Seven suspected Boko Haram militants blew themselves on the outskirts of a northeast Nigerian city on Friday, a local aid agency said, in an attack witnesses said targeted refugees preparing to return to their home villages. The bombing took place outside Maiduguri, the population center at the heart of a government campaign to eradicate the Islamist group, whose more than seven-year insurgency has killed 15,000 people and forced some two million from their homes. The Borno State Emergency Management Agency said eight members of a local militia, the civilian Joint Task Force, were wounded in the attack, which underscored Boko Haram's ability to continue to operate despite the government's insistence it has crushed the group.
The assassinated half-brother of North Korea's leader Kim Jong-Un was a courageous man who sought to reform his country, a Japanese journalist who wrote a book about him said Friday. Kim Jong-Nam, who was killed Monday at Kuala Lumpur's international airport, had regularly corresponded with Tokyo Shimbun senior writer Yoji Gomi. "Even if it put him in danger, he wanted to tell his opinions to Pyongyang through me or other media," Gomi told reporters.
It is, according to North Korean orthodoxy, the mountainside birthplace of Kim Jong-Il, who inherited power from his father and passed it in turn to his son, current leader Kim Jong-Un. The image of the Day of the Shining Star, as the occasion is known, is a recurring motif at the Kimjongilia flower festival in Pyongyang, appearing in mosaics and models surrounded by the eponymous red blooms. "The great leader general Kim Jong-Il was born in a secret camp on Mount Paektu," she said -– a volcano straddling the Chinese-Korean border seen as the spiritual birthplace of the Korean nation.
A Zimbabwean pastor who led a popular protest movement last year against strongman President Robert Mugabe said Friday that he might stand in the 2018 general election. Evan Mawarire was publicly threatened by Mugabe, 92, after starting the "This Flag" internet campaign that triggered the largest surge of anti-government street protests in many years. Mugabe has vowed to run again and has already been chosen as the candidate for the ruling ZANU-PF party, which has been involved in brutal violence and vote-rigging in past elections.
Three Chinese warships on Friday wrapped up a week of scheduled training exercises in the South China Sea, state media said, shortly after China's sole aircraft carrier tested its weapons in the disputed region. The flotilla of warships, including a destroyer that can launch guided missiles, had been conducting drills since Friday last week and were now sailing to the eastern India Ocean and the Western Pacific, the official Xinhua News Agency said. Exercises by the Chinese ships, in particular the aircraft carrier Liaoning, in recent months have unnerved its neighbors, especially given long-running territorial disputes in the South China Sea.
By Brian Ellsworth CARACAS (Reuters) - Venezuela's government is pushing forward with measures that could exclude some opposition political parties from future elections, potentially paving the way for the ruling Socialists to remain in power despite widespread anger over the country's collapsing economy. The Supreme Court, loyal to socialist president Nicolas Maduro, has ordered the main opposition parties to "renew" themselves through petition drives whose conditions are so strict that party leaders and even an election official described them as impossible to meet. Socialist Party officials scoff at the complaints.
Jeanette Vizguerra fled to the United States from Mexico with her family after her husband was kidnapped three times, once with a gun to his head. Now, nearly 20 years later, she is seeking refuge again, this time in a church to avoid being deported as part of President Donald Trump's crackdown on immigrants living in the country illegally. Vizguerra, 47, and her three young children, who are US citizens, are living in the basement of Denver's First Unitarian Society Church, where she sought sanctuary late Tuesday, rightly suspecting that a stay of her deportation order would not be extended by a judge the following day.
New Zealand sits atop a previously unknown continent -- mostly submerged beneath the South Pacific -- that should be recognised with the name Zealandia, scientists said Friday. Researchers said Zealandia was a distinct geological entity and met all the criteria applied to Earth's seven other continents -- elevation above the surrounding area, distinctive geology, a well-defined area and a crust much thicker than that found on the ocean floor. In a paper published in the Geological Society of America's Journal, GSA Today, they said Zealandia measured five million square kilometre (1.9 million square miles) and was 94 percent underwater.
Exercise on its own — without also following a healthy diet — isn't enough to help people lose or even just maintain their weight, a recent study suggests. The new results run counter to the idea that the obesity epidemic in the U.S. is caused by a lack of physical activity, said lead study author Lara Dugas, an assistant professor of public health sciences at Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine. When it comes to figuring out the causes of obesity, "what we really need to look at is what people are eating," Dugas told Live Science.