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Three near-simultaneous car bombs exploded in the northern Iraqi city of Kirkuk on Saturday, killing 21 people and wounding 118, a senior police officer and a doctor said. Two of the bombs exploded near buildings under construction that were used as observation positions by security forces, while the third struck the entrance to a market. In the early days of the onslaught, Iraqi soldiers left their positions in oil-rich Kirkuk province, the capital of which is the city of the same name.
Egypt is to invite Israeli and Palestinian delegations to return to Cairo to resume talks on a long-term truce for Gaza, Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas announced on Saturday. "Egypt is going to invite delegates to return to the negotiating table to consider a long-term truce," Abbas said after talks with his Egyptian counterpart Abdel Fattah al-Sisi. Egypt's foreign ministry, meanwhile, issued a statement calling for "concerned parties to accept a ceasefire of unlimited duration and to resume indirect negotiations in Cairo". A previous round of truce talks collapsed on Tuesday, shattering nine days of calm, as the deadly six-week conflict between Israel and its Islamist foe Hamas resumed.
Iran will not give UN nuclear inspectors access to a military base outside Tehran that they have been seeking to visit since 2005, Defence Minister Hossein Dehgan said on Saturday. Dehgan's comments come just two days before a deadline for Iran to give its response to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) over historic allegations of a military dimension to its nuclear research. "The agency carried out several visits to Parchin (before 2005), took samples and found nothing untoward," Dehgan told the ISNA news agency. "There is therefore no reason for new access to Parchin as nothing new has come up since the last inspections."
By Ted Siefer PORTSMOUTH N.H. (Reuters) - Texas Governor Rick Perry has sought to parlay attention over a felony indictment into a fresh political push in New Hampshire, the crucial presidential primary state where his dismal showing in 2012 led him to drop out of the race. Perry returned to New Hampshire on Friday and Saturday in his first visit to the state since his presidential bid unraveled, laying out his message for a business-friendly government, stronger border security and a more muscular foreign policy. With Congress in recess and President Barack Obama on vacation, Perry has become one of the most talked-about politicians since he was indicted last week on two felony counts of abusing power for trying to force a Democratic district attorney convicted of drunk driving out of office by cutting off funds for an integrity unit in her office. Perry has held news conferences to denounce the indictment and turned his police booking into a campaign-like event, speaking to cheering supporters before and after he posed for a mugshot.
By Nick Carey and Edward McAllister FERGUSON Mo. (Reuters) - Demonstrators in Ferguson, Missouri, on Saturday marked two weeks since a white police officer shot dead an unarmed black teenager, while authorities reported no arrests overnight among the pockets of protesters who marched and chanted in intense heat. The St. Louis suburb has had three consecutive relatively calm nights after daily turmoil since Michael Brown, 18, was shot by Ferguson officer Darren Wilson on Aug. 9. The St. Louis County NAACP chapter plans to march in the afternoon and supporters of the officer plan a fundraiser on Saturday and Sunday at a bar in a nearby community. Groups of protesters numbering about 20 to 30 each marched up and down the streets.
Intruders S01E01: "She Was Provisional" TV pilots can take many different forms, but there are common beats found in nearly every one because their purpose is always the same: to introduce viewers to a show. We usually meet the characters, get a feel for the setting, and discover of whatever conflict will drive the series. Oh, and there's almost always some heavy-handed exposition to help lay out the basics of the show's premise—something that critics love to bitch and moan about because it constitutes telling and not showing. That's why, in theory, I should be ecstatic that the first episode of BBC America's new series Intruders skipped that last element and jumped right into the middle of the action. But alas, that's not the case. You can call me a hypocrite later (God knows I've bemoaned the exposition/"pilotitis" problem several times before), but Intruders' first episode could'e benefited from a bit of explanation. Even just a quick title card with some background on who the Qui Reverti are—you know, before the opening scene in which a young girl slit her wrists after writing a letter to a boy named Gary Fisher that said she wasn't Donna—would've been immensely helpful. As it were, I had to watch "She Was Provisional" several times before I could even begin writing this review. Each time I picked up on more details because I knew what to look for, and what I was listening for, but I suspect that most viewers won't be so generous with their time. A pilot is a show's chance to hook a viewer, and with so options on an ever-growing list of networks, it feels like somewhat of a misstep to drop viewers into the middle of a story as complicated as this one with zero explanation and hope they're left feeling intrigued rather than confused. It's frustrating—and yet, I also understand the show's desire to be opaque at the outset. However, I'm not sure Intruders, which is based on Michael Marshall Smith's novel The Intruders, is as clever or well-written as it needs to be to warrant that sort of mystery. At the heart of the series is the Qui Reverti, a secret society whose name roughly translates to "who's returned." Its members—which include James Frain playing yet another bad guy—chase immortality by seeking refuge in the bodies of others. Our entry point to the story came through John Simm's Jack Whelan, a former Los Angeles cop who wrote a book titled Afterlife and then relocated with his wife Amy (Mira Sorvino) to the Pacific Northwest (of course) in search of a quieter life. When Amy went missing the day after her birthday, it was Jack's search for clues that drew us into the story. The mysterious way in which Amy seemingly vanished—she left for a hotel in Seattle, never checked in, and dumped her cell phone in a cab—was suspicious enough, but she also wasn't acting like herself in the days leading up to her disappearance. And by the time Jack discovered her absence, we viewers were already aware that the woman who'd gone missing wasn't actually Amy. Indeed, she had displayed the telltale characteristics associated with the Qui Reverti piggybacking on another body: Her pupils were blown, she was acting weird (she was really into jazz all of a sudden, as if she'd been watching the Homeland credit sequence on repeat), and her strange behavior and the timing of her departure coincided with her birthday. But what's more interesting than Amy's disappearance is 9-year-old Maddie (a surprisingly adept Millie Brown). She's unwillingly hosting an Intruder named Marcus, and that douche-nozzle strangled Maddie's cat in a scene where Maddie and Marcus struggled for control of Maddie's body. Then, Frain's Richard Shepherd stalked and attempted to kill Maddie/Marcus for reasons I still don't understand—but Maddie was able to convince him to spare her/them. But by episode's end, Marcus had won the battle for control, and he called up Shepherd with a baffling threat: "You brought me back too early," he said in one of the hour's most confounding moments. My complaint about Intruders' debut isn't that viewers won't be able to understand that these characters are not themselves—that's pretty obvious. It's that we don't know anything else about WTF is going on, and after watching "She Was Provisional," it's still not clear why we should care to stick around and find out. The episode was full of questions and zero answers. Why and how do the Qui Reverti hitch rides inside other people? And why do they appear to have a limited life in said bodies? Furthermore, why is Shepherd, who appears to be a member of the society, killing them? Do the human bodies have to die before Intruders can be released and jump into a new body? And just what does any of this have to do with the number nine, which was present throughout the pilot: It was on Shepherd's cool-looking business card that he left with the Qui Reverti when it was time to get the hell out of Dodge, it was the number on Maddie's birthday cake, and it flashed behind Oz's head (more on Oz in a second) when Shepherd met up with him in Reno. The show is certainly using the digit in a symbolic way, but I don't know if it's supposed to represent something like the nine lives of a cat, or if the producers just thought it looked cool. There's also the question of how any (or all) of this stuff is connected to former-cop-with-a-newly-missing-wife Jack, whose BFF in high school was Gary Fisher (Tory Kittles), the same boy to whom Donna—the girl in the cold open—wrote her suicide note. Fisher is now the executor for the late family of Bill Anderson, an acoustics engineering professor at the University of Washington who is (or was) studying sound frequencies that the human ear can't process. As far as I can tell, Shepherd went looking for Bill—who's currently missing—because Bill discovered that said frequencies hold the secret to immortality. When Shepherd could only find Bill's family and they weren't very helpful in directing him to Bill, Shepherd killed Bill's family and then set out for Reno in search of the the aforementioned Oz. Oz was a wackadoodle dude who broadcasted conspiracy theories from his van, which he naturally described as being "everywhere and nowhere." But he apparently knew about Bill's sound-frequency research/immortality theories, which was enough to get him shot once Shepherd caught up with him. So, yeah. There's a lot of confusing stuff going on. And even though some viewers might be curious enough to tune in for Episode 2 with the hopes of discovering how all of these seemingly unrelated events are connected, I think it's far more likely they'll be quoting the Man of Mystery instead: "Whoopty do! What does it all mean?" INTRUDING THOUGHTS – Why is James Frain always cast as a bad guy? He plays them well, with convincing menace and all that, but you'd think he'd be tired of the typecasting. I can think of exactly one good guy he's played: Forney in Where the Heart Is (a.k.a. that movie where Natalie Portman had a baby in a Walmart). What gives? – John Simm joins David Tennant ( Gracepoint) and Karen Gillan ( Selfie) in the "We're Not Really American!" club. What did you think of his accent? It sounded weird to me, but I can't tell if I'm just used to his natural speaking voice and my brain has trouble reconciling the two Simms in my head. – That's Bear McCreary doing the moody score. If you still don't know who McCreary is, please rectify that immediately. He's brought his unique sound to Battlestar Galactica, The Walking Dead, and Outlander, among other things. – How do you call unknown numbers? THEY ARE UNKNOWN. thekaitling:list:intruders-will-you-stick-around-for-episode-2/
A senior member of the Central African Republic's Seleka rebel movement has criticised the country's new government just a day after it was unveiled, in a potential blow for peace. The new government unveiled Friday represents a fresh attempt to put an end to more than a year of ethnic and religious bloodshed that has killed thousands and forced around a million from their homes. It includes representatives from rival armed groups that have been fighting each other, in a bid to bring them back into the mainstream -- three from the mainly Muslim Seleka group and two from the majority-Christian 'anti-balaka' militias. Seleka "did not appoint anyone to represent it in the new government formed by Prime Minister Mahamat Kamoun," Mohamed Moussa Dhaffane said.
Sebastian Vettel blamed a lack of power from his Renault engine for the massive gap between his third placed Red Bull and the two Mercedes on the front row of the grid for Sunday’s Belgian Grand Prix. The four-time world champion was 2.126 seconds adrift of pole-man Nico Rosberg and 1.898 seconds behind Lewis Hamilton. “The reason we're behind is fairly simple," said Vettel. Mercedes can run a bit more wing level, they have more down-force and can still take that wing on the straight – it’s the reason.
Iceland raised its alert over the nation's largest volcano to red on Saturday, banning all air traffic in the area, after detecting a small eruption. A major explosion at the Bardarbunga volcano could signal a replay of the global travel chaos triggered when another peak blew four years ago, creating a massive ash cloud across Europe. "There is an ongoing eruption beneath the glacial surface, probably a small eruption which has not been able to melt the ice cap," Met Office official Theodor Hervasson said. The authorities earlier this week evacuated tourists and hikers from the area around Bardarbunga, which kicked into seismic action on Monday with the biggest earthquake registered since 1996.
An Egyptian court sentenced five men to death on Saturday for the murder in January of a policeman on duty at a church just outside Cairo. Militant groups have been targeting security forces since a bloody police crackdown on supporters of former Islamist president Mohamed Morsi following his overthrow in a military coup in July 2013. Saturday's death sentences, set by a criminal court in Giza province, will be either confirmed or overturned in a final verdict due on September 20.