Here are five of the top stories making headlines this afternoon:
Obama calls for global response against ISIS after James Foley murder. President Barack Obama said the U.S. wouldn’t back down from it’s fight against ISIS militants in Syria and Iraq, one day after the militants released a gruesome video of the beheading of American journalist James Foley. Foley, 40, was captured while working as a freelance journalist in northern Syria in 2012. His death was retaliation for recent U.S. air strikes in Northern Iraq, meant to aid Iraqi and Kurdish forces fighting off ISIS advances. ISIS warns that a second American citizen, journalist Steven Sotloff, could be executed next if the Americans continue their military actions. However, Obama used his speech Wednesday to call ISIS a “cancer” threatening the region and said the U.S. “will be vigilant and we will be relentless.”
Ebola death toll rises to at least 1,350 as disease continues to spread. The World Health Organization released new numbers of those killed by the Ebola virus Wednesday, saying the disease continues to spread fastest in Liberia. Affected countries—Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea—are also experiencing shortages, the agency warned. This includes fuel, food and other basic supplies, as shipping companies halt transport to affected areas. In Liberia’s capital of Monrovia, security forces quarantined about 50,000 people in the crowded West Point slum, using barbed wires and wood to prevent residents from leaving. Residents protested the measure, ordered by President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, but were met with armed riot police.
Stephen Harper goes north. It’s that time of year again when the Prime Minister heads to Canada’s north to reaffirm Conservative priorities, rip around on ATVs and wear all his Canada-branded gear. Harper will start with a stop in Chilliwack, B.C. and from there, head to Whitehorse, Fort Smith, N.W.T., and Nunavut. Harper is expected to make announcements about science and technology, key themes for this trip, along the way.
Target CFO admits to errors in Canada, but vows to move ahead with growth plan. The well-named Target chief financial officer John Mulligan admitted Wednesday that the U.S. retailer “bit off way too much, too early” as it expanded into Canada. Mulligan spoke with Canadian journalists in a conference call about the company’s botched entry in the Canadian market, where logistical problems meant stores shelves in many locations weren’t properly stocked. The company plans to fix ongoing stock issues in Canada, introduce new products and ensure prices are comparable to other Canadian brands, he said.
NDP MP quits party, says it’s because of Thomas Mulcair’s pro-Israel stance. Montreal-area New Democrat MP Sana Hassainia will sit as an independent after quitting the party Wednesday, writing in a blog post that her decision is because of Mulcair’s overly favourable attitude towards Israel. The party is firing back, however, with a source telling the Canadian Press that Hassainia has never voiced her concerns over the party’s stance on Israel before, and that this is an excuse for her not showing up for work. Hassainia has the poorest voting record of all MPs for this year, attending only 8.7 per cent of votes in the House. She is not expected to run again in the next federal election.