Suicide bombers hit three Saudi cities, killing at least four officers

RIYADH Suicide bombers struck three cities across Saudi Arabia on Monday, killing at least four security officers in an apparently coordinated campaign of attacks as Saudis prepared to break their fast on the penultimate day of the holy month of Ramadan.The explosions targeting U.S. diplomats, Shi'ite worshippers and a security headquarters at a mosque in the holy city of Medina followed days of mass killings claimed by the Islamic State group in Turkey, Bangladesh and Iraq. The attacks all seem to have been timed to coincide with the approach of Eid al-Fitr, the holiday that celebrates the end of the Islamic holy month.A suicide bomber detonated a bomb at a parking lot outside the Prophet's Mosque in Medina, the second-holiest site in Islam, a Saudi security spokesman told state news agency SPA."Security men noticed a suspicious person among those approaching the Prophet's Mosque in an open area used as parking lots for visitors' cars. As they confronted him, he blew himself up with an explosive belt, which resulted in his death and the martyrdom of four of the security men," the spokesman said.Five other officers were wounded, the statement added. A Saudi security official said an attacker parked a car near the U.S. consulate in Jeddah before detonating the device. A video sent to Reuters by a witness to the aftermath of the Medina bombing showed a large blaze among parked cars in the fading evening light, with the sound of sirens in the background. A picture sent to Reuters showed a burnt and bleeding man lying on a stretcher in a hospital. Other pictures circulating on social media showed dark smoke billowing from flames near the Mosque of the Prophet, originally built in the 7th century by the Prophet Muhammad, who is buried there along with his first two successors. In Qatif, an eastern city that is home to many members of the Shi'ite minority, at least one and possibly two explosions struck near a Shi'ite mosque. The security spokesman said the body of a bomber and two other people have been identified, without providing any more details.Witnesses described body parts, apparently of a suicide bomber, in the aftermath.A resident of the city reached by telephone said there were believed to be no casualties there apart from the attacker, as worshippers had already gone home to break their fasts. Civil defense forces were cleaning up the area and police were investigating, the resident said.A video circulating on social media and purporting to show the aftermath of a Qatif blast showed an agitated crowd on a street, with a fire raging near a building and a bloody body part lying on the ground. Reuters could not immediately verify the video. Hours earlier a suicide bomber was killed and two people were wounded in a blast near the U.S. Consulate in the kingdom's second city, Jeddah.The Jeddah blast was the first bombing in years to attempt to target foreigners in the kingdom. There was no immediate claim of responsibility. Authorities identified the attacker as a 34-year-old Pakistani driver named Abdullah Qalzar Khan, who lived with his wife and family in the city.An official of the U.S. State Department said no American citizens or consulate staff were hurt in the Jeddah blast. He said the United States was aware of reports of explosions in Qatif and Medina and would monitor the situation closely. He said the State Department encouraged U.S. citizens in Saudi Arabia "to be aware of their surroundings, and keep security and situational awareness levels high."Islamic State has carried out a series of bombing and shooting attacks in Saudi Arabia since mid-2014 that have killed scores of people, mostly members of the Shi'ite Muslim minority and security services.Police and groups of local volunteers increased security near mosques in Qatif after suicide bombings hit mosques in Shi'ite areas last year, killing dozens. Another suicide blast at a mosque used by security forces killed 15 a year ago.The top Saudi clerical body condemned the attacks."They are renegades from the (true) religion who have left behind the Muslim flock and their imam, violating all sanctities," the Secretariat of the Council of Senior Scholars said in a statement."They have no religion," it added. (Additional reporting by Sami Aboudi in Dubai and David Brunnstrom in Washington; Writing by Peter Graff and Noah Browning; editing by Anna Willard and Dan Grebler)

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Mexico's ICA expects to delist from New York Stock Exchange in July

MEXICO CITY, June 27 Mexico's cash-strapped construction firm ICA said on Monday it expects to delist from the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) after July 17, as the company struggles to restructure its hefty dollar-denominated debt load. NYSE notified ICA in January that its "American Depository Shares" were trading below $1 for more than 30 days in a row, "and therefore did not meet the requirements for continued listing on the NYSE, subject to a six-month cure period", ICA said in a statement. (Reporting by Alexandra Alper and Jean Luis Arce; Editing by Himani Sarkar)

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French naval shipbuilder predicts turning point for tidal power

* Tidal current energy at the cusp of commercial stage* Market worth potential 75 billion euros globally* Traditional players like GE and DCNS branch out in tidal* Start-ups like Sabella, Atlantis fight for market shareBy Geert De ClercqNANTES, France, June 23 Tidal power is moving beyond the prototype stage for state-backed French naval shipbuilder DCNS, which is targeting a billion euros in sales from the technology in the next decade.DCNS, which is 35 percent owned by defence group Thales and 64 percent by the French state, builds warships and submarines but aims to sell its first commercial tidal power system in four years and wants to get up to 25 percent of its sales from renewable marine energies by 2025.The firm bought Ireland's OpenHydro, which generates power from turbines installed on the sea bed, in 2013 and is working on pilot projects in France, Canada, Scotland and Northern Ireland. It has installed two 16-metre tidal turbines in Paimpol-Brehat, Brittany, for utility EDF which will be connected to the grid this summer. "We have reached a turning point in tidal turbines, we are entering the pre-industrial phase," DCNS head of energy and marine infrastructures Thierry Kalanquin told Reuters.For now, revenue from the tidal current business is still close to zero, but DCNS expects to start selling its first turbines in 2017-18 for pilot projects and from 2020 it expects to sell its first commercial tidal turbine farms."We hope to get one billion euros in sales in tidal turbines in ten years," he said, adding that he sees a big market in Canada, Britain, the U.S. and Asia.DCNS - which had 2015 net profit of 58 million euros on turnover of 3 billion euros - has invested about 150 million euros in buying Open Hydro and funding further research. Many players in the fledgling industry are hydropower specialists, like Swiss Andritz and General Electric , or involved in naval construction, like DCNS.TURNING THE TIDE But there are also start-ups, like France's Sabella, which specialises in smaller turbines for isolated sites, and Britain's Atlantis Resources, which became the first listed tidal turbine specialist in 2014.Atlantis' market value has fallen by nearly 50 percent since then to around 60 million pounds ($89 million), illustrating the challenges the industry faces to become viable.Kalanquin said that globally potential sites with a combined capacity about 100 gigawatts (GW) had been identified, but only about 25 GW of this can be commercially operated today, which represents a global market worth around 75 billion euros."We aim to win a 20 to 25 percent market share," he added.France has a long coastline, but only one major site on the western tip of Normandy, with a 3 to 4 GW potential, of which about 1.5 GW could be commercially operated at the moment.Kalanquin called on the French government to speed up planned tenders for tidal current turbine farms, with commercially viable scale of more than 100 MW.DCNS will install 7 pilot turbines in Raz Blanchard for EDF in 2018. General Electric-Alstom was also selected to install turbines there for Engie. ($1 = 0.6754 pounds) (Editing by Alexander Smith)

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U.S. officials say American Muslims do report extremist threats

Muslim-Americans have repeatedly informed authorities of fellow Muslims they fear might be turning to extremism, law enforcement officials say, contrary to a claim by presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump this week."They don't report them," Trump said in a CNN interview on Monday, in the wake of the mass shooting at an Orlando nightclub of 49 people by an American Muslim who claimed allegiance to Islamic State. "For some reason, the Muslim community does not report people like this."But FBI director James Comey said, "They do not want people committing violence, either in their community or in the name of their faith, and so some of our most productive relationships are with people who see things and tell us things who happen to be Muslim.“It’s at the heart of the FBI’s effectiveness to have good relationships with these folks,” Comey said at a press conference following the Orlando shootings. Andrew Ames, a spokesman for the Federal Bureau of Investigation's Washington field office, told Reuters on Wednesday that the agency has a “robust” relationship with the local Muslim community. FBI agents operating in the area have received reports about suspicious activity and other issues from community members.  Michael Downing, deputy chief of the Los Angeles Police Department and head of its Counterterrorism and Special Operations Bureau, said the city's Muslim community has been cooperative in reporting "red flags."“I personally have been called by community members about several things, very significant things,” Downing told Reuters. “What we say to communities is that we don’t want you to profile humans, we want you to profile behavior.” Charles Kurzman, a professor at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, who has conducted several studies on Muslim-Americans and terrorism, disputed Trump's criticism.“To claim there is no cooperation is false and defamatory to the Muslim-American community,“ Kurzman said.Kurzman said a January 2016 study by himself and colleagues at Duke University’s Triangle Center on Terrorism and Homeland Security found that many law enforcement agencies had made progress in establishing trust with local Muslim-American communities. But the study also found some tensions. In one focus group described in the study, Muslim-American participants debated when to report activity when they were unsure how to detect imminent violence. “The group participants expressed concern that police would be more likely to encourage a plot in order to make an arrest," the authors wrote, "rather than to divert people onto a nonviolent path that community members and family members would prefer.” One imam interviewed for the project told researchers he felt that his “trust is not being reciprocated” by U.S. government officials. The imam told the researchers that after he attended a meeting with federal law enforcement officials designed to increase cooperation, he went to the local airport, was held for hours at security and missed his flight, the study said. A Reuters review of court records also produced examples of Muslim-Americans informing law enforcement of possible radicalization within their families. Suspecting that her then 17-year-old son, Ali Amin, was radicalizing, Amani Ibrahim followed the advice of a local imam and reported her fears to law enforcement officials, according to court records. In August 2015, Amin was sentenced to 11 years in prison for conspiring to provide material support to Islamic State after he helped a schoolmate travel to join the extremist group. In 2014, the sister of Abdi Nur contacted Minneapolis police to report her younger brother missing. She later showed federal agents messages she received, in which he said he had “gone to join the brothers” and promised to see her in the afterlife. Nur has been charged with conspiracy to provide material support to a foreign terrorist group, but is still at large.And in 2014, Adam Shafi’s father, Sal Shafi, told officials in the U.S. embassy in Cairo that he was worried his son was radicalizing after Adam went missing during a family trip in Egypt.Adam Shafi soon rejoined his family, but was arrested in July 2015 after trying to board a flight to Turkey from San Francisco airport. He was charged with attempting to provide material support to al-Nusra Front, an al-Qaeda linked group in Syria. (Additional reporting by Julia Edwards; Editing by David Rohde and Leslie Adler)

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Third Baltimore policeman goes on trial for murder in Freddie Gray death

A Baltimore police officer charged with murder in the 2015 death of black detainee Freddie Gray goes on trial on Thursday as Maryland prosecutors seek their first conviction in the high-profile case.Officer Caesar Goodson Jr., 46, who drove the police van in which Gray broke his neck, is the third officer to face trial for his death. The April 2015 incident triggered protests and rioting and stoked a U.S. debate on police treatment of minorities.Goodson waived a jury trial on Monday and Baltimore City Circuit Court Judge Barry Williams will decide the case after acquitting another officer last month. Legal experts say jurors have faced popular pressure in the majority black city to convict someone in the case, while police officers generally opt for a bench trial because they think judges are more likely to acquit or impose a lighter sentence.Goodson faces a charge of second-degree depraved heart murder, the most serious charge against the six officers accused in Gray's death.Tim Maloney, a Maryland lawyer who has handled police misconduct cases, said the seriousness of the charge made Goodson's case crucial for prosecutors. Two previous trials ended in a mistrial and the acquittal in May."This is considered their marquee trial, and if you don't win this one, it sort of casts some doubt on the rest of the cases," Maloney said. Gray, 25, was arrested when he fled officers unprovoked in a high-crime area. Shouting about his arrest, Gray was bundled into a police transport van while shackled and was not seat-belted, a violation of protocol.An autopsy concluded that Gray could not break his fall inside the van during abrupt turns or stops. The trial is expected to focus on medical evidence and department procedures. Goodson, who is African-American, also is charged with three counts of manslaughter, second-degree assault, reckless endangerment and misconduct in office. If convicted on all charges, he faces more than 68 years in prison.David Jaros, an associate law professor at the University of Baltimore, said prosecutors are likely to contend that, as the van driver, Goodson had custody of Gray and more training than other officers about transporting suspects."The question is going to be, 'How reckless is it to drive with someone who's passively resisting arrest and is shackled and not buckled in?'" he said. Williams acquitted Officer Edward Nero in May of misdemeanor charges.Officer William Porter's trial ended in a hung jury in December. His retrial is scheduled for September and he is expected to testify during Goodson's trial. (Writing by Ian Simpson in Washington; Editing by Dan Grebler)

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