Global Scan

ISIS thanks the Pentagon for its errant weapon airdrop

The fight in Kobane

Smoke and flames rise over Syrian town of Kobane after an airstrike, as seen from the Mursitpinar crossing on the Turkish-Syrian border in the southeastern town of Suruc in Sanliurfa province.


Kai Pfaffenbach/Reuters

US officials have been ramping up their effort to support embattled Kurdish forces in Kobane, the Syrian border town that has been under attack by ISIS forces for weeks and nearly overrun on several occasions.

On Monday, they announced they had air-dropped military supplies into Kobane, to arm and strengthen the ground forces that are battling ISIS, while US and coalition forces continue to pound the ISIS terrorists from the sky. Unfortunately, two of the supply drops drifted off course and ended up landing behind ISIS lines.

US forces were able to destroy one of the supply caches, but one of them wound up in the hands of ISIS fighters, who decided to make a video of their new-found riches, so the US would know of its mistake. The Washington Post looks at the source of the weapons and how the airdrop went off course.

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Canada's parliament is rocked by a shooting 

At least two people are dead and another three wounded after an armed attack on Canada's War Memorial and Parliament buildings in Ottawa, the nation's capital. The first shooting happened before 10 am, when a man approached the War Memorial and killed a soldier standing guard there.

A short time later, there was another shooting inside the nearby Parliament buildings, which was caught on video by a Canadian journalist. That prompted Canadian members of parliament to barricade themselves inside offices. has a dramatic photo and the video of the incident. One gunman was killed and police suspect there may be another.

Ancient Europeans had to acquire a taste — and a stomach — for eating cheese

If you are descended from European heritage and you've ever enjoyed eating a little cheese, perhaps with red wine, you can thank your ancestors for making that possible. But it wasn't a quick process.

We've long thought that when early European hunter-gatherers transitioned to being farmers, they used milk from domesticated animals to supplement the food from their crops. But new DNA evidence shows that it took thousands of years — 5,000 years at least — for Europeans to begin to tolerate the proteins in milk and cheese.

According to the science news site, the revelation came after scientists extracted ancient DNA from human ear bone fragments dating between 5700 BC and 800 BC. The researchers conducted DNA analysis looking for a range of genetic markers, including genes for digesting the lactose in animal milk. They found that, for thousands of years, humans would have been unable to tolerate large quantities of non-human milk.

A new rule bans Zimbabwean college students from passionate kissing in public

The University of Zimbabwe in Harare told students recently that anyone caught in a passionate embrace would find themselves disciplined and perhaps evicted from student housing. The new rule on kissing is one of 11 new restrictions that university administrators have put into place.

In addition to kissing, sex, cooking, loitering and "harbouring a squatter" are listed as offenses punishable by eviction. As you might imagine, students immediately cried foul. 

According to the BBC, the Zimbabwe National Students Union claim administrators have a history of making arbitrary rules without consulting students. For example, about seven years ago, they tried to ban beer — another prohibition that proved wildly unpopular. 

A South Korean Christmas tree succumbs to politics

For 40 years, South Korea has allowed a Christmas tree-like structure to stand along the country's border with North Korea, much to the irritation of North Korean officials. Brightly lit and visible from both sides of the border, the structure is viewed as religious propaganda by atheist North Korea, which demanded it be taken down. And now South Korea has complied.

Officially, South Korea says it tore it down because it had become unsafe. Still, the timing is interesting — coming soon after an American prisoner was released from a North Korean prison camp. South Korea has been trying to reduce its tense relations with its neighbor, especially after several exchanges of gunfire across the border in recent weeks. PRI's The World has the story.

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Weather around the world

The Atlantic hurricane season has less than a month to go, but it could still pack a punch or two. According to AccuWeather, officials are monitoring the development of the ninth tropical depression of the season, which is now in the southern Gulf of Mexico and expected to move east over the Yucatan Peninsula toward Cuba and Jamaica over the weekend. If it strengthens, it could become a hurricane, which would be named Hanna. Regardless, it can cause great damage and, in some scenarios, it could hit southern Florida and the Bahamas in the next week.

This post is a regular feature of It's a daily brief and email newsletter of stories, events and graphics that are catching the attention of our news staff. The World's Leo Hornak kicks it off from London and various folks on our editorial team around the globe contribute from there. Don't expect anything near the standard wrap of major news stories. This blog post and its email companion will be as idiosyncratic as our staff... and we'll want you to tell us what you like and don't like. Sign up for a account and subscribe to our newsletter to get it delivered to your inbox.

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