British police open investigation of leaked diplomatic cables

LONDON — British police opened a criminal investigation on Friday into the leaking of confidential diplomatic memos that cost the U.K. ambassador in Washington his job.

The probe is being led by the Metropolitan Police Counter Terrorism Command because it is responsible for investigating breaches of Britain’s Official Secrets Act

The Mail on Sunday published cables from Ambassador Kim Darroch describing the Trump administration as dysfunctional, clumsy and inept. The president hit back by branding the ambassador a “pompous fool,” and Darroch resigned, saying it had become impossible for him to do his job.

Counterterrorism police chief Neil Basu said Friday that the leak had damaged U.K. international relations and there was “a clear public interest” in prosecuting the perpetrator or perpetrators.

He urged the culprits: “turn yourself in at the earliest opportunity, explain yourself and face the consequences.”

Appeals court appears inclined to release Trump financial records

WASHINGTON — A federal appeals court seemed inclined Friday to side with a House committee seeking some of President Donald Trump’s financial records as part of an investigation, a disclosure he is fighting.

A three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit heard more than two hours of arguments in the case Friday, but the judges gave no indication when they would rule. It seemed that at least two of the judges were inclined to side with the Democratic-led House committee, which in April issued a subpoena for records from Mazars USA, which has provided accounting services to Trump. A lower court previously ordered the records turned over , but Trump called the decision “crazy” and his lawyers appealed.

China warns U.S. about Taiwan

BUDAPEST, Hungary — The United States should not “play with fire” regarding Taiwan after Washington announced its intention to sell $2.2 billion in weapons to the island state, China’s foreign minister said Friday.

Wang Yi also said during a visit to Hungary that his country is concerned about Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen’s stops in the U.S. before and after state visits to the Caribbean.

Taiwan doesn’t have diplomatic ties with the U.S., though Washington provides Taiwan, which split from China in a 1949 civil war, with military and other support. China objects to such support as interference in what it considers its internal affairs and is seeking to bring self-governing Taiwan under its control.

“If the U.S. side wants to create new troubles in U.S.-China relations, ultimately their actions will backfire,” Wang said. “We urge the United States to fully recognize the gravity of the Taiwan question” and “honor its promise of adhering to the one-China principle.”

TEHRAN, Iran — Iranian state TV is reporting that the country’s elite Revolutionary Guard has targeted Kurdish militants in northern Iraq, using missiles and cannons.

The Friday report shows images of Iranian troops firing artillery into a mountainous area, using drones to identify the targets.

It said “many” Kurdish militants were killed and wounded in the two-day operation without providing details.

The Kurdish regional government said one civilian was killed and two were wounded.

The attack comes after a Tuesday ambush by Kurdish militants in which three Guard members were killed in western Iran.

Teen suicide bomber kills 5

KABUL, Afghanistan — A 13-year-old suicide bomber blew himself up at a wedding early Friday in eastern Afghanistan’s Nangarhar province, killing five people and injuring 11 others, police officials said.

Among those killed was Malik Toor, a commander of a pro-government militia who had organized the wedding, police official Fayz Mohammad Babarkhil said.

Officials said Toor was the likely target of the attack, which took place in Pachirwa Agham district of Nangarhar province.

Car thief fatally beaten by mob

PHILADELPHIA — Authorities say a man who stole a car with three young children inside was fatally beaten by their father and other men.

Philadelphia police said the car was parked at a pizza restaurant with its engine running when the man drove off around 9:15 p.m. Thursday. The children’s mother was inside the restaurant, talking with the father of two of the kids.

The vehicle soon got stuck in traffic, and authorities say the couple pulled the 54-year-old man out of the vehicle. The man ran off but was caught by the father. A fight ensued, with other men joining in.

The man was knocked unconscious and taken to a hospital, where he died.

37 nations back China on human rights

GENEVA — More than three dozen countries have defended China’s “remarkable achievements” in human rights, challenging Western countries that have raised concerns about Beijing’s treatment of Uighur Muslims.

Thirty-seven countries including Russia, Saudi Arabia and others, mostly from southeast Asia, Africa and the Middle East, expressed their opposition to “politicizing human rights” in a letter Friday to the Human Rights Council office.

It was a show of the growing diplomatic clout that China can muster. The letter echoed China’s repeated defense of its “vocation education and training centers” for Uighurs, which critics call detention centers.

It came two days after 22 Western countries, in a similar letter, urged China to end mass arbitrary detentions and other violations against Muslims in China’s Western Xinjiang region.

The Associated Press

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