President Barack Obama will visit the Washington state town struck by a deadly mudslide to meet families affected by the disaster and view the devastation, the White House said on Tuesday. Obama will stop in Oso, Washington, on April 22, before starting out on a week-long trip to Asia. Obama will "view the devastation from the recent mudslide and meet with the families affected by this disaster, as well as first responders and recovery workers," the White House said.
By Ian Simpson ARLINGTON, Virginia (Reuters) - A suspected al Qaeda fighter held at Guantanamo Bay U.S. military prison could return to extremism if freed, a Pentagon assessment said at a parole-style hearing on Tuesday, but the man's defenders contended he was no threat to the United States. Ghaleb Nassar al-Bihani, a 34- or 35-year-old Yemeni, is suspected of having fought in Afghanistan for the al Qaeda extremist group, according to a U.S. Defense Department prisoner profile. A Defense Department profile read at the televised hearing of the Periodic Review Board contended that one of al-Bihani's brothers was a member of al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula and six brothers had fought in Afghanistan. His family has close ties to high-ranking al Qaeda members "and almost certainly would induce YM-128 to reengage in extremist activities if he were repatriated to Yemen," the profile said, using al-Bihani's inmate number.
By Daniel Trotta HAVANA (Reuters) - The U.S. contractor sentenced to a 15-year prison term in Cuba for attempting to establish an illegal Internet service has gone on a hunger strike to protest his treatment by the Cuban and U.S. governments, his lawyer said on Tuesday. The lawyer also criticized the United States for putting Alan Gross's life in further jeopardy by launching a secretive "Cuban Twitter" after his arrest in 2009. Gross, 64, was a subcontractor for the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) when he was arrested on his fifth trip to Cuba in an attempt to establish an online network for Jews in Havana. Those relations suffered another setback last week with the revelation that USAID had established a social network in Cuba that Havana saw as an attempt to subvert the communist government.