Car bomb kills 2 at restaurant in Mogadishu, Somali police say

Los Angeles Times

A Somali police officer says a car bomb blew up at the entrance of a restaurant in the Somali capital of Mogadishu, killing two people. Mohamed Hussein said the blast Saturday occurred at the Blue Sky restaurant close to the presidential palace. There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the bombing, but the Islamic extremist group of Shabab often carries out such attacks. Shabab, Al Qaeda's East African affiliate, is fighting to impose a strict version of Islam in this Horn of Africa nation. Despite losing a lot of ground in recent years, the extremist group continues to carry out lethal attacks in many parts of the country, especially in the capital.


Mega-Hurricane Matthew downgraded to a Category 4 storm

Los Angeles Times

Hurricane Matthew has been downgraded to a Category 4 storm as it continues roaring across the Caribbean Sea on a course that puts Jamaica, as well as parts of Haiti and Cuba, in the path of its potentially devastating winds and rain. The U.S. National Hurricane Center called it the strongest Atlantic hurricane since Felix in 2007, and said Matthew will be approaching Jamaica late Sunday night. It is expected to reach the eastern part of the island on Monday. Jamaicans began clearing out store shelves as they stocked up emergency supplies and Prime Minister Andrew Holness on Friday called an urgent meeting of Parliament to discuss preparations for the storm. "I left work to pick up a few items, candles, tin stuff, bread," 41-year-old Angella Wage said at a crowded store in the Half Way Tree area of the capital, Kingston.


Marijuana labs spawn lethal explosions across the country

Los Angeles Times

An explosion that destroyed a New York City home and killed a veteran firefighter has drawn attention to marijuana-making methods that are legal in many states -- but can also be lethal. A New York fire battalion chief died responding to the blast Tuesday in a Bronx home that authorities say had been converted into an indoor marijuana farm. They're investigating whether the alleged growers tampered with gas lines and mishandled other materials in ways that caused the explosion. Indoor marijuana farmers can create potential fire hazards by using natural gas, propane or butane to power carbon dioxide generators that make the plants grow. In recent years across the country, similar methods used to produce more potent marijuana extracts have resulted in explosions and other catastrophes.


Six-year-old boy dies days after South Carolina school shooting

Los Angeles Times

A coroner says a 6-year-old boy has died days after he was critically wounded in a school shooting in South Carolina. Anderson County Coroner Greg Shore said Jacob Hall died about 1 p.m. Saturday. Jacob had been fighting for his life at a hospital since the shooting Wednesday at Townville Elementary School. A bullet struck Hall in a main artery in his leg, causing massive bleeding. Authorities say another student and a first-grade teacher were also shot when a 14-year-old boy opened fire on a playground.


Indian and Pakistani troops exchange fire in Kashmir

Los Angeles Times

Indian and Pakistani troops fired at each other in disputed Kashmir on Monday, as Indian troops searched an army camp elsewhere in the region where suspected militants killed an Indian paramilitary soldier. Indian army Lt. Col. Manish Mehta said Pakistani troops fired without provocation using small arms and mortar shells in the Poonch sector of the Line of Control separating the Indian- and Pakistani-controlled parts of Kashmir. Pakistan's army said in a statement that its troops were responding to unprovoked firing by Indian soldiers. Both sides said the exchange of fire was continuing. In Islamabad, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif met with the leaders of all Pakistani political parties to discuss the ongoing clashes.