Your daily look at late-breaking news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about today:
1. NORTH KOREA SAYS IT CONDUCTED ‘HIGHER LEVEL’ NUCLEAR WARHEAD TEST
Pyongyang trumpets that it can build “at will” an array of stronger, smaller and lighter nuclear weapons, after it is fifth atomic test and the second in eight months, while Seoul slams “fanatic recklessness.”
2. EXPECTATIONS LOW FOR A SYRIAN CEASE-FIRE AGREEMENT AS WAR RAGES
Meeting in Geneva, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry opens a fourth set of negotiations with his Russian counterpart in the last two weeks.
3. TRUMP DENIES RUSSIA’S INFLUENCE
The Republican presidential nominee says “it’s probably unlikely” that Moscow is trying to influence the U.S. election in an interview aired on a television station funded by the Russian government.
4. WHAT STATE IS BRACING FOR A KEY FEDERAL RULING
A judge is set to rule on the four-state Dakota Access pipeline that has drawn thousands of protesters to a construction site in North Dakota in recent weeks.
5. HAJJ NEARS IN SAUDI ARABIA
The country that hosts the holiest sites in Islam says it’s done all it can to prevent a repeat of last year’s deadly stampede.
6. WHY A FOUNDER’S LEGACY IS MIXED
Forty years after the death of the death of Mao Zedong, who founded the People’s Republic of China, he remains a revered figure — but one whose reputation is deeply tarnished by the destruction of the ultra-radical 1966-1976 Cultural Revolution.
7. WHERE AN INSURGENCY HAS LEFT CHILDREN STARVING
As children die of starvation, northern Nigeria faces “a famine unlike any we have ever seen,” according to the United Nations. They are the latest victims of Boko Haram’s insurgency.
8. NASA BEGINS ITS FIRST ASTERIOD-SAMPLING MISSION
It’s on a seven-year quest, chasing after the unexplored Bennu to gather bite-size bits of ancient space rock from could hold clues to the origin of life.
9. A GIANT LUXURY LINER IS HEADING FOR THE ARCTIC
It’s carrying well-heeled passengers on a historic journey: the largest cruise ship ever to traverse the Northwest Passage. The voyage was made possible by melting ice in the Arctic brought on by climate change.
10. SERENA EXITS THE US OPEN
Serena Williams’ bid to make history ends again with a shocking loss in the semifinals, leaving her tied with Steffi Graf’s record of 23 majors — and Graf’s stay of 186 consecutive weeks at No. 1.