IS suicide bomber in deadly strike on Saudi Shiite mosque
An Islamic State group suicide bomber attacked a Shiite mosque in Sunni-ruled Saudi Arabia on Friday, killing and wounding several people in an assault that threatens to fan sectarian tensions. The bomber struck during the main weekly prayers in Eastern Province, where assailants linked to the Sunni extremist IS killed seven members of the minority Shiite community in November. The interior ministry said a suicide bomber detonated a bomb at the mosque in Kudeih, in the Shiite-majority city of Qatif, the official SPA news agency reported.
IS cements grip on Iraq-Syria border in jihadist surge
A suicide bomber from the extremist Sunni IS also attacked a Shiite mosque in Saudi Arabia, raising sectarian tensions in the region. The jihadists, who now control roughly half of Syria, reinforced their self-declared transfrontier "caliphate" by seizing Syria's Al-Tanaf crossing on the Damascus-Baghdad highway late Thursday. It was the last regime-held border crossing with Iraq.
Traders keep bets on first Fed rate hike in December
(Reuters) - U.S. short-term interest-rate futures contracts added to losses on Friday as Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen signaled the U.S central bank was on track to raise rates this year as a disappointing start to 2015 gives way to a stronger economy. The futures contracts show that traders see a 61 percent chance that the first Fed rate hike will come this December, based on CME FedWatch, which tracks rate hike expectations using its Fed funds futures contracts.
Turnout solid as Ireland votes in gay marriage
Turnout was reported to be high in Ireland's referendum Friday on whether same-sex marriage should become legal, a vote which has exposed deep divisions in the traditionally Catholic nation. "It's a very historic day, for Ireland, for gay people and for their family and for their friends, and for the future of the country," said Seamus Wright, who went to vote in central Dublin with his partner John O'Sullivan. At a polling station in the south Dublin suburb of Milltown, Rachael Stanley, 60, said she voted "No" and felt "strongly about it".
'Live Earth' global climate change concerts delayed
Organisers of Live Earth, a set of global concerts backed by Al Gore aimed at pushing for urgent action on climate change, announced a delay Friday, weeks before the scheduled date. Live Earth had intended shows on each inhabited continent for June 18 featuring more than 100 artists to raise pressure for a strong agreement at a UN-led climate conference in Paris at the end of the year. Representatives, however, said that no events would take place that day, and instead a free concert would be held near the Eiffel Tower in Paris sometime in the autumn.