Libyan al-Qaida suspect arrives in U.S. for trial after week of questioning aboard U.S. warship
WASHINGTON (AP) -- After a weeklong interrogation aboard a U.S. warship, a Libyan al-Qaida suspect is now in New York awaiting trial on terrorism charges, U.S. officials said Monday.
Abu Anas al-Libi was grabbed in a military raid in Libya on Oct. 5. He’s due to stand trial in Manhattan, where he has been under indictment for more than a decade on charges he helped plan and conduct surveillance for the bombings of U.S. embassies in Africa in 1998.
Preet Bharara, the U.S. attorney for the southern district of New York, confirmed that al-Libi was transferred to law enforcement custody over the weekend. Al-Libi was expected to be arraigned Tuesday, Bharara said.
President Barack Obama’s administration took criticism years ago when it decided to prosecute admitted 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed in New York, rather than at the naval prison at Guantanamo Bay. After reversing course, however, the government has successfully prosecuted several terrorism cases in civilian courts.
A federal law enforcement official and two other U.S. officials said al-Libi arrived in New York on Saturday. The officials insisted on anonymity because they were not authorized to publicly discuss the matter.
In Syrian rebel area, gunmen release 4 aid workers, keep 3; car bomb kills 15
BEIRUT (AP) -- Gunmen in Syria released three Red Cross staffers and a Red Crescent volunteer who had been kidnapped in rebel-held territory, the international agency said Monday.
The fate of three other Red Cross workers who were also seized Sunday in the northwestern Idlib province remained unclear, the International Committee of the Red Cross said.
Syrian opposition activists said the seven aid workers were taken at a rebel checkpoint outside the town of Saraqeb, manned by an al-Qaida-affiliate, the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant. There was no claim of responsibility.
About two dozen miles away, near Turkey, a car bomb went off in the market of the town of Darkoush on Monday, while it was crowded with people shopping for the four-day Muslim holiday of Eid al-Adha holiday. The blast set cars on fire and sent people running.
The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said 27 people were killed, while another activist group, the Local Coordination Committees, put the death toll at 15.
Carnival Cruise Lines says 6-year-old boy drowned in pool while at sea on 4-day trip
MIAMI (AP) -- A 6-year-old boy drowned in one of the pools aboard a Carnival Cruise Lines ship while at sea, the company said in a statement Monday.
The Carnival Victory was on the last leg of a four-day Caribbean cruise Sunday when the boy drowned in the midship pool. He was at the pool area with other family members at the time, the statement said.
"To the best of our knowledge it is the first time a child has drowned aboard one of our ships," Carnival spokeswoman Joyce Oliva said in an email to The Associated Press.
The ship arrived Monday morning at Port Miami. There were 3,094 guests on the ship and approximately 1,100 staff members, Carnival said.
"Carnival extends its heartfelt sympathy to the family during this very difficult time. The company’s CareTeam is providing assistance and support," Carnival said in its statement.
Indian residents say evacuation ahead of Cyclone Phailin kept them alive
PODAMPETTA, India (AP) -- Agya Amma’s house in this seaside village was flattened by the cyclone that roared in from the Bay of Bengal with torrential rains and winds topping 200 kilometers (131 miles) per hour. But the fact that she was still here on Monday, surveying the pile of twisted wood and shredded thatch that had been her home, was proof that this was a different kind of disaster for India.
Unlike past storms that have lashed India’s eastern coast, Cyclone Phailin did not extract a heavy human toll, thanks to a massive and improbable evacuation effort that effectively moved nearly 1 million residents of one of India’s poorest regions out of the storm’s path and into government shelters.
By Monday, only 25 people had been reported killed, even though tens of thousands of homes were destroyed. The successful evacuation effort was earning rare praise for a country known for large-scale disasters that have caused high death tolls. In 1999, a cyclone that struck the same coast killed about 10,000 people, while more than 6,000 were killed in June by flooding and mudslides in another Indian state, Uttarakhand.
"If we had stayed here, everyone in the village would be dead," said Amma, a 55-year-old fisherwoman. "I consider myself lucky to be alive."
Despite the comparatively low number of deaths, Phailin still dealt its share of misery, as hundreds of thousands of coastal residents found themselves huddling in shelters, their homes flattened and crops destroyed by the most powerful storm to hit India in more than a decade.
Hopes high as U.S., partners meet with Iran this week over its nuclear program
GENEVA (AP) -- Iran is promising a new proposal to break the deadlock over its nuclear program when it resumes talks Tuesday with the U.S. and five major world powers -- the first since the election of a reformist Iranian president.
The U.S. and its partners are approaching the talks with caution. They are eager to test Tehran’s new style since the June election of President Hassan Rouhani but insist that it will take more than words to advance the negotiations and end crippling international sanctions.
Iran has long insisted it does not want nuclear weapons and that its nuclear program is entirely peaceful -- a position received with skepticism in Western capitals. But Iranian officials from Rouhani down say their country is ready to meet some international demands to reduce its nuclear activities and build trust.
Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araghchi, a senior member of Iran’s negotiating team, said Sunday that Tehran is bringing a new proposal to the talks to dispel doubts about the nuclear program. While offering no details, he told Iran’s student news agency ISNA that the Islamic Republic should ‘’enter into a trust-building path with the West."
"In their point of view trust-building means taking some steps on the Iranian nuclear issue, and in our view trust is made when the sanctions are lifted," Araghchi said.
Hollywood-style sting lures alleged Somali pirate to a Belgian jail
BRUSSELS (AP) -- The alleged pirate kingpin thought he was going work in the movies. Instead he landed in jail.
In a sting operation worthy of Hollywood, Mohamed Abdi Hassan was lured from Somalia to Belgium with promises of work on a documentary about high-seas crime that would "mirror his life as a pirate," federal prosecutor Johan Delmulle said Monday.
But rather than being behind the camera as an expert adviser, Abdi Hassan ended up behind bars, nabbed as he landed Saturday at Brussels airport.
"(He’s) one of the most important and infamous kingpin pirate leaders, responsible for the hijacking of dozens of commercial vessels from 2008 to 2013," Delmulle said.
Abdi Hassan -- whose nickname, Afweyne, means "Big Mouth" -- was charged with hijacking the Belgian dredger Pompei and kidnapping its nine-member crew in 2009, Delmulle said.
Oil rises on hopes for U.S. debt resolution
The price of oil rose slightly Monday amid alternating hope and uncertainty about the looming deadline for U.S. lawmakers to reach an agreement over the government’s borrowing limit and shutdown.
Benchmark crude for November delivery rose 39 cents to close at $102.41 a barrel in New York. Brent crude, the benchmark used to price international crudes used by many U.S. refineries, was down 24 cents to $111.04 per barrel.
The price of oil "continues to gyrate around speculation and rumor regarding the shutdown of the U.S.government," wrote energy analyst Stephen Schork in a report.
The price has swung back and forth for days as lawmakers try to resolve an impasse that left the government partially closed and the markets worried about the U.S. defaulting on its debt for the first time. The United States will reach the limit of its borrowing authority on Thursday, according to estimates from the Treasury Department.
The decline in U.S. retail gasoline prices that has lasted for six weeks has all but stopped. The national average fell less than a penny Monday to $3.34 per gallon after spending all of last week at $3.35 per gallon. The average is 20 cents cheaper than it was a month ago, and 45 cents below last year at this time.
Gasoline prices have fallen because supplies are ample and demand is tepid. They haven’t slid further because oil prices remain relatively high, thanks to strong global demand for crude, especially in China.
Some traders expect the price of oil to fall soon, however, because supplies appear to be plentiful. In its latest quarterly oil market report, the International Energy Agency predicted strong growth in non-OPEC supplies of crude oil, easily outpacing demand growth next year. The Paris-based IEA also said Friday that the United States would overtake Russia next year as the largest non-OPEC producer of liquid fuels.
In other energy futures trading on Nymex:
-- Wholesale gasoline remained unchanged to close at $2.67 a gallon.
-- Natural gas rose 4 cents to close at $3.82 per 1,000 cubic feet.
-- Heating oil fell less than a penny to close at $3.03 a gallon.
3 U.S. economists win Nobel for their work in explaining prices for bonds, stocks, housing
Ordinary investors don’t stand much chance of beating the market. It moves way too fast and efficiently. Or it behaves in ways that make no sense at all.
Three Americans won the Nobel prize in economics Monday for their sometimes-contradictory insights into the complexities of investing.
Eugene Fama and Lars Peter Hansen of the University of Chicago and Robert Shiller of Yale University were honored for shedding light on the forces that move stock, bond and home prices -- findings that have transformed how people invest.
Fama’s research revealed the efficiency of financial markets: They absorb information so fast that individual investors can’t outperform the markets as a whole. His work helped popularize index funds, which reflect an entire market of assets, such as the Standard & Poor’s 500 stock index.
"Fama’s work was incredibly fundamental in the ‘60s and ‘70s," said David Warsh, who follows economists at his Economic Principals blog. "It led to enormous practical change in terms of people not buying particular stocks but buying index funds."