19 Civilians killed by bomb in Afghanistan


A score of civilians were killed and 30 others injured by a bomb detonated next to their bus, an Afghan police officer told Efe.

The explosion occurred about 6:30 p.m. in the Obe district of the western province of Herat, said the spokesman for the regional police, Abdul Hamid Hamidi, adding that the casualties included women and children.




Pakistan panel blasts gov't incompetence in Bin Laden case


The panel created by Pakistan to investigate how Osama bin Laden was able to live in the country undetected for nine years before his death in a U.S. special forces raid detected "incompetence at almost all levels of government," according to a leaked report disseminated by Al Jazeera.

The Pakistani press reported on the report and printed strongly critical remarks made by the panel regarding different institutions, asking them to "apologize before the nation."

Pakistan's main intelligence agency, ISI, is singled out for its failure to locate the world's most wanted man.

The report also says that civilian authorities and the police received orders that impeded them in doing their work after learning of the May 2, 2011, raid by U.S. Navy SEALs that resulted in the death of the Al Qaeda leader.




Brazil awaits U.S. explanation of spying


Brazil continues to await an explanation from Washington after revelations that the United States has collected and stored the e-mail and telephone records of millions of Brazilians, Foreign Minister Antonio Patriota said here.

"A formal request for clarification has been transmitted and we still await a formal response," he said during a joint press conference in Brasilia with visiting Uruguayan counterpart Luis Almagro.

One of Brazil's leading newspapers, O Globo, published in its Sunday edition an expose of U.S. surveillance efforts in the South American country.




Placido Domingo hospitalized for pulmonary embolism


Spanish tenor Placido Domingo remains in a Madrid hospital, where he is being treated for a pulmonary embolism, the Royal Theater reported.

While the 72-year-old artist "is being successfully treated," the illness will prevent him from singing Daniel Catan's opera "Il postino" at the Plaza de Oriente coliseum, a production in which Domingo was to have portrayed Chilean poet Pablo Neruda.

Domingo is expected to make a full recovery, although, "on the orders of his doctor, he will have to remain under ... supervision and rest for three to four weeks."




Former Fukushima plant boss dies of cancer


Masao Yoshida, who remained at his post as director of Japan's Fukushima nuclear plant throughout the catastrophic breakdown caused by an earthquake and tsunami, has died of cancer. He was 58.

Yoshida, who stepped down just nine months after the accident to be able to receive treatment for cancer of the esophagus, passed away at a Tokyo hospital, NHK said.

He directed operations inside the nuclear center from the time that the alarm sounded to warn of the devastating tsunami - with its waves up to 15 meters (49 feet) high - that on March 11, 2011, paralyzed the nuclear reactors' cooling systems and unleashed the worst atomic crisis since Chernobyl in 1986.




Business group says Mexico elections were marred by irregularities


Vote buying and other irregularities occurred during the elections held over the weekend in Mexico, the Business Confederation of the Mexican Republic, or Coparmex, said.

Election observers reported "acts indicative of vote buying" in Tamaulipas, Veracruz, Coahuila, Baja California and Puebla states, Coparmex president Juan Pablo Castañon said.

"Situations were observed in which votes were exchanged for money, merry-go-round operations (in which voters take ballots with them to be marked and cast by someone else later) and the handing out of food around election precincts," Castañon said.

Observers in Sinaloa, Veracruz, Baja California, Chihuahua and Tamaulipas states spotted procedural irregularities, such as "votes cast with no identification, ink that did not stay on, failure to open precincts and the presence of party propaganda near the voting booths," Castañon said.




Colombia extradites "last kingpin" to U.S.


Colombian authorities handed over to U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration agents the man regarded as the Andean nation's "last kingpin."

Two police officers escorted Daniel "El Loco" Barrera when he was exhibited to the media, a session during which he said nothing, and afterwards they accompanied him to a van which took him to Bogota's international airport.

U.S. federal courts in New York and Florida are asking for his extradition on charges of criminal conspiracy and drug trafficking, deeming him responsible for sending to their country hundreds of tons of cocaine over at least two decades.




Death toll in Canada train explosion at 15, could reach 65


Canadian police raised to 15 the death toll in the derailment and explosion of a train carrying petroleum in the little town of Lac-Megantic but said that 65 people may have died in the disaster since 50 are still missing.

The Quebec Provincial Police (PPQ), which is in charge of the investigation of the accident, also said that they have evidence leading them to believe that the derailment early Saturday morning could be the result of a criminal act.

PPQ spokesman Michel Forger said that he did not want to speculate on the evidence in question and added that the remains of many of the missing people may never be recovered, so great was the destruction in town from the blast and fire.

After the derailment of part of the train made up of five locomotives and 72 cistern cars each loaded with 100 tons of petroleum, several of the cars burst into flames and the fire spread to the surrounding buildings in the center of town, including a crowded bar, destroying dozens of them.