Islamic State militants had demanded millions of dollars for James Foley's release. While the US government refuses to pay ransoms to kidnappers, some European governments have done so in the past, enriching Al Qaeda and its affiliates.
India said Pakistan was meddling in its internal affairs, but previous meetings haven't triggered diplomatic rows. Both countries claim sovereignty over Kashmir.
The new truce is to last through Monday. Talks in Cairo on ending the conflict in Gaza mark the first time Israel and Hamas have negotiated, albeit indirectly, on something other than prisoner exchanges.
Russia's ban on food and agricultural imports comes in retaliation for US and European sanctions over Ukraine. Russia is expected to release a full list of the products it is barring today.
Prime Minister Netanyahu said Israel will not agree to a truce before the tunnels – some which open up inside Israel – are removed as a threat.
Fouad Massoum was elected as Iraq's president while the jihadi group the Islamic State destroyed Christian shrines and imposed Islamic dress on women in the country's north.
After a unilateral ceasefire failed Tuesday, Israel signaled an escalation of a bombing campaign aimed at Hamas. The legality of targeting houses of militants is hotly debated.
Abdullah Abdullah rejected as fraudulent preliminary results released Monday that showed him trailing behind his rival in last month's election. The US is the biggest aid provider to Afghanistan.