Eight new probes

of Gaza war opened

Israel's army has announced eight criminal investigations into operations during the war in the Gaza Strip.

More than 2,100 Palestinians, most of them civilians, by the U.N.'s count, were killed during the 50-day war in July and August against the militant Islamist group Hamas. Sixty-seven Israeli soldiers and six civilians in Israel were killed.

The army said a criminal investigation had been ordered into a strike July 20 on a home in Khan Yunis. Eight adults and 19 children died in the attack.

The military said it would also conduct investigations into the killing of two ambulance drivers on July 25 and an incident on July 29 in which, according to a rights group, a Palestinian carrying a white flag was killed and members of his family were used by troops as human shields. Other investigations will look into suspected looting. - McClatchy

Hacking denied

North Korea has denied hacking Sony Pictures' computer systems in retaliation for its movie The Interview, which revolves around a plot to assassinate leader Kim Jong Un. But the secretive state has called the cyberattack a "righteous deed" and has suggested that its "supporters and sympathizers" might be taking revenge on its behalf. The issued statement Sunday by the Korean Central News Agency, comes as investigators home in on the source of the attack, which brought Sony to a near-standstill. - Washington Post


Parental leave

Prime Minister Tony Abbott is backing away from his signature paid parental leave plan as a poll showed voters rate his competency at the lowest level in two decades for an Australian leader. "There has been a degree of community concern," Abbott said about the plan Sunday in an Australian Broadcasting Corp. radio interview. "So we are going to better target it." - Bloomberg