Colombian military officers and leftist guerrillas met face-to-face on Friday for the first time in their 50-year war, starting talks on a ceasefire that would take hold should the government and the rebels reach a comprehensive peace agreement.
Washington has declared the beheading of an American journalist a "terrorist attack", upping the stakes in its confrontation with the Islamic State (IS) jihadist group, as Shiite militiamen gunned down 70 people at an Iraqi Sunni mosque.
Cholera has killed at least 67 people in Ghana since June and infected more than 5,000 others in an outbreak that highlights the health and sanitation challenges facing one of Africa's fastest-growing economies.
Saturday August 23, 2014, Boston/ Washington
A cyber attack at a firm that performs background checks for US government employees compromised data of at least 25,000 workers, including some undercover investigators, and that number could rise, agency officials said on Friday.
The United States demanded Moscow remove an aid convoy it sent into rebel-held eastern Ukraine without permission on Friday, accusing Russia of a flagrant violation of the sovereignty of its former Soviet neighbour and threatening more sanctions.
A Kentucky firefighter was in critical condition on Friday, a day after he and three others were injured when an aerial ladder got too close to a power line when their department doused a university band with water in an "ice bucket" fundraiser.
Iraqi Shi'ite militiamen machine gunned minority Sunni Muslims in a village mosque on Friday, killing dozens just as Baghdad was trying to build a cross-community government to fight Sunni militants whose rise has alarmed Western powers.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Friday vowed harsh retribution against Hamas, the Islamist rulers of Gaza, after a mortar round fired from the Palestinian territory killed an Israeli child.