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News overload pushes aside Libya, Syria, China, Nigeria stories

By CNN Staff
updated 5:52 PM EDT, Fri August 1, 2014
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Officials: In Libya, 214 people have been killed, 981 wounded since July 12
  • Militants hoist severed heads on poles in Syria, where 1,600 died in 10 days
  • Knife- and ax-wielding gang attack civilians, police in China
  • Officials say 50,000 undocumented kids have crossed U.S. border this year

(CNN) -- Sometimes there's information overload, even for journalists.

With the Israel-Gaza crisis, an outbreak of Ebola in West Africa and an investigation into the downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 dominating the headlines, you may have missed other big stories unfolding around the globe.

Violence rages in Syria and has gotten worse in Libya. There also is strife in Nigeria and parts of China. In the United States, a wave of undocumented migrant youth continues to flow over the southern border.

Here's a rundown:

Fighting in Libya intensifies
Americans in Syrian civil war
Joy Ogwu on terror in Nigeria
Govs. on undocumented kids: not in my state

Syria

With human rights groups reporting 1,600 deaths over 10 days in July, gruesome images emerged of militants raising their victims' severed heads on poles.

The images came from an area seized by the militant terrorist group, the Islamic State, formerly the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, a group known for killing dozens of people at a time, while carrying out public executions, crucifixions and other acts decided by its Sharia, or Islamic law, court.

While fighting between Israel and Hamas militants in Gaza has gotten far more attention in recent days, 1,600 people were killed in Syria between July 16 and July 25, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said. On July 27, 180 people alone were killed, the group said.

The overall toll has climbed to 115,000 since the beginning of the uprising against President Bashar al-Assad's regime in March 2011.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry announced this week that the United States is providing almost $378 million in additional aid to help those affected by the war, bringing to $2.4 billion the total spent to help more than 4.7 million people inside Syria and almost 3 million refugees in neighboring countries.

Libya

You know it's bad when a European Union envoy expresses optimism, even cautiously, that a country hasn't descended into "complete chaos."

Kerry has described fighting between heavily armed groups, which has enfolded Tripoli's main airport and Libya's largest refinery, as "free-wheeling militia violence."

Health Ministry figures indicate 214 people have been killed and 981 more have been wounded in the latest violence that began July 12.

In Benghazi, "there are so many bodies that they don't know who they belong to because many of them are not even Libyans, as a result of the influx of so many foreign fighters in the country," Libyan author Mansour El-Kikhia told CNN.

Staff at the U.S. Embassy in Tripoli evacuated July 26, following U.N. officials, and the Tunisian border is packed with people trying to flee the country.

Nigeria

Nigerian authorities kicked off the week by announcing they had made five arrests in connection with a series of attacks in Kano.

In one, five people were killed and eight others injured when a bomb was lobbed over a wall in the predominantly Christian Sabon Gari district. The attack occurred as parishioners exited a Catholic church following services, police said.

Police said a suspected suicide bomber targeted students at Kano State Polytechnic. Three people died and seven were injured on Wednesday. President Jonathan Goodluck on Friday deplored recent attacks, including two on mosques.

Tensions in western China
Libyan author describes Benghazi bedlam
Nigeria's missing girls: 100 days later
Undocumented leader: 'We're tired'

The news coincided with a report that suspected members of the Islamist militant group, Boko Haram, had kidnapped the wife of the deputy prime minister in neighboring Cameroon.

The gunmen also attacked the home of the traditional chief of Kolofata, abducting him, his wife and children, a resident told CNN.

Nigeria-based Boko Haram has increased raids into northern Cameroon. Military efforts to stop the group from stealing and killing have failed.

Meanwhile, London's Telegraph reported that the group may be using kidnapped girls for suicide missions, as a 10-year-old girl with a suicide belt was arrested with her sister, 18, in Northern Nigeria.

China

In the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, a knife- and ax-wielding gang attacked civilians, a police station and government offices, according to the state-run Xinhua news agency.

Police dubbed the Monday incident an "organized and premeditated" terror attack, and officers at the scene killed dozens of people in the mob.

The location, Shache County, is where nine people attacked a police station, hurled explosives and torched police cars in December. Police shot and killed eight people in that attack.

On Wednesday, authorities charged a prominent Uyghur scholar with "separatism" months after his detention, Xinhua reported.

Xinjiang police said they had gathered evidence of Ilham Tohti colluding with overseas forces to "spread separatist ideas, incite ethnic hatred and advocate Xinjiang independence." The police also said Tohti had taught students about "violent Uyghur resistance" in his class and encouraged them to overthrow the government. Tohti has denied the charges.

There have been longstanding tensions between Uyghur Muslims, a Turkic people, and Chinese Han people in Xinjiang.

Immigration

Though authorities say the rate of apprehension has slowed in recent weeks, an estimated 50,000 migrant youth from Central America, many unaccompanied, have been detained so far this year trying to cross the U.S. border.

Congress has so far failed to approve emergency funding proposals to address the situation that most agree is a humanitarian crisis.

Still, the Republican-controlled House could vote on its version of the legislation Friday if changes to toughen deportation policy -- made to placate conservatives -- are embraced.

Even if all that that happened, the Senate had no plans to adopt the measure after failing on Thursday to advance its own package. On top of that, lawmakers were on the way out of town until after Labor Day.

Outside of partisan wrangling in Washington, the border issue also pits local and state leaders against each other.

In Georgia, Gov. Nathan Deal wrote to President Barack Obama asking the federal government to stem the flow of migrant youth to the state, while Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed laid out a welcome mat.

"I'm going to send a message in no uncertain terms to the extent that these children need a safe place, and a safe haven, the city of Atlanta is going to be that," the mayor said, according to CNN affiliate WSB.

In his letter to Obama, Deal called it "unconscionable that your administration" failed to inform state officials that 1,154 of the children had been sent to his state.

CNN's Eliott C. McLaughlin, Mick Krever, Nana Karikari-apau, Ken Olshansky, Hala Gorani, Jomana Karadsheh, Aminu Abubakar, Hassan John, Joe Sterling, Steven Jiang, Yousuf Basil, Josh Levs, Dana Bash, Deirdre Walsh and Kevin Bohn contributed to this report.

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