Zanzibar (Tanzania) (AFP) - One person was killed and several others were wounded in a bomb attack near a mosque on Tanzania's Indian Ocean island of Zanzibar on Friday, police said. Police said the bomb went off in the Daranjani commercial district of Stone Town, the UNESCO-listed historical centre of the semi-autonomous Tanzanian archipelago, at around 8:15 pm (1715 GMT). We ask people to help provide information," senior police official Mkadam Khamis told AFP. The attack coincided with the opening of the Zanzibar International Film Festival, which has drawn a number of international visitors, and bars and restaurants have also been packed with people watching World Cup matches.
By Susan Cornwell and David Lawder WASHINGTON (Reuters) - An outspoken Tea Party-backed Republican lawmaker on Friday opened his campaign for the No. 2 leadership post in the House of Representatives against a top deputy of Speaker John Boehner in a bid to boost conservatives' influence in the party. Raul Labrador of Idaho said he would run for the House Majority Leader job in a special leadership election scheduled for June 19 after Eric Cantor of Virginia announced he was stepping down following his shock primary election defeat on Tuesday to a Tea Party movement activist.
Four cities are in the running to lead a possible US bid to host the 2024 Summer Games, the US Olympic committee announced on Friday. "Boston, LA, San Francisco and Washington have each given us reason to believe they can deliver a compelling and successful bid, and we look forward to continuing to explore the possibilities as we consider 2024," USOC chief executive Scott Blackmun said. The narrowing of candidates came after a 16-month process that began with the USOC reaching out to approximately 35 American cities to gauge interest in a bid. From here, the USOC will continue in-depth discussions with each of the four cities.
Silicon Valley entrepreneur David Welch says it was his three children who motivated him to spend almost $2 million challenging California's teacher tenure laws. Welch, an engineer with at least 130 patents, is the force behind Students Matter, the non-profit organization whose lawsuit against the state succeeded this week when a California judge struck down rules protecting teacher jobs. "My two older kids had this incredibly inspiring middle school science teacher, from the first day of school they were coming home and doing experiments in the back yard," the 53-year-old Welch said in an interview with Reuters. "But one child had a horrible experience and didn’t learn to read on time, which hurt him academically and hurt him emotionally.” Welch declined to say whether his son's negative experience, or his other children's positive experience, happened at a public school or a private school. They have attended both.
The United States on Friday accused Russia of sending tanks and rocket launchers to pro-Moscow rebels in Ukraine. "We assess that separatists in eastern Ukraine have acquired heavy weapons and military equipment from Russia, including Russian tanks and multiple rocket launchers," State Department deputy spokeswoman Marie Harf said in a statement. The United States had "information that Russia has accumulated tanks of a type no longer used by Russian forces at a deployment site in southwest Russia, and some of these tanks recently departed."
Iraqi leaders failed to strengthen and support the nation's military after US troops withdrew despite billions of American dollars poured into training and equipping the army, officials said Friday. State Department deputy spokeswoman Marie Harf also dismissed criticism from Republican lawmakers that a residual US force would have stopped the Iraqi army from collapsing in face of this week's militant assault. "When we left Iraq, after years of sacrifice and American taxpayer money, and certainly our troops felt that sacrifice more than anyone, the Iraqis had an opportunity," Harf told reporters. "We had helped their security forces.
Four Yemeni soldiers and five suspected Al-Qaeda militants were killed in two separate attacks Friday in southern restive regions, military and local sources said. In the first attack, a suicide bomber rammed his explosive-laden car into an army position in Mahfad, in Abyan province, a military official said. "He was a suicide bomber from Al-Qaeda," said the official, who asked not to be named. He said six soldiers were also wounded in the attack.
Nigeria's former president Olusegun Obasanjo has voiced fears that not all of the Nigerian schoolgirls kidnapped by Boko Haram would return. Boko Haram militants abducted 276 girls from their school in the remote town of Chibok, in northeastern Borno state, on April 14. Nearly two months on, there is little sign of the girls being freed or rescued, despite Nigeria's military saying that they knew where the teenagers were being held and an international rescue effort. Analysts suspect that the 219 girls still missing are likely to have been split into smaller groups and possibly taken outside Nigeria.
Three Israeli teenagers went missing in the West Bank, the army said on Friday, with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu saying he held the Palestinian leadership responsible for their safety. "The individuals were last seen late last night in the area of Gush Etzion," it said, referring to the main settlement bloc in the southern West Bank. "Israel holds the Palestinian Authority responsible for the wellbeing of the three missing Israeli teens," spokesman Ofir Gendelman wrote on Twitter.
Kyrgyzstan has granted a gold mine operating permit to Canada's Centerra Gold, barely making the deadline for a threatened shutdown of operations. Centerra had previously warned that it would shutter the Kumtor Gold Mine if the proper permits were not granted by June 13. "Centerra Gold Inc. is pleased to announce that it has received the necessary approval of its 2014 Kumtor mine plan from the relevant Kyrgyz Republic agencies," it said in a statement.
Despite widespread discontent, Brazil's anti-World Cup protests failed to rally the masses on opening day because a silent majority wants to forget politics for now and enjoy the football, analysts say. It was a far cry from last June during the Confederations Cup warmup tournament, when hundreds of thousands of people flooded the streets to protest the billions being spent on the World Cup and the shoddy state of the country's hospitals, schools and transport infrastructure. "The time for protests has come and gone," said Milene Souza, 20, as she cheered for Brazil on Thursday at the massive fan park set up on Rio de Janeiro's Copacabana Beach. Rio homeless man Arturo Domingues, 36, who used to live in England as an undocumented worker, said he was "sick" of the protesters.