Since the release of a video depicting the killing of American journalist James Foley, it has been revealed that the militant group Islamic State demanded millions of dollars for his freedom. Rukmini Callimachi of The New York Times explains how militant groups use ransom demands such as these for funding.
Earlier in the summer, a U.S. raid failed to rescue American hostages in Syria, including journalist James Foley, who was executed in a video released this week by Islamist militants. The hostages were not where they were thought to be. NPR's Dina Temple-Raston discusses the limits on America's ability to gather intelligence in Syria, as well as the latest developments since Foley was killed.
Two U.S. missionaries who caught the Ebola virus in Liberia have been discharged from an Atlanta hospital after fully recovering. They were the first known Ebola patients flown to the U.S. for treatment. Both received an experimental drug called ZMapp, but it remains unclear what role that treatment played in their recovery.
There are reports of heavy shelling on the outskirts of Donetsk in eastern Ukraine, as government forces try to take the city from pro-Russian separatists. Meanwhile, thousands of the city's residents are trying to flee the fighting.