France

Reaction to labor plan mixed

President Emmanuel Macron’s most daring undertaking, reforming France’s nearly sacrosanct labor laws, got cheers and jeers as it went public Thursday. It trims union powers, adds a voice for small businesses and creates easier ways to hire and fire workers. The measures meant to foster growth, reduce the nation’s stubbornly high unemployment and revolutionize the way the French work will get a hearing in the streets, with two protests planned for September.

MEXICO

Storm closes in on resorts

About 1,400 people sought refuge at storm shelters in the Los Cabos resorts at the tip of the Baja California Peninsula on Thursday as a strengthening Tropical Storm Lidia closed in on an area just to the north. Lidia spread rains over a broad swath of Mexico, including Mexico City, where it was blamed for flooding that briefly closed the city’s airport. An enormous sinkhole about 30 feet in diameter opened on a street in downtown Mexico City because of an accumulation of water. Far out over the Atlantic, meanwhile, Hurricane Irma formed while following a course that could bring it near the eastern Caribbean Sea as a Category 4 storm by early next week.

Iraq

Militants lose more ground

The northern town of Tal Afar has been “fully liberated” from the Islamic State group, Iraq’s prime minister said Thursday, further shrinking the territory controlled by the extremists who overran nearly a third of the country three years ago. The militants have suffered a series of major defeats in recent months, including the loss of Mosul, the second-largest city, in July. Iraqi troops “eliminated and smashed” the militant group in al-Ayadia district, northwest of Tal Afar, where they had fled last week, Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi said in a statement.

Bangladesh

Boats capsize; bodies found

Three boats carrying ethnic Rohingya fleeing violence in Myanmar have capsized in Bangladesh and 26 bodies of women and children have been recovered, officials said Thursday. Bangladesh border guard commander Lt. Col. S.M. Ariful Islam said at least three boats carrying an unknown number of Rohingya Muslims sank in the Naf River at Teknaf in Cox’s Bazar on Wednesday. He said the bodies of 15 children and 11 women were recovered, and it was unclear whether anyone was still missing.

Compiled from wire reports