Scott Neuman

Updated at 8:40 a.m. ET

The U.S. and some of its Arab coalition partners have conducted another round of airstrikes in Syria, hitting oil refineries that have fallen into the hands of Islamic State militants, who officials say are funding themselves with the petroleum revenues.

The Pentagon says 13 airstrikes hit a dozen "modular" oil refineries in eastern Syria. The refineries are thought to produce $2 million worth of refined petroleum each day for the self-declared Islamic State, also known as ISIS or ISIL.

In a vote presided over by President Obama, the U.N. Security Council has unanimously approved a historic resolution aimed at stopping the flow of foreign extremists to battlefields around the world.

Resolution 2178, which criminalizes traveling abroad to fight for extremist organizations as well as the recruiting for or funding of such groups, was adopted by all 15 members of the Security Council. According to Reuters: "It generally targets fighters traveling to conflicts anywhere in the world. It does not mandate military force to tackle the foreign fighter issue."

Updated at 2:30 p.m. ET

French President Francois Hollande announced the "assassination" of a hostage seized over the weekend in Algeria by a group said to be affiliated with the self-described Islamic State. The remarks by Hollande, speaking at the U.N. General Assembly, confirm the apparent beheading of French mountain guide Herve Gourdel that is shown in a video that surfaced earlier today.

In an extraordinary and unprecedented move, the Vatican has placed a former archbishop under house arrest after he was accused of paying for sex with children while serving as the papal ambassador to the Dominican Republic.

Jozef Wesolowski, a former Polish archbishop, was recalled to Rome in August 2013 from his post as the Holy See's chief diplomat in Santo Domingo. In June of this year, he was defrocked by a Vatican tribunal.

President Obama told a gathering of the U.N. General Assembly today that the world is living in "pervasive unease" from such crises as terrorism, expansionism and the Ebola epidemic. He challenged the world body to fix the international system or risk being "pulled back by an undertow of instability."

"We come together at a crossroads between war and peace, between disorder and integration, between fear and hope," the president told member nations at U.N. headquarters in New York.

India has managed to do what few other nations have accomplished: putting a satellite into orbit around another planet — and it did so a lot cheaper than the competition.

The $70 million Mangalyaan, or "Mars craft" in Hindi, began circling Mars after a 24-minute engine burn to slow it down enough to be captured by the Red Planet's gravity.

Scientists at mission control in Bangalore cheered the success, and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi declared that his nation had "gone beyond the boundaries of human enterprise and innovation.

Update at 6:50 p.m. ET

U.S. officials have confirmed that a new round of airstrikes in Syria is ongoing, NPR Pentagon correspondent Tom Bowman told All Things Considered.

"We know some of the targets are oil assets, oil wells being controlled by the Islamic State. There's not a lot of detail at this time ... but it's likely around the Raqqah area, which is sort of [the Islamic State's] de facto headquarters.

Nearly three-quarters of Americans believe religious influence on life in the U.S. is waning and nearly half think that churches and other houses of worship should play a greater role in the national discourse on social and political matters, according to a new Pew study.

Update at 12:40 p.m. ET

President Obama said a multinational coalition that carried out airstrikes in Syria shows that the fight against Islamic extremists is "not America's fight alone."

The self-declared Islamic State has apparently released the second propaganda video in a promised "lecture series" delivered by kidnapped British journalist John Cantlie.

"In this program, we will see how Western governments are hastily marching toward all-out war in Iraq and Syria without paying any heed to the lessons of the recent past," says Cantlie, who is seated at a desk and dressed in an orange jumpsuit similar to the one he was seen wearing in a video released last week.

Updated at 12:50 p.m. ET

In a major escalation of the air campaign against Islamic extremist groups, the U.S. and its Arab allies jointly hit targets inside Syria for the first time.

Update at 2:49 p.m. ET. Officers Found At Canadian Border:

After going missing over the weekend, three Afghan officers, who were being trained in the United States, were detained at the Canadian border, a Pentagon official tells NPR's Tom Bowman.

The news was first reported by WCVB-TV's Karen Anderson. She reported that the men told customs agents at the Niagara Falls Rainbow Bridge that they were refugees.

The men, Anderson reports, will be sent back to the United States.

The so-called King Fire, one of several sweeping through parts of California, has destroyed 10 homes and 22 other buildings, fire officials say.

As of early Monday morning, crews had been able to contain about 18 percent of the fire, according to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CalFire):

Sacramento's Capital Public Radio reports that more than 5,500 firefighters are battling the blaze.

Thousands of students in Hong Kong flooded a university campus in stifling heat today, starting a weeklong boycott of classes to protest Beijing's stance on electoral reform in the territory.

The Associated Press reports: "Dressed in white and wearing yellow ribbons, students from more than 20 universities and colleges packed into the grounds of picturesque, bay-side Chinese University where they were greeted by banners that said: 'The boycott must happen. Disobey and grasp your destiny.' "

NASA's MAVEN spacecraft conducted a 33-minute burn of its six main engines to ease into an orbit around Mars after a nearly yearlong, 442 million-mile voyage from Earth. The probe's mission is to study the red planet's atmosphere.

Updated at 7:35 a.m. ET

Kurdish fighters claim to have halted an advance by self-described Islamic State militants in an area of the Turkish-Syria border region that has seen masses of refugees fleeing the fighting in recent days.

President Obama unveiled a new White House campaign aimed at combating campus sexual assault, saying such violence is "an affront to our basic humanity."

The iconic American Pabst Blue Ribbon brand will soon be owned by a Russian company under a deal to sell the Los Angeles-based brewer for an undisclosed sum.

Seven young Iranians arrested in May on obscenity charges for producing their own video version of Pharrell Williams' hit song "Happy" have been sentenced to 91 lashes and up to a year in jail, although the punishment has been suspended providing they don't re-offend.

Police in Florida say a man who did time in prison a decade ago on firearms violations gunned down his six grandchildren and his daughter before turning a weapon on himself.

Authorities say Don Spirit, 51, called 911 on Thursday to report that he might harm himself or others. When a sheriff's deputy arrived, Spirit fatally shot himself. The deputy subsequently found the bodies of his seven victims "all over on the property," at the rural home in the town of Bell, Gilchrist County Sheriff Robert Schultz said.

French warplanes conducted their first airstrikes against targets in northern Iraq just hours after the U.S. Senate approved arming and training Syrian rebels to enter the fight against Islamic State militants.

Rafale fighters struck a logistics depot, which French President Francois Hollande declared "entirely destroyed."

Updated at 11:27 a.m. ET

British Prime Minister David Cameron said the Scottish vote to remain in the United Kingdom has put the question of independence to rest "for a generation," but he pledged constitutional reforms to give Edinburgh greater control over its own affairs.

For years, there have been two main theories about why chimpanzees, our closest evolutionary cousins, sometimes kill each other. One theory blames human encroachment on the chimpanzees' native habit in Africa. Another says that (male) chimps kill in the normal course of competition with rival groups.

A new study published in Nature appears to support the second theory. In short, it found that the numerical makeup of chimpanzee communities is roughly proportional to the "chimp murder rate."

Updated at 10:30 a.m. ET

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko addressed a joint meeting of Congress today, thanking lawmakers for their support of Kiev in its fight against Russian-backed separatists.

Freedom, Poroshenko said, is "at the core of Ukrainian existence.

"We have an unbreakable will to live free," he said, saying his nation was "at the center of the most heroic story of the last decade."

Calling Russia's annexation of Crimea a "most cynical act of treachery," Poroshenko thanked lawmakers for standing by his government.

Islamic State fighters backed by tanks have seized 16 Kurdish villages in northern Syria over the past 24 hours in what is being described as a major advance for the extremist group, according to a human rights watchdog group.

Scots decide today whether to end 300 years of union with Great Britain and go it alone as they cast ballots in a historic referendum that is sure to have a lasting impact no matter the outcome.

Public opinion polls in recent days have suggested that Scotland is evenly split on the question and that the vote could be extremely close. The options are to vote "yes" or "no" to the question: "Should Scotland be an independent country?"

The results are expected on Friday.

Iran's foreign minister says the U.S. has been hesitant and contradictory in its approach to combating extremist groups in Iraq and Syria and that President Obama needs a reality check on the subject of defeating the Islamic State insurgency.

Mohammad Javad Zarif, speaking with Morning Edition host Steve Inskeep in an interview to air on NPR, said the United States is "not serious" about defeating the Sunni extremists.

Updated at noon ET.

The largest of several wildfires in California, the so-called King Fire in the Sierra Nevada forest east of Sacramento, is threatening 1,600 homes as it continues to spread almost unchecked.

According to the latest information, the King Fire, one of several that California firefighters are battling, has engulfed more than 18,500 acres and is only 5 percent contained.

Authorities have identified a suspect in last week's shooting death of a state trooper and the wounding of another officer at a police barracks in northeastern Pennsylvania, warning the public to be on the lookout for a heavily armed man described as a "survivalist."

Police have launched a manhunt for the suspect, Eric Frein, 31, of Canadensis, Pa.

Updated at 11:30 a.m. ET

President Obama will meet today with military officials at U.S. Central Command in Tampa, Fla., to discuss the fight against the militants calling themselves the Islamic State, as House lawmakers prepare for a vote to authorize training for moderate rebels to oppose the extremist group.

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