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Friday
Jan212011

White House Set to Resume Trials at Guantanamo Bay

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(GUANTANAMO BAY, Cuba) -- President Obama is set to allow trials at the U.S. detention center in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba to resume, according to administration officials, speaking on the condition of anonymity.

The move would be a tacit acknowledgment that any further attempts to try suspects in U.S. civilian courts are futile, given the amount of opposition that still exists to the idea.

In one of his first acts after taking office in 2009, Obama announced he was ordering the closure of the detention center at, which holds terrorist suspects arrested overseas.  The president argued that it had become a lightning rod for criticism from foreign governments and human rights groups.  His goal was to have the facility shut down by January 2010.  The president also suspended any military tribunals from taking place there.

Two years later, the prison still holds 173 detainees, while the White House has been frustrated by a lack of cooperation from Capitol Hill lawmakers who don't want trials held in the U.S. or to have any of the suspects moved to American jails.

It's estimated that more than 30 detainees will go up before the military commissions while the White House considers what should be done with the rest of the detainees at the Gitmo facility.  One of the ideas being considered is a parole-type system.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Friday
Jan212011

Five Americans Bound for the Philippines Missing

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(MANILA, Philippines) -- The Philippine Coast Guard is searching for a missing sailboat carrying five Americans.

The 38-foot twin-hulled catamaran, The Pineapple, left the Pacific island of Guam 15 days ago and was scheduled to arrive in the central Filipino island of Cebu Sunday.

Concerned relatives contacted the U.S. Coast Guard, which conducted a search-and-rescue operation with their Filipino counterparts, Lt. Commander Armando Balilo said Friday.

"The weather has been rough out there with strong winds and high waves, so we're concerned," Balilo said.

Cebu is located about 1,400 miles west of Guam, a U.S. territory.  Heavy rains and rough seas have been reported in the area in recent weeks.

Balilo said four men and one woman are aboard the sailboat.  Their identities and hometowns have yet to be released.

The Philippines has dispatched two aircraft to help in the search.  Balilo said the Philippine Coast Guard has alerted all coast guard stations and asked all vessels in the Eastern Visayas region to help in the search.

The U.S. Coast Guard is also conducting a search. 

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Friday
Jan212011

NATO Soldier Killed, Another Wounded by Member of Afghan Army

Photo Courtesy - ABC News(BADGHIS, Afghnistan) -- NATO has confirmed that a member of the Afghan army shot and killed a NATO soldier this week in the Bdghis province of Afghanistan, according to BBC News.

NATO said that the Afghan soldier escaped after he opened fire on two International Security Assistance service members when asked to unload his weapon for cleaning.

This is the latest of several attacks by defecting Afghan soldiers. 

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Jan202011

Street Execution Highlights Need for Kenyan Police Reform

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(NAIROBI, Kenya) -- Kenyan officials confirmed Thursday that three officers have been suspended and placed under investigation after photos surfaced showing them murdering three men who had surrendered in the middle of a busy Nairobi roadway.

The Daily Nation, a leading news outlet in Kenya, first published the photos -- which show an undercover officer pointing a gun at the victims lying on the ground -- Thursday.  A driver at the scene had captured the incident on camera Wednesday morning, according to The New York Times.

The Kenyan police have been called out before regarding "extrajudicial killings." In 2009, the United Nations expressed cause for removal of the country's police commissioner and attorney general at the time.  The Daily Nation has called for an impartial third party to investigate, saying, "This is an instance where the police cannot be entrusted with the task of investigating themselves."

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Jan202011

US and World Powers Meeting with Iran to Talk Nukes

Iran's chief negotiator Saeed Jalili at the conclusion of prior nuke talks Dec. 7. Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(ISTANBUL) -- On Friday the U.S. will join the other members of the U.N. Security Council plus Germany for a second day of meetings with Iran to discuss its nuclear program. Similar talks took place last month. Undersecretary of State Bill Burns is again leading the U.S. delegation.
 
U.S. officials are setting expectations very low for this meeting, which is being held in Istanbul.
 
“These are small, incremental steps. We're not expecting any big breakthroughs, but we want to see a constructive process emerge,” State Department spokesman Mark Toner told reporters Thursday.
 
Earlier, the U.S. and its international partners had been expected to use this meeting to discuss a nuclear fuel swap offer with Iran, an update to a deal that Tehran initially accepted then rejected following an October 2009 meeting. Under such a deal, Iran would send its raw uranium abroad and would receive fuel for a nuclear reactor in return. Iran gets the fuel it wants for an energy reactor while the international community is assured Iran isn’t enriching that uranium further for use in a nuclear weapon. An updated offer would account for the fact that Iran has continued to produce uranium since October 2009, and so would include larger amounts of uranium.
 
Thursday, however, the State Department balked when asked if they would raise such an offer with Iran in Istanbul on Friday.
 
“I don't know if we're planning to bring it up. I think we're willing to discuss it,” Toner said.
 
“It would have to be some kind of updated arrangement,” he added.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Jan202011

UK: Concerns Arise over Control of Flu Vaccine

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(LONDON) – As the winter flu outbreak continues to claim lives in the United Kingdom, arguments have arisen as to who should manage the vaccination campaign in the future.

Although overall flu activity appears to be on the decline, the death toll in the UK has more than doubled to 254 from last week’s count of 112, reports the BBC.

Some are now arguing that the central government should take control of vaccinations away from GPs, who ran out of seasonal flu vaccines earlier this month. The shortage required the government to use stockpiles of the old flu vaccine, which did not offer protection from all strains.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Jan202011

State Department Sanctions Pakistani Taliban Leader

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(WASHINGTON) – The State Department has sanctioned Tehrik-e Taliban Pakistan leader Qari Hussain in an effort to cut off financial support to Hussain and the group.

The department said Thursday that Hussain is one of TTP’s top lieutenants and is among those who train the group's suicide bombers. He is particularly known for his recruitment of children as bombers.

“Today’s designation of Qari Hussain is in response to the wanton acts of violence he has perpetrated against the people of Pakistan and United States. Hussain’s sponsored operations have had a destabilizing effect on the region and his use of children to carry out suicide bombings is abhorrent,” said Ambassador Daniel Benjamin, the Department of State’s Coordinator for Counterterrorism.   “This case illustrates our continued resolve to undermine TTP senior leaders’ planning and coordination capabilities.”

Among attacks credited to Hussain and the TTP is a September 2010 attack that killed at least 54 during a rally in Quetta.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Jan202011

$33.4 Million Worth of Cocaine Seized En Route to China

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(HONG KONG) – Customs officials in Hong Kong uncovered $33.4 million worth of cocaine concealed in hollowed-out planks that originated in Bolivia and were en route to China, reports the BBC.

The 639-pound seizure was the second-largest drug bust in the region and was part of a “sophisticated” drug smuggling operation, according to customs officials in Hong Kong.

The bust has raised concerns that recreational drug use is on the rise in China due to growing wealth in the country. The country’s largest bust happened just last year, when 820 pounds of cocaine were discovered in a village in April.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Jan202011

North, South Korea Agree to Re-Open Military Talks

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(SEOUL) – After being urged by the U.S. and China Wednesday, South Korea on Thursday agreed to military negotiations with North Korea after multiple attempts by the North to re-open talks.

The South's Unification Ministry has said southern Defense Minister Kim Kwan-jin received a telegram from the North's Armed Forces Minister Kim Young-chun.

The South has agreed to open discussions only if the North takes “responsible measures” over the shelling of Yeonpyeong in November and the sinking of the Cheonan warship back in March, two events that have soured North-South relations.
 
At a meeting this week in Washington, President Barack Obama and Chinese President Hu Jintao urged the two sides to negotiate.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Jan202011

'Paul' The Octopus Is Memorialized

File Image. Image Courtesy - Getty Images(OBERHAUSEN, Germany) -- A fitting tribute to 'Paul' The Octopus has now been established in Germany.
 
At Oberhausen's Sea Life Aquarium, they've unveiled a six-foot-high replica of Paul clutching a soccer ball in his eight arms and inside the ball is a gold-leafed urn, holding his ashes.

The world's most famous prognosticator from the animal kingdom became a household name last summer with his long string of winning picks during the World Cup.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio







ABC News Radio