Suicide bombers kill as many as seven

Suicide bombers attacked a restaurant in the town of Baidoa northwest of the Somali capital Friday, killing up to seven people and wounding dozens of others, a police officer and a doctor said.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility, but the Islamist group al-Shabab, which wants to impose its strict interpretation of Islam on Somalia, often carries out such attacks. Friday evening is a time when many Somalis go out.

“First, a suicide bomber blew himself up at the entrance of the restaurant, and then a suicide car bomb followed when people converged to help,” Capt. Nur Osman, a police officer, said by telephone. Osman said the death toll was at least five.

Abdullahi Ali, the manager at the Baidoa hospital, said the facility had received seven dead, with 34 others wounded in the two blasts.

Al-Shabab rebels have been losing major Somali strongholds because of a military offensive this year by African Union and Somali troops. But the extremist group has continued to stage hit-and-run bombings and shootings in the capital, Mogadishu, and elsewhere in the country.

— Reuters

Diplomats to debate North Korea rights

Two-thirds of the U.N. Security Council requested Friday that North Korea’s human rights situation be put on the council agenda for debate — the first step toward a possible referral to the International Criminal Court.

The letter, submitted Friday morning to the council president, says North Korea’s human rights violations “threaten to have a ­destabilizing impact on the region.” The United Nations’ most powerful body rarely considers a country’s human rights situation alone, and the letter is a strong statement that the signers see the issue as one affecting international peace and security.

The letter, which was shown to the Associated Press, is signed by 10 of the 15 council members, including the United States. North Korea’s allies China and Russia did not sign.

— Associated Press

Mexico City’s chief
of police steps down

The chief of police in Mexico City resigned after criticism about his department’s arrests of people protesting the disappearance of 43 college students.

Mayor Miguel Ángel Mancera said Friday that Public Security Secretary Jesús Rodríguez Almeida had submitted his resignation, although Mancera did not offer a reason.

The capital has been the site of regular protests since students from rural Ayotzinapa teachers college were taken by police in the southern state of Guerrero on Sept. 26 and allegedly turned over to gang members.

One of the largest marches ­occurred Nov. 20. It was wholly peaceful until a confrontation broke out between a small number of people and police. Eleven were arrested and sent to federal prisons. Days later, a judge found that there was not enough evidence to justify their arrests.

— Associated Press

Cuba says infected doctor has overcome Ebola: Cuba’s Health Ministry said a doctor who contracted Ebola during an aid mission in Africa has overcome the disease and will be brought home soon. The ministry said tests at a hospital in Geneva confirm that 43-year-old Felix Baez Sarria is clear of the virus. The report was carried by Cuban state news media. Baez is among 165 Cuban medical personnel sent to Sierra Leone to fight the disease. He showed symptoms Nov. 16 and was taken to Switzerland for treatment with the experimental drug ZMapp.

Investigation opens into IRA rape case: A top British human rights lawyer opened an official fact-finding probe in Belfast into why a criminal trial against a man accused both of being an Irish Republican Army member and of rape collapsed. Mairia Cahill, one of three women who accused the ­alleged IRA member of rape, went public in October and said that Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams led a cover-up designed to protect the ­attacker and silence his victims, which Adams denies. Cahill and the two other women withdrew their testimony before the trial began, citing frustration over legal delays and prosecutors’ tactics.

Belgium wants fries declared cultural heritage: There are few things people agree on in linguistically divided Belgium, but an effort to get Belgian potato fries recognized as global cultural heritage may get broad support. The fries are traditionally sold in a paper cone from a shack or trailer.

— From news services