29 July 2013
 Last updated at 09:15 GMT

Iraq violence: Wave of deadly car bombs targets Shias

A wave of car bombs has killed at least 48 people in mostly Shia areas of the Iraqi capital, Baghdad, and in other cities around the country.

More than 100 people were wounded in the attacks, police and medics said.

More than 2,500 Iraqis have died in attacks since April, the UN says – with violence at its highest since 2008.

The spike comes amid heightened Shia-Sunni tensions. Sunnis say they are being marginalised by Prime Minister Nouri Maliki’s Shia-led government.

The Baghdad bombs, hidden in parked cars, hit markets and car parks in several areas of the city, police say.

The water tank, the Banksy prank, and the later life of the ‘elephant man’ Tachowa Covington

Tim Walker tracks down the man forced out of his makeshift home by a few strokes of the brush – and discovers the extraordinary efforts by the street artist to make amends

In late February 2011, Banksy, the secretive British street artist, was in Los Angeles to promote his Oscar-nominated film, Exit Through the Gift Shop. Sometime during his visit, he spotted an odd structure high on a hillside facing the Pacific Ocean – an old, abandoned water tank. White, cylindrical and as long as a bus, the tank was raised off the ground on stilts, with a large tap protruding from one end, which made it look a bit like an elephant. So Banksy climbed up and sprayed a caption along its side: “This looks a bit like an elephant.”

Hours later, a photograph of the tank appeared on his website, Banksy.co.uk. Knowing he was in LA, the artist’s fans quickly confirmed its location, overlooking the Pacific Coast Highway (PCH) between Santa Monica and Malibu. Before long, they flocked to see the tank for themselves.

Opposition leader Rainsy rejects Hun Sen’s Cambodia election win

July 29, 2013 – 2:39PM

Lindsay Murdoch

South-East Asia correspondent for Fairfax Media

Cambodia’s opposition has rejected a claim by  Prime Minister Hun Sen that he has won Sunday’s national elections, demanding an investigation into fraud and vote rigging allegations.

As tensions escalated over the shock loss of at least 29 seats by Mr Hun’s Cambodian People’s Party (CPP), key opposition leader Sam Rainsy called for an urgent committee to be set up to investigate complaints.

Hun Sen has dominated Cambodia’s politics for 28 years. 

‘‘We cannot accept the results. The results do not reflect the will of the people,’’ Mr Rainsy told journalists.

Tunisia government meets as protesters demand Islamists go

Sapa-AFP | 29 July, 2013 10:45

Tunisia’s Islamist-led government gathered in emergency meeting Monday as protesters demanding its ouster dug in outside parliament after another night of protests.

Tensions have spiralled in Tunisia since the murder on Thursday of opposition MP Mohamed Brahmi, the second anti-Islamist figure gunned down in six months.

Many Tunisians blame the government for the two killings, particularly for failing to rein in radical Islamists accused of a wave of attacks since strongman Zine El Abidine Ben Ali was toppled in a popular uprising in 2011.

The government led by Ennahda Islamist party was due to begin crucial talks at 0800 GMT.

Bananas thrown at Italy’s first black minister Cecile Kyenge

By Holly Yan, Lauren Russell and Boriana Milanova, CNN
July 29, 2013 — Updated 0049 GMT (0849 HKT)

Racist taunts against Italy’s first black minister, Cecile Kyenge, took another ugly turn over the weekend when someone hurled bananas at her during a rally.

Kyenge’s appointment as Italy’s minister of integration three months ago isn’t sitting well with right-wing radicals whose racial slurs and antics have overshadowed her tenure.

The banana incident is just the latest.

It took place Friday in Cervia, where Kyenge was speaking to supporters. A man popped up out of the crowd and launched two bananas toward the podium, Kyenge spokesman Cosimo Torlo said.

The bananas fell short of the stage, landing between the first and second row of spectators.

U.S. allowed Italian kidnap prosecution to shield higher-ups, ex-CIA officer says

A former CIA officer has broken the U.S. silence around the 2003 abduction of a radical Islamist cleric in Italy, charging that the agency inflated the threat the preacher posed and that the United States then allowed Italy to prosecute her and other Americans to shield President George W. Bush and other U.S. officials from responsibility for approving the operation.

Confirming for the first time that she worked undercover for the CIA in Milan when the operation took place, Sabrina De Sousa provided new details about the “extraordinary rendition” that led to the only criminal prosecution stemming from the secret Bush administration rendition and detention program launched after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.