Islamic State group blamed for Afghan suicide bombing killing 35, a potential major escalation
FAIZABAD, Afghanistan — A motorcycle-riding suicide bomber attacked a line of people waiting outside a bank Saturday in eastern Afghanistan, killing at least 35 and wounding 125 in an assault the country's president blamed on the Islamic State group.
The accusation by President Ashraf Ghani, following local media reporting the Islamic State group's Afghan affiliate claiming the attack, would mark a major escalation in the extremists' nascent campaign of violence in the country.
While nowhere near as powerful as the Taliban, the affiliate's ability to strike at will would mark a new threat for the country to contend with as U.S. and NATO forces ended their combat mission at the start of the year. It also further stretches the Islamic State group's influence far beyond its self-declared caliphate stretching through a third of Iraq and Syria.
The attack in Jalalabad, the capital of eastern Nangarhar province, targeted a crowd of soldiers and civilians gathered outside the bank to receive their monthly salaries. The blast killed at least 35 people and wounded 125, said Ahmad Zia Abdulzai, a spokesman for the provincial governor.
Hours after the attack, Ghani blamed the Islamic State group for the bombing.
Global finance officials see rising risks to recovery, including possible Greek debt default
WASHINGTON — World finance officials said Saturday they see a number of threats on the horizon for a global economy still clawing back from the deepest recession in seven decades, and a potential Greek debt default presents the most immediate risk.
After finance officials wrapped up three days of talks, the International Monetary Fund's policy committee set a goal of working toward a "more robust, balanced and job-rich global economy" while acknowledging growing risks to achieving that objective.
The Greek finance minister, Yanis Varoufakis, held a series of talks with finance officials on the sidelines of the spring meetings of the 188-nation IMF and World Bank, trying to settle his country's latest crisis.
Mario Draghi, head of the European Central Bank, said it was "urgent" to resolve the dispute between Greece and its creditors.
A default, he said, would send the global economy into "uncharted waters" and the extent of the possible damage would be hard to estimate. He told reporters that he did not want to even contemplate the chance of a default.
Empty graves, full hearts: 5 years after Gulf disaster, families of 11 killed try to move on
JONESVILLE, Louisiana — Courtney Kemp was getting dressed for work when husband Wyatt walked in and sat down. He didn't speak, but she could tell something was weighing on him.
She knew that things hadn't been going well on the job, but Wyatt never wanted to trouble her with details. They'd talked often about the risks of working on an oil rig 41 miles out in the Gulf of Mexico; Wyatt had always insisted that the most dangerous part was the helicopter ride to the Deepwater Horizon. In just a few days, the 27-year-old derrickhand would be leaving for his next three-week hitch.
Courtney asked what was wrong.
"I just want you to know that if something happened to me ... I don't want you to be by yourself," he told her. "And I don't want the girls to grow up without somebody to be their father."
"If something did, I wouldn't be able to get over it," she insisted. "I don't know how I would go on."
Forgotten in the flood of oil: 11 men who died on the Deepwater Horizon
Portraits of the 11 who died on the Deepwater Horizon:
Jason Anderson, 35, Midfield, Texas.
Jason Anderson wasn't even supposed to be on the Deepwater Horizon that day. Anderson had been with the rig since it launched from a South Korean shipyard in 2001. By 2010, the Bay City, Texas, man had risen to senior tool pusher, akin to a foreman on a construction site.
Anderson was transferring to another rig, and went out to the Deepwater Horizon to train his replacement, says his widow, Shelley. When he arrived, the trainee wasn't there, but Jason stayed over to clean out his locker and spend just a little more time with his "rig brothers."
Australia arrests 5 teens on charges of plotting Islamic State group-inspired terror attack
SYDNEY — Five Australian teenagers were arrested Saturday on suspicion of plotting an Islamic State group-inspired terrorist attack at a Veterans' Day ceremony that included targeting police officers, officials said.
The suspects included two 18-year-olds who are alleged to have been preparing an attack at the ANZAC Day ceremony in Melbourne later this month, Australian Federal Police Acting Deputy Commissioner Neil Gaughan told reporters.
Another 18-year-old was arrested on weapons charges, and two other men, aged 18 and 19, were in custody and assisting police. All the arrests took place in Melbourne.
ANZAC Day is the annual April 25 commemoration of the 1915 Gallipoli landings — the first major military action fought by the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps during World War I.
Police said they believe the plot was inspired by the Islamic State group, also known as ISIS, and was to have involved "edged weapons."
Bombings shape Boston Marathon's legacy, future; never left behind for city, organizers, fans
BOSTON — It's been decades since you could run in the Boston Marathon without qualifying, before limits on the field size made entering — almost as much as finishing — something to aspire to.
The course has changed a dozen times or more. Women were officially welcomed in 1972, wheelchairs three years later, and prize money was introduced in 1986, ushering in a professional era that rejuvenated the event and fortified its status as the world's most prestigious road race.
But nothing in more than a century has done more to shape how the Boston Marathon is perceived and how it will look in the future than the twin explosions at the finish line in 2013.
And when the field of 30,000 leaves Hopkinton on Monday for the 119th race, the effect of those bombs will be seen not just in the ever-watchful security but in the way the runners and their supporters have responded to the unprecedented attack.
"I don't think it's ever going to be just a race again," said Desiree Linden, who returns this year in search of the American victory she missed by 2 seconds in 2011. "There's so much history here: some of it is good, some of it is bad. When you run Boston, that's always going to be a part of it."
Bush and Rubio: Longtime alliance sours as mentor clashes with protÃ©gÃ© in presidential primary
In public, mentor Bush and protege Rubio have avoided criticizing each other since Rubio announced his candidacy.
But Bush allies have started quietly spreading negative information about Rubio's record. Also, supporters of the two Miami politicians are drawing contrasts between Rubio, a 43-year-old son of Cuban immigrants, and 62-year-old Bush, a member of one of the nation's most powerful political dynasties.
"Sparks are going to fly," said Al Cardenas, a Bush adviser who is also close to Rubio. "For the first time in our country's history you've got two guys from the same town in the same state from same party running in the same primary."
He added: "You can bet that regardless of how nice Jeb or Marco wants to be, their staffs are going to do anything they can to win."
After Israeli elections, US Zionists cast votes of their own for group with impact on Israel
NEW YORK — Call it the other Israel election.
The World Zionist Congress — a global Zionist body that formed more than a century ago but retains significant influence in Israel — is holding elections for U.S. delegates to its global assembly. At stake is leadership of an organization that helps manage agencies in Israel with budgets in the hundreds of millions of dollars.
While past voting for the congress has attracted little attention beyond a small circle of American Zionist groups, liberal U.S. Jewish leaders are hoping this time will be different: They are pointing to the election as a way their communities can register discontent with the direction of the Israeli government after Benjamin Netanyahu won re-election last month.
Hardline American Zionists are mobilizing as well to advance their priorities — including support for Jewish settlements on occupied land claimed by the Palestinians for their future state.
"This is a real election. It matters," said Rabbi Rick Jacobs, head of the liberal Union for Reform Judaism, the synagogue arm for the largest American Jewish movement. "It's a part of every public talk I've given for the last four months."
The Latest on 2016 from New Hampshire: Clinton-bashing is popular GOP sport, but not for all
3:40 p.m. (EDT)
Ohio Gov. John Kasich would like Republican voters in New Hampshire to hold off committing to a presidential candidate while he decides whether to become one.
"Think about me, would ya?" he asked a roomful Saturday. "Don't commit too soon."
"Let us all have a chance to breathe and get out."
The governor said he's still mulling things over.
Solo Starr: Ringo to be inducted into Rock Hall for solo work along with Green Day, Lou Reed
CLEVELAND — Ringo Starr was always behind the other Beatles.
Bobbing his head as he sat at his drum kit, Starr kept the steady backbeat for Paul McCartney, John Lennon and George Harrison, a once-in-a-century group that conquered the music world. Starr got fourth-billing, the adored and yet overlooked sideman to his more celebrated bandmates.
John, Paul, George ... and Ringo.
Once he stepped from their shadows, Starr proved he could hold his own.
Forever a Beatle, Starr will enter the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a solo artist on Saturday, inducted along with an eclectic class of musicians.