An advocacy group is suing over a law that prohibits abortion unless the woman first has an ultrasound. Three other states – Alabama, Louisiana and Mississippi – have similar laws, but backers of the lawsuit say Oklahoma is the only state to require that the ultrasound screen be turned toward the woman and that the doctor describe what is on the screen, including dimensions of the fetus. The law is set to go into effect Nov. 1.
Fort Benning officials say a trainee has been punished in the beating of a Jewish soldier, but won't face military proceedings. A spokeswoman said privacy restrictions prohibited the Army from releasing the soldier's name and the specific punishment he will receive. She said investigators determined religious bigotry wasn't the motive in the attack, but gave no more details.
NATO defense ministers agreed Friday to let troops in Afghanistan attack drug lords and their networks supporting the escalating insurgency in the country. The deal came after pressure from the U.S., which has identified opium trafficking as a primary target in the battle against the Taliban insurgency. The accord also states that such attacks will occur only if the NATO and Afghan troops involved have the authorization of their own governments, a provision that will let dissenting nations opt out of counter-narcotics strikes.
Brazil is filing criminal charges against 81 people accused of being the biggest destroyers of the Amazon rain forest. Environment Minister Carlos Minc says those convicted will be ordered to replant deforested areas and pay a collective $99 million in fines. Most are soy farmers and cattle ranchers who use the land for crops and grazing. Brazil's National Institute for Space Research recently said Amazon clearing rose 69 percent in the last year.
Two American journalists who went missing during a vacation in Lebanon were quoted Friday as saying they were kidnapped by their taxi driver and held in Syria, a week before being released. Taylor Luck, 23, and Holli Chmela, 27, spoke to their newspaper Jordan Times upon returning to Jordan early Friday.
They were released Thursday in Damascus, where authorities said they had crossed the border illegally with smugglers' help.