Phone-hacking detective suspected of news leaks

One of the detectives probing phone hacking at the News of the World tabloid has been arrested on suspicion of leaking information about the inquiry, police said Friday.

A 51-year-old detective constable was arrested at work Thursday on suspicion of “unauthorized disclosure of information,” London police said. The officer has been suspended.

Police would not identify the recipient of the leaked information, but The Guardian — which has had several recent scoops about the hacking inquiry — said it had “no comment to make on the sources of our journalism.” 

PESHAWAR, Pakistan

Mosque suicide bombing targets anti-Taliban elders

A suicide bomber struck worshippers during prayers Friday at a mosque close to the Afghan border, killing 48 people in an attack one official said may have been aimed at anti-Taliban elders praying during the holy month of Ramadan.

Militants have frequently attacked tribesmen who have dared speak up — or raise arms — against them in the border region, where al-Qaida and the Pakistan Taliban have long held sway. Rifts between insurgent factions have also led to mass casualty attacks there.

Pakistan has lost more than 35,000 people in militant violence since 2007, with mosques, markets and hotels all targeted.

But the attack was especially shocking because it came not only on Islam’s holiest day of the week, but also its holiest month, when observant Muslims fast during the daytime and spend extra time in prayer and communal activities.


Food crisis in Horn of Africa affecting 12 million people

More than 300,000 children in the Horn of Africa are severely malnourished “and in imminent risk of dying” because of drought and famine, the head of the U.N. children’s agency said Friday.

The United Nations says tens of thousands of people already have died in Somalia, Kenya, Ethiopia and Djibouti and has warned that the famine hasn’t peaked.

More than 12 million people in the region need food aid, according to the U.N.

“The crisis in the Horn of Africa is a human disaster becoming a human catastrophe,” UNICEF Executive Director Anthony Lake told reporters.

In Somalia alone, he said, 1.4 million children are affected, an estimated 390,000 are suffering from malnutrition, and nearly 140,000 in the south-central region are facing imminent death from “severe acute malnutrition.”

The southern and central parts of Somalia, which are mainly under control of al-Shabab extremists, have been hardest-hit because of the Islamic group’s refusal to allow key humanitarian organizations to deliver aid.

— From news service reports