Here are five of the top stories making headlines this afternoon.
Deadly explosion rocks shopping mall in Nigerian capital. Police say at least 21 people are dead and another 17 are injured after an explosion at a shopping mall in the Nigerian capital of Abuja Wednesday. The blast happened about an hour before Nigeria’s soccer team was to play Argentina in the World Cup and many people would have gathered at the mall to watch the match. Police say they have already arrested one person and are investigating further. The violence is the latest to be blamed on Islamic militants in the country. Eight people died in a bomb blast in the northern city of Kano Monday and 14 were killed in another bomb blast last week during a World Cup viewing party in a northeast city. The story of kidnapped Nigerian schoolgirls, who have still not been located, also made international headlines in recent weeks.
Christine Elliott will run for Ontario PC leadership. The first candidate has stepped up to replace Ontario PC leader Tim Hudak after the party’s disappointing showing during the provincial election earlier this month. Elliott, a longtime PC MPP and the widow of the late finance minister Jim Flaherty, made her official announcement Wednesday morning. This won’t be Elliott’s first kick at the can when it comes to Ontario PC leadership. She came third in the party’s leadership race in 2009—the race Hudak won. Maybe more surprising in Ontario politics today is that NDP leader Andrea Horwath announced she won’t be stepping down. Horwath toppled the Ontario minority government, causing the June election. Liberal Premier Kathleen Wynne went on to win a majority while the NDP kept the same number of seats, effectively accomplishing nothing.
The World Cup bite everyone is talking about. FIFA today confirmed that it is investigating an incident from yesterday’s Italy-Uruguay soccer match where Uruguain star player Luis Suarez chomped on the shoulder of Italian defender Giorgio Chiellini. The ref didn’t see the bite yesterday, and failed to give Suarez a red card. Uruguay went on to win the match 1-0, knocking Italy out of the tournament. Unfortunately for Suarez, the bite was captured on camera and seen by millions around the world. Should FIFA find Suarez guilty of contravening its disciplinary code, it could hand down a fine and a multi-game suspension (up to as many as 24 games), meaning Uruguay could be without one of its top players for the remainder of the tournament. In other World Cup news today, Nigerian player Michael Babatunde was carried out of the match against Argentina after his teammate, Ogenyi Onazi, took a shot right into his hand, apparently breaking his arm with the force of the ball. Here’s a pretty gross GIF of the injury.
Court rejects Utah’s gay marriage ban. Yet another U.S. state’s gay-marriage ban has fallen in the courts. This time it’s Utah, where the federal appeals court ruled Wednesday that the state cannot outlaw same-sex marriage, even though Utah voters banned it. “A state may not deny the issuance of a marriage license to two persons, or refuse to recognize their marriage, based solely upon the sex of the persons in the marriage union,” the court wrote in its ruling. Also on Wednesday, a court struck down Indiana’s same-sex marriage ban.
University of Ottawa axes it’s men’s hockey program for 2014-15. University president Allan Rock made the announcement Wednesday that the school will cancel the men’s varsity hockey season for 2014-15 after an internal investigation into misconduct during a team trip to Thunder Bay in February. The university will not release the results of the investigation at this time, as police are also conducting their own investigation.