Human rights groups are accusing the Iraqi government of indiscriminate bombing. Baghdad officials deny that and note they're fighting a Sunni insurgency that commits mass executions and suicide bombings.
Yet rights workers say civilians are being killed by government attacks with so-called barrel bombs — the crude weapons made famous in Syria's current conflict. Barrel bombs are illegal and indiscriminate explosives, packed in things like oil drums or gas cylinders.
North Korea has fired a short-range ballistic missile into the Sea of Japan, according to The Associated Press, which quotes an unnamed South Korean official.
The test is described as beginning with a launch in the country's southwest Hwanghae province on Saturday morning and ending when the missile landed off the east coast at the end of a 310-mile flight path.
The U.S. has temporarily closed its embassy in Libya and evacuated diplomats amid what is being described as a significant deterioration in security, with rival militant factions battling in the capital, Tripoli.
"Due to the ongoing violence resulting from clashes between Libyan militias in the immediate vicinity of the U.S. Embassy in Tripoli, we have temporarily relocated all of our personnel out of Libya," State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf said.
Ever since its sweeping victory in the Six-Day War of 1967, Israel has been regarded as the dominant military power in the Middle East. No Arab state has risked a full-fledged war in decades, and few question the conventional wisdom that Israel would swiftly defeat any national army in a traditional, head-to-head confrontation.
Yet for the third time in the past decade, Israel's powerful military finds itself in a protracted, messy fight with a small, elusive, Islamist group and has been unable to score a quick and decisive victory.