AP Top News at 1:09 p.m. EST
(Associated Press Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) Bulgaria links Hezbollah to bombing of IsraelisSOFIA, Bulgaria (AP) _ Hezbollah is behind an attack on a bus filled with Israeli tourists in Bulgaria last year, investigators said Tuesday, describing a sophisticated bombing carried out by a terrorist cell that included Canadian and Australian citizens. In the first major announcement in the investigation into the July 18 bombing that killed five Israelis and their Bulgarian driver, Interior Minister Tsvetan Tsvetanov said one of the suspects entered the country with a Canadian passport, and another with one from Australia.
Terrorists with Western connections growing threatThey are called "homegrown terrorists," citizens of Western countries highly prized by Islamic militant groups because they can move across borders and carry out attacks easier than people from Middle East and South Asian countries closely identified with terrorism. Two such people _ one Canadian and one Australian _ are believed to have been involved in the July bus bombing in Bulgaria that killed five Israeli tourists and a Bulgarian driver, according to Bulgarian investigators. Bulgarian Interior Minister Tsvetan Tsvetanov said the two were members of the Lebanese Shiite Muslim militant group Hezbollah, which is in turn linked to Iran.
Obama seeks to avoid sequester with short-term fixWASHINGTON (AP) _ President Barack Obama will ask Congress to come up with tens of billions of dollars in short-term spending cuts and tax revenue to put off the automatic across the board cuts that are scheduled to kick in March 1. Obama will make his request Tuesday afternoon in a public statement at the White House.
Dell in $24.4B founder-led deal to go privateSAN FRANCISCO (AP) _ Slumping personal computer maker Dell is bowing out of the stock market in a $24.4 billion buyout that represents the largest deal of its kind since the Great Recession dried up the financing for such risky maneuvers. The complex agreement announced Tuesday will allow Dell Inc.'s management, including founder Michael Dell, to attempt a company turnaround away from the glare and financial pressures of Wall Street.
US sues S&P over pre-crisis mortgage ratingsWASHINGTON (AP) _ The U.S. government says Standard & Poor's knowingly inflated its ratings on risky mortgage investments that helped trigger the 2008 financial crisis. The credit rating agency gave high marks to mortgage-backed securities because it wanted to earn more business from the banks that issued the investments, the Justice Department alleges in charges filed in federal court in Los Angeles .
Family celebrates boy's rescue from Ala. bunkerMIDLAND CITY, Ala. (AP) _ An Alabama family celebrated the rescue of a 5-year-old held hostage for a week in an underground bunker as authorities painstakingly checked for bombs on the abductor's property Tuesday, a day after a police raid left the man dead. The FBI and other law enforcement officials left plenty of questions open about how they made the call to rush in and what happened inside the closet-sized hideout on the rural property, where the boy had been held by Jimmy Lee Dykes. But relatives said there was no question about the relief they feel.
Superdome officials worried about a power outageNEW ORLEANS (AP) _ Superdome officials warned just months before the Super Bowl that the venue's electrical system could suffer a power outage and rushed to replace some of the equipment ahead of the big game. While the cause of Sunday's 34-minute outage is still under investigation, records released Monday show that Superdome officials were worried in October about losing power during the NFL championship.
Egypt's top cleric voices Sunnis' worries of IranCAIRO (AP) _ Egypt's most prominent Muslim cleric, the sheik of al-Azhar, has warned Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad against interfering in Arab Gulf countries or trying to spread Shiite influence. Ahmadinejad, on a landmark visit to Egypt on Tuesday, received an uneasy reception from Ahmed el-Tayeb at al-Azhar, the Sunni Muslim world's foremost Islamic institution.
Memo gives basis for drone strikes vs US citizensWASHINGTON (AP) _ An unclassified Justice Department memo reveals that the Obama administration's justification for drone strikes that kill al-Qaida linked U.S. citizens abroad is based on a much broader definition of whether they pose an imminent threat than was previously known. The government does not need information that a specific attack is imminent, the document says, only that the targeted suspect is involved in ongoing plotting against the United States.
New BlackBerry to be released in US in mid-MarchTORONTO (AP) _ A modern BlackBerry with a physical keyboard might not arrive in the U.S. until May or June, a month or two behind other parts of the world, the chief executive of the smartphone maker suggested in an interview. Although Research in Motion Ltd. CEO Thorsten Heins said the exact release date will depend on each wireless provider, he said the physical keyboard version, the BlackBerry Q10, will likely be released eight to 10 weeks after a carrier releases a model with only a touch screen, the BlackBerry Z10. The Z10 is expected in the U.S. in mid-March, so eight to 10 weeks brings the U.S. date for the Q10 to mid-May to early June.
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