Osama Bin Laden's Body Buried at Sea, Official Says

CNN via Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- In accordance with Islamic law, the body of Osama bin Laden has been buried at sea, a U.S. official told ABC News.

Officials said the last thing they wanted is for bin Laden's burial place to become a terrorist shrine.  In order to avoid that, his body was laid to rest at sea, leaving no definitive location for the final resting place of his body.

The al Qaeda leader was killed by U.S. forces Sunday in Pakistan.

Prior to bin Laden's burial, a senior administration official told ABC News, "We are ensuring [the body] is handled in accordance with Islamic practice and tradition.  It's something we take seriously and therefore it's being handled in an appropriate manner.‬"

Under Islamic tradition, the body is to be washed by Muslim men and buried as soon as possible, usually by the next prayer -- Muslims pray five times a day -- although there may be delays under certain circumstances.  The body is usually buried in a simple white sheet, whether buried in the ground or at sea.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Where Will Prince William and Catherine Honeymoon?

Dan Kitwood/Getty Images(LONDON) -- Now that all the pomp and pageantry is over, the world is dying to know where Prince William and Catherine, the Duchess of Cambridge, will be honeymooning.

That location, for obvious reasons, is undisclosed.

For the time being, the couple will be staying at a rented cottage on an island off the coast of Wales in western Britain.  Then, it's off to who knows where.

Rumored destinations for the newlyweds, who were married in spectacular style last Friday before a world audience, are Kenya, Jordan, Australia or a Caribbean island.

In the meantime, Britain can get back to serious matters, such as whether the new groom's brother, Prince Harry, is courting Philippa "Pippa" Middletown, the younger sister of the bride.  The two served as best man and maid of honor at the royal wedding.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Osama bin Laden Killed

AFP/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Osama bin Laden, the world's most wanted person and the man responsible for the September 11th, 2001 terrorist attacks on the United States, has been killed in a ground attack.

In a statement from the White House just after 11:30 p.m. ET Sunday, President Obama said that a small team, acting on his orders, moved in on a compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan, where bin Laden was believed to have been hiding. The al Qaeda leader was then shot dead by U.S. forces and his body recovered, the president said.

Sources tell ABC News that the identity of the body has been confirmed.

President Obama called the killing of bin Laden the "most significant achievement to date" in the effort to defeat al Qaeda.

"Last August, after years of painstaking work by our intelligence community, I was briefed on a possible lead to Bin Laden," the president said. "It was far from certain. It took many months to run this thread to ground. I met repeatedly with my National Security team as we developed more information about the possibility that we had located Bin Laden hiding within a compound deep inside Pakistan.

The president said that last week he authorized an operation to "to get Osama Bin Laden and bring him to justice."

"A small team of Americans carried out the operation with extraordinary courage and capability," Obama said. Sources told ABC News the attack was carried out by Joint Special Operations Command forces working with the CIA.

"After a firefight, they killed Osama Bin Laden and took custody of his body," Obama said, noting that no Americans were harmed in the operation.

Former President George W. Bush, who led America through the days and years following the September 11th attacks, said that President Obama informed him by phone Sunday that bin Laden had been killed.

"I congratulated him and the men and women of our military and intelligence communities who devoted their lives to this mission," Bush said in a statement Sunday. "They have our everlasting gratitude.  This momentous achievement marks a victory for America, for people who seek peace around the world, and for all those who lost loved ones on September 11, 2001.  The fight against terror goes on, but tonight America has sent an unmistakable message:  No matter how long it takes, justice will be done."

There was "jubilance" throughout the White House Sunday night, ahead of the president's announcement, according to ABC News Senior White House Correspondent Jake Tapper.

Bin Laden, 54, was the leader of the al Qaeda terrorist network that carried out the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center, the Pentagon and United Airlines flight 93.  He's also responsible for the 1998 U.S. Embassy bombings at the U.S. embassies in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania and Nairobi, Kenya.  Al Qaeda was also responsible for the attack on the U.S. warship USS Cole on October 12, 2000.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


U.S. Embassy Attacked in Libya

U.S. State Department(TRIPOLI, Libya) -- Violence in Libya continued on Sunday, with the United States Embassy in Tripoli coming under attack.

Three buildings on the U.S. Embassy compound were reportedly attacked by individuals who appeared to be Libyans loyal to Moammar Gadhafi. A senior U.S. official said that one of the buildings was set on fire; however, fire crews were reportedly able to respond and extinguish the blaze. It is not quite clear just how much damage was caused by the fire. The other two U.S. Embassy buildings attacked are now reportedly being occupied by Libyans.

No Americans were inside the buildings at the time of the attack, as the U.S. had pulled embassy employees out of Tripoli in February.

The attack comes a day after a NATO airstrike is reported to have killed Gadhafi’s son, Saif al-Arab, along with three of Moammar Gadhafi’s grandchildren.

Embassies belonging to the United Kingdom, France, Italy and Qatar, all located in Tripoli, were also attacked by Gadhafi loyalists. Following the attack on its embassy, the UK has ordered that Libya’s Ambassador to the UK, leave the country.

Offices of the United Nations were also attacked by violent mobs, prompting the UN to instruct its staff to leave Tripoli.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Pope Benedict Beatifies Pope John Paul II at Vatican Ceremony

JOE KLAMAR/AFP/Getty Images(ROME) -- Pope Benedict XVI beatified Pope John Paul II Sunday at St. Peter's Square before an estimated one million people, declaring the Polish-born pope to be "Blessed" and putting him one step closer to sainthood.

Among the faithful was a French nun, Sister Marie Simon-Pierre, who says she was cured of Parkinson's disease after praying to the pope only months after his death from complications of the same disease. The Vatican certified Sister Pierre's cure as a "miracle" and advanced John Paul's cause. Beatification is defined as one being "blessed," and is the first step in the process of being declared a saint by the Church. A second miracle tied to John Paul is needed before his canonization.

Posters honoring John Paul's life were put up all over Rome ahead of the ceremony. Large television screens showing images of Pope John Paul II were erected along the Via della Conciliazione, the Roman street that leads to St. Peter's Basilica.

Ahead of the ceremonies, the pope's coffin was carried from its resting place in the Vatican crypt beneath St. Peter's and placed before St. Peter's tomb where pilgrims filed past to pay their respects. A vial of John Paul's blood, taken during the last days before his death, was also put on display.

As pope, John Paul II beatified more people than the total of all other popes since the 15th century reign of Pope Sixtus VI, leading some critics to speculate that he was rapidly pushed to sainthood.

Joe Lynaugh of the Catholic movement, Call to Action, opposes John Paul II's potential canonization.

"This will just go down as another disappointment from a church that is unfortunately filled with disappointments these days," Lynaugh told ABC News. "Sainthood, maybe, but let's decide a couple hundred years from now. I'd settle with 10."

Father Thomas Williams, a Catholic priest and professor at the Regina Apostolorum Pontifical Athenaeum in Rome, disagrees.

"This was a response to a grassroots petition rather than a top-down decision," he said. "There was public clamor for Pope John Paul II to be recognized as a saint as soon as he died. The Church merely acceded to the wishes of the faithful. The process began quickly but there were no shortcuts taken in the process itself.”

The Vatican said at least 21 heads of state and 87 official delegations from around the world attended the ceremony, including presidents Giorgio Napolitano of Italy, Bronislaw Komorowski of Poland and Felipe Calderon of Mexico.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


NATO Strike Kills Gadhafi Son, Libya Says

MAHMUD TURKIA/AFP/Getty Images(TRIPOLI, Libya) -- A NATO attack on Moammar Gadhafi's compound in the capital city of Tripoli killed the Libyan leader's youngest son, according to a government spokesman.

"The attack resulted in the martyrdom of brother Saif al-Arab Muammar Gaddafi, 29 years old, and three of the leader's grandchildren," government spokesman Moussa Ibrahim said, according to BBC News.

The Libyan spokesman said Col. Gadhafi was at the same compound with his wife, friends, and other relatives Saturday when the attack occurred, but escaped unharmed.

"This was a direct operation to assassinate the leader of this country," the spokesman said, according to the BBC.

NATO confirmed a strike on Gadhafi's compound and acknowledged media reports regarding the deaths of Gadhafi's son and grandchildren, but in a statement provided to ABC News, Lt. Gen. Charles Bouchard stressed "we do not target individuals."

He did not confirm the identities of the deceased.

“We regret all loss of life," Brouchard said, "especially the innocent civilians being harmed as a result of the ongoing conflict."

The city of Benghazi broke into celebratory gunfire once rebels learned of the reported deaths.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


U.S. Soldier Killed On Duty in Iraq

Antenna Audio, Inc./Getty Images(BAGHDAD) -- As the month of April draws to a close, the death toll for U.S. Troops serving in Iraq continues to rise.

Military officials say a U.S. service member was killed on Friday while conducting operations in the southern part of Iraq. Officials say the incident remains under investigation.

The victim’s name was not immediately released, pending notification of the service member's next of kin.

This brings the total amount of U.S. soldiers who have died while serving in Iraq during the month of April to 10.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


German Authorities Arrest Three Terror Suspects

Medioimages/Photodisc/ThinkStock(BERLIN) -- Authorities in Germany say they arrested three members of al Qaeda who were believed be on the verge of committing terror attacks in Germany.

The trio, who were arrested Friday morning, consists of: Moroccan national Abdeladim El-K., 29, who is believed to be the ringleader; Jamil S., 31, of dual German and Moroccan citizenship; and Amid C., 19, who holds dual German and Iranian citizenship.

The three men appeared in a German court on Saturday, accused of plotting a terror attack that involved an explosive. Authorities say the suspects did not yet have a target for the attack, but were in the experimental phase of the planning, according to published reports.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Where Will the Royal Couple Honeymoon?

Chris Jackson/Getty Images(LONDON) -- Prince William and Kate Middleton take their vows, the bells of London toll, and the royal wedding becomes a part of history -- but in the meantime one last mystery swirls: where will the newlyweds honeymoon?

"The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have chosen not to depart for a honeymoon immediately. Instead, after spending the weekend privately in the United Kingdom, The Duke will return to work as a Search and Rescue pilot next week," said a St James's Palace spokesman in a statement released Saturday.

"The locations of both their private weekend before The Duke returns to work and their future honeymoon, which will be overseas, will not be disclosed in advance.

"The Couple have asked that their privacy be respected during the coming weekend and during their honeymoon."

The honeymoon speculation has included destinations all over the world, with many sources reporting that William and Kate will travel to Australia. Last month, when he visited there, William told the U.K.'s Daily Telegraph, "I love scuba diving, I have always wanted to dive the barrier reef." He playfully told cheering locals, "I will have to come back; maybe we'll have a honeymoon in Cairns?"

The Mirror is also predicting that the royal couple will head down under after their wedding, with The Mirror naming Lizard Island, a national park on the Reef, as the most likely destination.

Some beach destination contenders include Mauritius and the Seychelles, businessman Richard Branson's private island in the British Virgin Islands and the private Caribbean island Mustique, where the late Princess Margaret had a house. It was also reported that Kate Middleton recently purchased two bikinis during a shopping trip on King's Road in London, further suggesting a honeymoon in the sun.

Others predict William will bring his bride back to Kenya, where he proposed and where he once said he hoped they would be able to return soon.

Wherever they end up, they only have two weeks to duck from paparazzi and enjoy their newlywed bliss. Prince William is only allowed two weeks' leave by the Royal Air Force until he has to be back at his base in Wales. His parents, Charles and Diana, had the fortune of a honeymoon that lasted more than two months.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Clinton Speaks on New Syria Sanctions; Lauds Human Rights Council

FABRICE COFFRINI/AFP/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Accompanied by visiting Japanese foreign minister Takeaki Matsumoto, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton once again on Friday called for the Syrian government to stop the violent crackdown on protests and said the Syrian government will be held accountable.
Clinton said the U.S. sanctions imposed Friday are meant to show the Syrian government that  “its behavior and actions are going to be held accountable.”

The U.S. continues to condemn “the absolutely deplorable actions” they’ve used  “in the strongest possible terms."  She said the message that the violence “must end immediately” is a one that has been conveyed bilaterally and multilaterally “to make it absolutely clear” what is expected of the Syrian government.
Clinton welcomed the UN Human Rights Council’s call Friday to launch an investigation in Syria to look at human rights violations resulting from the tough crackdown.  She praised the council for setting a precedent to launch an urgent investigation into accusations of violations of international law.  She also said the goal of the investigation would be to bring any violators of international law to justice.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

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