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U.S. jurors hear cleric’s praise for Sept. 11 attacks

Islamist cleric al-Masri is seen in this courtroom sketch during a court appearance in Manhattan Federal Court in New YorkBy Joseph Ax NEW YORK (Reuters) - In a video of radical Islamic cleric Abu Hamza al-Masri shown to jurors at his trial on Monday, he did not hesitate when a television interviewer asked him about the September 11, 2001 attacks on the United States that killed nearly 3,000 people. "Everyone was happy when the planes hit the World Trade Center," Abu Hamza said in the undated film played in a U.S. court where the former imam of the Finsbury Park Mosque in London faces terrorism-related charges. Prosecutors have accused the one-eyed, handless Abu Hamza of trying to set up a jihadist training camp in Oregon, giving assistance to militants who took 16 Western tourists hostage in Yemen in 1998, a kidnapping that ended with the deaths of three Britons and an Australian, and raising money and supplies for al Qaeda in Afghanistan. If convicted of the most serious charges, the Egyptian-born Abu Hamza would face life in prison.


Mexico bids farewell to Garcia Marquez

A woman touches the urn containing his ashes of Colombian novelist Gabriel Garcia Marquez, during a tribute paid to him at the Fine Arts Palace in Mexico City on April 21, 2014Mexico bid farewell Monday to its beloved adopted son, Colombian novelist Gabriel Garcia Marquez, in a national tribute filled with the late Nobel laureate's favorite flowers and music. A coffee-colored urn containing his ashes was placed on a podium, surrounded by yellow roses, in Mexico City's domed Fine Arts Palace as a string quartet played classical music. Dozens of guests applauded when his widow, Mercedes Barcha, arrived dressed in black with their sons, Rodrigo and Gonzalo, at the cultural center, where Mexico pays tribute to its late artistic icons. Hundreds of fans filed past the urn to pay their last respects to the author of "One Hundred Years of Solitude," taking pictures and short videos with their smartphones.


Exclusive: U.S. force in Afghanistan may be cut to less than 10,000 troops

U.S. Army soldiers prepare to board a CH-47at Forward Operating Base Muqar, AfghanistanBy Missy Ryan and Arshad Mohammed WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The number of U.S. troops in Afghanistan may drop well below 10,000 - the minimum demanded by the U.S. military to train Afghan forces - as the longest war in American history winds down, Obama administration officials briefed on the matter say. Since Afghanistan's general election on April 5, White House, State Department and Pentagon officials have resumed discussions on how many American troops should remain after the current U.S.-led coalition ends its mission this year. The decision to consider a small force, possibly less than 5,000 U.S. troops, reflects a belief among White House officials that Afghan security forces have evolved into a robust enough force to contain a still-potent Taliban-led insurgency. That belief, the officials say, is based partly on Afghanistan's surprisingly smooth election, which has won international praise for its high turnout, estimated at 60 percent of 12 million eligible votes, and the failure of Taliban militants to stage high-profile attacks that day.


Juicy court case leaves Coca-Cola on defensive

Minute Maid Orange juice made by the Coca-Cola Co. is seen on a store shelf on January 12, 2012 in Miami, FloridaCoca-Cola was taken to task by the US Supreme Court on Monday, with justices questioning whether a drink sold as fruit juice was the real thing. The US soft drinks giant is being sued by Californian fruit juice maker Pom Wonderful, who accuse Coca-Cola of misleading consumers about its Minute Maid drink "Pomegranate Blueberry" that contains only 0.5 percent of the two fruits. Pom Wonderful attorney Seth Waxman said consumers were being misled by Coca-Cola branding the drink -- which was mostly apple or grape -- as "Pomegranate Blueberry." Pom Wonderful, which sells 100 percent pomegranate juice, was suffering as a result of Coca-Cola's practices, Waxman argued.


Casino owner planning 'Rock in Rio' site in Vegas

LAS VEGAS (AP) — A group including casino company MGM Resorts announced plans Monday to build a 33-acre open-air music venue on the Las Vegas Strip to host a four-day Rock in Rio USA festival beginning in May 2015.

U.S. says will act 'in days' if no Russian action in Ukraine

U.S. Vice President Biden shakes hands with Ukrainian and U.S. officials upon his arrival at Boryspil International airport outside KievBy Doina Chiacu and Patricia Zengerle WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The United States' government said on Monday it will decide "in days" on additional sanctions if Russia does not take steps to implement an agreement to ease tensions in Ukraine reached in Geneva last week. The steps include publicly calling on pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine to vacate occupied buildings and checkpoints, accept an amnesty and address their grievances politically, State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said. "Obviously, we would have to make a decision in the matter of - in a matter of days - if there are going to be consequences for inaction." Some U.S. lawmakers have been clamoring for President Barack Obama's administration to impose stiff new sanctions on Russia's energy industry and major banks to encourage President Vladimir Putin to withdraw troops from the Ukrainian border and discourage further Russian incursions into Ukrainian territory.


U.S. jurors hear radical cleric's praise for September 11 attacks

Islamist cleric al-Masri is seen in this courtroom sketch during a court appearance in Manhattan Federal Court in New YorkBy Joseph Ax NEW YORK (Reuters) - In a video of radical Islamic cleric Abu Hamza al-Masri shown to jurors at his trial on Monday, he did not hesitate when a television interviewer asked him about the September 11, 2001 attacks on the United States that killed nearly 3,000 people. "Everyone was happy when the planes hit the World Trade Center," Abu Hamza said in the undated film played in a U.S. court where the former imam of the Finsbury Park Mosque in London faces terrorism-related charges. Prosecutors have accused the one-eyed, handless Abu Hamza of trying to set up a jihadist training camp in Oregon, giving assistance to militants who took 16 Western tourists hostage in Yemen in 1998, a kidnapping that ended with the deaths of three Britons and an Australian, and raising money and supplies for al Qaeda in Afghanistan. If convicted of the most serious charges, the Egyptian-born Abu Hamza would face life in prison.


Woman accused in babies' deaths appears in court

Megan Huntsman, accused of killing six of her babies and storing their bodies in her garage, appears in court Monday, April 21, 2014, in Provo, Utah. A state judge granted county prosecutors a week to sort through evidence and ensure they choose the proper charges. Huntsman is being held on $6 million bail. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer, Pool)PROVO, Utah (AP) — Prosecutors have been granted more time to determine what charges to file against a Utah woman accused of killing six of her babies and storing their bodies in her garage.


Gates-funded student data group to shut down

BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) — The student data processing organization inBloom will shut down in the coming months, its chief executive officer said Monday following criticism that led to the recent loss of the startup's last active client — New York state.

Justice Dept. broadening criteria for clemency

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Justice Department is broadening the criteria it will use in evaluating clemency petitions from certain federal prisoners and expects the changes to result in thousands of new applications, Attorney General Eric Holder said Monday.

Chicago's Noah named Defensive Player of the Year

Joakim Noah of the Chicago Bulls blocks a shot by Rodney Stuckey of the Detroit Pistons at the United Center on April 11, 2014 in Chicago, IllinoisChicago Bulls center Joakim Noah, the mainstay of a team that kept foes to a league-low 91.8 points a game, was named the NBA Defensive Player of the Year on Monday. The son of French tennis legend Yannick Noah and former Miss Sweden Cecilia Rodhe averaged 12.6 points, 11.3 rebounds, 1.5 blocked shots and 1.2 steals a game for the Bulls this season. Noah, 29, became the first Bulls player to win the award since Michael Jordan in 1988. The Bulls are in the first round of the NBA playoffs, having lost their opener to the Washington Wizards, and Noah stressed he owes the honor to the work of his team-mates as well as himself.


United boss Moyes on verge of sack: reports

Manchester United manager David Moyes (R) speaks to Welsh midfielder Ryan Giggs during a training session at the team's Carrington training complex in Manchester, north-west England on October 1, 2013Manchester United are going to sack manager David Moyes according to the British media who set off a new torrent of speculation surrounding the beleaguered Scotsman on Tuesday. A spokesperson from United told AFP in an email: "David Moyes has definitely not been sacked!" The Telegraph added Ryan Giggs, with Nicky Butt as his assistant, would take charge until the end of the season with the stricken Premier League champions still to play Norwich, Sunderland, Hull and Southampton this term. Giggs, the club's record appearance-holder, has served as player-coach under Moyes while Butt, himself a former United midfielder, has worked with the reserves.


Jason Giambi back in Indians lineup

Cleveland Indians' Jason Giambi takes batting practice before a baseball game against the Kansas City Royals Monday, April 21, 2014, in Cleveland. Giambi was activated from the disabled list earlier in the day. (AP Photo/Mark Duncan)CLEVELAND (AP) — Jason Giambi pulled the red-and-blue block "C'' cap off the hook in his locker, slipped it on and worked the bill, bending it to his exacting standards.


Sale could miss Tuesday start due to soreness

DETROIT (AP) — Chicago White Sox left-hander Chris Sale is unlikely to make his scheduled start against Detroit on Tuesday night because of what manager Robin Ventura describes as general muscular soreness.

Justice Stevens: Make 6 changes to Constitution

WASHINGTON (AP) — In the aftermath of the Connecticut school shootings that left 20 first-graders and six educators dead, retired Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens began thinking about ways to prevent a repeat.

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