Police arrest comedian in child sex case
The child abuse scandal consuming the legacy of the late BBC entertainer Jimmy Savile netted its second celebrity arrest Thursday, that of British comedian Freddie Starr, media reported. Executors of Savile's estate also said they were freezing his assets, clearing the way for a host of potential lawsuits. Police are investigating claims that Savile was part of a ring of powerful abusers who traded on their celebrity to exploit vulnerable children.
Israel admits killing Arafat aide in 1988
More than 24 years after Palestinian military leader Khalil Ibrahim Wazir was assassinated in Tunisia, Israel acknowledged that its spy agency Mossad carried out the killing. Wazir, a founder of the Fatah Party and a top aide to the late Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat, was viewed by Israel as a terrorist and by Palestinians as a freedom fighter. After refusing for years to publicly confirm Israel's role in the April 16, 1988, assassination, the nation's military censors on Thursday permitted the Israeli newspaper Yediot Aharonot to publish an interview with the commander who led the secret mission.
U. of Ala. names woman president
The University of Alabama's board of trustees voted Thursday to appoint the first permanent woman president in the school's 181-year history. Provost Judy L. Bonner, 65, served as interim president before outgoing President Guy Bailey took over in early September. Bailey announced Wednesday he was resigning after less than two months in the job, citing his wife's health.
Derailed tanker continues to burn
The blaze from a derailed tanker car spewed flames and smoke a second day Thursday with no end in sight, as crews scrambled to prevent it from igniting railcars loaded with toxic chemicals nearby. Hundreds of people have had to evacuate, including the entire town of West Point and some residents of nearby Louisville. The burning butadiene, a chemical commonly found in rubber used to make tires, can damage the central nervous system and reproductive system.
Rules for selling meds to Iran eased
The Obama administration has quietly eased restrictions on the sale of medicine to Iran amid signs that concern over the suffering of ordinary citizens could complicate an international campaign to punish Iran for its disputed nuclear program. Though U.S. rules have always permitted American firms to sell medicine and medical supplies to Iran, exporters have been required to apply for special licenses. Last month, the Treasury Department changed the rules to provide what amounts to a "standing authorization" for sales of certain foods and medicines to ease the paperwork burden, officials said.
Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
Fuel truck crashes, explodes, killing 22
A fuel truck exploded after hitting portions of a bridge and spilling fuel Thursday in the Saudi capital, Riyadh, engulfing buildings and cars in flames and killing at least 22 people and injuring more than 110, witnesses and officials said. Officials said rescue crews had not finished the search and the death toll was still not final.