National News

A voter in Austin, Texas, shows his photo identification to an election official in February.

Texas Voter ID Law Goes To Trial

Dozens of lawyers will gather in a federal courtroom in Corpus Christi, Texas, on Tuesday for the start of a new challenge to the state's controversial voter ID law.

The trial is expected to last two to three weeks, but it's unlikely to be the end of what's already been a long, convoluted journey for the Texas law — and many others like it.

First, some background:

An Israeli soldier launches a drone that's attached to a military vehicle in southern Israel, not far from the border with the Gaza Strip, on July 29. Israel was a pioneer with drones and has developed a number of military technologies that it later sells abroad.

With Homegrown Technology, Israel Becomes Leading Arms Exporter

One byproduct of the recurring battles between Israel and its Arab neighbors is that Israel has developed a homegrown weapons industry that addresses its very specific needs.

Over the decades, this has included a number of cutting-edge technologies, from drones to night-vision equipment, which have been widely exported.

A more recent example is the Iron Dome, which was used throughout the latest conflict with Hamas in the Gaza Strip. The mobile missile defense system is capable of stopping short-range rockets from places like Gaza, the West Bank and southern Lebanon.

A Public Health Agency of Canada worker seen inside the National Microbiology Laboratory's Level 4 lab in Winnipeg.

Experimental Drug Saves Monkeys Stricken With Ebola

Scientists are reporting strong evidence that the experimental Ebola drug ZMapp may be effective for treating victims of the devastating disease.

A study involving 18 rhesus macaque monkeys, published Friday in the journal Nature, found that the drug saved 100 percent of the animals even if they didn't receive the drug until five days after they had been infected. The study is the first to test ZMapp in a primate, which is considered a good model for how a drug might work in humans.

Former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell arrives at federal court in Richmond, Va., on Thursday.

The Most Bizarre Bits To Come Out Of The Trial Of Virginia's Ex-Governor

The trial of former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell and his wife went into closing arguments today. At issue are serious allegations of corruption, but the trial has also unveiled seriously strange details about the McDonnells' personal life.

A Malaysia Airlines crew member inspects an airplane at Kuala Lumpur International Airport on Thursday. The carrier announced it was laying off a third of its workforce amid steep financial losses.

Malaysia Airlines Cuts A Third Of Its Workforce After Steep Losses

For Malaysia Airlines, the tragic loss of two of its aircraft with all passengers and crew in recent months has hardly been the extent of its problems: On Thursday, the carrier announced a steep quarterly loss, and today came word that it is cutting nearly a third of its workforce.

The orchids that produce vanilla beans have no natural pollinators in Madagascar; the plant must be pollinated by hand — a labor-intensive process with little margin for error.

A Peace Corps Stint In Madagascar Gave Him A Vision Of Vanilla

Madagascar-grown orchids produce most of the world's vanilla beans, but vanilla extract isn't manufactured in country. Former Peace Corps volunteers-turned-entrepreneurs Tim McCollum and Brett Beach, co-founders of the Brooklyn-based Madécasse brand, aim to change that. They want to produce the world's first "bean to bottle" extract, made entirely in Madagascar by local people using all-local materials — right down to the packaging.

Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron speaks at a news conference in London on Friday after the U.K. raised its terror alert level.

Britain Raises Terror Alert Level, But Cites No Specific Threat

British Prime Minister David Cameron is warning that the threat to the U.K. from international terrorism is "greater and deeper" than ever before, as London raised its terror warning level in response to what it said were plans by the Islamic State and other extremist groups to attack the West.

California state Sen. Kevin de Leon (D-Los Angeles) urges lawmakers to approve his measure aimed at curbing sexual assault on campuses on Thursday in Sacramento.

California Lawmakers Pass 'Affirmative Consent' Sexual Assault Bill

California is one step closer to becoming the first state to require colleges and universities "to adopt a standard of unambiguous consent among students engaging in sexual activity," The Los Angeles Times reports.

The California Senate gave the bill unanimous approval on Thursday, and it is now headed to the governor's office.

The Times adds:

An Iraqi child walks next an empty house of a Christian family in Mosul on Aug. 8. The Arabic writing on the wall reads "Real Estate of the Islamic State." The extremist group took control of Mosul, Iraq's second largest city, in June.

Life Under The Islamic State: Sharia Law And Few Services

Ever since the Islamic State seized Mosul more than two months ago, it's been difficult to get a detailed picture of life inside Iraq's second largest city.

Smoke billows from Mount Tavurvur after an eruption in Kokopo, east New Britain, Papua New Guinea, on Friday. The eruption has caused some nearby residents to be evacuated and some flights to be rerouted.

Volcanoes In Iceland, Papua New Guinea Keep Residents On Edge

Two volcanoes half a world apart are causing havoc today: Several flights have been diverted around an eruption in Papua New Guinea, and authorities in Iceland briefly put aviation on highest alert (again) owing to a temperamental Mount Bardarbunga, which has been rumbling for the past week.

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