ISIS claims St Petersburg bombing
BEIRUT • The Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) claimed responsibility for last week's bomb attack that tore through a St Petersburg supermarket and wounded 14 people. "The attack that targeted a shopping centre in St Petersburg the day before yesterday was carried out by an Islamic State-linked group," ISIS said in a statement last Friday.
A homemade bomb placed in a locker at the supermarket in President Vladimir Putin's home town went off last Wednesday, sowing panic among customers and wounding 14 people, including a pregnant woman.
Melbourne car attack victim dies
MELBOURNE • An elderly man has died after being mowed down during a car rampage in Melbourne last week, police said yesterday, with one of 18 attempted murder charges expected to be upgraded to murder.
Mr Antonios Crocaris, 83, died from his injuries late last Friday, police said. Six others remain in hospital. Attack suspect Saeed Noori, an Australian who has a history of drug abuse and mental problems, has been charged with 18 counts of attempted murder, but now faces at least one murder charge after the death.
Ireland issues record 779,184 passports
LONDON • Ireland issued a record number of passports this year, with nearly a fifth going to applicants in Britain and Northern Ireland, according to its Foreign Affairs Ministry.
The Irish Republic approved a record 779,184 passports during the year, an increase of more than 6 per cent on last year and a 15 per cent spike over two years.
Outside the British Isles, New York in America and Canberra in Australia saw the most passport requests by Irish citizens abroad since last year's Brexit referendum result.
2 Saudi princes in graft probe freed
RIYADH • Saudi Arabia has released two sons of late King Abdullah, two months after they were detained in a sweeping anti-corruption purge, a source close to the government said.
"They have been released," the source said last Friday, a day after a family member posted photos of Prince Faisal bin Abdullah, a former head of the Saudi Red Crescent, and Prince Mashal bin Abdullah, a previous governor of Mecca, on Twitter.