Senators urge American's release
Senior senators met in Havana with President Raul Castro of Cuba and with an imprisoned U.S. aid worker, but they reported no immediate breakthrough Friday on winning the American's freedom.
Sens. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., and Richard Shelby, R-Ala., met with Castro on Thursday, the first high-level meeting between the two countries in nearly two years. The senators offered to take the aid worker, Alan Gross, home with them.
Leahy said that Gross was not likely to be released any time soon. Gross is serving a 15-year jail term for spiriting satellite and other communications equipment onto the island.
New president will be sworn in today
Vice President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi will be sworn in as president of Yemen this morning in front of Parliament after it was announced Friday that he had won the country's single-candidate election with 99.6 percent of the vote.
The election, held across Yemen on Tuesday, was intended as an exit route for President Ali Abdullah Saleh, an autocrat who had agreed to step down after more than three decades in power and a year of antigovernment demonstrations calling for his removal. Saleh arrived in Yemen early today after receiving medical treatment in the United States, the Yemeni Embassy in Washington said.
Saudi is held after bin Laden comment
A 19-year-old from Saudi Arabia who authorities say forced a plane to make an emergency landing when he lit an electronic cigarette, mentioned Osama bin Laden and tried to hit fellow passengers pleaded not guilty Friday to interfering with a plane crew.
A lawyer for Yazeed Mohammed Abunayyan told a judge his client suffers from unspecified mental health issues that require care at the Multnomah County Detention Center.
U.S. Magistrate Court Judge Janice Stewart ordered Abunayyan held in jail as a flight risk and set a trial date of April 24.
Marines give names in crash of copters
The Marine Corps on Friday released the names of the seven Marines killed when two helicopters crashed in midair on Wednesday.
The dead were listed as Maj. Thomas A. Budrejko, 37, of Montville, Conn.; Capt. Michael M. Quin, 28, of Purcellville, Va.; Capt. Benjamin N. Cerniglia, 31, of Montgomery, Ala.; Sgt. Justin A. Everett, 33, of Clovis, Calif.; Lance Cpl. Corey A. Little, 25, of Marietta, Ga; Lance Cpl. Nickoulas H. Elliott, 21, of Spokane, Wash. and Capt. Nathan W. Anderson, 32, of Amarillo, Texas.
Officials said it could take weeks to determine what caused the two helicopters, an AH-1W Cobra and a UH-1 Huey, to crash in midair during a routine exercise Wednesday night along the California-Arizona border, killing all aboard the aircraft.
Birth control pills are being recalled
Drugmaker Glenmark Generics said Friday it is recalling seven lots of birth control pills because in some packages, the pills were in the wrong order.
It did not say how many pills or packages are being recalled. It said they were distributed from Sept. 21 and Dec. 30. The ingredients of the pills are norgestimate and ethinyl estradiol. In some packages, blisters of pills were rotated so they were not in the proper sequence.