Extreme weather – The heat wave is taking a deadly toll across the nation, particularly on athletes, as two football players and a coach died during summer football practices this week. The heat wave, now in its second month, is responsible for record-setting electricity use in Texas and dozens of deaths across the U.S. heartland.
Meanwhile, Tropical Storm Emily is bringing heavy rains to Haiti on Thursday, heading directly over Port-au-Prince, where many quake victims live under precarious conditions. Nearly 12,000 U.N. peacekeepers are on emergency standby.
And Typhoon Kabayan, forecast to be a category 4 storm, could hit or pass Okinawa, Japan, late Thursday. The typhoon has boosted monsoon rains over the northern Philippines.
Turkey recall – Cargill Meat Solutions Corp. announced an immediate recall of 36 million pounds of ground turkey meat because it may be contaminated with salmonella bacteria. Cargill's plant in Springdale, Arkansas, processed the fresh and frozen ground turkey products between February 20 and August 2, the company said. At least one person has died and 76 have been sickened in 26 states.
Syria – After the U.N. Security Council condemned the Syrian government's crackdown on protesters, President Bashar al-Assad on Thursday issued a decree authorizing multiple political parties, state media reported. Meanwhile, the western Syrian city of Hama is cut off from the outside, sniper fire keeps residents indoors, tanks fill the town center and shells hit buildings.
Tiger Woods' return – Tiger Woods is back on the PGA Tour after a three-month hiatus because of injuries – and this time it will be without his longtime caddie Steve Williams, whom he fired. In Williams' place for the time being is Woods' childhood friend Bryon Bell. Woods and British Open champion Darren Clarke will tee off in the Bridgestone Invitational at 1:40 p.m. at Firestone Country Club in Akron, Ohio.
Danziger Bridge trial – Jurors began deliberations Wednesday in the trial of five current or former police officers in connection with shootings on a New Orleans bridge in the chaotic aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. The shootings occurred on Danziger Bridge on September 4, 2005, six days after much of New Orleans went underwater when the powerful hurricane slammed into the Gulf Coast.
Somalia famine – Famine and death have spread like brush fire across Somalia's desiccated lands, killing nearly 30,000 children so far in what U.S. and U.N. officials describe as the worst humanitarian crisis in generations. African Union troops are using a new tactic to combat food aid theft and violence: giving cooked rations eaten on site.
Japanese currency – Japan's government intervened Thursday to weaken the country's currency against the dollar. The U.S. debt woes triggered the yen's surge, making Japanese goods more costly and causing Japanese exporters to struggle to make a profit as the country slowly recovers from the March earthquake and tsunami.