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Journalist Steven Sotloff purportedly killed in Internet video

American
         journalist Steven Sotloff, shown here in the black helmet talking to Libyan rebels in June 2011, was reportedly killed by
         Islamic fighters Tuesday. Photo by Etienne de Malglaive via Getty Images

American journalist Steven Sotloff, shown here in the black helmet talking to Libyan rebels in June 2011, was reportedly killed by Islamic fighters Tuesday. Photo by Etienne de Malglaive via Getty Images

American journalist Steven Sotloff purportedly was killed by Islamic militants in a video posted online Tuesday.

His death follows that of another U.S. reporter, James Foley, by the same militant group, which calls itself the Islamic State.

Sotloff, 31, was kidnapped near the northern Syrian city of Aleppo on Aug. 4, 2013. He was seen in the video in which Foley was beheaded by an IS fighter. In that video, the fighter said Sotloff would be next if the United States didn’t stop airstrikes targeting the group in Iraq.

Sotloff, who grew up in Miami, freelanced for Time magazine, and like Foley was reporting on the civil war in Syria at the time of his abduction.

Sotloff’s mother, Shirley Sotloff, recently made a video, which was broadcast on Al Arabiya, appealing to IS to release her son.

“Since Steven’s capture, I have learned a lot about Islam. I’ve learned that Islam teaches that no individual should be held responsible for the sins of others,” she said in the video. “As a mother, I ask your justice to be merciful and not punish my son for matters he has no control over.”

For several weeks, the U.S. military has been conducting airstrikes around Irbil in northern Iraq to protect villages that IS has cut off from food and water. It recently began flying surveillance missions over Syria for more possible airstrikes.

We’ll have more on the developments on Tuesday’s PBS NewsHour broadcast.

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A map of every device connected to the internet on the planet

Photo:

John Matherly, founder of internet search engine Shodan, created a map that shows the location of internet-connected devices across the globe.

Matherly used his search engine, which he developed to identify connected devices, to gather the data. On August 2nd, he sent ping requests, which tests the reachability of devices on an internet network, out to IP addresses across the globe and recorded those that acknowledged receipt. The red hot spots depict the highest concentration, green the moderate and blue the lowest. Remote areas with no computers or smartphones on a wireless network are colorless. Locations were noted with dots.

As expected, the United States and Europe depict the highest concentration. The single dot in Greenland represents the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration observatory. Matherly wrote on Reddit, where he engaged in active discussion about the map, “I would expect certain areas (especially in Africa) to become brighter, but the only way to know for sure is to gather empirical data and keep track of it that way.”

Matherly claims it took him five hours to gather the data and 12 hours to build the map.

The post A map of every device connected to the internet on the planet appeared first on PBS NewsHour.

Human trials for experimental Ebola vaccine to begin this week

This undated handout photo provided by National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and GlaxoSmithKline (NIAID/GSK)
         shows a vaccine candidate, in a vial, that will be used in the upcoming human Ebola trials. Photo from GlaxoSmithKline

This undated handout photo provided by National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and GlaxoSmithKline (NIAID/GSK) shows a vaccine candidate, in a vial, that will be used in the upcoming human Ebola trials. Photo from GlaxoSmithKline

The National Institutes of Health will begin testing an experimental Ebola vaccine on an initial 20 adult humans this week, as the lethal virus’ reach “continues to accelerate” in West Africa.

After early testing in monkeys showed promising results, the NIH worked to develop the latest version of the vaccine with pharmaceutical GlaxoSmithKline for phase 1 of the clinical human trials this week in Bethesda, Maryland.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases at NIH, told the NewsHour on Friday how the fast-tracked trials would ensue:

“[T]his is the first time this vaccine has been put in humans. So safety is paramount, so you take a very small number of people, 20 in total, three at a time, and you use the vaccine to determine if there are untoward effects, any inflammation, any idiosyncratic or hypersensitivity reactions, pain or anything that might be a red flag about safety.”

To date, Ebola has claimed 1,552 lives out of 3,069 cases in the affected countries of Guinea, Liberia, Nigeria and Sierra Leone, the World Health Organization reported Thursday. The organization added that the virus could infect more than 20,000 people before it’s properly contained.

Dr. Tom Frieden, director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, has said that the actual number of reported cases would be higher because there were not enough health workers to maintain records.

Following a three-country tour in West Africa, Frieden will hold a news conference at the CDC today to give his assessment of the situation. PBS NewsHour will live stream the briefing at 12 p.m. EDT.

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U.S. targeted drone strikes at al-Shabab leader

Undated handout image courtesy of the U.S. Air Force shows a MQ-1 Predator unmanned aircraft. Image courtesy of Reuters/Air
         Force/Lt. Col. Leslie Pratt/Handout

Undated handout image courtesy of the U.S. Air Force shows a MQ-1 Predator unmanned aircraft. The Pentagon said that U.S. military forces targeted the al-Shabab network Monday in a drone operation. Image courtesy of Reuters/Air Force/Lt. Col. Leslie Pratt/Handout

WASHINGTON — U.S. military forces targeted the Islamic extremist al-Shabab network in an operation Monday in Somalia, the Pentagon said.

Spokesman Rear Adm. John Kirby said the U.S. was assessing the results and would provide more information when appropriate. No further details were available.

A senior Somali intelligence official said a U.S. drone targeted al-Shabab leader Ahmed Abdi Godane as he left a meeting of the group’s top leaders.

The Somali official, speaking on condition of anonymity since the official was not authorized to speak to the media, said intelligence indicated Godane “might have been killed along with other militants.”

The official said the attack took place in a forest near Sablale district, 105 miles (170 kilometers) south of Mogadishu, where the group trains its fighters.

The governor of Somalia’s Lower Shabelle region, Abdiqadir Mohamed Nor, told The Associated Press that as government and African Union forces were heading to a town in Sablale district, they heard something that sounded like an “earthquake” as drones struck al-Shabab bases.

“There was an airstrike near Sablale, we saw something,” Nor said.

The U.S. action comes after Somalia’s government forces regained control of a high-security prison in the capital that was attacked Sunday by seven heavily armed suspected Islamic militants who attempted to free other extremists held there. The Pentagon statement did not indicate whether the U.S. action was related to the prison attack.

Somali officials said all attackers, three government soldiers and two civilians were killed. Mogadishu’s Godka Jilacow prison is an interrogation center for Somalia’s intelligence agency, and many suspected militants are believed to be held in underground cells there.

The Somali rebel group al-Shabab, which is linked to al-Qaida, claimed responsibility for the attack that shattered a period of calm in Mogadishu after two decades of chaotic violence. The attack started when a suicide car bomber detonated an explosives-laden vehicle at the gate of the prison, followed by gunmen who fought their way into the prison.

It was al-Shabab gunmen who attacked the upscale Westgate Mall in Nairobi, Kenya, with guns and grenades last September, killing at least 67 people. Al-Shabab had threatened retaliation against Kenya for sending troops into Somalia against the extremists. Godane said the attack was carried out in retaliation for the West’s support for Kenya’s Somalia invasion and the “interest of their oil companies.”


Associated Press writer Abdi Guled in Mogadishu, Somalia, contributed to this report.

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BBC News

Islamic State 'kills US hostage'

An Islamic State video purporting to show the beheading of Steven Sotloff, a US journalist abducted by the group, is released.

Million 'have fled Ukraine conflict'

The number of people who have fled the fighting in Ukraine has doubled in weeks, and the UN says more than a million have now been displaced.

Afghan militants 'may join IS'

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CPS withdraws Ashya parents warrant

UK prosecutors withdraw the arrest warrant that enabled Spanish police to hold the parents who took their ill son from a British hospital.