25 October 2014

One dead in Somali car bomb attack

Somali security forces look at the debris after a car bomb explods, killing one person and injuring several others in the capital Mogadishu on October 25, 2014At least one person was killed and several others wounded on Saturday in a car bombing outside a hotel in Somalia's capital Mogadishu, officials said. A Somali police official, General Mohamed Yusuf Madale, told reporters the car bomb went off outside the Golden Hotel shortly after midday, "killing at least one person and injuring another one". He did not identify the person killed, but Somali news reports said it was a telecoms official.


25 October 2014

Bios of Latina candidates in Fla., Nevada, Texas

MIAMI (AP) — After years of running few Latinos for statewide posts, Democrats are building a bench that better reflects the support they have in the Hispanic community.

25 October 2014

Across US, Dems enlist Latinas for top of ballot

APOPKA, Fla. (AP) — The Democratic lieutenant governor candidates from Florida, Texas and Nevada all have colorful biographies: a Colombian-born business executive; a pharmacist-turned-veteran lawmaker; and a juvenile delinquent-turned-lawyer.

25 October 2014

Roberts scarcely mentions long ag record in Kansas

Sen. Pat Roberts, R-Kan., speaks to supporters during a campaign stop in Dodge City, Kan., Friday, Oct. 24, 2014. (AP Photo/Orlin Wagner)LIBERAL, Kan. (AP) — One would hardly know from Republican Sen. Pat Roberts' campaign speech that he is revered as a champion of Kansas' all-important farm economy.


25 October 2014

Missouri auditor revels in Hollywood, history

In tis Oct. 16, 2014 photo Missouri Auditor Tom Schweich shows off some of the movie-star photos in his collection of autographed memorabilia from the golden age of Hollywood during at his home in Clayton, Mo. Schweich, who also collects old coins and historical documents, says he keeps many other items locked up at a bank. (By David A. Lieb)CLAYTON, Mo. (AP) — It's just a few weeks before the election, and Missouri Auditor Tom Schweich is talking animatedly about a big success that's been years in the making. The subject isn't his re-election, which appears all but assured.


25 October 2014

Syria rebels 'battle for Aleppo supply route'

The Syrian city of Aleppo has been divided since a rebel offensive in 2012Syrian rebels fought fierce clashes with loyalist troops Saturday as they tried to secure their supply line to second city Aleppo against advances by the army, a monitor said. The clashes in the divided area of Handarat just north of Aleppo, came a day after fighting that killed 15 soldiers and pro-regime militia as well as 12 rebels, said the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. "Rebels from all the main factions have launched an operation to try to secure the Handarat area," said Observatory director Rami Abdel Rahman. "They are trying to expel the army from hills captured by the regime in recent days," Abdel Rahman told AFP.


25 October 2014

Egypt declares state of emergency as Sinai blast kills 30 troops

Sinai has turned into a hotbed for extremist militants who have killed scores of security personnel since the overthrow of Islamist president Mohamed Morsi in July 2013A state of emergency came into force Saturday across much of Egypt's Sinai Peninsula after 30 soldiers were killed in a suicide car bombing by suspected jihadists. It was the deadliest attack on the country's security forces since the army deposed Islamist president Mohamed Morsi last year, to the fury of his supporters. The state of emergency in the north and centre of the Sinai will remain in place for three months, the president's office said. Egypt also announced it would close the Rafah crossing into the Gaza Strip, the only route into the Palestinian territory not controlled by Israel.


25 October 2014

Lebanon troops attack gunmen in historic Tripoli market

A Lebanese soldier takes cover during clashes with Islamist gunmen in Tripoli's historic centre -- which is on the shortlist for possible nomination as a UNESCO world heritage siteLebanese troops attacked Islamist gunmen holed up in the historic market of the northern city of Tripoli Saturday, after deadly clashes rocked the longtime tourist attraction, an AFP correspondent reported. It was the first time since the civil war in neighbouring Syria erupted in 2011 that violence had spread to the market in Tripoli's historic centre, which is on the shortlist for possible selection as a UNESCO world heritage site. Elsewhere in northern Lebanon, a clash broke out in the Akkar region near the Syrian border, after unidentified gunmen tried to cut off a main road.


25 October 2014

Bitter mood on eve of Ukraine's election

Ukrainian children play on an armoured personnel carrier which belonged to pro-Russia militants and which has now been put on display in Kiev, on October 25, 2014The mood in Maidan Square, epicentre of Ukraine's democracy revolution, was as bitter on the eve of Sunday's parliamentary elections as the suddenly freezing October wind. Long gone are the huge pro-Western crowds that overthrew Russian-backed president Viktor Yanukovych eight months ago -- and with them their heady optimism. Burly security guards outnumber visitors in the eerily empty square, lined with ghostly portraits, dried flowers and candles honouring the more than 100 demonstrators killed in the revolt. "Ukraine has lost," Viktor Vashyuk, 54, said, shivering inside his thin leather jacket.


25 October 2014

Botswana's ruling party leads in poll results

Voters sit under umbrellas as they queue outside a polling station in the capital Gaborone to cast their ballot during the general elections in Botswana, on October, 24 2014Botswana's ruling party was Saturday leading in local constituencies as results trickled in from a general election held the previous day, but opposition parties made a strong showing in the capital, the electoral commission said. There had been delays in the counting of parliamentary ballots and no results had been received so far, a spokesman for the Independent Electoral Commission, Osupile Maroba, told AFP. The incumbent leader, Ian Khama of the Botswana Democratic Party (BDP), is expected to win a second term. Early results, based on IEC-verified counts from 200 of the 490 local council voting districts, showed the ruling BDP won less than half the 13 wards counted so far in the capital Gaborone.


25 October 2014

IS jihadists kill eight Iraqi soldiers in clashes south of Baghdad

Iraqi security forces set up checkpoints on streets leading to the heavily fortified Green Zone in Baghdad, on March 27, 2012Eight Iraqi soldiers were killed in fighting with jihadists south of Baghdad as the army battled to secure the route used by hundreds of thousands of Shiite pilgrims, officers said Saturday. Pilgrims taking part in Ashura commemorations, which mark the death of Imam Hussein, one of the most revered figures in Shiite Islam, are often targeted with bombings during the annual rituals, which take place this month. The officers said dozens of militants were also killed, but Iraqi officials frequently announce high death tolls for jihadists that are not possible to independently verify. "Securing Jurf al-Sakhr is securing Karbala and the south completely, as the gateway to the south begins from Jurf al-Sakhr," Karbala governor Aqil al-Turaihi told journalists during a visit to the area.


25 October 2014

Zimbabwe's ruling party skirts succession feud

Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe and Vice-President Joice Mujuru are seen at a meeting of the ruling ZANU-PF party at its headquarters in Harare on October 24, 2014Zimbabwe's ruling ZANU-PF politburo has brought forward a crunch elective congress but did not debate factional fighting threatening to tear the party apart, its spokesman said Saturday. The dates have been changed," party spokesman Rugare Gumbo said. President Robert Mugabe chaired the meeting of ZANU-PF'S supreme decision-making body, which was also attended by his Vice-President Joice Mujuru. We were supposed to get a report from the women's league secretary Oppah Muchinguri.


25 October 2014

Islamic State fighters attack crossing as Kurds set to reinforce Kobane

People look at the Syrian town of Kobane from the Turkish border, near the southeastern village of Mursitpinar, October 24, 2014Islamic State group fighters made a new bid to cut off the Syrian border town of Kobane from neighbouring Turkey Saturday as preparations gathered pace to deploy Iraqi Kurdish reinforcements. The Kurdish regional government in northern Iraq unveiled plans on Friday for up to 200 well-trained peshmerga to join Syrian Kurdish forces defending Kobane in the coming week. Kurdish news agency Rudaw said the first contingent could head to Kobane as early as Sunday but there was no immediate confirmation of that timetable. Peshmerga ministry spokesman Halgord Hekmat declined to specify what route the Iraqi Kurdish forces would take, but they are expected to travel overland through Turkey, which has said it will allow them transit.


25 October 2014

Israel police brace for Palestinian killer driver funeral

A member of the Israeli security forces flashes the sign for victory during clashes with Palestinian youths near the West Bank settlement Beit El, on October 24, 2014Israeli police braced for the funeral Saturday of a Palestinian driver who drove into a crowd, killing an Israeli baby, with tensions further stoked after the army shot dead a West Bank teenager. Police were "ready for anything" after fresh disturbances in Arab east Jerusalem prompted four arrests overnight, spokeswoman Luba Samri told AFP. Police branded as a "terror attack" an incident Wednesday's in which Abdelrahman Shaludi, 21, from east Jerusalem's flashpoint Silwan neighbourhood drove at high speed into a crowd of Israelis. Palestinian sources said he was to be buried in Jerusalem at 10:00 pm (1900 GMT) Saturday.


25 October 2014

Ukraine readies to vote under shadow of war

A member of a district electoral commission holds a poster with portraits of candidates for Ukraine's parliamentary elections at a polling station in Kiev, on October 25, 2014Ukrainian leaders made final appeals to voters ahead of snap parliamentary elections Sunday that are intended to give impetus to democratic reforms, but are overshadowed by deepening conflict with Russia and pro-Russian rebels. "At last we will elect a pro-Ukrainian and not pro-Moscow, an anti-corruption and not pro-bribery, a pro-European parliament," President Petro Poroshenko said late Friday. His Petro Poroshenko Bloc was forecast to emerge as the biggest party in the 450 seat legislature, although without an absolute majority, meaning he will have to form a coalition, probably with harder-line nationalists. The elections were called to cement the pro-Western course launched in a February street revolt that overthrew the corruption-tainted, Moscow-backed president Viktor Yanukovych.


25 October 2014

Obama: Science, not fear, key to Ebola response

President Barack Obama meets with Ebola survivor Nina Pham in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, Friday, Oct. 24, 2014. Pham, the first nurse diagnosed with Ebola after treating an infected man at a Dallas hospital is free of the virus. The 26-year-old Pham arrived last week at the NIH Clinical Center. She had been flown there from Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama says the U.S. must be guided by science — not fear — as it responds to Ebola.


25 October 2014

Iran hangs woman in defiance of international campaign

Reyhaneh Jabbari was arrested for the murder of a former intelligence official in July 2007Iran hanged Saturday a woman convicted of murdering a former intelligence officer she claimed had tried to sexually assault her, defying international appeals for a stay of execution. Reyhaneh Jabbari, 26, who had been on death row for five years, was put to death at dawn, the official IRNA news agency quoted the Tehran prosecutor's office as saying. Amnesty International condemned her killing, describing it as "a bloody stain on Iran's human rights record" and "an affront to justice". A message posted on the homepage of a Facebook campaign set up to try to save Jabbari noted the "sad news" of her death, adding the words "Rest in Peace" alongside pictures of her as a young child.


24 October 2014

Hong Kong's Umbrella Movement gets computer game makeover

Mobile phone app designer Fung Kam-keung, CEO and founder of Awesapp Limited, holds a smartphone with one of his latest games, 'Yellow Umbrella', seen at the Awesapp Ltd. office in Hong Kong, on October 23, 2014How do you defend yourself against scores of tear gas wielding police while manning the barricades at Hong Kong's protest camps? "Yellow Umbrella" has been downloaded more than 40,000 times from Google Play's store since its release on Monday, the game's developers told AFP, although it has yet to receive approval from Apple and is noticeably absent from Google's online store in mainland China. "They (the protesters) like Guan Yu very much because they want to resolve the problem but they don't know how to do it.


24 October 2014

Brazil poll rivals clash over corruption claim

Brazilian presidential candidates Dilma Rousseff (R) and Aecio Neves wait for the start of a televised debate in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil on October 24, 2014Brazil's presidential candidates clashed over corruption allegations in a final debate, as incumbent Dilma Rousseff rejected a report that she knew about a kickback scheme at state oil giant Petrobras. The last debate before Sunday's run-off election was heated from the start as the report in conservative newsweekly Veja dominated opening exchanges before the candidates moved on to the economy and political reform. Center-right challenger Aecio Neves demanded to know what his leftist rival knew about Veja's claim that she and her predecessor Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva were personally aware of embezzlement within Petrobras, whose board Rousseff once chaired. "Veja magazine has presented no proof -- this magazine has a habit of trying to pull off an electoral coup right at the end of campaigning," Rousseff stormed as both candidates prepared to field questions from undecided voters from around the country.


24 October 2014

Israel troops kill US-Palestinian teen in West Bank

Palestinians from the Jalazoun refugee camp clash with Israeli security forces at the entrance of the Jewish West Bank settlement Beit El, north of Ramallah, after a march against Israeli restrictions on the Al-Aqsa mosque, October 24, 2014Washington confirmed that a Palestinian teenager shot dead by Israeli troops was a US citizen -- the second time this week an American child has fallen victim to the ongoing conflict. An army spokeswoman said troops posted at the village of Silwad to protect a major road widely used by Jewish settlers in the occupied territory spotted a person about to hurl a petrol bomb. Palestinian officials named the youth as Orwa Hammad, 17, saying he was shot during a stone-throwing protest against troops, a regular occurrence at Silwad, near Ofra settlement. US State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said the US "expresses its deepest condolences to the family of a US citizen minor who was killed by the Israeli Defense Forces".