Switzerland

Ebola cases decline in West Africa

The number of people contracting the Ebola virus in West Africa has fallen to the lowest level in months, the World Health Organization said in Geneva, but dwindling funds and a looming rainy season threaten to hamper efforts to control the disease. More than 8,668 people have died in the Ebola epidemic in West Africa. But the worst-affected countries — Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone — have recorded falling numbers of new cases for four successive weeks, said Dr. Bruce Aylward, the organization's assistant director general.

Iran

Thousands protest images of prophet

Iranian protesters condemned the French satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo for publishing a cartoon of the prophet Mohammed. In cities across Iran, tens of thousands of people took to the streets in organized protests, shouting slogans and chanting "death" to France, Israel, Britain and Charlie Hebdo, and burning flags.

China

National security priorities approved

The Communist Party leadership approved a blueprint setting out national security priorities and warning that the country faced daunting domestic and external dangers. It was ratified by the Politburo, a council of 25 senior officials, and signaled President Xi Jinping's latest step to put security at the heart of his agenda.

Thailand

Ex-prime minister banned for 5 years

Former Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra said that democracy in her country was dead, after the military-appointed legislature voted to ban her from politics for five years and the prosecutor announced plans to indict her on criminal charges in connection with a money-losing rice subsidy program. The twin actions are widely seen as an attempt by the military junta to cripple the political machine founded by Yingluck's brother, Thaksin Shinawatra, another ousted prime minister, and prevent them from returning to power.

Washington, D.C.

Privacy protection added to health site

Bowing to privacy concerns, the Obama administration reversed itself, scaling back the release of consumers' personal information from the government's health insurance website to private companies with a commercial interest in the data. The administration made the changes to HealthCare.gov after reports this week that the website was quietly sending consumers' personal data to companies that specialize in advertising. The personal details included age, income, ZIP code, tobacco use and whether a woman is pregnant.

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