World News: bin Laden Associates-"No Remorse"; Afghan, Iraq Terror Attacks; Turkey Leaders Ban Twitter over Corruption Scandal

By: ap
By: ap

NEW YORK (AP) -- Al-Qaida's self-professed Sept. 11 mastermind and an imam who met with Osama bin Laden in a cave soon after the attacks show no signs of having softened their views toward America.
Khalid Sheik Mohammed and Sulaiman Abu Ghaith made recent public statements showing they believe the attacks were justified. Mohammed's words emerged in a written statement responding to hundreds of questions from a lawyer for Abu Ghaith. Abu Ghaith testified in Manhattan federal court at his trial on charges he conspired to kill Americans and aid al-Qaida.
Mohammed still boasts that the Taliban was good for Afghanistan and that everything bin Laden said was right. Mohammed is held at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
Closing arguments in Abu Ghaith's trial are slated for Monday.

KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) -- A closed-circuit security video shows security guards searching four attackers twice before allowing them to enter an Afghan hotel where the young men proceeded to the restaurant and killed nine diners, including four foreigners and two children.
The footage was broadcast Saturday by a local Afghan TV station and shared with The Associated Press.
The question of how the gunmen penetrated the Serena hotel's tight security is one of the biggest mysteries surrounding Thursday's attack. Authorities say the weaponry was hidden in their shoes.
The video, obtained by Ariana Television News, starts with four men clad in traditional tunics walking through the perimeter gate, then being called back to be searched. The cameras then show them patted down again at the main security checkpoint after passing through a metal detector.

ISLAMABAD (AP) -- A cleric representing the Pakistani Taliban says leaders from the militant will soon be holding direct talks with the government to find a way to end violence that has claimed thousands of lives in recent years.
Maulana Samiul Haq said Saturday that the Taliban have agreed to travel to an undisclosed "peace zone" in the next two or three days for the talks.
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif since coming into power last year has been trying to negotiate an end to the years of violence.
The group recently named three clerics sympathetic to the Taliban to represent them. But the coming meeting would be the first time that Taliban leaders have sat across the table with the government in formal talks.

Iraqi officials: Attacks kill 16, journalist shot during quarrel with presidential guard
BAGHDAD (AP) -- Iraqi officials say a series of attacks across the country have killed 16 people today.
Police say the wave began with a roadside bomb in a commercial street in the northern city of Tikrit (tih-KREET'). Minutes later, a car bomb struck policemen who had arrived to inspect the site of the first blast. The officials say five policemen and two civilians were killed and 18 people were wounded in the bombings. Tikrit is 80 miles north of Baghdad.
Other attacks targeted police and security checkpoints in various parts of the country. The Iraqi security forces are a favorite target for Sunni insurgents trying to undermine the Shiite-led government.
In a separate incident, a Kurdish officer in the Iraqi president's guard is alleged to have shot dead the head of a local radio station during a quarrel near the leader's Baghdad residence.

BEIRUT (AP) -- Syrian state media say government forces have ambushed a group of rebels who crossed into the country from neighboring Jordan and killed several of the fighters.
SANA news agency said on Saturday that the rebels were members of the al-Qaida-linked Nusra Front.
It says they were attacked near the town of Adra, northeast of Damascus, and that most of the rebels died in the ambush. The report says their weapons were seized.
Opposition activists also reported a government attack on rebels in Adra.
The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says the ambush occurred late Friday and that at least 10 people were killed.
The Observatory's chief, Rami Abdurrahman, says it's unclear if all of those killed were rebels and if so, which group they belonged to.

TRIPOLI, Libya (AP) -- A spokesman for the Libyan navy says American sailors have handed over control of a captured North Korean-flagged oil tanker to Libyan forces while in international waters.
Ayoub Abou el-Qassem said Saturday that the tanker, Morning Glory, is now heading to the port at Zawiya refinery, 40 kilometers (25 miles) west of the capital Tripoli.
Last week, U.S. Navy SEALs seized the ship off the Mediterranean island of Cyprus, stopping an attempt by a Libyan militia to sell its shipload of crude in defiance of Tripoli. A Pentagon spokesman said Friday that 34 sailors from the frigate USS Elrod are aboard the tanker.
The tanker saga illustrated the extreme weakness of Libya's government, vying with militias for dominance since the 2011 ouster and death of longtime strongman Moammar Gadhafi.

Libya's guns free-for-all fuels region's turmoil
TRIPOLI, Libya (AP) -- Parts of Libya have become an open air weapons market since the overthrow of Moammar Gadhafi.
At one such place in Tripoli, tables display pistols and assault rifles. And vendors can pull out heavier weapons to sell for thousands of dollars.
With hundreds of militias and a central government that is virtually powerless, Libya is awash in millions of weapons with no control over their trafficking. Weapon smuggling is also a big business.
The militias outgun the military and police, which were shattered in the civil war. Last month, militia fighters hired to protect Tripoli International Airport stole a planeload of weapons sent by Russia for Libya's military when it stopped to refuel.
The weapons chaos has alarmed Europe and the United States but a Western diplomat says one problem is that Europe and the U.S. simply don't know who to talk to in Libya.

7 killed in clashes in northwest Yemen
SANAA, Yemen (AP) -- Security officials in Yemen say clashes in the northwest have killed five Shiite rebels and two soldiers.
Shooting broke out on Saturday when security forces prevented thousands of armed members of the Hawthi rebel group from entering the city of Amran to take part in a protest calling for the fall of the government, the officials said. They said five Hawthis and bystanders were also wounded in the fighting.
They spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to journalists.
Though the clashes stopped, the city remains tense and security forces are deployed, they said.
A six-year insurgency in the north led by the Hawthi tribe, members of a Shiite sect, officially ended in 2010. But the group has recently clashed with Sunni ultraconservatives.

Guinea: 29 dead from viral hemorrhagic fever
CONAKRY, Guinea (AP) -- Guinea's ministry of health says that 49 people have been registered with viral hemorrhagic fever in the country's south since February, and 29 of those people have since died.
The ministry said in a statement Friday that initial studies confirm the presence of a virus in Gueckedou, Macenta, Kissidougou and Conakry, though it hasn't yet been specifically identified. The ministry has asked people to report any suspected cases.
Doctors Without Borders says it has launched an emergency response to the outbreak in southern Guinea and is helping to set up isolation units.
The organization says that "viral hemorrhagic fever of filovirus type is a rare but severe and often fatal disease that spreads rapidly through direct contact with infected people or animals," and is transmitted by blood and body fluids.

COPENHAGEN, Denmark (AP) -- Sweden's foreign minister has taken to Twitter to tell Turkey its efforts to block access to the social media network were "stupid."
Carl Bildt says the blockade "isn't working and also backfiring heavily."
Bildt, known for being very active on Twitter, made the remark Saturday, a day after Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan imposed a ban on the network.
The blockade came after links proliferated on Twitter to recordings that appear to incriminate Erdogan and other Turkish officials in corruption, including one in which Erdogan allegedly tells his son to dispose of large sums of money from a residence amid a police graft probe.
Tech-savvy users in Turkey quickly circumvented the ban and users swapped instructions online on how to change settings.

Big protest in Spain against government austerity
MADRID (AP) -- Tens of thousands of demonstrators from across Spain have marched in central Madrid to protest government measures they claim have eroded civil rights in the country.
Six columns of protesters -- each from a different region of Spain -- arrived at the outskirts of the city early Saturday before heading for Colon square, carrying banners bearing the slogan "Marching for Dignity."
By late afternoon, Madrid's principal boulevard, Paseo del Prado, was packed with people chanting against government's austerity policies and the cuts they have entailed.
The protest includes trade unions, civil servants and organizations representing people evicted from their homes for not being able to make mortgage payments after losing their jobs.
One woman carried a banner saying, "My daughter can't be here because she's had to emigrate."

Philippines arrests Communist Party chairman, wife
MANILA, Philippines (AP) -- The Philippine military says security forces have arrested the underground Communist Party leader and his wife, dealing the biggest blow to the decades-old rebel group in recent years.
Military chief Gen. Emmanuel Bautista says Communist Party of the Philippines chairman Benito Tiamzon and his wife, Wilma, who is also a senior party officer, were arrested Saturday in central Cebu province.
The arrest comes a week before the party's armed wing, the New People's Army, marks its 45th anniversary.
Bautista says the couple faces charges of crimes against humanity, including multiple murders.
Bautista is calling on the rebels to abandon their armed struggle.
Talks to end one of Asia's longest-running insurgencies have stalled since 2011 due to disagreements between the government and guerrillas over releasing several jailed rebel leaders.

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