NBA basketball player Kobe Bryant of the Los Angeles Lakers is silhouetted as he makes his entrance to a basketball coaching clinic in Singapore on Wednesday. Bryant was in Singapore as part of his Asia tour, which includes Taipei, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Shanghai and Chengdu, China, and Manila. Edgar Su/Reuters
A seal wears sunglasses during the solar eclipse at the Sunshine International Aquarium in Tokyo, Japan. The longest solar eclipse of the 21st century lasted over six minutes in some areas of Asia as millions gathered to watch the phenomenon. Itsuo Inouye/AP
Supporters of the Kurdish Change List rally ahead of regional elections for local parliament in three provinces in Sulaimaniyah, Iraq, on Wednesday. On Saturday, about 2.5 million eligible voters will head to the polls to choose candidates from 42 political entities for the 111-seat parliament. Yahya Ahmed/AP
On Wednesday, Sudanese women celebrate the decision of the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague, which redrew the boundaries of Sudan's disputed oil-producing Abyei region. The decision, which cedes key oil fields to north Sudan, is hailed as a resolution to a long-standing territorial conflict. Tim McKulka/UNMIS/Reuters
Canadian Space Agency astronaut Julie Payette floats onto the mid-deck of the Space Shuttle Endeavour, where she joins astronaut Dave Wolf in this photo taken July 19. Endeavour astronauts completed their third spacewalk in five days on Wednesday, replacing some batteries on the International Space Station (ISS). The crew is expected to remain there until Tuesday. NASA/Reuters
A veterinarian feeds young mouflons at the National Zoo in Havana, Cuba. The national zoo in Cuba is experimenting with artificial insemination to breed new generations of animals. Many of the zoo's species are wild from other parts of the world and have no mating partners on the island. Javier Galeano/AP
Clouds gather over the Ottoman era Mecidiye mosque and the Bosphorus bridge as Turkish men get ready to jump in the Bosphorus strait to refresh themselves in Istanbul, Turkey, on Wednesday. Murad Sezer/Reuters
Palestinians dance during a wedding ceremony in Beit Hanoun in the northern Gaza Strip on Wednesday. Suhaib Salem/Reuters
Firefighters tackle a forest fire in Larrayoz, Spain, on Wednesday. Four firefighters died on Tuesday and two others were seriously injured in another forest fire in Horta de Sant Joan. Temperatures around Spain rose to 105 degrees Fahrenheit on Tuesday and are expected to remain high for several more days. The heat, combined with strong winds, has made the flames hard to control. Villar Lopez/EFE/AP
On Wednesday, workers with shovels for a reconstruction operation walk through a road damaged by heavy rain and mudslides in Hofu, Japan. Mudslides caused by heavy rain in western Japan on Tuesday left five people dead and eight missing, Japanese media reported. Kim Kyung-Hoon/Reuters
Ireland's Padraig Harrington plays his second shot on the 1st hole during the $300,000 Lough Erne Golf Challenge aginst Northern Ireland's Rory McIlroy at the Lough Erne Golf Resort in Fermanagh, Northern Ireland. Lough Erne owner Jim Treacy wanted the new Nick Faldo-designed course to be 'tested by the world's best.' Harrington and McIlroy competed for a specially commissioned Belleek Trophy. McIlroy edged out Harrington by two shots in Wednesday's match. Peter Morrison/AP
US Vice President Joe Biden receives an award from Georgia's President Mikhail Saakashvili during a reception in honor of Biden's visit in the capital, Tbilisi. Shakh Aivazov/AP
Sophisticated and lethal, growing in number, Islamic State and other extremist groups won't become a global force. Here's why.
BySeth G. Jones, Contributor
Raqqa Media Center of the Islamic State Group/AP
Mullah Abdul Rauf Khadim looked like any ubiquitous insurgent commander in southern Afghanistan. He had a sunbaked complexion, serried black beard, charcoal eyes, and the usual accessory – an AK-47 slung over his shoulder.