UNITED NATIONS

More than 400,000 flee Iraq fighting

The United Nations envoy to Iraq said about 400,000 people have been displaced this year by ongoing violence in western Iraq, and the U.N. Security Council expressed “grave concern” about recent developments particularly in Ramadi and Fallujah. Nickolay Mladenov also warned the council on Thursday that without more funding, the U.N. “very soon will be unable to continue its humanitarian assistance to those fleeing the fighting in Anbar.”

IRAQ

Bombings kill 26 people in Baghdad

A series of bombings targeting commercial areas of Baghdad killed 26 people as residents were heading out on the town Thursday evening in a new spasm of violence to strike the Iraqi capital, Iraqi officials said. The attacks happened within minutes of each other, suggesting a coordinated assault.

TURKEY

Attempt to block YouTube falters

Turkish authorities pressed Thursday to block access to YouTube following similar action against Twitter, a move sure to provoke further outrage in a country where social media is widely used. Turkey’s technology minister, Fikri Isik, said the national telecommunications authority was imposing the block “as a precaution” after an audio recording of a government security meeting was leaked on the video-sharing website. Despite the government’s actions, YouTube was still widely accessible following the announcement.

ARGENTINA

Government tries to borrow in crisis

Argentina’s cash-strapped government is cutting utility subsidies and trying to borrow for the first time in years as teachers, public health workers and other former allies take to the streets demanding pay raises to match some of the world’s highest inflation. The government has subsidized 80 percent of the cost of water, natural gas and other basic services for a decade as the economy recovered from a devastating collapse and debt default. Since taking office in 2007, President Cristina Fernandez added many more subsidies, seeking to stimulate the economy by transferring wealth to the poor.

MEXICO

River water diverted to dry delta

Colorado River water has begun pouring over a barren delta near the U.S.-Mexico border, the result of a landmark bi-national agreement being celebrated Thursday. The gush of water in Mexico is an effort to revive the last 70-mile stretch of the river into the Sea of Cortez. The delta dried up decades ago. Conservationists hope the water will bring back trees, wildlife and aquatic life that were once abundant in the region when it was teeming with water decades ago.

Compiled from wire reports.