An explosion ripped through a football viewing centre in Damaturu, northern Nigeria on Tuesday, police and residents said, as fans gathered to watch the World Cup. The blast at the Crossfire venue, in the Nayi-Nawa area of the state capital of Yobe, happened shortly after tournament hosts Brazil kicked off against Mexico at 8:00 pm (1900 GMT). Sanusi Ruf'ai, police commissioner for Yobe state, told AFP: "There was an explosion outside a soccer viewing centre here in Damaturu at around 8:15 pm. The blast comes after at least two states banned viewing centres on security grounds following previous attacks blamed on Boko Haram militants, whose five-year insurgency in northern Nigeria has claimed thousands of lives.
Canada approved construction Tuesday of a pipeline to the Pacific Ocean, opening up one of the world's largest oil fields as Washington dithers over another link southward from Alberta's oil sands. The Northern Gateway project gained momentum after US President Barack Obama delayed a decision on another pipeline -- Keystone XL -- first proposed in 2008 to move Alberta bitumen to refineries along the US Gulf Coast. The oil conduit from landlocked Alberta to the sea would propel further development of the province's oil sands, unleashing tremendous economic kickbacks for Canadians, Natural Resources Minister Greg Rickford has said. "Moving forward, the proponent (Enbridge) must demonstrate... how it will meet the 209 conditions," Rickford added.
By Gabriel Debenedetti WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Potential Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton pointed out her differences with President Barack Obama on Tuesday over his decision not to arm moderate Syrian rebels, as neighboring Iraq struggles to cope with extremist spillover from Syria. But as I say in my book, I believe that Harry Truman was right, the buck stops with the president," Clinton said in a CNN interview. The former secretary of state said she, along with the then heads of the Pentagon and Central Intelligence Agency tried but failed to persuade Obama to arm the rebels fighting Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, but that the White House resisted. Clinton said it is not clear whether arming moderates in Syria would have prevented the rise of al Qaeda splinter group the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, which has swept toward Baghdad aiming to build a Muslim caliphate across the Iraqi-Syrian border.
Fortaleza (Brazil) (AFP) - Clashes erupted Tuesday at an anti-World Cup protest in the northeast Brazilian city of Fortaleza as demonstrators threw stones at police, who fired back with tear gas, rubber bullets and water cannon. The clashes broke out as around 300 demonstrators rallied against the government's record $11 billion spending on the World Cup just before Brazil played Mexico at Fortaleza's Castelao Stadium. Protesters blocked a road leading to the stadium and briefly held up fans making their way to the match, news website G1 reported. Some of the protesters wore the black masks and clothing of the radical Black Bloc movement, which has been the most violent of the groups participating in the anti-World Cup protests that have hit Brazil in the past year.
Iraqi forces appear to be rallying and bolstering their defense of Baghdad in the face of Sunni extremists who have swept across the country's north, the Pentagon said Tuesday. "We also have reason to believe -- certainly indications -- that the Iraqi security forces are stiffening their resistance and their defense and are coalescing, particularly in and around Baghdad, and that's encouraging," spokesman Rear Admiral John Kirby told reporters. With Iraqi troops now receiving help from Shiite volunteers, Kirby said "it certainly appears as if they have the will to defend the capital." The jihadist Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) have staged a stunning advance that has sent the US-trained Iraqi government army into a humiliating retreat, and now Baghdad itself is threatened.
Amsterdam officials on Tuesday ordered a rethink of a multi-million-euro Holocaust monument by US architect Daniel Libeskind after residents complained it would take over their park "The project currently on the table does not fit in with its envisaged surroundings," invited resident Lina van Beest told the Amsterdam Centre council before the majority vote requesting further consultations. The five-million-euro (6.8-million-dollar) monument is a project of the Dutch Auschwitz Committee that hopes to display the names of 102,000 Jews and 220 members of the Sinti community deported to Nazi death camps during World War II. The 1,000-square-metre (11,000-square-foot) monument is planned to be built in 2015 in Amsterdam's central 7,500-square metre Wertheim Park, in an old Jewish neighbourhood, near the Jewish Museum and the Portuguese synagogue.
Fresh off his re-election, Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos is inviting a handful of former world leaders, including Bill Clinton and Tony Blair, to discuss the future of Colombia. "We've invited five leaders who have had great success in their countries generating prosperity and applying principles... I'm applying here in Colombia," Santos told journalists. In addition to the US and British leaders, Santos said Monday he had invited former Spanish prime minister Felipe Gonzalez as well as former presidents Ricardo Lagos of Chile and Fernando Henrique Cardoso of Brazil.
Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Ukrainian counterpart Petro Poroshenko held talks on Tuesday over a possible ceasefire in Ukraine, as two members of a Russian television crew were killed in the ex-Soviet state's separatist east. Poroshenko assured Putin that an investigation would be launched into the deaths, and vowed to take necessary measures to protect reporters covering the conflict, the Kremlin said in a statement following the talks. "The issue of a possible ceasefire in the area of a military operation in Ukraine's southeast has been touched upon," the Kremlin said. Moscow had earlier responded furiously to the death of the TV crew members, accusing Kiev of a campaign of "terror" and demanding an investigation.
President Vladimir Putin and his Ukrainian counterpart Petro Poroshenko discussed a possible ceasefire, the Kremlin said Tuesday, after a second member of a Russian television crew was confirmed to have died in the east of the ex-Soviet state. "The issue of possible ceasefire in the area of a military operation in Ukraine's southeast has been touched upon," the Kremlin said after the talks. Putin expressed concern over the deaths of the two Russian media workers and stressed the importance of ensuring safety of reporters working in Ukraine, the Kremlin said. "Petro Poroshenko expressed condolences over the deaths of Russian media representatives and assured the Russian president that a relevant investigation would be conducted following his order," Putin's office said.
UN education envoy Gordon Brown on Tuesday pledged that a school from where more than 200 girls were kidnapped by Islamist militants will be rebuilt, as he visited Nigeria for talks on boosting security. Britain's former prime minister met President Goodluck Jonathan and Finance Minister Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala as part of his "Safe School Initiative" unveiled in May, which aims to help hundreds of schools hit by the Boko Haram insurgency. The girls' school in the remote town in northeastern Borno state was destroyed in the attack on April 14, which saw 276 girls abducted from their dormitories. Many of the girls were attending the school to sit public exams because their schools had either shut due to fears of violence or had been destroyed in previous Boko Haram attacks.
Washington remains open to more talks with Iran over the crisis in Iraq, but is far from following in Britain's footsteps to renew diplomatic ties, a US official said Tuesday. Deputy Secretary of State Bill Burns had "met briefly" with Iranian officials on Monday in Vienna on the sidelines of nuclear talks with global powers, State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki confirmed. "They discussed the need to support inclusivity in Iraq and the need to refrain from pressing a sectarian agenda," she told reporters, without going into details of how long the talks lasted, and whether anything specific was agreed.
An explosion ripped through a football viewing centre in Damaturu, northern Nigeria, on Tuesday, police and residents said, as fans gathered to watch the World Cup. The blast at the Crossfire venue, in the Nayi-Nawa area of the state capital of Yobe, happened shortly after tournament hosts Brazil kicked off against Mexico at 8:00 pm (1900 GMT). Sanusi Ruf'ai, police commissioner for Yobe state, told AFP: "There was an explosion outside a soccer viewing centre here in Damaturu at around 8:15 pm. The blast comes after at least two states banned viewing centres on security grounds following previous attacks blamed on Boko Haram militants, whose five-year insurgency in northern Nigeria has claimed thousands of lives.
The United States joined forces with other nations Tuesday to declare a vast swath of the Pacific Ocean a marine sanctuary and take "historic" steps to combat illegal fishing. Taking the helm in a stepped up fight to save the planet's oceans, President Barack Obama ordered his administration to chart a way to expand an existing US reserve and create what would be the world's largest marine park. "Right now only a small fraction of the world's ocean... is currently protected," US Secretary of State John Kerry said closing two days of landmark talks he hosted at the State Department. Obama said he would use his executive powers to expand the Pacific Islands marine park, where the White House said "tropical coral reefs and associated marine ecosystems are among the most vulnerable areas to the impacts of climate change and ocean acidification."