U.N. chief is unsure about Gaza inquiries
U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon, in a highly anticipated report released Thursday night to the 192-nation General Assembly, said he could not determine whether the Israelis or Palestinians had conducted credible investigations into allegations of war crimes during last year's Gaza conflict, as required under a U.N. resolution. A U.N. panel, overseen by a respected South African jurist, Richard Goldstone, found evidence in September that both Israel and Palestinian militants may have committed war crimes and crimes against humanity during the fighting, in which 13 Israelis and almost 1,400 Palestinians were killed.
Cleric says he did not order attack
Yemeni American cleric Anwar al-Awlaki says he taught and corresponded with Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, the Nigerian suspect in the attempted Dec. 25 Northwest airline bombing, but did not order the attack. Abdulmutallab "is one of my students; yes, we were in correspondence" Awlaki said in an interview published Tuesday in Arabic by al-Jazeera.net. "But I did not give (him) a fatwa in regards to this operation." The interview was the first to claim direct contact with Awlaki since the attempted attack but did not indicate when or where it took place.
Danish forces foil takeover of ship
Danish special forces disrupted the takeover by pirates of a cargo ship in the Gulf of Aden on Friday, in a maneuver rarely undertaken by NATO warships, a naval spokesman said. The crew of the Ariella sent a distress call that was heard by the Indian warship Tabar, which passed it on to a French plane. The plane conveyed the message to the Absalon, which was under NATO command. A helicopter was sent to investigate. Warning shots were fired at a small boat alongside the Ariella, and the boat fled.
Storms kill 15, flood homes
Fifteen people — including five children — died this week in freak winter rains that closed schools and freeways in central Mexico and flooded thousands of homes, authorities reported Friday. The heavy rainstorms sent rivers over their banks in the states of Michoacan and neighboring Guanajuato, where the deaths occurred Wednesday and Thursday.
U.S. missionary arrives in China
American missionary Robert Park arrived in Beijing after being freed by North Korea, which had detained him for illegally crossing its border from China on Christmas Day. U.S. consular officials escorted Park as he left the North Korean plane today at Beijing's airport. Park was to leave later in the day for the U.S.