The Republican politician Jeb Bush has formerly announced he's running for the US presidency. Launching his campaign in Miami, the former Florida governor presented himself as an outsider who would challenge what he described as Washington's pampered elites. He said he was committed to the most vulnerable in American society. The BBC's Katty Kay gave us this assessment from Washington. "As a candidate, I think he's gonna walk kind of a fine line between trying to tapping into his establishment background and the money that gives to him but also distancing himself from the Bush name, because actually if you look at the opinion poll, they all suggest that the bush name is more of a burden than it is a benefit to Jeb. The other thing that Jeb Bush's got to do is persuade Republican voters that he has a clear conservative vision for this country. There are doubts about his conservative credentials, which was actually pretty odd because he's far more socially conservative than many of the Republicans running."
Kurdish fighters and free Syrian army rebels in northern Syria say they've taken control of the strategic border town of Tal Abyad from Islamic State jihadists. The town commands the road from the Turkish border to the Islamic State's stronghold of Raqqa. A Kurdish militia commander Dr. Hussein Khojer said IS had suffered many casualties. "The city of Tal Abyad is in full control of Kurdish YPG forces. There might be still some ISIS fighters in the vicinity but the fighting has stopped now. We know that ISIS militants planted a lot of land mines and booby traps. Civilians who remained in the city are in their homes and safe now. This is their city and they should remain calm."
A family from northern England has appealed for help after three sisters and their nine children failed to return to Britain after going a pilgrimage to Saudi Arabia. They feared they may have traveled to Syria where a close relative is believed to be fighting with the extremists. A lawyer said the fathers of the nine children aged between three and 15 were concerned for their safety.
An Italian magazine has published a leaked draft of the Pope's encyclical on climate change, which is due for release on Thursday. Our correspondent reports. "The letter has been months in the writing and the Pope is said to be keen for it to set the tone for the debate at a UN summit on climate change later this year in Paris. In the draft, the Pope speaks for the urgent challenge to protect our common home and ensure that development is sustainable. It also suggests that numerous scientific studies show that global warming is directly linked to human activities and the intensive use of fossil fuels. In line with a threat running through his papacy so far, the draft also shows that he'll argue that developing countries are bearing the brunt of the enormous consumption of some of the richest."
South Korea says another three people have died of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome, or MERS, bringing the number of fatalities to 19. The MERS outbreak that began in May is the largest ever outside Saudi Arabia.
The British government has ruled out holding a referendum on European Union membership on the same day as elections next May. That's when voting takes place for the Scottish parliament and the Welsh and Northern Irish assemblies. The Scottish National Party in particular had opposed holding the EU referendum at the same time, because they say it would divert voters' attention from the election campaign. Here's Ross Hawkins. "The government not only conceded that a referendum should not take place on May 5 next year, but tabled an amendment to write that concession into law. The decision taken after an evening of talks and wrangling in parliament marked a dramatic about-turn for David Cameron who just last week told the House of Commons that he did not think the date of referendum should be determined by the timing of other elections."
Russia has warned of dangerous consequences if the United States increases its military presence in Eastern European NATO countries. The Foreign Ministry said the plans to store heavy weapons in the region could lead to new military confrontation. The NATO countries along Russia's western border say the proposals are necessary to counter the threat from Moscow.
Prosecutors in the United States have made public the plea bargain they agreed with the former FIFA official Chuck Blazer. Confirming he'd been working since 2011, Mr. Blazer has given a detailed account of the corruption he says was at the heart of world football's governing body. In order to avoid a possible sentence of more than 70 years, he agreed to provide the authorities with documents, work undercover and testify against other FIFA officials.