Australia

Airline prepares for world’s longest flights

Australian airline Qantas is preparing for what could become the world’s longest direct commercial flights — around 19 hours — with three test runs to monitor the effects of so-called ultra-long-haul journeys on the body. Some 40 people will become onboard guinea pigs for test flights from New York to Sydney and from London to Sydney, the airline said. Qantas plans to conduct the test flights in October, November and December, with a target of starting regular services to New York and London from Australia’s east coast as soon as 2022.

Hong Kong

Two charged in mob attack on protesters

Hong Kong authorities said they had charged two men with rioting over a mob attack on protesters and passersby in a train station in a satellite town last month. The assault led to criticism of police for their failure to stop the violence and of prosecutors for the time it took to charge anyone. Dozens of people were injured when more than 100 men wielding sticks and metal bars swarmed inside the Yuen Long train station on July 21. On Wednesday, thousands gathered in Yuen Long to honor those injured in the attack.

California

‘Boy Next Door Killer’ found sane by jury

Jurors found that a man prosecutors have dubbed “The Boy Next Door Killer” was sane when he fatally stabbed two women and tried to kill a third inside their Southern California homes. The decision was announced after less than a day of deliberations in the sanity phase of the trial of Michael Gargiulo. Last week the same jury found Gargiulo guilty of the 2005 murder of Maria Bruno, 32, and the 2001 murder of Ashley Ellerin, 22, who was waiting at her home before a planned date with actor Ashton Kutcher. Gargiulo was also convicted of the 2008 attempted murder of Michelle Murphy.

New York

Man is crushed to death by elevator

A man was crushed to death in an elevator at a Manhattan apartment building that had been recently fined for unsafe elevator conditions, authorities said. Firefighters responding to a 911 call found one man trapped in part of the elevator, which was stuck between the lobby and the basement floors, a Fire Department spokesman said. That man, 30, was pronounced dead at the scene. Firefighters rescued three people who were on the elevator and appeared uninjured.

Washington, D.C.

New public affairs chief for Catholic group

The U.S. Catholic bishops’ organization announced that it had replaced its public affairs director — a woman who triggered debate last month with tweets enthusiastically backing President Donald Trump and striking out at Democrats, including Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York and Sen. Kamala Harris of California. The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops announced that church and politics veteran Chieko Noguchi is its new head of public affairs.

News services