Suicide bus bomber kills six
A female suicide bomber blew herself up on a city bus in Volgograd on Monday, killing six people and injuring about 30, officials said. The suspected bomber was from the North Caucasus, a region where an Islamic insurgency has been simmering for more than a decade following two separatist wars in Chechnya. A local official said the suspected attacker was married to an Islamic militant. Volgograd lies 650km to the northeast of the North Caucasus. No one immediately claimed responsibility for the suicide bombing, but it was the first outside the North Caucasus since Chechen rebel leader Dokka Umarov three months ago called for a resumption of attacks on civilians.
Hurricane hits Acapulco
Ports were closed, school classes were suspended and hundreds of people were evacuated along the southern Pacific coast on Monday as a major hurricane loomed over a region still recovering from record flooding a few weeks ago. Raymond, a Category 3 hurricane, weakened slightly on Monday night as it hovered about 145km offshore. The hurricane was already dumping steady rain on coastal areas including Acapulco, where storms wrecked homes, roads and cars and stranded tourists last month. By early afternoon, parts of the city were covered with water, its port was closed and many roads were washed out.
Bolshoi dancer to stand trial
Dancer Pavel Dmitrichenko, who made his name on stage at Moscow’s Bolshoi Theater, was to go on trial yesterday for an acid attack that nearly blinded the Bolshoi Ballet’s artistic director, Sergei Filin. Dmitrichenko, 29, is accused of organizing the assault on Filin earlier this year. He and two alleged accomplices could be sentenced to up to 12 years in prison if they are convicted of intentionally causing grievous bodily harm. Filin was returning home on Jan. 17 when a masked assailant threw acid in his face. At a hearing in March, Dmitrichenko admitted he had wanted Filin to be roughed up, but had been shocked to learn that acid was used.
Runner sets knitting record
A University of Central Missouri graphic design professor has knitted his way into the record books while running the Kansas City Marathon. The Kansas City Star reports that David Babcock finished Saturday’s marathon in 5 hours, 48 minutes and 27 seconds. Knitting experts measured the scarf he created along the route at just more than 3.6m long. The scarf-knitting-while-running-a-marathon record was previously held by Susie Hewer, who runs to raise money for Alzheimer’s disease research. She knitted a 2m scarf at the London Marathon in April last year. Like Hewer, the 41-year-old Babcock hopes that people will donate to the Alzheimer’s Association.
Cartoon gravestone removed
An Iraq war veteran’s towering SpongeBob SquarePants headstone was removed from her final resting place earlier this month because officials at Spring Grove Cemetery in Cincinnati, Ohio, deemed it inappropriate. The headstone of Kimberly Walker, 28, was made in the likeness of her favorite cartoon character and erected on Oct. 10, almost eight months after she was found slain in a Colorado hotel room. Despite getting approval for the headstone’s design — a smiling SpongeBob in an army uniform, with Walker’s name — Walker’s family on Monday said cemetery staff called them the day after it was installed to say it had to come down.