Eight killed in suicide attack at Iraqi mosque
A suicide bomber disguised as a worshiper blew himself up inside a Shiite mosque Thursday, killing eight people in the city of Balad Ruz, 45 miles north of Baghdad. Eighteen people were injured, said a police spokesman, Maj. Ghalib al-Karkhi. There was no immediate claim of responsibility, but Sunni militants have often targeted Shiite mosques as a way to incite sectarian violence.
Guilty pleas in kidnap, rape of Calif. girl
A convicted sex offender and his wife pleaded guilty Thursday to kidnapping and raping a Northern California girl when she was 11 and holding her captive for nearly two decades. The pleas came as part of a surprise deal with prosecutors that will spare victim Jaycee Dugard and her two daughters born after she was raped by defendant Phillip Garrido from having to testify at a trial. Phillip Garrido, 60, faces a maximum sentence of 431 years to life in prison after entering guilty pleas to 14 kidnapping and sexual assault charges. His wife, Nancy Garrido, 55, pleaded guilty to one count of kidnapping and one count of rape. She faces a maximum sentence of 36 years to life.
Religious order files for bankruptcy
The Christian Brothers in North America, a religious order that runs schools around the country, filed for bankruptcy Thursday, becoming the second Catholic order in the United States to do so because of sexual abuse claims. The order did not say how many claims are pending. Victims' attorneys estimate there are more than 50 claims. In the United States, most of the cases come from the Seattle area. The order, under the name of Christian Brothers Institute, based in New Rochelle, N.Y., filed for Chapter 11 in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in the Southern District of New York.
Officials arrested over Afghan prison break
Afghan authorities arrested the warden and other officials at the Kandahar prison where nearly 500 insurgents managed to escape this week through a tunnel built by the Taliban, officials said Thursday. Ghulam Dastagher Mayar was among 10 officials arrested at Sarposa prison, about half of those on duty at the time of the prison break that began late Sunday, according to Gen. Amir Mohammed Jamshidi, the country's chief director of prisons. Jamshidi and other Afghan officials declined to identify the other arrested officials or detail the charges against those held.
China: Population growth in the world's most populous nation slowed to half the pace of the previous decade, results of the 2010 census released Thursday indicated. China's population was 1.34 billion, an increase of 73.9 million, or 5.8 percent, from the 2000 tally and below the 1.4 billion that U.N. demographers predicted.
Pakistan: Taliban militants targeted the navy for the third time this week with a bombing that killed five in the southern city of Karachi. Two navy buses were bombed Tuesday, killing four people.