Bombing near 1 of Islam’s holiest sites in Saudi kills 4
DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — A suicide bombing outside one of Islam’s holiest sites killed four Saudi security forces on Monday, and similar attacks outside a Shiite mosque and a U.S. Consulate in two other Saudi cities raised fears of a coordinated assault aimed at destabilizing the Western-allied kingdom.
The Interior Ministry said five others were wounded in the attack outside the sprawling mosque grounds where the Prophet Muhammad is buried in Medina. Millions of Muslims from around the world visit the mosque every year as part of their pilgrimage to Mecca.
The ministry said the attacker set off the bomb in a parking lot after security officers raised suspicions about him. Several cars caught fire and thick plumes of black smoke were seen rising from the site of the explosion as thousands of worshippers crowded the streets around the mosque.
No group has yet claimed responsibility for any of the attacks.
Altayeb Osama, a 25-year old Sudanese visitor to Medina and resident of Abu Dhabi, said he heard two large booms about a minute apart as he was heading toward the mosque for sunset prayers. He said police and fire trucks were on the scene within seconds.
Educated and well-off, Dhaka attackers defy usual
NEW DELHI (AP) — The young men had been missing for months. Their families sensed something was wrong.
It wasn’t until the horror of the weekend hostage crisis in Bangladesh’s capital unfolded that they learned their sons had become radicalized as religious extremists and launched one of the country’s deadliest attacks in recent years.
The young men, armed with knives, bombs and automatic firearms, engaged in a gun battle with police, killing two and wounding more, then seized a popular restaurant in a Dhaka neighborhood on Friday night and held some 35 people hostage. Over the next few hours, they would kill 20 of their captives — including nine Italians, seven Japanese, an Indian teenager and three students at American universities. A witness said some victims were tortured when they could not recite verses from the Quran.
“This is very painful. He killed innocent people,” said the aunt of one of the attackers, Rohan Imtiaz, whose father is a leader in Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s governing Awami League party.
“We sensed that Rohan was changing and his behavior increasingly became different,” she told the Associated Press in disbelief.
10 Things to Know for Tuesday
Your daily look at late-breaking news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about Tuesday:
1. THREE SUICIDE BOMBINGS IN DIFFERENT CITIES IN SAUDI ARABIA
Only the two bombers died in the first two explosions in Jiddah and Qatif, but the last one in Medina also killed four security officers and wounded five.
2. WHICH FORMER RIVALS WILL BE CAMPAIGNING TOGETHER
President Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton take the stage at their first joint campaign appearance on Tuesday.
Party in the USA: America celebrates its independence
From fireworks soaring above the Washington Monument to hot dogs being downed in New York City’s frank-eating contest, Americans aren’t shy about celebrating their nation’s birthday. Many places are rolling out long-established Independence Day traditions on Monday (even if some of those traditions aren’t as long-established as they sound). Rain was forecast in many cities, but revelers were trying not to let it dampen their fun. Some Fourth of July highlights from around the country:
DESPITE THE RAIN, MACY’S FIREWORK SHOW DAZZLES IN NEW YORK
More than a million spectators in New York City braved a light sprinkle of rain as they watched Macy’s annual July Fourth fireworks display.
The nearly 30-minute-long show Monday featured dazzling blues, reds and whites among other colors from the more than 56,000 pyrotechnic shells launched from barges in the East River.
Body of US student reported missing in Rome found
ROME (AP) — The body of a teenage Wisconsin student who went missing shortly after he arrived for an exchange program was found in the Tiber River on Monday.
John Cabot University confirmed that the body was that of 19-year-old Beau Solomon, who was last seen by his friends in the early hours of Friday morning at a pub in Rome.
“We express our most heartfelt condolences to the Solomon family and to all those who loved Beau,” said a statement from the Rome-based English-language university.
Solomon had just completed his first year as a personal finance major at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
An earlier statement from the university said it was “alerted by his roommate, who reported that he had lost contact with Beau around 1 a.m. … and was worried when he did not see Beau at orientation” Friday morning.
Obama to tell foe-to-friend story at Hillary Clinton event
WASHINGTON (AP) — They’ve been bitter rivals, allies and colleagues.
When they take the stage at their first joint campaign appearance on Tuesday, President Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton will show off a new phase in their storied relationship: co-dependents.
Clinton’s chances of winning the White House hinge on rallying Obama’s coalition to her cause. Obama’s legacy depends on her success. Eight years after they spent millions tearing each other down in pursuit of the White House, they will now spend countless words and four months selling each other to the public.
The foe-to-friend story will be at the center of the Obama-Clinton show in Charlotte, North Carolina, aides to both say. In his remarks, the president will act as a character witness for his former secretary of state, who is struggling to convince voters of her trustworthiness and honesty. There is no better politician to testify on her behalf, many Democrats believe, than the man who once counted himself among the Clinton skeptics but came around to be one of her biggest boosters.
“I think that he can be very helpful, particularly with Democratic voters and some independent voters who have doubts,” said David Axelrod, the chief architect of Obama’s 2008 race for the Democratic nomination against Clinton. “He can do that by sharing his own experience. They were rivals, they had their differences; that gives him some additional standing.”
Security ordered tightened as death toll in Baghdad hits 157
BAGHDAD (AP) — As the death toll from the weekend truck bombing in Baghdad climbed to 157, Iraq’s embattled prime minister ordered new security measures, including abandoning the use of bomb-detection wands that U.S. experts pronounced worthless years ago.
But security forces were still using the devices Monday evening, as a string of smaller bombings in the capital killed 16 people and wounded dozens more.
Sunday’s suicide attack by the Islamic State group was the single deadliest bombing to hit Baghdad in more than a decade of war and insurgency.
Also Monday, five convicted terrorists were executed in Baghdad, the Ministry of Justice said in an announcement that appeared aimed at restoring faith in Iraq’s security forces in the wake of the devastating attack.
Firefighters and medical teams were still uncovering bodies from the city’s Karada neighborhood Monday morning. Officials said a dozen people were missing and at least 60 of the dead were women and children. At least 190 people were wounded.
Acclaimed Iranian film director Kiarostami dies at age 76
TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — Iranian director Abbas Kiarostami, whose 1997 film “Taste of Cherry” won the prestigious Palme d’Or and who kept working despite government resistance, died Monday. He was 76.
Iran’s official news agency IRNA said Kiarostami died in Paris, where he had gone for cancer treatment last week after undergoing surgery in Iran earlier this year.
He wrote and directed dozens of films over a career spanning more than 40 years. “Taste of Cherry,” which told the story of an Iranian man looking for someone to bury him after he killed himself, won the top award at the Cannes Film Festival. Kiarostami also wrote and directed “Certified Copy,” a 2010 film starring Juliette Binoche.
He said at a 2014 appearance in Syracuse that “Taste of Cherry” was his only film he had not watched since he made it. He said it took him back to a period in his life he preferred not to think about. His film was banned in Iran for supposedly encouraging suicide.
“But in truth,” he said, “it is a suggestion to live.”
NASA’s Juno spacecraft prepares for cosmic date with Jupiter
LOS ANGELES (AP) — A solar-powered spacecraft is spinning toward Jupiter for the closest encounter with the biggest planet in our solar system.
NASA’s Juno spacecraft will fire its main rocket engine late Monday to slow itself down from a speed of 150,000 mph (250,000 kph) and slip into orbit around Jupiter. With Juno on autopilot, the delicately choreographed move comes without any help from ground controllers.
The spacecraft is traveling through a hostile radiation environment and rings of debris and dust, “making for very serious hazards,” Juno chief scientist Scott Bolton said during a morning briefing. But Juno should be able to withstand the harsh conditions because it’s “built like an armored tank,” he said.
The spacecraft’s camera and other instruments were switched off for arrival, so there won’t be any pictures at the moment it reaches its destination. Hours before the encounter, NASA released a series of images taken last week during the approach, showing Jupiter glowing yellow in the distance, circled by its four inner moons.
Scientists have promised close-up views of the planet when Juno skims the cloud tops during the 20-month, $1.1 billion mission.
Durant’s move to the Warriors changes the NBA land
Four All-Stars, two MVPs, a whole new Splash Family in Golden State.
Kevin Durant’s decision to join the Warriors on Monday sent tremors through the NBA, and players and executives throughout the league immediately started to contemplate how the newest super team would alter the landscape.
“Thats crazy!!!! KD in GSW????” Wizards center Marcin Gortat tweeted. “(Are) they gonna score 200 points a game?”
The Warriors already were a super team before one of the league’s most unstoppable scorers decided to leave Oklahoma City for the Bay Area. Golden State won the championship in 2015, rolled to a regular-season record 73 victories last season and came within one game of back-to-back titles when they lost to the Cleveland Cavaliers Game 7 of the NBA Finals.
Now they have added the player who nearly eliminated them a round earlier.