LONDON – The flamboyant, divisive Boris Johnson took a commanding lead Thursday in the contest to become Britain's next prime minister, winning by far the largest share of support in the first round of voting by Conservative Party lawmakers.
Johnson, a former foreign secretary and leading Brexit campaigner, secured 114 of the 313 votes cast by Conservatives in the House of Commons, a ballot that reduced the field of candidates from 10 to seven.
Suicide bomber kills 9 Afghans
A suicide bomber walked up to an Afghan police vehicle in Jalalabad, the capital of eastern Nangarhar province, and detonated an explosive device that killed three police and six civilians on Thursday, said provincial health department official Shoaib Sahak. He said an additional 13 people were wounded, some of the seriously.
The Islamic State group, through its Amaq news agency, claimed responsibility for the suicide attack. Afghanistan's security forces come under near-daily attacks by both Taliban and IS-affiliated fighters. Afghan forces have suffered staggering casualties in recent years, even as the Taliban hold peace talks with U.S. Peace Envoy Zalmay Khalilzad.
Knox returns to Italy for 1st time
Amanda Knox, a former American exchange student who became the focus of a sensational murder case, arrived in Italy Thursday for the first time since an appeals court acquitted her in 2011 in the slaying of her British roommate.
Knox arrived at Milan's Linate airport en route to the northern city of Modena, where she is scheduled to participate Saturday in a panel discussion on wrongful convictions.
The 2007 killing of Knox's roommate, 21-year-old Meredith Kercher, in the university town of Perugia attracted global attention, especially after suspicion fell on the photogenic Knox and her boyfriend, Raffaele Sollecito. Knox's October 2011 acquittal – following a lower court conviction that brought a 26-year prison sentence – was one step in the long legal process that saw multiple flip-flop rulings before she and Sollecito were definitively acquitted in 2015 by Italy's highest court.
Ebola death show stracking problem
The Congolese pastor who is thought to have caused the Ebola outbreak's spread into Uganda was unknown to health officials before he died of the disease, the World Health Organization's emergencies chief said Thursday. That underlines the problems in tracking the virus as a WHO expert panel today discusses whether to declare a global health emergency.
As a third relative of the pastor found infected in Uganda died, Dr. Mike Ryan told The Associated Press he did not believe the man had been on any list of high-risk Ebola contacts that health workers use to track infections and contain the outbreak. The three family members became infected with Ebola when they traveled from Uganda to Congo to visit him.
Abducted reporter rescued in Mexico
A kidnapped journalist was rescued by security forces in the Gulf coast state of Veracruz hours after he was taken by armed men outside his home, Mexican officials and the journalist said Thursday.
Police said in a statement that they intercepted a suspicious vehicle traveling down a dirt road late Wednesday and a shootout ensued between officers and three apparent captors, who escaped on foot. Reporter Marcos Miranda Cogco was discovered tied up in the back of the car.