In brief | Nation & world 102113


Iraqi officials: Suicide bombing at cafe in Baghdad neighborhood kills 35, wounds 45

BAGHDAD — A suicide bomber slammed his explosive-laden car Sunday night into a busy cafe in Iraq’s capital, part of a day of violence across the country that killed 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 is a favorite hang out in the neighborhood for young people, who filled the area at the time of the explosions.

The blast killed 35 people and wounded 45, Iraqi officials said.

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

In a village north of Baghdad, a car bomb targeted a police officer’s house, killing his father, brother and five nephews, officials said. Six others were wounded in the blast, which happened when the officer was not at home.

With advent of gay marriage in NJ, some couples still facing issues getting licenses

TRENTON, N.J. — With the advent of same-sex marriage in New Jersey, couples are thrilled and, in many cases, confused about how to proceed.

Advocates and others are claiming that the state of New Jersey did not give ample instructions to town clerks and others on how to administer marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

Same-sex marriages were scheduled to begin Monday at 12:01 a.m. The New Jersey Supreme Court last week refused to delay a lower court order for the state to start recognizing marriages. The case, however, is still on appeal.

Several couples planned to marry minutes after the state began recognizing the unions. Yet other said they had not been able to get a license. New Jersey law requires that couples wait three days between obtaining a license and getting married.

“There’s a lot of mass confusion and it boils down to the fact that the state should have issued guidance a week ago,” said Troy Stevenson, executive director of Garden State Equality.

World talks with Iran expose signs of early rift between US, Israel

JERUSALEM — Just days after the first round of global nuclear talks with Iran, a rift appears to be emerging between Israel and its closest ally, the United States.

Israel’s prime minister on Sunday called on the U.S. to step up the pressure on Iran, even as American officials hinted at the possibility of easing tough economic pressure. Meanwhile, a leading Israeli daily reported the outlines of what could be construed in the West as genuine Iranian compromises in the talks.

The differing approaches could bode poorly for Israel as the talks between six global powers and Iran gain steam in the coming months. Negotiators were upbeat following last week’s talks, and the next round of negotiations is set to begin Nov. 7.

Convinced Iran is pursuing nuclear weapons, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu believes the Iranians are trying to trick the West into easing economic sanctions while still pushing forward with their nuclear program. Iran insists its program is for peaceful purposes.

“I think that in this situation as long as we do not see actions instead of words, the international pressure must continue to be applied and even increased,” Netanyahu told his Cabinet. “The greater the pressure, the greater the chance that there will be a genuine dismantling of the Iranian military nuclear program.”

By wire sources