World briefs: Afghan candidate escapes bombing

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KABUL, Afghanistan -- A suicide bombing Friday struck a convoy of vehicles carrying one of the candidates in Afghanistan's presidential runoff election next week. The candidate, Abdullah Abdullah, escaped unharmed, but at least six other people were killed.

The bombing in the Afghan capital appeared to be the first direct attack on a presidential contender since the campaign began in January, Afghan officials said.

Mr. Abdullah received the most votes in the first round of balloting in April, but not enough to avoid a runoff. He faces Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai, who received the second most votes, in the runoff election on June 14.

N. Korea detains American

SEOUL, South Korea -- North Korea said Friday that it had detained a U.S. citizen visiting as a tourist and that he was under investigation for unspecified illegal acts, making him the third American known to be currently held in custody by the North Korean authorities.

The man, Jeffrey E. Fowle, entered North Korea on April 29, the North's official Korean Central News Agency said.

Japan's Kyodo News Agency, citing unidentified sources, reported that Mr. Fowle had been seized in mid-May as he was about to depart North Korea and that he had left a Bible in his hotel room.

Nigerian TV channel

WASHINGTON -- The State Department is financing a new 24-hour satellite television channel in the turbulent northern region of Nigeria that U.S. officials say is crucial to countering the extremism of radical groups such as Boko Haram.

The new television channel, to be called Arewa24 -- arewa means north in the Hausa language -- is financed by the State Department's Bureau of Counterterrorism, and it is expected to cost about $6 million.

Man held in killing spree

OTTAWA -- A man believed to have fatally shot three Canadian Mounties and wounded two others, putting Moncton, New Brunswick, under a virtual siege, was arrested early Friday, the police said.

Justin Bourque, 24, of Moncton is accused of shooting the Mounties on Wednesday evening in what many witnesses characterized as an ambush.

Vodafone hit over privacy

LONDON -- Vodafone Group Plc, the second- largest mobile-phone company, stirred an outcry from privacy groups from the United Kingdom to Italy as it revealed the extent of wiretaps by governments around the world.

In its first law-enforcement disclosure report, Vodafone said 29 governments from Albania to the U.K. asked for access to its network or user data. The requests range from wiretapping, or intercepting calls and messages, to accessing data such as call and Web browsing records, according to the report covering the year through March 31.

Nun wins TV talent show

ROME -- She trilled and thrilled millions of YouTube viewers with songs by Alicia Keys, Cyndi Lauper and Bon Jovi. She belted out a duet with Kylie Minogue, both of them clad in black, albeit with vastly different approaches to style.

And just after midnight Thursday, Sister Cristina Scuccia, the Sicilian singing nun who has become a worldwide sensation, won the second edition of the TV talent competition "The Voice of Italy" after singing a rousing version of "What a Feeling," the Oscar-winning song from the 1983 film "Flashdance."


-- Compiled from news services


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