The Pakistani Taliban denied responsibility for the Boston Marathon bombings, and there is strikingly little news about who actually may have carried out the Monday plot. As it happens, pressure cookers have a nefarious reputation in counterterrorism circles—and the Department of Homeland Security issued a warning about them in 2004.
Carlos Arredondo is a standout among the many bystanders who raced into the smoke to help bomb victims. The father of a fallen Iraqi soldier had made news setting himself on fire when he learned of his son’s death. “You have to get out of that shock [during such a tragedy],” he told The Washington Post, adding that you have to take action. “In this case, my instinct was to be a humanitarian.”
Funeral services for former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher came off without security breaches, despite anti-Thatcher demonstrations and worries about street-level protection following the Boston bombings. A crowd police estimated to be three times the size of last summer’s Olympic winners’ parade lined the processional route, throwing flowers and cheering.
Iran has tripled installations in the last three months of high-tech machines that could be used in a nuclear weapons program—the latest sign that 10 years of diplomatic efforts have failed to persuade Tehran to curb its uranium enrichment.
Iranian authorities are denying medical treatment for imprisoned Iranian-American pastor Saeed Abedini. According to family members, who visited him at the prison April 15, Abedini was taken to the hospital last week but doctors failed to show, and he was returned to jail. Later that day, interrogators beat him unconscious, adding to injuries that include internal bleeding.
The arms trade treaty that passed the UN on April 2 is President Obama’s backdoor to gun control.
Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin claimed in a speech yesterday that the American missile shield—after years of tension over basing defensive missiles in Eastern Europe—no longer poses a threat to his country. “We have solved the issue of penetrating the missile shield,” he said.
Opium production in Afghanistan is expected to hit another high, rising to record levels now three years in a row. High prices are driving the upswing—despite millions spent by U.S. taxpayers in crop eradication efforts and alternate planting schemes (You’ve got to love this line from Wikipedia: “Currently there is no correlation between poppy crop eradication and the level of poppy cultivation or opium production.”).
Iraqi crude and Kurdish independence are big factors in preserving the country’s unity.