Chatter: Afghanistan suicide bombing targets foreigners




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Need to know:
As many as 14 people are reported dead in a suicide bombing in Afghanistan, 10 of them foreigners. The insurgents who claimed responsibility said the attack was revenge for the controversial Mohammed movie that has triggered anti-US protests worldwide.

Most of today's victims, however, were not Americans but South Africans working for a private aviation company. They were driving on a highway near Kabul when a suicide bomber drove a car packed with explosives into their minibus. Up to four Afghans were also killed.

If the blast was linked to the video, it's the deadliest response yet. And the violent opportunism continues: Al Qaeda's branch in North Africa has today launched a fresh call for attacks on US diplomats, like the one that killed four Americans in Libya.

Want to know:
Well, this is awkward. Mitt Romney has been caught on camera describing 47 percent of the American electorate as "people who pay no income tax," "who are dependent upon government, who believe that they are victims."

The other thing these losers have in common, according to a covert recording of an address the Republican nominee made to a private campaign fundraiser? Apparently they're all going to vote for President Barack Obama, "no matter what." 

"Shocking!" said the Obama campaign, gleefully rubbing its figurative hands together (probably). Not "elegantly stated," said Romney, who claims what he really meant was that he wants to help all Americans "have a bright and prosperous future." You hear that, 47 percent? He cares about you too. Or at least he will care about you, once he's finished caring more about the 53 percent of voters he still thinks he can win over.

Dull but important:
Today's a bad day for Chinese nationalists and their blood pressure. Not only are tensions running high with Japan over the disputed Diaoyu/Senkaku islands, but today also happens to be the anniversary of the Mukden Incident, the catalyst for the start of Japan's occupation of northern China.

Anti-Japan protests have now spread to about 100 Chinese cities. Japanese companies have responded by shuttering factories and businesses, and warning expatriates to avoid demonstrations for their own safety.

As if that weren't enough, a flotilla of as many as 1,000 Chinese fishing boats was reportedly expected to arrive in waters around the islands late today or early tomorrow – a development that threatens to take what's already the worst bilateral crisis in decades to a new, and worrying, level.

Just because:
Are Iran's drones helping Syria to kill rebels and civilians? There's mounting evidence that the answer, disturbingly, is yes.

A GlobalPost investigation suggests that pilotless aircraft, used by Syria's military in action for the first time, were supplied to President Bashar al-Assad's regime by Iran. If that's true, it means a proliferation of the technology pioneered by the US and a violation of the international arms embargo on Tehran.

And it's not just drones. US diplomats and others believe that, despite speaking out against foreign assistance in Syria, Iran may be violating sanctions by supplying the Assad regime with a whole range of material that it can use to repress its opponents.

Strange but true:
Headlines are only supposed to be funny when they've got an elaborately constructed pun in them, not when they're written in earnest capitals, not when they've only got two words and certainly not when one of those two words is "rage."

Unfortunately for Newsweek, its latest offering has proved unintentionally comic. "MUSLIM RAGE," screamed the magazine's cover, re: the recent anti-US protests; "Uh, whatever," tittered Twitter, as Muslims and non-Muslims alike pounced on Newsweek's #muslimrage hashtag to tell the world what makes them all rage-y.

Here's our pick of the best reponses. A particular favorite: "Hijab tan." Don'tcha just hate that?