U.S. officials expect Islamic State to launch new offensive

U.S. airstrikes have helped Iraqi and Kurdish forces regain their footing in Iraq, but the well-resourced Islamic State militants can be expected to regroup and stage a new offensive, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said Thursday.

Speaking alongside Hagel at a Pentagon news conference, Army Gen. Martin Dempsey said that although the Islamic State group can be contained it cannot be defeated without attacking it in Syria.

Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said this would not necessarily require airstrikes by the U.S., although Hagel appeared to leave open that possibility by telling reporters, “We’re looking at all options.”

CARACAS, Venezuela

Fingerprinting program to combat food shortages

Venezuelans soon may need to have their fingerprints scanned before they can buy bread.

President Nicolas Maduro has announced a mandatory grocery fingerprinting system to combat food shortages.

He said the program will stop people from buying too much of a single item, but did not say when it would take effect.


Police arrest 13 as Maya Indians protest water rates

Police on Mexico’s Caribbean coast arrested 13 activists during a demonstration by Maya Indians against water rate hikes.

The Mayas were the original inhabitants of the area, south of the resort city of Cancun. But they have been pushed into poor, dry farmland inland as resorts pop up along the coast.

– From news service reports