South Korea

N. Korean execution reported

South Korea says North Korea has executed a top education official and banished two other officials to rural areas for re-education. If confirmed, they would be the latest in a series of killings, purges and dismissals carried out since North Korean leader Kim Jong Un took power in late 2011. The South Korean government has a spotty record on reporting developments in reclusive North Korea. In May, a former North Korean military chief, who Seoul said had been executed, was found to be alive and holding several new senior-level posts. Seoulís Unification Ministry said Wednesday that Kim Yong Jin, a vice premier in North Koreaís Cabinet, had been executed.

Somalia

Several killed in bombing

A suicide bomber detonated an explosives-laden truck near the gate of the presidential palace Tuesday, killing at least 12 people, police said. The bomb exploded during a morning traffic jam, said Capt. Mohamed Hussein. Some Cabinet ministers at the SYL hotel were among the 31 injured, Hussein said. The blast damaged nearby hotels often frequented by government officials and business executives, he said. Smoke was seen billowing over the area of the presidential compound in Mogadishu.

SYRIA

Turk-Kurd clashes subside

Clashes between Turkeyís military and Kurdish-backed Syrian forces subsided Tuesday after days of fighting. Western officials had expressed alarm that the fighting between the two sides, both backed by the U.S. in Syriaís 5-year-old civil war, has diverted their attention from the fight against the Islamic State group. French President Francois Hollande criticized Turkey for targeting Kurdish and Kurdish-backed fighters in Syria, while a U.S. general ordered the sides to focus on the Islamic State.

HUNGARY

Dogs appear to understand

Scientists have found manís best friend really does get us. Researchers in Hungary scanned the brains of dogs as they were listening to their trainer speaking to determine which parts of the brain they were using. They found that dogs processed words with the left hemisphere and used the right hemisphere to process pitch ó just like people. Whatís more, the dogs only registered that they were being praised if the words and pitch were positive. Meaningless words spoken in an encouraging voice, or meaningful words in a neutral tone, didnít have the same effect.

Compiled from wire reports.