China's rulers are increasingly promoting Confucius, a figure once reviled by Chairman Mao, as a symbol for modern China. Tourists, seminar groups, and professionals are flocking to the ancient philosopher's birthplace.
The debate over the US government refusal to pay ransoms to kidnappers, including the captors of James Foley, has a long history. In the late 1700s, the US fought Barbary pirates who demanded ransoms and tributes.
Russian trucks loaded with humanitarian supplies had been idling at the border, but some have now entered Ukraine without permission, which Kiev considers an act of aggression. Russian and Ukrainian leaders are to meet next week.
President Nicolas Maduro announced a new, mandatory grocery fingerprinting system to combat food shortages. In the spring, Venezuela tried a similar system in government-run supermarkets on a voluntary basis.
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.
Brazil's Socialist Party has named environmentalist Marina Silva their new presidential candidate, following the death of Eduardo Campos who was killed in a plane crash. Silva had been Campos' running mate.