $300 million following the loss of its so-called "caliphate" in Iraq and Syria, "with none of the financial demands of controlling territory and population," Secretary-General António Guterres said in a report released Monday.

The report to the Security Council on the threat posed by IS warns that the lull in attacks directed by the militant group "may be temporary."

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2 Mass Shootings in Less than 24 Hours Shock US; 29 Killed

It took just 30 seconds in Ohio and zero bullets in Texas for officers to stop two mass shooters this weekend, but not before 29 people were killed and about 50 injured in less than 24 hours.

Officers gunned down the Ohio shooter at the doorstep of a bar-turned-hiding place in the middle of Dayton's nightclub district, and arrested the El Paso shooter as hundreds fled a crowded shopping center. Though the two attacks staggered a nation accustomed to gun violence, the bigger shock may have been that the death toll wasn't worse.

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Western Sanctions Push War-Weary Syrians Deeper into Poverty

Mohammed Haji Abed drives his yellow taxi through the busy streets of the Syrian capital for about 12 hours a day, toiling in the sweltering summer heat but earning barely enough for his family of five to get by.

It was easier for him to make ends meet at the height of his country's civil war, when rebels regularly lobbed mortars into Damascus from their strongholds on the outskirts of the city.

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US Officials Say Islamic State Still Poses Global Threat

The Islamic State remains a global threat despite losing the once vast territory it held in Syria and Iraq, U.S. officials said Thursday in warning about persistent violence from underground cells and an expansion of militants into new areas.

Ambassador James Jeffrey, the State Department envoy to the international coalition fighting the Islamic State, told reporters that thousands of the extremist organization's fighters are scattered around Syria and Iraq, where officials see a "persistent, resilient, rural terrorist level of violence" in that country.

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Mashrou' Leila Slams 'Deliberate Campaign' as Amnesty Sees 'Alarming Indicator'

World famous Lebanese band Mashrou’ Leila has condemned what it called "a deliberate campaign" against it, after the organizers of the Byblos International Festival called off its August 9 performance over “bloodshed” fears.

In a statement, the band said the campaign was built on false accusations and a distortion of their lyrics.

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Republicans Face Tough Vote on Budget Bill Backed by Trump

A hard-won, warts-and-all budget pact between House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and President Donald Trump is facing a key vote in the GOP-held Senate, with many conservatives torn between supporting the president and risking their political brand with an unpopular vote to add $2 trillion or more to the government's credit card.

The Trump-supported legislation backed by the Democratic speaker would stave off a government shutdown and protect budget gains for the Pentagon and popular domestic programs. It's attached to a must-do measure to lift the so-called debt limit to permit the government to borrow freely to pay its bills.

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More than 20 Charged with Rioting Appear in Hong Kong Court

Charges were read Wednesday against more than 20 Hong Kong protesters who have been accused of rioting — the most serious charge brought since mass demonstrations began in the city last month.

Standing in a heavy rain, supporters rallied outside the court and chanted "Reclaim Hong Kong, revolution of our times," in what has become a familiar refrain. They are protesting China's influence in the city, a semi-autonomous Chinese territory with its own laws and legal system.

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Bus Strikes Roadside Bomb in Afghanistan, 32 Killed

A roadside bomb tore through a bus in western Afghanistan on Wednesday, killing at least 32 people, including children, a provincial official said.

Mohibullah Mohib, spokesman for the police chief in Farah province, said 15 others were wounded with most in critical condition, indicating the death toll could rise.

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Yemen's Government Blames Rebels for Deadly Market Strike

Yemen's internationally-recognized government says the Houthi rebels were behind a strike on a market that killed at least 14 civilians, including children, and wounded 27.

Other Yemeni officials and the rebels' health ministry, however, have said that a Saudi-led coalition airstrike was behind Monday's attack in Saada province, a stronghold of the Iran-aligned Houthis.

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Top Diplomats Gather in Bangkok for Key Asia-Pacific Talks

Top diplomats from the Asia-Pacific region started gathering Tuesday in the Thai capital to discuss issues of concern to the area, including security on the Korean peninsula and China's territorial claims in the South China Sea.

The meetings in Bangkok are hosted by the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations, chaired this year by Thailand. Thai officials say there will be 27 meetings in all through Saturday, and 31 countries and alliances will participate.

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