Latest News Jan 20

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SANAA, Yemen (AP) -- Yemeni military officials say eight people have been killed in two suspected U.S. drone strikes in Abieda valley in central Marib province.
Residents contacted by The Associated Press say that at least two of the eight people killed in Saturday evening's strikes were known al-Qaida militants of Saudi nationality. They identified one as Ismail bin Jamil.
They say at least three of the bodies were charred beyond recognition.
Security officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to media. Residents spoke anonymously for fear of reprisal.
The U.S. has carried out dozens of suspected drone attacks against al-Qaida in Yemen, which Washington considers the group's most active branch.
The nation on the tip of the Arabian Peninsula is among the poorest in the region.

WASHINGTON (AP) -- As Defense Secretary Leon Panetta's plane returned home from his final official overseas trip, his staff gathered to salute his time as Pentagon chief. And they presented him with a symbol of his tenure months at the helm of the world's largest military: a plastic meat ax.
Panetta may go down in history as the CIA director who got Osama bin Laden. But his 19 months as defense secretary came at a critical moment -- dominated by the nation's fiscal crisis and an endless struggle to protect the defense budget from billions in automatic spending cuts he repeatedly compared to a meat ax.
For President Barack Obama, Panetta's experience as a congressman and as budget director in the Clinton administration made him the perfect choice to take on Capitol Hill.

Obama urges public service at DC school makeover
WASHINGTON (AP) -- President Barack Obama wants Americans to take time out and volunteer for community service projects to give back to others.
Obama is highlighting a National Day of Service and the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. on Saturday, the beginning of a whirlwind weekend of inaugural events marking the end of his first term and start of his second.
The president and first lady Michelle Obama stained a bookshelf at Burrville Elementary School in D.C. They were joined by about 500 volunteers for the school makeover project.
Obama praised the volunteers, from adults to children, for understanding the importance of giving back.

Obamas join military families for kids' concert
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Hundreds of kids from military families and Washington-area public schools are enjoying inauguration weekend in the nation's capital.
First lady Michelle Obama and daughters Sasha and Malia shared the fun with them at the Kids' Inaugural Concert on Saturday night.
Pop star Usher started off the event with his hit song "Yeah." The concert was chock-full of A-list talent, including Katy Perry, Mindless Behavior and members of the cast of the Fox series "Glee."
The concert continued a tradition started at the 2009 inauguration by honoring the nation's military families. It was hosted by Mrs. Obama and the vice president's wife, Jill Biden, and emceed by Nick Cannon.

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Watch out Beyonce and Katy Perry. There's another diva set to perform during the inauguration festivities -- Lady Gaga.
A person familiar with the inauguration tells The Associated Press that the pop star will perform at Tuesday's ball for President Barack Obama's staffers. The source spoke on condition of anonymity because that person wasn't authorized to publicly reveal the information.
The staff ball is typically a private affair. During the last inauguration festivities, Jay-Z reportedly performed for that event.
According to one attendee, Jay-Z rapped a riff on one of his hit songs, "99 Problems but George Bush Ain't One," to the delight of the throngs of young staffers who worked to elect Obama in 2008.

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) -- Thousands of gun advocates have gathered peacefully at state capitals across the U.S. to rally against stricter limits on firearms.
The size of crowds at each location varied -- from dozens of people in South Dakota to 2,000 in New York. The other largest crowds appeared to be in Tennessee and Texas.
In Arizona and Oregon, some demonstrators came with holstered handguns or rifles on their backs. At the Kentucky Capitol, attendees gave a special round of applause for "the ladies that are packin'."
Activists promoted the "Guns Across America" rallies primarily through social media. They were being held just after President Barack Obama unveiled a sweeping package of federal gun-control proposals.

MEDINA, Ohio (AP) -- Five people have been injured in accidental shootings at gun shows in North Carolina, Indiana and Ohio.
At the Dixie Gun and Knife Show in Raleigh on Saturday, a 12-gauge shotgun discharged as its owner unzipped its case at a security entrance. Two bystanders were hit by shotgun pellets. A retired deputy sheriff's hand was struck.
In Indianapolis, a man was unloading his .45-caliber semi-automatic when he shot his hand while leaving the Indy 1500 Gun and Knife Show.
And in Medina (meh-DEYE'-nuh), Ohio, a gun dealer was checking out a semi-automatic handgun he'd bought when he accidentally pulled the trigger. Police say the gun's magazine had been removed, but one round remained in the chamber.
The bullet ricocheted off the floor and struck a friend's arm and leg.

FTC says seller of 9/11 coins to pay $750,000
NEW YORK (AP) -- A company that sold Sept. 11 commemorative coins supposedly containing silver from ground zero has agreed to pay $750,000 to settle charges that it deceived consumers.
The Federal Trade Commission says Port Chester, N.Y.-based National Collector's Mint charged customers for items they never ordered and failed to identify its wares as imitations.
A law passed in 2010 created an official Sept. 11 medal to benefit the museum being built at the World Trade Center site.
New York Sen. Charles Schumer and Rep. Jerrold Nadler complained the National Collector's Mint's coins could deprive the museum of funds.
The FTC said in a release Thursday the agreement bars National Mint from misrepresenting its products. It's subject to court approval.
Schumer said Saturday that the nation will not tolerate a "despicable scam."
The company couldn't immediately be reached for comment.

Hundreds honor information activist Swartz in NYC
NEW YORK (AP) -- Hundreds of friends and supporters of Aaron Swartz gathered in New York City to pay tribute to the free-information activist and online prodigy who killed himself last week.
The 26-year-old Swartz hanged himself in his apartment in Brooklyn months before he was to go on trial in Boston.
Federal prosecutors accused him of breaking into a computer wiring closet at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 2010 and tapping into the university's computer network to get millions of paid-access scholarly articles.
Swartz's family has blasted prosecutors' handling of his case, saying overreaching led to his death.
David Segal of the activist group Demand Progress said Swartz "was trying to hack the whole world, in the best way."

Nixon sister-in-law Clara Jane Nixon dies at 92
IRVINE, Calif. (AP) -- Clara Jane Nixon, former President Richard Nixon's sister-in-law who maintained the history of the Nixon family in Southern California, has died.
The Richard Nixon Foundation says she died of natural causes Saturday in Irvine. She was 92.
Clara Jane Nixon was married to Donald Nixon, who gained national attention in 1960 when he received a business loan from billionaire Howard Hughes. The loan raised campaign financing questions during Richard Nixon's presidential campaign.
The foundation says Clara Jane Nixon helped recover and preserve the original furniture pieces from the childhood home of the five Nixon brothers. The pieces are now at the Richard Nixon Library & Birthplace in Yorba Linda. She also participated in many events at the library.
Clara Jane Nixon is survived by a son and daughter.