NEED TO KNOW
Afghanistan blast. A suicide bomber blew up an explosives-laden Toyota Corolla next to a NATO-led convoy of armored vehicles in the southeast of Kabul this morning. It was the first major attack on the Afghan capital in two months.
At least six Afghan civilians were killed, including two children, and more than 30 people injured in the powerful blast that destroyed several mud-built houses in the area. There are unconfirmed reports that US nationals died in the attack.
An insurgent group linked to the Taliban, Hezb-e-Islami, claimed responsibility for the attack and said the intended target was American advisers.
Texas twisters. At least six people are dead after a tornado ripped through a town in Texas, local officials have said, destroying hundreds of houses including many built by the non-profit group Habitat for Humanity.
The tornado that tore through Granbury, about 70 miles west of Dallas, was one of three to hit northern Texas late last night. Hood County Sheriff Roger Deeds warned the death toll could rise as daybreak approaches and rescue teams search the area.
WANT TO KNOW
Malarial mosquitoes follow their noses. Researchers at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine have found that mosquitoes carrying malaria are more attracted to us smelly humans than non-malarial ones are.
Those carrying the malarial parasite Plasmodium falciparum visited a fabric covered with a person’s sweat three times as frequently, the researchers found. Plasmodium’s ability to manipulate its hosts could help explain its ability to infect so many people.
However, the researchers don’t know how the parasite manipulates mosquitoes’ sense of smell. Nor is it clear what it is about human odor that is so attractive to the infected mosquitoes.
The Benghazi files. Faced with criticism over its handling of the crisis, the White House has released nearly 100 pages of documents and emails regarding the response to the terror attacks that killed Ambassador Chris Stevens and three of his staff last year.
The CIA drafted “talking points” for US politicians to use with media in the days following the terrorist attacks in Benghazi, Libya, last September, the newly released documents show.
Will this put an end to persistent accusations that the Obama administration fumbled the incident? Probably not. Even with the release, Republicans say they still have unanswered questions, including the handling of the investigation into the Benghazi attacks by the Accountability Review Board.
STRANGE BUT TRUE
Cat sushi. Yes, cat sushi. A new ad campaign by a peanut company in Japan has people wondering what kind of hallucinatory drugs were needed to create this idea.
Nut company Tange & Nakimushi created a series of photos of cats transformed into sushi, and a video inventing a bizarre back story. Even the cats look surprised at what they've been asked (forced) to do.
Odd? Very, but not out of line for Japan, which is after all the home of Cat Prin — a "cat tailor" whose costumes include the "frog transformation set" and the "Anne of Green Gables is under cleaning" cat wig.