World News | WRHL World News 2015-04-18T11:42:01Z World News Afghanistan suicide blast kills 33, targets government workers By Rafiq Sherzad JALALABAD, Afghanistan (Reuters) - A suicide bomb blast in Afghanistan's eastern city of Jalalabad killed 33 people and injured more than 100 on Saturday outside a bank where government workers collect salaries, the city's police chief said. Police were investigating whether there was a second explosion after people rushed to the scene to help, the police chief, Fazel Ahmad Sherzad, told a news conference. "It is early to say what kind of suicide bomber." Taliban insurgents denied responsibility. Russia denies German report it is ready to sign gas deal with Greece MOSCOW/BERLIN (Reuters) - Russia denied on Saturday a German media report suggesting that it could sign a gas pipeline deal with Greece as early as Tuesday which could bring up to five billion euros into Athens' depleted state coffers. German magazine Der Spiegel, citing a senior figure in Greece's ruling Syriza party, said the advance funds could "turn the page" for Athens, which is now struggling to reach a deal with its creditors to unlock new loans to avert bankruptcy. "No, there wasn't (any agreement)," said Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov, in comments made to Business FM radio and quoted by RIA news agency. Peskov reiterated that the Greeks had not requested financial assistance during talks in the Kremlin earlier this month between Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras and Russian President Vladimir Putin. Iraqi forces retake most of Iraq's largest refinery: officials Iraqi forces retook most of the country's largest refinery from Islamic State on Saturday, security officials said, reversing gains by the militants who seized parts of the sprawling complex this week. The insurgents attacked Iraq's Baiji refinery a week ago by blasting through the security perimeter around it and taking over several installations, including storage tanks. A spokesman for Iraq's counterterrorism forces told Reuters troops protecting the refinery had now retaken most facilities, although there were still small pockets of insurgents left on the site. Iraqi forces retook Baiji refinery from militants once before last November, but lost control of it again. Car bomb kills three outside U.S. consulate in Iraq's Kurdish capital By Isabel Coles ERBIL (Reuters) - A car bombing claimed by the Islamic State killed three people on Friday outside the U.S. consulate in Erbil, in a relatively rare attack in the capital of Iraq's Kurdistan region. No U.S. personnel were hurt in the blast, according to the U.S. State Department, which said a "vehicle-borne improvised explosive device" exploded right outside the entrance to the heavily fortified compound. Iraq's Kurdish region is an important partner for the U.S.-led coalition in its campaign to "degrade and destroy" the Islamic State group, which overran large parts of Iraq last summer and threatened to reach Erbil. South Africa's Zuma visits immigrants displaced by anti-foreigner violence South Africa's President Jacob Zuma on Saturday canceled a state visit to Indonesia to deal with a wave of anti-immigrant violence at home and promised peace to those who wished to remain in Africa's most advanced economy. The unrest which began in the port city Durban two weeks ago and spread to Johannesburg, Africa's economic hub, appeared to have died down on Saturday as police patrolled trouble spots. "We are certainly going to stop the violence," Zuma told hundreds of displaced African immigrants at a camp in Chatsworth, south of Durban, in a speech televised on eNCA. Thousands of foreigners have sought refuge in camps set up in Johannesburg and Durban and the governments of Zimbabwe and Malawi began bussing their nationals back home. Assailant opens fire on pro-Kurdish party office in Turkey An unidentified gunman fired shots at the headquarters of Turkey's main pro-Kurdish party on Saturday, but there were no casualties in an attack the party and the government described as a provocation ahead of a June parliamentary election. The Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) said in a statement the attacker had opened fire with a pump-action shotgun from a passing vehicle on its headquarters in the capital Ankara, damaging the building and the flags hung outside it. "Those who think they can stop or intimidate us with such provocations will see they are mistaken," the HDP said in a written statement. "We warn the government to achieve election security and expect the perpetrators to be caught immediately." Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Yalcin Akdogan condemned the attack and also described it as a provocation. Djokovic downs Nadal to reach Monte Carlo Masters final MONACO (AP) — Top-ranked Novak Djokovic overcame a strong challenge from Rafael Nadal to reach the Monte Carlo Masters final with a 6-3, 6-3 win Saturday. Bayern closes in Bundesliga title with win over Hoffenheim BERLIN (AP) — Shinji Kagawa sealed the victory as Borussia Dortmund began coach Juergen Klopp's farewell with a 3-0 defeat of Paderborn in the Bundesliga, while Bayern Munich won 2-0 at Hoffenheim on Saturday. Indonesia suspends soccer association JAKARTA, Indonesia (AP) — The Indonesian government suspended the country's official football association Saturday in a lingering dispute over club ownership. Top Asian News at 3:30 p.m. GMT FAIZABAD, Afghanistan (AP) — A motorcycle-riding suicide bomber attacked a bank branch Saturday in eastern Afghanistan, killing at least 35 people in a deadly attack the country's president said was claimed by the Islamic State group. The attack marks a major escalation in the country's fight against an affiliate of the extremist group that now holds a third of Iraq and Syria in its self-declared caliphate. It also comes as Afghan security forces fight against the Taliban after U.S. and NATO forces ended their combat mission in the country at the start of the year, yet another challenge for the war-ravaged nation. Afghan suicide bombing blamed on Islamic State kills 35 FAIZABAD, Afghanistan (AP) — A motorcycle-riding suicide bomber attacked a bank branch Saturday in eastern Afghanistan, killing at least 35 people in a deadly attack the country's president said was claimed by the Islamic State group. After Israeli elections, US Zionists cast votes of their own NEW YORK (AP) — Call it the other Israel election. Iraqi soldiers enter refinery amid Islamic State attacks BAGHDAD (AP) — Iraqi soldiers surrounded and entered the country's biggest oil refinery Saturday, which has been besieged for days by Islamic State militants, a senior official said. Saudi vows to cover UN aid call for Yemen, keeps up air raids Saudi Arabia pledged Saturday to cover the entire $274 million in humanitarian aid sought by the UN for conflict-torn Yemen, where a Saudi-led coalition has been bombing Shiite rebels for three weeks. The United Nations says hundreds of people have died and thousands of families fled their homes in the war, which has also killed six Saudi security personnel in border skirmishes. Saudi King Salman ordered the humanitarian pledge following a United Nations appeal on Friday for $274 million (253 million euros) in emergency assistance for the millions affected by Yemen's war. The kingdom "stands with its Yemeni brothers" and hopes for "the restoration of security and stability", the state Saudi Press Agency said, quoting an official statement. South Africa faces crisis over anti-immigrant attacks JOHANNESBURG (AP) — South Africa's president on Saturday canceled a foreign trip in order to deal with a wave of attacks on immigrants that have killed at least six people. In the latest violence, mobs attacked shops owned by foreign nationals in a poor area of Johannesburg. One million booked for Turin shroud's return to public view The Turin Shroud goes on display for the first time in five years on Sunday with more than a million people already booked in to view one of Christianity's most celebrated relics. Devotees believe the shroud, which is imprinted with the image of a man who appears to have been crucified, to be the burial cloth of Jesus Christ. Pope asks Europe to do more for migrants flooding into Italy ROME (AP) — Pope Francis joined Italy in pressing the European Union Saturday to do more to help the country cope with rapidly mounting numbers of desperate people rescued in the Mediterranean during journeys on smugglers' boats to flee war, persecution or poverty. Serena Williams holds off Giorgi but Italy-US tied at 1-1 BRINDISI, Italy (AP) — Top-ranked Serena Williams overcame a stiff challenge in the opening set for a 7-6 (5), 6-2 win over Italy's Camila Giorgi on Saturday in a Fed Cup World Group playoff. IS claims deadly Afghan suicide attack: President Ghani The Islamic State group claimed responsibility for a suicide attack in Afghanistan Saturday that killed 33 people and wounded more than 100 others, President Ashraf Ghani said, in what appears to be the first major attack by the jihadists in the country. Ghani's government has repeatedly raised the ominous prospect of IS making inroads into Afghanistan, though the group that has captured swathes of territory in Syria and Iraq has never formally acknowledged having a presence in Afghanistan. The Taliban have seen defections to the group in recent months, with some self-styled IS insurgents voicing their disaffection with their one-eyed supreme leader Mullah Omar, who has not been seen since the 2001 US-led invasion of Afghanistan. Armour III takes Greater Gwinnett lead with first-round 67 ATLANTA (AP) — Tommy Armour III birdied his last two holes to take the lead at 5-under 67 on Saturday in the rain-delayed first round of the Champions Tour's Greater Gwinnett Championship. Fed Cup: Netherlands and Australia 1-1 'S-HERTOGENBOSCH, Netherlands (AP) — Casey Dellacqua, a late replacement for the injured Samantha Stosur, beat Arantxa Rus in straight sets to draw Australia level with the Netherlands after the first day Saturday of their Fed Cup World Group playoff. Somali Shebab kill Puntland lawmaker Somalia's Shebab shot dead a lawmaker in the capital Mogadishu on Saturday, the latest in a string of assassinations of politicians in the war-torn country. Adan Haji Hussein, an MP in the semi-autonomous northern Puntland region, was killed on the streets of the capital Mogadishu, where he was visiting, a Shebab spokesman told AFP. "Our commandos shot and killed Adan for being a member of the apostate adminstration," Abdulaziz Abu Musab said. Omar Dalha, a fellow MP, confirmed the killing and called on the government to investigate the murder. Nepal marks anniversary of deadliest Everest avalanche KATHMANDU, Nepal (AP) — Nepal on Saturday marked the anniversary of Mount Everest's deadliest avalanche with a memorial and a government announcement that it will set up a welfare fund for mountaineering and trekking workers in the Himalayan nation. Losing return for Hingis in Fed Cup playoffs ZIELONA GORA, Poland (AP) — Five-time Grand Slam champion Martina Hingis played and lost her first competitive singles match since 2007 as Switzerland and Poland tied 1-1 on the first day of the Fed Cup World Group playoff on Saturday. Palestinian driver deliberately killed Israeli: police A Palestinian driver deliberately rammed his car into a Jerusalem bus stop this week and killed an Israeli man in a "horrible attack", police chief Yohanan Danino said on Saturday. Shalom Yohai Cherki, 26, and Shira Klein, 20, were seriously injured in the attack on the bus stop in Israeli-annexed Arab east Jerusalem. Cherki, the son of prominent rabbi Ouri Cherki who is well known in the city's francophone community, died of his injuries on Thursday morning and was buried later that day. The driver, a 37-year-old Palestinian from east Jerusalem, who was also hurt, was arrested and interrogated by police. 700 Liberian Ebola workers protest for hazard pay "We took risks so we deserve our benefits," demonstrators chanted as the protest began Friday, when they disrupted a ceremony during which French charity Medecins Sans Frontieres (Doctors Without Borders) was to hand over management of Liberia's main Ebola unit to the government. The workers hired by MSF, which has been in the forefront of the battle against the west African epidemic, on Saturday again blocked the entrance to Liberia's -- and the world's -- biggest Ebola facility. The Ebola Treatment Unit, known as ELWA 3, has more than 400 beds and a work force including 700 healthcare workers hired by MSF. It was the country's reference facility during the height of the Ebola epidemic in Liberia, which has recorded no new cases in several weeks. Ghana's Hearts show they are not 'money-wasters' Ghanaians Hearts of Oak proved they are not "money-wasters" with a 2-1 weekend win at Malians Djoliba to stake a strong claim for a CAF Confederation Cup play-offs place. Gilbert Fiamenyo and Paul Acquah scored second-half goals for the heavily criticised Accra outfit in a last-16 first-leg clash before Issiaka Diarra reduced arrears from a penalty in Bamako. It was the fourth victory in five CAF outings this season for the 'Phobians', who were severely criticised by former captain Jacob Nettey before the preliminary round. Hearts, winners of the maiden Confederation Cup 11 years ago, achieved victory the hard way at Stade Modibo Keita in the Malian capital. Russia gas deal would not solve Greece's problems: Schaeuble German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble said on Saturday he was happy over a report that Greece was poised to sign a gas deal with Russia, though he added it would not solve the cash-strapped euro zone nation's economic problems. "I am happy about that for Greece," Schaeuble told journalists on the sidelines of the spring meetings of the International Monetary Fund and World Bank in Washington. German magazine Der Spiegel, citing a senior official in Greece's ruling leftist Syriza party, reported that Athens could sign a gas deal with Russia as early as Tuesday that could bring 3-5 billion euros into the Greece's depleted government coffers. It said that during a visit to Moscow earlier this month Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras expressed interest in participating in a pipeline that would bring Russian gas to Europe via Turkey and Greece. Jamaica police charge teen with murder in killing of baby KINGSTON, Jamaica (AP) — Authorities in Jamaica have charged a teenager with murder in the recent fatal shooting of an 11-month-old baby. Yemen militia says it is besieging rebels at strategic base SANAA, Yemen (AP) — Militiamen loyal to Yemen's embattled president besieged an air base once crucial to the U.S. drone program targeting al-Qaida militants in the country, trying to dislodge the Shiite rebels holding the complex, a spokesman said. Island-wide power outage hits US Virgin Islands CHARLOTTE AMALIE, U.S. Virgin Islands (AP) — Officials in the U.S. Virgin Islands say there has been a power blackout in the entire three-island territory. Czech Republic leads France 2-0 in Fed Cup semis OSTRAVA, Czech Republic (AP) — Defending champion Czech Republic took a commanding 2-0 lead over France in the Fed Cup World Group semifinals after Lucie Safarova and Petra Kvitova won the opening singles matches on Saturday. Hamilton leads the way after Bahrain GP final practice Series leader and world champion Lewis Hamilton narrowly topped the times for Mercedes in Saturday's final free practice session for Sunday's Bahrain Grand Prix. The 30-year-old Briton was just 0.069 seconds clear of his nearest rival, four-time champion Sebastian Vettel of Ferrari, after a tense session in hot conditions at the Sakhir Circuit where the Italian team confirmed their potential to shine in the sizzling heat. Hamilton's Mercedes team-mate Nico Rosberg was third ahead of Finn Kimi Raikkonen in the second Ferrari, but both were more than three-tenths adrift of the pace-setter. In the dry and windy conditions, Hamilton set his best lap in the final minutes to set up the prospect of a competitive floodlit qualifying session later in the day when Mercedes are expected to improve their engines' and tyres' performance in the cooler conditions. Urawa beats Yokohama 2-1 to take J-League lead SAITAMA, Japan (AP) — Yuki Muto and Tsukasa Umesaki scored late in the first half Saturday as Urawa Reds beat Yokohama F Marinos 2-1 to reclaim the lead of the J-League. UN: Assailants attack convoy, kill 2, wound 1 in north Mali BAMAKO, Mali (AP) — Two assailants attacked a United Nations convoy of civilian workers in northern Mali, killing two and wounding another, the peacekeeping mission said Saturday. Tuktamysheva wins free skate, US claims World Team Trophy TOKYO (AP) — World champion Elizaveta Tuktamysheva of Russia was first in the women's free skate on Saturday but the United States held on to win the World Team Trophy. Rouhani says Iran's military strategy purely defensive Iran's military is purely for defence and should not be seen as a threat in the Middle East, President Hassan Rouhani said Saturday amid rising tension with Saudi Arabia. With a Saudi-led air campaign against Huthi rebels in Yemen putting Tehran, the region's dominant Shiite power, at odds with its Sunni rival Riyadh, Russia this week moved to supply missiles to Iran. Saudi Arabia accuses Iran of arming the Huthis, Yemen's Zaidi Shiite minority which has long complained of marginalisation and has fought several conflicts with central authorities. Kiev lists Russian military units allegedly in Ukraine Ukraine's army chief of staff on Saturday listed for the first time some of the specific Russian military units alleged to be fighting against Kiev alongside pro-Moscow separatists in eastern Ukraine. "Regular Russian army troops are still in Ukraine" despite a ceasefire agreement signed in February which ordered the withdrawal of foreign fighters from the front, Viktor Muzhenko said in an interview published by Ukraine's defence ministry. Fed Cup: Kuznetsova gives Russia 1-0 lead over Germany SOCHI, Russia (AP) — Svetlana Kuznetsova gave Russia a 1-0 lead over Germany in the Fed Cup World Group semifinals Saturday, beating Julia Goerges in straight sets. WRHL 2015-04-18T16:42:01Z