World News Brief, Thursday August 21

Concern over beheading video; Malaysia foils brewery bombing plan; 32 dead after landslides in western Japan; Cairo talks crumble; and more 

Top of the Agenda

Video Stirs Renewed Concern Over ISIS

ISIS militants released on Tuesday a video, titled "A Message To America," that purported to show the beheading of American journalist James Foley (Reuters) in retaliation against recent U.S. airstrikes on the militant group in Iraq. The video also showed Steven Sotloff, another U.S. journalist, whose life militants said depended on future U.S. actions in Iraq (NYT). While the White House said it was "appalled by the brutal murder," U.K. Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond raised concerns about the apparent British identity (AP) of the masked fighter in the video. Foley, a reporter for Global Post, had been kidnapped in northern Syria in 2012.


"Their capture and Foley's apparent execution raise fresh questions about how important conflicts across the globe are covered—and the dangers freelance journalists, eager for bylines, face to report them," writes Terrence McCoy for the Washington Post.

"Suddenly, a common enemy has joined mutually distrustful players in the making of a coalition against ISIS—just the kind of multilateralism that the President favors. As this month's events bore out, such an effort requires American leadership," writes George Packer for the New Yorker.

"In Syria, IS militants and their predecessors have killed countless people in recent years, and over 160,000 in total have died during the Syrian civil war. Yet it is only now that the world is waking up, now that the conflict has spilled into Iraq, where the Islamic State also appears to be spreading its tentacles without much resistance," writes Der Spiegel.



Malaysia Foils Bombing Plot

Malaysian counter-terrorism officials said they uncovered a plan for a series of pub and brewery bombings (AFP) by radical Islamic militants inspired by the militant ISIS jihadist group. Officials said the group strove to form a Southeast Asian Islamic caliphate spanning Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, the Philippines and Singapore.

This CFR Backgrounder delves into the history and evolution of ISIS.

JAPAN: Thirty-two died and nine remain missing on Wednesday after landslides and flooding triggered by torrential rain hit residential areas in Hiroshima, in western Japan (KyodoNews).


Cairo talks crumble

This is an excerpt of the Daily News Brief. The full version is available on