Today is the 50th anniversary of Hawaii becoming a state, but celebrations will be low-key. Some native Hawaiians regret that Hawaii lost its independence, USA Today.
At least 4 police officers are dead in separate suicide bombing attacks in Grozny, Chechnya. The attacks follow a massive suicide truck bombing in Ingushetia earlier in the week where 25 people were killed and over 250 injured, New York Times.
Controversy continues to surround the release of convicted Pan Am Flight 103 bomber Abdelbaset al-Megrahi. Critics assert that al-Megrahi’s release was influenced by business concerns, in particular the UK’s interest in Libya’s oil reserves. In April, the UK and Libya signed a prisoner transfer deal that would have allowed al-Megrahi to serve out his sentence in a Libya prison. There are 26 Libyans in UK prisons. Al-Megrahi was the only Libyan prisoner in Scotland and the only prisoner convicted of a terrorism-related offense, New York Times.
While still denying that Taliban leader in Pakistan Baitullah Mehsud has died in a drone airstrike, deputy leader Maulvi Faqir Mohammad said he has taken over command, Al Jazeera.
Both current President Hamid Karzai and leading challenger Abdullah Abdullah have claimed victory in yesterday’s Afghan election. The votes are being counted and the results should be released next week. Voters will have until September 17 to make complaints before the election results are final. About 26 people died in Afghanistan due to violence by insurgents yesterday. The voter turnout is estimated at between 40% and 50%, Guardian.
A North Korean delegation laid a wreath at the memorial altar for former South Korean President Kim Dae-jung who, in 2000, was the first head of state to meet with his North Korean counterpart since the Korean War. After escalating tensions, the visit could be a sign that North Korea is open to relaxing relations, Yonhap.
In-depth look at the 46 million (about 15% of the total U.S. population) individuals in America who are uninsured, NPR.