Bin Laden kin faces charges in U.S. court Protection for women renewed Senate panel OKs gun curbs Idaho fetal pain law rejected Scaffolding rises at Monument Garage art worth $30 million
WASHINGTON -- A senior al-Qaida leader and member of Osama bin Laden's inner circle was charged Thursday with conspiring to kill Americans in his role as the terror network's top propagandist who lauded the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001 -- and warned there would be more.
The FBI and the CIA helped capture Sulaiman Abu Ghaith and have flown him to New York City to face terrorism-related charges, U.S. officials said. Ghaith was taken into U.S. custody in Jordan, where he was stopped while being deported from Turkey to Kuwait, his native country, under a scheme orchestrated by U.S. authorities. He is believed to have spent most of the past decade in Iran.
Officials said Ghaith, who was bin Laden's son-in-law, will appear today in U.S. federal court in New York, according to a Justice Department statement. The case marks a legal victory for the Obama administration, which has long sought to charge al-Qaida suspects in U.S. federal courts instead of holding them at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
The Justice Department said Abu Ghaith was the spokesman for al-Qaida, working alongside bin Laden and current leader Ayman al-Zawahri, since at least May 2001. The day after the 9/11 attacks, prosecutors say he appeared with bin Laden and al-Zawahri and called on the "nation of Islam" to battle against Jews, Christians and Americans. A "great army is gathering against you," Abu Ghaith said on Sept. 12, 2001, according to prosecutors.
WASHINGTON -- President Barack Obama on Thursday signed into law the Violence Against Women Act.
Obama said this year's legislation expands an act that has altered the culture surrounding domestic violence in America. The bill extends federal aid to gay, immigrant and tribal victims.
Accompanied by Vice President Joe Biden, who first introduced the act as a senator 19 years ago, Obama emphasized the bill's new services. "We'll expand them to cover even more women, because this is a country where everybody should be able to pursue their own measure of happiness and live their lives free from fear, no matter who you are, no matter who you love," Obama said.
The Senate passed the bill on a bipartisan 78 to 22 vote. The House passed it 286-138. A primary concern of conservative opponents of the bill had been a provision that changes tribal law to allow tribal courts to try non-natives.
WASHINGTON -- In Congress' first gun votes since the Newtown, Conn., nightmare, the Senate Judiciary Committee voted Thursday to toughen federal penalties against illegal firearms purchases, even as senators signaled that a deep partisan divide remained over gun curbs.
The Democratic-led panel voted 11-7 to impose penalties of up to 25 years for people who legally buy firearms but give them to someone else for use in a crime or to people legally barred from acquiring weapons. The panel's top Republican, Sen. Charles Grassley of Iowa, cast the only GOP vote for the measure.
BOISE, Idaho -- Idaho has become the first state to have its so-called fetal pain law banning abortions after 20 weeks struck down by the federal courts.
The decision from U.S. District Judge B. Lynn Winmill was handed down Wednesday as part of a ruling that also overturns other abortion restrictions in Idaho. The ruling is binding only in Idaho.
Eastern Idaho resident Jennie Linn McCormack was the first to sue over the fetal pain law and other abortion restrictions after Bannock County Prosecutor Mark Hiedeman charged her with a felony because police said she obtained an illegal abortion.
The ruling cited two landmark U.S. Supreme Court cases -- Roe vs. Wade and Planned Parenthood vs. Casey -- to show a woman has an absolute right to an abortion before the point of viability, Hearn said.
WASHINGTON -- Workers have started building scaffolding around the 555-foot-tall Washington Monument to make repairs to stonework damaged in a 2011 earthquake.
The National Park Service awarded a $9.6 million contract in September 2012 to begin repairing the monument. It will involve scaffolding around the entire monument, sealing cracks, repointing the mortar and strengthening weak spots.
The marble and granite obelisk has been closed to the public since a 5.8-magnitude earthquake shook the region on Aug. 23, 2011. The upper portion of the monument sustained large cracks. The total cost of the repairs is $15 million.
BELLPORT, N.Y. -- Works by an obscure Armenian-American abstract impressionist discovered in a New York cottage have been appraised at $30 million.
In 2007, the new owner of a bungalow in Bellport, on Long Island, found thousands of paintings, drawings and journals by Arthur Pinajian in a garage and attic. News 12 Long Island said Some pieces already have sold for $500,000.
The run-down bungalow and one-car garage were purchased for around $300,000 in 2007.