Pakistani doctor helped U.S. plan bin Laden raid, Panetta says

Ready for a new year Hundreds of Taiwanese prepare to release “sky lanterns” Saturday in hopes of good fortune and prosperity in the new year, and to celebrate the forthcoming traditional Chinese Lantern Festival in the Pingxi district of New Taipei City. The festival starts Feb. 6.

Associated Press

Ready for a new year Hundreds of Taiwanese prepare to release “sky lanterns” Saturday in hopes of good fortune and prosperity in the new year, and to celebrate the forthcoming traditional Chinese Lantern Festival in the Pingxi district of New Taipei City. The festival starts Feb. 6.

WASHINGTON

Doctor helped U.S. plan bin Laden raid, Panetta says

Defense Secretary Leon Panetta has confirmed publicly for the first time that Shikal Afridi, an imprisoned doctor in Pakistan, was working with the CIA to gain access to Osama bin Laden's compound in the months before U.S. troops killed bin Laden last May. Panetta, in an interview on the CBS News program 60 Minutes to be broadcast today, also said he believed that some officials in Pakistan knew that bin Laden was hiding in the sprawling Abbottabad compound. CBS released excerpts from the interview on Saturday. Panetta is the first U.S. official to publicly confirm that a Pakistani doctor imprisoned by Pakistan's intelligence service in the days after the bin Laden raid had been working for the CIA.

Iran

U.N. nuclear agency team arrives in Tehran

Officials from the United Nations nuclear agency arrived Saturday in Tehran for talks aimed at allaying concerns that Iran is seeking a nuclear weapon. It was still unclear whether the International Atomic Energy Agency team, headed by chief inspector Herman Nackaerts, would inspect nuclear sites or just discuss with Iranian officials possible military dimensions of Iran's nuclear programs. Although not officially disclosed, the IAEA team is expected to meet with Iran's chief nuclear negotiator, Saedi Jalili, and atomic chief Fereydoun Abbasi.

LOS ANGELES

Hundreds gather for Etta James' funeral

Hundreds of Etta James' friends, fans and family gathered Saturday at a Los Angeles-area church to remember the legendary rhythm and blues singer, who died Jan. 20 at age 73 after battling leukemia and other ailments. Mourners included entertainment luminaries, with both Stevie Wonder and Christina Aguilera performing. Aguilera sang the song that James made famous, At Last, while Wonder performed with the church's choir. James won four Grammy Awards, including a lifetime achievement honor, and was inducted in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1993.

CROFTON, Md.

Four killed as driver goes wrong way

Maryland State Police said four people died after a driver apparently went the wrong way on Route 50 in Anne Arundel County and collided with another car. Police said the crash happened about 3:30 a.m. Saturday on Route 50 near Davidsonville Road. The names of the victims were not released. • Sacramento, Calif.: Three people were killed and more than 20 injured in a crash between a light-rail train and a sport utility vehicle, officials said.

Greece

Deal on restructure of debt seems likely

A disorderly and potentially devastating Greek debt default is looking much less likely. Negotiators for Greece and investors who hold its bonds said Saturday that an agreement could become final this week. A deal would allow Greece to receive a bailout of up to $39 billion and help Europe avoid a blow to its already weak financial system, even though banks and other bond investors will have to accept massive losses. If the deal is approved, bonds held by investors would be exchanged for new bonds worth 60 percent less.

Elsewhere

OAKLAND, Calif.: Oakland police used tear gas and flash grenades Saturday to break up an estimated 2,000 Occupy protesters after some demonstrators started throwing objects at officers and tearing down fencing, police said. There were at least 10 arrests and no reports of serious injuries.

Peru: A fire swept through a two-story private rehabilitation center for addicts in a poor part of Peru's capital, Lima, on Saturday, killing at least 27 people as firefighters punched holes through walls to rescue residents locked inside.

Italy: Divers on Saturday found the body of a woman on the half-sunken Italian cruise ship Costa Concordia, officials on the Italian island of Giglio said, bringing the total number of bodies recovered to 17; 17 others are still missing.

Times wires

Pakistani doctor helped U.S. plan bin Laden raid, Panetta says

01/28/12 [Last modified: Saturday, January 28, 2012 10:37pm]

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