Military action 'possible' against IS : French president

Paris: French President Francois Hollande Wednesday said his country has been considering a military operation "if necessary" to quell the Islamic State (IS) militants and recalled the need to seek a diplomatic alternative to secure the stability in the region.

"The head of state underlined the importance of a political, humanitarian and, if necessary, military response that respects international law," Xinhua quoted a statement from Hollande's office as saying.

Cameron chairs emergency committee over IS threat

London: British Prime Minister David Cameron chaired an emergency session of Cobra committee Wednesday to discuss the threat by Islamic State (IS) militants to follow up the beheading of two US journalists with the murder of a British hostage.

The committee of senior ministers will assess a British response to the threat to kill a British hostage after US journalists James Foley and Steven Sotloff were beheaded on camera, apparently by an IS militant who was educated in Britain, Efe quoted British officials as saying.

Sudanese forces killing, torturing protesters: Amnesty International

Cairo : Amnesty International (AI) Wednesday accused the Sudanese security forces of killing, injuring and torturing protesters, urging that those responsible for these acts be brought to justice.

The charges were detailed in AI's latest report which was prepared along with the African Centre for Justice and Peace Studies (ACJPS) and entitled “The Excessive and Deadly: The use of force, detention and torture against protesters in Sudan”.


Journalists slam beheading of journalist

Paris : Reporters Without Borders Wednesday said it was "appalled" by the beheading of American journalist Steven Sotloff, calling it a war crime.

"This is an outrageous, disgusting and demented war crime that should be tried before an international court," said Christophe Deloire, the group's secretary general.

"Not content with developing a hostage industry, the Islamic State is taking its horror even further by staging the beheading of journalists in series," he added.


US warplanes drop leaflets on Iraqi city

Baghdad: US warplanes Tuesday dropped thousands of leaflets on the northern Iraqi city of Mosul, urging residents to keep clear of places occupied by the Islamic State (IS) extremist group that overran the city in June.

The leaflets were signed by the Iraqi ministry of defence and warned that IS-occupied areas may be targeted in bombing raids. Mosul residents were likewise advised to evacuate homes located near potential targets.

Former Israeli PM on trial again for corruption

Jerusalem: Israel's former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert appeared before a Jerusalem court Tuesday after the state prosecution reopened a corruption case against him.

Olmert was acquitted in what came to be known as the "Talansky Affair" in July 2012, after being charged with fraud and tax evasion for illegally receiving large sums of money in envelopes during fund-raisers from US businessman Moris Talansky, Xinhua reported.


UN says Gaza destruction 'unprecedented'

United Nations: The recent conflict in the Gaza Strip has caused "unprecedented" destruction, leaving hundreds of thousands people homeless, the UN said Tuesday, quoting the latest assessment after the ceasefire.

"Organisations on the ground report that the scale of destruction is 'unprecedented'. An estimated 18,000 housing units have been either destroyed or severely damaged, leaving more than 108,000 people homeless," Xinhua quoted UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric as saying.

Israel 'stands by' new land appropriation in West Bank

Jerusalem: Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman Tuesday said his country "stands by its decision" to appropriate 1,000 acre land in the West Bank.

"Gush Etzion settlement bloc reflects a wide consensus in the Israeli society and it is clear to everyone that as part of any (possible future peace) agreement, Gush Etzion would remain a part of the state of Israel," Xinhua cited Lieberman, who added that Israel stands by the decision.

Second beheading plunges Obama into top crisis

By Arun Kumar,

Washington: Just two weeks after beheading American photojournalist James Foley, the Islamic State (IS) Sunni extremist organisation sent what it called "A second message to America", with a video showing the beheading of another kidnapped American journalist.

In the video released Tuesday Steven Sotloff, 31, a freelance journalist who was captured in northern Syria a year ago, speaks to the camera before he is killed.

Sotloff says is "paying the price" for US decision to strike IS targets in Iraq, CNN reported.

IS beheads second US journalist

Washington: The Islamic State militant organisation has posted a video titled "A second message to America", showing the beheading of American journalist Steven Sotloff, CNN reported.

The video also threatens the life of British captive David Haines.

Sotloff speaks to the camera before he is killed, saying he is "paying the price" for US intervention.