Suicide bomber slams car into cafe in Iraq’s capital

A suicide bomber slammed his explosive-laden car Sunday night into a busy cafe in Iraq’s capital, kliing 35 and wounding 45 people, authorities said.

The bombing at the cafe in Baghdad’s primarily Shiite Amil neighborhood happened as it was full of customers. The cafe and a nearby juice shop are favorite hangouts for young people.

Violence has been on the rise in Iraq following a deadly crackdown by security forces on a Sunni protest camp in Hawijah in April. At least 385 have died in attacks in Iraq so far this month, according to an Associated Press count.

KABUL, Afghanistan

Afghan assembly to weigh allowing U.S. to keep bases

An Afghan assembly will decide next month on a proposal that would allow the U.S. military to keep key bases and troops in Afghanistan after 2014, when all foreign combat forces are set to leave.

The Bilateral Security Agreement was at the top of the agenda in Kabul last week in discussions between U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Afghan President Hamid Karzai. During the meeting, Karzai said that only the assembly has the authority to decide on the pact because of a sensitive provision that would continue legal immunity from Afghan law for American troops. Washington has long said that without that immunity, it will withdraw all U.S. troops despite the Taliban’s resurgence.

A similar deal in Iraq fell apart in 2011 when U.S. officials were unable to reach an agreement with the Iraqis on the same issue, prompting the United States to pull its troops out of the country.


Tropical Storm Raymond heads for Mexico’s coast

Tropical Storm Raymond steamed Sunday toward Mexico’s southern Pacific coast, an area already devastated by rains and mudslides from Tropical Storm Manuel last month.

The U.S. National Hurricane Center said Raymond was expected to become a hurricane soon, but predicted it would take a sharp westward turn and head out to sea before it reached land. However, it said the storm might get as close as 50 miles from the coast before turning, bringing the threat of new dangerous rains.

In a region where 10,000 people are still living away from their homes one month after Manuel caused widespread flooding and left landslide risks, officials raced to get emergency teams in place and weighed possible further evacuations.

Mexico condemns spying on presidential emails

Mexico’s government said Sunday it “categorically condemns” email spying, after a German news magazine reported that documents from National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden say the U.S. gained access to the email system of former Mexican President Felipe Calderon.

A report posted by Der Spiegel said the documents describe an operation dubbed “Flat liquid” that claim to have accessed Mexico’s “presidencia” domain, which was also purportedly used by members of Calderon’s Cabinet.

Calderon is now a fellow at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government.

Earlier, a document dated June 2012 indicated the NSA had read current Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto’s emails before he was elected last year.

Pena Nieto has said that would be an illegal act if it occurred, and his administration has demanded an investigation.

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