By Hamid Shalizi WAMA, Afghanistan (Reuters) - Afghan authorities are appealing to local elders in the remote eastern province of Nuristan to help prevent militants loyal to Islamic State from expanding into new territory. The initiative comes as fighters and their families, scattered in recent months by U.S. and Afghan air strikes and special forces ground operations, seek new safe havens. The mountainous and thickly forested province bordering Pakistan is seen by Afghan authorities as a potential new base for the self-proclaimed offshoot of Islamic State, whose desire to stoke sectarian tensions was underlined this year in a series of high-profile attacks.
The threat was relayed by an anonymous man who called a public safety line run by an unidentified foreign government, which then passed on the information to a Federal Bureau of Investigation terrorism task force, said Deirdre Fike, assistant director in charge of the FBI's office in Los Angeles. The target of the threatened attack was metro's Universal City station -- located near the Universal Studios theme park -- where the caller who spoke English said an explosive device would go off on Tuesday, Fike told reporters at a hastily organized press conference with local authorities. "The threat is imminent and it's related to tomorrow" and concerned an off-ramp at the station, Los Angeles police chief Charlie Beck said.
By Jack Kim and Ju-min Park SEOUL (Reuters) - Besides South Korean President Park Geun-hye, the biggest casualty of the country's mushrooming political corruption scandal may be the presidential aspirations of United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. Although he has not declared his candidacy, Ban was until a month ago the front-runner in opinion polls to win the election scheduled for Dec. 20, 2017, a race he was widely expected to contest from Park's conservative Saenuri Party. An impeachment vote is set for later this week, and Ban's standing in polls has declined, while the Saenuri has become a much less viable platform for a run.