Libyan government seeks U.S. explanation after raid snatches
A suspected Libyan al-Qaida figure nabbed by U.S. special forces in a dramatic operation in Tripoli was living freely in his homeland for the past two years, after a trajectory that took him to Sudan, Afghanistan and Iran, where he had been detained for years, his family said Sunday. The Libyan government bristled at the raid, asking Washington to explain the "kidnapping."
The swift Delta Force operation in the streets of the Libyan capital that seized the militant known as Abu Anas al-Libi was one of two assaults Saturday that showed an American determination to move directly against terror suspects -- even in two nations mired in chaos where the U.S. has suffered deadly humiliations in the past.
Hours before the Libya raid, a Navy SEAL team swam ashore in the East African nation of Somalia and engaged in a fierce firefight, though it did not capture its target, a leading militant in the al-Qaida-linked group that carried out the recent Kenyan mall siege.
"We hope that this makes clear that the United States of America will never stop in the effort to hold those accountable who conduct acts of terror," U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said Sunday at an economic summit in Indonesia. "Members of al-Qaida and other terrorist organizations literally can run but they can’t hide."
Nazih Abdul-Hamed al-Ruqai, known by his alias Abu Anas al-Libi, was accused by the U.S. of involvement in the 1998 bombings of the U.S. Embassies in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, and Nairobi, Kenya, which killed more than 220 people. He has been on the FBI’s most wanted terrorists list since it was introduced shortly after the Sept. 11, 2001 attack, with a $5 million bounty on his head.
Inspectors begin destroying Syrian chemical stockpile
BEIRUT (AP) -- International disarmament experts on Sunday began dismantling and destroying Syria’s chemical weapons arsenal and the equipment used to produce it, taking the first concrete step in their colossal task of eliminating the country’s chemical stockpile by mid-2014, an official said.
The inspectors from the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons have about nine months to purge President Bashar Assad’s regime of its chemical program. The mission, endorsed by the U.N. Security Council, faces the tightest deadline in the watchdog group’s history and must simultaneously navigate Syria’s bloody civil war.
Sunday marked the fifth day that an advance team of around 20 inspectors have been in the country and the first day that involved actually disabling and destroying weapons and machinery, an official on the joint OPCW-U.N. mission said.
The production equipment included filling and mixing machinery, some of it mobile, said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the matter.
The Syrians are responsible for the actual physical demolition of the materials, while OPCW inspectors monitor the process and verify what is being destroyed, the official said. He declined to provide details or say where the work took place.
Monster truck hurtles into spectators at Mexican air show, killing 8, injuring 79
CHIHUAHUA, Mexico (AP) -- An out-of-control monster truck shot into a crowd of spectators at a Mexican air show, killing eight people and hurting 79, officials said. The driver was detained Sunday on suspicion of manslaughter and officials said they were investigating possible safety violations in the setup of the show.
Carlos Gonzalez, spokesman for the Chihuahua state prosecutors’ office, said driver Francisco Velazquez appeared to lose control of the truck after leaping over cars it was crushing during a demonstration at the "Extreme Aeroshow" on Saturday.
Video taken from the stands by spectator Krizthall Martinez and provided to The Associated Press shows the truck making an initial pass over two cars. It then makes a second pass at higher speed, coming down sharply nose first and bouncing violently before piling straight into the crowd, which stood directly in the path of the monster truck unprotected by any wall or barrier.
The three-day show, which included performances by airplanes, the monster truck acts and other events, was canceled after the accident on its second day in a park on the outskirts of Chihuahua, the capital of Chihuahua state.
On Sunday, two armed men threw a firebomb at monster trucks and other vehicles parked at a hotel that were part of an unrelated monster truck production at the air show.
Italy migrant death
toll reaches at least 194 as divers recover dozens of bodies
LAMPEDUSA, Italy (AP) -- Pairs of divers plumbed calmer seas off the Italian island of Lampedusa on Sunday to recover the corpses of would-be asylum seekers who died when a fishing boat packed with 500 African migrants capsized within sight of land. By nightfall, 83 bodies were retrieved, including one child, raising the official death toll to 194.
About 150 more are believed to still be missing, many likely trapped in the wreckage 47 meters (154 feet) below the surface.
The enormous scale of the tragedy, which could become the largest death toll in a migrant shipwreck in the Mediterranean on record, has created momentum for a comprehensive EU immigration policy to cope with the tens of thousands fleeing strife in Africa and the Middle East.
"The Mediterranean cannot remain a huge cemetery under the open skies," French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said on French TV station iTele.
Fabius said France and Italy have asked the issue be placed on the agenda of an EU interior ministers’ meeting Tuesday. On Wednesday, European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso plans to visit the island, Italy’s southernmost point and a frequent destination for migrants trying to reach a safe haven from misery and strife in Africa and the Middle East. Tens of thousands arrive there each year seeking refugee status in Europe.
Egypt: 44 dead in clashes between security forces and Morsi supporters
CAIRO (AP) -- Clashes erupted on Sunday across much of Egypt between security forces and supporters of the ousted president, leaving 44 killed, as rival crowds of supporters of the military and backers of the Islamist Mohammed Morsi it deposed poured into streets around the country to mark a major holiday.
The capital, Cairo, saw multiple scenes of mayhem as street battles raged for hours in some neighborhoods, with Morsi supporters firing birdshot and throwing firebombs at police who responded with gunshots and tear gas.
In some cases, pro-military crowds set upon supporters of the former president, with the two sides pelting each other with rocks. By late evening, several parts of the city resembled combat zones, with fires burning, black smoke rising and the crack of gunfire piercing the air, thick with tear gas. Streets were strewn with debris.
An Associated Press photographer saw nine bodies lying on the floor of a clinic in the Cairo district of Dokki, scene of some of the heaviest clashes. Most of the bodies had gunshot wounds to the head or chest.
The Health Ministry reported 40 people killed in Cairo and four others killed in provinces south of cairo, with more than 240 people injured. The Interior Ministry, which is in charge of the police, said 423 Morsi supporters were detained across the nation.
Fox’s Megyn Kelly: Don’t expect a fire-breathing partisan when I move to prime time
NEW YORK (AP) -- Ask Fox News Channel’s Megyn Kelly how her new prime-time program will differ from the edgy news show she had been hosting in the afternoon and she says that "it’s going to be dark out."
The joke has a serious point. Don’t expect Kelly to turn into a fire-breathing partisan because she has more exclusive real estate.
"If you watch O’Reilly, you hear a lot about what Bill O’Reilly thinks," she said. "Sean Hannity, same thing. But you’re not going to hear what I think."
"The Kelly File" is the linchpin to the first overhaul of Fox’s prime-time lineup since 2002, a century in television time. Starting Monday, Hannity moves back an hour to 10 p.m. to make room for Kelly at 9, Greta Van Susteren shifts to 7 p.m. and Shepard Smith becomes a roving news anchor making appearances throughout the evening.
At the time of the last schedule change, when Van Susteren moved to Fox from CNN, the now 42-year-old Kelly was an unhappy Washington lawyer. She began reporting news for a local Washington station on weekends in 2003. A year after that, she was noticed and hired by Fox News chief Roger Ailes.