For the last two weeks, the U.S. news media has been all election, all the time, as Republicans and Democrats met to formally nominate their presidential contenders. But while every camera lens in North America seemed to be focused on people in funny hats dancing awkwardly in Tampa and Charlotte, some pretty major developments were taking place around the world. Here's a look at some of the events you may have missed.
Syria spirals out of control
The carnage in Syria has gone on unabated, with Syrian warplanes continuing to bombard the city of Aleppo and bombings targeting security forces in Damascus. A mass grave containing 45 bodies was discovered outside the capital on Friday. The United Nations reported that more than 100,000 Syrians fled the country in August, the highest of any month since the fighting began, bringing the total number of external refugees to 235,300. Turkey has called for international assistance to handle the inflow of refugees and is reportedly considering military plans to establish a "buffer zone" in northern Syria. The French government has suggested it would recognize an opposition Syrian government if one were to emerge and is reportedly funneling aid to revolutionary councils in rebel-held areas of the country.