By Joseph Ax NEW YORK (Reuters) - A lawyer for a Saudi man accused by U.S. prosecutors of acting as Osama bin Laden’s lieutenant argued at the close of his trial on Thursday that he was a peaceful dissident who found the al Qaeda leader's violent ideology abhorrent. Khalid al-Fawwaz is charged with participating in several al Qaeda conspiracies, including one that resulted in the 1998 bombings of U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania that killed 224 people, but he is not accused of planning the attacks. Instead, the government has said he provided crucial groundwork that facilitated the plot, such as sending equipment to al Qaeda members and functioning as bin Laden's "man in London." Defense lawyer Bobbi Sternheim told jurors in federal court in Manhattan that the government was trying to make al-Fawwaz guilty by association. “This case seemed like it was the United States against Osama bin Laden,” she said in closing arguments at the month-long trial.
By Patrick Rucker WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Federal investigators will examine whether pressurized gas played a role in the massive blast that followed the derailment of a train carrying crude oil through West Virginia this week, the U.S. Transportation Department said on Thursday. Questioning the possible role of gas vapors in the West Virginia fire broadens the debate over how to ensure public safety at a time when drastically larger volumes of crude oil are being shipped by rail and roll through cities and towns. At least two dozen oil tankers jumped a CSX Corp track about 30 miles south of the state capital, Charleston, on Monday, touching off a fireball that sent flames hundreds of feet into the sky. The U.S. Transportation Department said it has an investigator at the site to take samples of crude once the wreckage stops burning.
Much of the U.S. continued to shiver and suffer in bitter cold Thursday. Temperatures and wind chills dipped near zero or below in the Midwest, Northeast and even the South — where people were most unaccustomed to the weather-related road hazards, school cancellations, public transportation and airport delays, and runs on supplies at stores.
By Alexia Shurmur LAS VEGAS (Reuters) - A suspect in the road-rage killing of a Las Vegas mother of four was arrested on Thursday after police descended on a home not far from the scene of the shooting, law enforcement officials said. A Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department spokesman declined to identify the man taken into custody in connection with the shooting death of 44-year-old Tammy Meyers last week. Meyers died on Saturday after being taken off life support at a Las Vegas hospital. Las Vegas police declined to say if they believed the suspect they had arrested at the home was the person who opened fire on Meyers from a silver or gray four-door sedan.
In a story Feb. 9, The Associated Press reported that a century-old image was the first photo signed by Shoeless Joe Jackson to be authenticated by autograph experts, according to Heritage Auctions. The story should have made clear that a Jackson-signed photo, authenticated by a handwriting expert, was sold by Sotheby's in 1999 and that memorabilia experts have since disputed the validity of the signature on that photo.
By Jarrett Renshaw NEW YORK (Reuters) - Exxon Mobil Corp's Torrance, California, refinery, hit by an explosion and fire on Wednesday, was cited in November for eight serious violations following state inspections last year, according to documents released on Thursday. On Nov. 24, California's Division of Division of Occupational Safety and Health, better known as Cal/OSHA, cited the refinery for eight serious and 17 general violations and fined Exxon Mobil $41,320, according to the documents. The citation, which Exxon has appealed, resulted from 10 routine inspections of the facility. Exxon Mobil spokesman Todd Spitler did not immediately comment on the violations.