The Washington Post
Testimony recounts Sept. 11 conversation

In surprise testimony in a Manhattan courtroom Wednesday, Osama bin Laden’s son-in-law recounted the night of the Sept. 11 attacks, when the al-Qaeda leader sent a messenger to drive him into a mountainous area for a meeting inside a cave in Afghanistan.

“Did you learn what happened? We are the ones who did it,” the son-in-law, Sulaiman Abu Ghaith, recalled bin Laden telling him.

When bin Laden asked what he thought would happen next, Abu Ghaith testified that he responded by predicting America “will not settle until it kills you and topples the state of the Taliban.”

Bin Laden responded: “You’re being too pessimistic,” Abu Ghaith recalled.

Bin Laden then told the onetime imam, “I want to deliver a message to the world. . . . I want you to deliver the message,” he said.

The testimony came at Abu Ghaith’s trial on charges he conspired to kill Americans and aid al-Qaeda as a spokesman for the terrorist group. His decision to take the witness stand was announced by his attorney, Stanley Cohen, who surprised a nearly empty courtroom that quickly filled with spectators as word spread.

Testifying through an Arabic interpreter, the 48-year-old Kuwaiti-born defendant looked relaxed when he took the stand, wearing a blue shirt, open at the collar, beneath a charcoal-colored jacket.

— Associated Press

Recognition of same-sex marriage on hold

A federal judge is giving Kentucky more time to officially recognize same-sex marriages performed in other states and countries, saying doing so will allow the law to become settled without causing confusion or granting rights only to have them taken away.

The ruling Wednesday comes just two days before gay couples would have been allowed to change their names on official identifications and documents and obtain the benefits of any other married couple in Kentucky.

U.S. District Judge John G. Heyburn II of Louisville said the delay would stay in place until the U.S. 6th Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati either rules on the merits of the case or orders the stay lifted.

Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear (R) on Friday requested the delay while he appeals the case. Private attorneys representing Beshear filed the request after Attorney General Jack Conway opted not to appeal Heyburn’s decision. Heyburn overturned parts of Kentucky’s same-sex marriage ban on Feb. 12 and set an effective date for his ruling of March 21.

— Associated Press

New heart disease prevention guidelines

Almost half of Americans ages 40 to 75 and nearly all men over 60 qualify to consider cholesterol-lowering statin drugs under new heart disease prevention guidelines, an analysis concludes.

The analysis published online Wednesday by the New England Journal of Medicine is the first independent look at the impact of the guidelines issued in November and shows how dramatically they shift more people toward treatment. Supporters say they reveal the true scope of heart risks in America. Critics have said the guidelines overreach by suggesting medications such as Zocor and Lipitor for such a broad swath of the population.

Under the new guidelines, 56 million Americans ages 40 to 75 are eligible to consider a statin; 43 million were under the old advice. Both numbers include 25 million people now taking statins.

Nearly half a million additional heart attacks and strokes could be prevented over 10 years if statin use was expanded as the guidelines recommend, the study estimates.

The guidelines were developed by the American Heart Association and American College of Cardiology at the request of the federal government.

— Associated Press


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