Israel

Jewish population nears pre-WWII level

The world's Jewish population has grown to nearly as large as it was before the Holocaust, an Israeli think tank said in its annual report. The Jewish People Policy Institute said there are currently 14.2 million Jews in the world. When factoring in individuals with one Jewish parent and others who identify as partly Jewish, the figure approaches 16.5 million — the Jewish population on the eve of World War II.

Taiwan

Hundreds in hospital after music party fire

Hundreds of people were being treated at hospitals in Taiwan after a night of wild revelry at a water park near the capital turned into a hellish nightmare when airborne colored powder being sprayed onto partygoers ignited. No deaths were reported, but 498 people were sent to 43 area hospitals, with 202 suffering serious injuries, according to the website of the Public Health Department of New Taipei City, where the incident took place. Many of the injured suffered serious burns and smoke inhalation.

Yemen

Blaze rages at oil refinery hit by rebels

A fire triggered by shelling at an oil refinery in Aden risked getting out of control as firefighters struggled to extinguish the blaze. "The firefighters have not managed to put out the blaze because there is a severe shortage in the substances needed to extinguish it," said an official at the refinery. The fire started on Saturday, when a shell allegedly fired by the Houthi rebels hit a fuel tank at the oil facility, which is part of the Red Sea city's port.

Afghanistan

Ghani appoints 2nd female governor

President Ashraf Ghani has appointed a second woman as a provincial governor, something that was welcomed by reform-minded activists even though his first appointee has been unable to take office because of fierce opposition and protests. Already, there are signs that the second female governor, Seema Joyenda — who will serve in Ghor Province in central Afghanistan, one of the poorest places in the country — will face many of the same challenges.

Chad

60 arrests made in suicide bombings

Some 60 people, including suspects from Cameroon, Nigeria and Mali, have been arrested in an attack earlier this month in the Chadian capital that killed dozens of people and wounded more than 100. Prosecutors say new details have been uncovered concerning the June 15 attack when one suicide bomber blew himself up outside a police station and two others near a police academy.

Wisconsin

Obama will visit La Crosse Thursday

President Obama is scheduled to visit La Crosse on Thursday, his first visit since being elected president and the city's first presidential appearance since 2004. The White House confirmed the visit Saturday, saying only "the president will travel to the La Crosse, Wisconsin, area for an event on the economy." Additional details are expected to be released later this week.

North Carolina

Teenager is latest to be attacked by shark

A teenage boy was the latest victim of a shark attack off North Carolina's coast, officials said. Saturday's attack was the second in as many days and the sixth in the past two weeks along the coast of the Carolinas. Rescue personnel said the boy had injuries to his right calf, buttocks and both hands. A spokeswoman for Sentara Norfolk General Hospital said the boy, who has not been identified, arrived at risk of dying, but his condition has improved.

News services