Public flogging of liberal blogger begins
Authorities began the public flogging of a blogger who was sentenced to 1,000 blows, 10 years in prison and a large fine for starting a website that featured content critical of the country's religious establishment. The floggings are to be administered with a cane over a period of months. The blogger, Raif Badawi, was arrested after starting a website called "Free Saudi Liberals," and was later convicted of charges that included cybercrime and parental disobedience.
Suicide bomber strikes outside mosque
At least seven people were killed and 18 were wounded when a suicide bomber detonated his explosives outside a Shiite mosque in Rawalpindi. Suspicion fell on Sunni extremists, who consider Shiites to be infidels and have repeatedly attacked them. The bombing rattled a neighborhood of Rawalpindi, the garrison city adjacent to the capital, Islamabad.
Kerry will try to restart Iran talks
Secretary of State John Kerry plans to meet with his Iranian counterpart next week in Geneva to try to advance the negotiations over Iran's nuclear program. Kerry's meeting with Mohammad Javad Zarif, Iran's foreign minister, will take place Wednesday, a day before the U.S. negotiating team is scheduled to resume formal talks in Geneva with Iranian officials. Talks on constraining Iran's nuclear program have been extended twice, and a deadline is fast approaching.
Church official faces manslaughter charges
One of the highest ranking officials in the Episcopal Diocese of Maryland faces multiple charges in connection with a hit-and-run accident that killed a cyclist. State's Attorney Marilyn Mosby said Bishop Heather Cook was drunk and texting when she ran over Thomas Palermo, a bike-safety advocate. Cook will face charges including vehicular manslaughter, criminal negligence, driving under the influence, texting while driving and leaving the scene of an accident.
Three people shot in gun shop
Emergency responders said three people were shot and wounded at a suburban Kansas City gun shop and a fourth person was wounded at a nearby location. Crews were called to a store called She's A Pistol in Shawnee. Crews transported three people who sustained critical gunshot wounds. A fourth person at the gun shop sustained minor injuries from an assault. Crews were later called to a second scene a mile away.