Deadliest attack in a year kills 115 in central Baghdad
BAGHDAD (AP) — A devastating truck bombing on a bustling commercial street in downtown Baghdad killed 115 people early Sunday, brutally underscoring the Islamic State group’s ability to strike the capital despite a string of battlefield losses elsewhere in the country.
It was the deadliest terror attack in Iraq in a year and one of the worst single bombings in more than a decade of war and insurgency, and it fueled anger toward Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi.
When al-Abadi visited the site of the suicide blast in the city’s Karada district, a furious mob surrounded his convoy, yelling expletives, hurling rocks and shoes and calling him a “thief.”
Many Iraqis blame their political leadership for lapses in security in Baghdad that have allowed large amounts of explosives to make their way past multiple checkpoints and into neighborhoods packed with civilians.
Karada, a mostly Shiite section, is lined with clothing and jewelry stores, restaurants and cafes. The blast struck during the holy month of Ramadan, with the streets and sidewalks filled with young people and families after they had broken their daylight fast.
Bangladesh hunts hostage crisis clues, investigates IS claim
DHAKA, Bangladesh (AP) — Security officials searched on Sunday for evidence and the possible masterminds of the weekend hostage-taking in an upscale restaurant in Bangladesh’s capital. The government has denied the Islamic State group’s claim of responsibility for the attack that left 28 dead, including six attackers and 20 of the hostages.
Police released photographs of the bodies of five attackers, along with their first names: Akash, Badhon, Bikash, Don and Ripon. The men belonged to the banned domestic group Jumatul Mujahedeen Bangladesh, or JMB, and their families hadn’t heard from them in months, according to police. Asked whether they might also have had Islamic State ties, Police Inspector General A.K.M. Shahidul Hoque said authorities were investigating that possibility.
Despite the police saying IS links were being investigated, the home minister refuted the possibility that the Islamic State directed the attack from abroad. Bangladesh’s government insists the extremist Sunni Muslim group based in Syria and Iraq has no presence in the country, and in the past has suggested that any claims of responsibility for violence waged in the South Asian country are simply opportunistic attempts at grabbing global attention.
“They are all Bangladeshis. They are from rich families, they have good educational background,” Khan said of the attackers. One surviving suspect was detained when paramilitary forces ended the 10-hour standoff Saturday morning, and authorities said he was being interrogated.
The siege marked an escalation in the militant violence that has hit Bangladesh with increasing frequency. Most of the attacks in the past several months have involved machete-wielding men singling out individual activists, foreigners and religious minorities.
Nobel laureate Elie Wiesel remembered at private service
NEW YORK (AP) — Elie Wiesel was memorialized Sunday at a private service in Manhattan, as family and friends gathered and praised the endurance and eloquence of the Nobel Peace Prize winner and mourned him as one of the last firsthand witnesses to the Nazis’ atrocities.
“This is really the double tragedy of it, not only the loss of someone who was so rare and unusual but the fact that those ranks are thinning out,” Rabbi Perry Berkowitz, president of the American Jewish Heritage Organization and a former assistant to Wiesel, said before the service at Fifth Avenue Synagogue. “At the same time anti-Semitism, Holocaust revisionism keeps rising. The fear is that when there are no more survivors left, will the world learn the lesson because those voices will be silenced.”
Millions first learned about the Holocaust through Wiesel, who began publishing in the 1950s, a time when memories of the Nazis’ atrocities were raw and repressed. He shared the harrowing story of his internment at Auschwitz as a teenager through his classic memoir “Night,” one of the most widely read and discussed books of the 20th century.
The Holocaust happened more than 70 years ago and few authors from that time remain. Another Nobel laureate and Holocaust survivor, Hungary’s Imre Kertesz, died earlier this year. Like Wiesel, he was 87.
While Berkowitz and others worry that the Holocaust’s lessons will be forgotten, some note that Wiesel himself worked to make memories endure. Abraham Foxman, former national director of the Anti-Defamation League, said before the service that Wiesel had written dozens of books. Sara Bloomfield, director of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C., credited Wiesel with making organizations like hers possible.
Clinton, Obama, stand-ins emphasize her trustworthiness
WASHINGTON (AP) — Hillary Clinton and her high-powered campaign stand-ins are talking about trust everywhere they speak these days, and for good reason.
On Sunday’s news shows, Sen. Sherrod Brown, R-Ohio, and Labor Secretary Tom Perez explicitly talked about Clinton and trust. And the candidate herself acknowledged that she has “work to do” to earn the trust of voters in her likely general election matchup against Republican Donald Trump, who suffers from a public trust deficit of a different sort, stemming from political inexperience and an impulsive style.
This week, President Barack Obama will personalize the “I trust Hillary” theme during his first appearance with his former secretary of state in battleground North Carolina. And Vice President Joe Biden will reinforce the message Friday in his hometown of Scranton, Pennsylvania, with Clinton at his side.
It’s all evidence of a remarkable vulnerability that persists both despite and because of Clinton’s decades of public life. But the timing of the trust campaign is no accident.
Husband Bill Clinton, the former president, met last Monday with the FBI’s boss, Attorney General Loretta Lynch, on the tarmac in Phoenix in a session both say was innocent but regrettable. The FBI interviewed Clinton for more than three hours on Saturday about whether she exposed government secrets by blending personal and official business on a home email server. Clinton immediately taped a television interview in which she denied wrongdoing and repeated an acknowledgment she had slipped into a speech last week on the same day Sen. Elizabeth Warren vouched for her.
A week after British vote, markets take stock
NEW YORK (AP) — A week after Britain’s shocking vote to leave the European Union, markets seem to have pushed the pause button.
After a two-day spree of near panic selling that wiped out an unprecedented $3 trillion from global markets, investors, analysts and pundits in the U.S. and abroad spent the week following the vote collectively revising their knee-jerk reactions to what has become known as the “Brexit” vote.
Markets closed out the week just a hair below their pre-vote level, with the S&P 500 index rebounding from a 5.3 percent drop to finish just 10 points below where it started.
A week after Britain’s historic “leave” vote, what’s the outlook for markets and the economy? Is the sky really falling, or are there opportunities, if not silver linings, for investors?
Here are five ways markets are rethinking the impact of the unprecedented move by an EU member to begin unravelling the nearly 60-year-old project to bring peace and prosperity to Europe.
100 years later, France marks American’s July 4 sacrifice
BELLOY-EN-SANTERRE, France (AP) — In the end, Alan Seeger’s bones could no longer be distinguished from those of his Foreign Legion comrades who had fallen alongside him in one of the most brutal battles of World War I.
United across nations, it was the glorious death that he craved.
Seeger — an American poet, romantic and soldier — died on that most American of days, July 4th, a century ago Monday. Barely 28, he was already fighting for a global, common cause that bound dozens of countries together at a time when the United States was still a bystander, reluctant to get involved in a faraway war in Europe.
His premonition, “I have a Rendezvous with Death,” was to become his most beloved poem, and the volunteer was happy to give his life for France and its grand ideals of “Liberty, Equality and Fraternity.” Half a century later, it was a favorite poem of U.S. President John Kennedy.
Seeger was last seen by his Egyptian friend Rif Baer charging the German enemy, a tiny part of the massive Battle of the Somme, where more than 1 million people were killed, wounded or went missing in 4 ½ months of fighting in 1916.
3-2-1: A look at NASA’s Jupiter mission by the numbers
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Since launching in 2011, NASA’s Juno spacecraft has been cruising toward the biggest planet in the solar system. On Monday, Juno is scheduled to perform a nail-biting move designed to enter orbit around Jupiter to explore its cloud-covered atmosphere and interior makeup.
Here are a few key numbers about the $1.1 billion mission:
— 1.8 billion miles (2.8 billion kilometers)
That’s the total distance traveled from launch to arrival. Juno’s journey wasn’t a straight shot. Because the rocket that carried Juno wasn’t powerful enough to boost it directly to Jupiter, it took a longer route. It looped around the inner solar system and then swung by Earth, using our planet as a gravity slingshot to hurtle toward the outer solar system.
— 3,100 miles (5,000 kilometers)
Dad says 2 gators involved in Disney attack that killed son
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. (AP) — The father of a toddler killed by an alligator at Disney last month told rescue officials two alligators were involved in the attack, according to emails from the Reedy Creek Fire Department.
Matt Graves said he was attacked by a second alligator as he tried to reach his 2-year-old son after the boy was pulled into the water outside Disney’s upscale Grand Floridian Resort.
Capt. Tom Wellons described his interaction with the Nebraska father in emails to his supervisors obtained by The Orlando Sentinel (http://tinyurl.com/z9baqzn ). Wellons said Graves initially refused to leave the area as rescuers searched for little Lane Graves even though the father needed stitches and antibiotics from gator bite marks. Wellons said he eventually persuaded Graves to get medical treatment, promising he could return afterward.
“This incredibly sweet couple insisted on showing us pictures of their happy son. (The) mom kept referring to him as her ‘happy boy,'” Wellons wrote in the emails.
On the way to the hospital, Graves shared “the horror that he experienced” as his son was being pulled into the water and “how another gator attacked him as he fought for his son,” according to the email to supervisors.
‘Tarzan,’ ‘BFG’ dwarfed by ‘Dory,’ which stays no. 1
NEW YORK (AP) — It’s Dory’s ocean. The rest of the movies are just swimming in it.
The Pixar sequel “Finding Dory” led the box office for the third straight weekend, dwarfing “The Legend of Tarzan” and Steven Spielberg’s Roald Dahl adaption “The BFG,” both big-budget debuts that had hoped to dominate the July 4th holiday.
But modest enthusiasm for the high-profile new releases left the weekend to “Dory” again, which came in No. 1 with $41.9 million, according to studio estimates Sunday. Disney expects the film to make about $50 million over the four-day holiday weekend. It’s grossed $538.2 million globally in three weeks.
“Tarzan” came the closest to dethroning “Dory” with $38.1 million. While that total was better than expected, it’s far from chest-thumping for a movie that cost Warner Bros. $180 million to make. Critics largely panned the David Yates-directed film, staring Alexander Skarsgard as the King of the Jungle and Margot Robbie as Jane. But audiences gave it a respectable A-minus CinemaScore.
“We’re in a much better place today than we thought we were going to be,” said Jeff Goldstein, head of distribution for Warner Bros. “We’re positively looking forward. Friday came in much stronger than we thought. Yesterday was much stronger than we thought.”
Who will take Spain’s crown? Euro 2016 down to final 4 teams
MARSEILLE, France (AP) — The European Championship semifinals promise mouth-watering matchups as the last four teams battle for a berth in the July 10 final and a chance to succeed two-time winner Spain.
In Lyon on Wednesday, Cristiano Ronaldo’s Portugal takes on a Welsh team featuring his Real Madrid teammate Gareth Bale.
A day later in Marseille, world champion Germany, fresh from a nerve-rattling penalty shootout win against Italy, looks to add the European title against host France which is coming off a morale-boosting 5-2 win against Iceland.
Here are a few snapshots of the final four: