The crisis in Iraq changed drastically on Friday when the U.S. launched military airstrikes again Islamic extremists near the city of Erbil, where the U.S. has a consulate. The militants represent ISIS, a group seeking to establish a state governed under Sharia law. On Thursday, the U.S. sent humanitarian aid to Iraq to help the tens of thousands of Iraqi minorities who have fled death threats from ISIS.
An Ebola outbreak in West Africa caused panic across the globe. More than 900 people had reportedly died from the virus as of Friday.
Hawaii braced for its first hurricane in 22 years while, in China, more than 500 people were killed in an earthquake the southwest province of Yunnan. Fighting escalated in eastern Ukraine, and protesters in the country's Independence Square clashed with municipal workers on a level not seen since the February revolution that led to the ouster of Viktor Yanukovych.