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Chatter: French embassy in Tripoli bombed

A car bomb explodes outside France's embassy in the Libyan capital, the Boston bombing suspect is charged, Israel accuses Syria of using chemical weapons, and artisan coffee comes to North Korea.
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Graphic. (Antler Agency/GlobalPost)
           

                      

   

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NEED TO KNOW

Diplomatic nonimmunity in Libya. France's embassy in Tripoli was car-bombed early this morning, in what authorities are calling a terrorist attack.

Two French guards were injured and part of the embassy destroyed by the explosion outside the mission compound, a blast powerful enough to blow out windows more than 200 yards away. It's thought to be the first major attack on any foreign mission in Tripoli (though not, of course, in Benghazi), and France called it "odious." President Francois Hollande has urged the Libyan government to hunt down the perpetrators of what he says is an assault on "all countries in the international community engaged in the fight against terrorism."

Remaining silent. US federal prosecutors have now filed charges against Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, the 19-year-old naturalized American they accuse of carrying out the Boston Marathon bombing in collusion with his since-killed brother. So we know what they believe he did, but not why he might have done it.

Tsarnaev hasn't yet proved able or willing to answer that pressing question; seriously injured in hospital, the only word he's recorded to have said to authorities so far is "no" (when asked if he could afford a lawyer).

As police search for means and motive, GlobalPost is following the investigation from Boston to Chechnya and beyond. Find our full coverage here.

WANT TO KNOW

From bomb plots to foiled plots. Two men are due in court in Canada this morning, charged with conspiring to derail a passenger train somewhere between Toronto and New York. Canadian police say their year-long investigation suggests the suspects were backed by "Al Qaeda elements in Iran."

The US has long alleged that the Iranian government, despite belonging to the Shia branch of Islam that's naturally at odds with Al Qaeda's Salafist ideology, tolerates the terrorist group's presence. Tehran, however, has always denied those accusations and now dismisses these latest claims as part of a campaign of Iranophobia by "Canada's radical government." Which, we'll bet, is the first time anyone called Canada that.

Contracted pupils. Foaming at the mouth. These are sure signs, according to Israeli military intelligence, that President Bashar al-Assad's forces are using chemical weapons against the people of Syria.

The government's army has fired what's suspected to be the deadly nerve agent sarin at rebel forces "on a number of occasions in the past few months," Israel's top intelligence analyst, Brigadier-General Itai Brun, said today. The charge has long been rumored but never yet confirmed; if it is, the US has said, it will be "a game-changer."

STRANGE BUT TRUE

From Portland to Pyongyang. The "third wave of coffee," it seems, has reached all the way to North Korea. Visitors to the capital report there's a new coffee shop in town, and it serves the specialty, artisan brews you'd expect from your local independent roastery.

Those who've been recommend the espresso ("bursting with nutty flavors," apparently). At around $3.50 a cup in a country plagued by famine, it had better be good.

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatches/globalpost-blogs/chatter/chatter-french-embassy-tripoli-bombed