AP News in Brief

Pentagon charges a half-dozen Sept. 11 suspects with murder in terror attacks

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Pentagon on Monday charged six Guantanamo Bay detainees with murder and war crimes for the Sept. 11 terror attacks. Officials sought the death penalty in the unprecedented military tribunal case that has been clouded by revelations the key suspect suffered interrogation tactics that critics call torture.

The son of a Sept. 11 victim said he was relieved by the development and hoped it would bring justice. Critics said the trial would be a sham.

Brig. Gen. Thomas W. Hartmann, the legal adviser to the tribunal system, announced that 169 charges had been sworn against six men "alleged to be responsible for the planning and execution of the attacks" in 2001 that killed nearly 3,000 people.

"These charges allege a long-term, highly sophisticated, organized plan by al-Qaida to attack the United States of America," Hartmann told a Pentagon press conference.

Officials said they'll seek the death penalty and hope to try all six together. That would make it the first capital trial under the terrorism-era military tribunal system.

Hartmann said the six include Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the suspected mastermind of the attacks in which hijackers flew planes into buildings in New York and Washington. Another hijacked plane crashed in the fields of western Pennsylvania.


Justice Department charging US official, Chinese immigrants, in espionage case

WASHINGTON (AP) -- A Defense Department analyst and a former engineer for Boeing Co. were charged Monday in separate spy cases for allegedly handing over military secrets to the Chinese government, the Justice Department said.

Additionally, two immigrants from China and Taiwan accused of working with the defense analyst were arrested after an FBI raid Monday morning on a New Orleans home where one of them lived.

The two cases -- based in Alexandria, Va., and Los Angeles -- have no connection, and investigators said it was merely a coincidence that charges would be brought against both on the same day.

The arrests mark China's latest attempts to gain top secret information about U.S. military systems and sales, said Assistant Attorney General Kenneth Wainstein. He described China as "particularly adept, and particularly determined and methodical in their espionage efforts."

"The threat is very simple," Wainstein said at a Justice Department news conference in Washington. "It's a threat to our national security and to our economic position in the world, a threat that is posed by the relentless efforts of foreign intelligence services to penetrate our security systems and steal our most sensitive military technology and information."


Senior Taliban figure critically wounded in Pakistan, army says

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan (AP) -- Pakistani forces captured and critically wounded a senior Taliban militant on Monday, the second successful targeting in two weeks of a terror suspect as the government faced growing Western pressure to crack down on cross-border attacks into Afghanistan.

But in a reminder of the growing militant threat destabilizing Pakistan, a suicide bomb wounded a candidate and killed seven others as he campaigned for next week's parliamentary elections. Also, Pakistan's ambassador to Afghanistan was missing and feared kidnapped as he traveled in a volatile Pakistani tribal region.

The arrest of Mansoor Dadullah, brother of slain Taliban military commander Mullah Dadullah, was a boost for the U.S.-backed campaign against the Taliban and al-Qaida, though it also demonstrated that militant chiefs operate inside Pakistan despite its deployment of 100,000 troops along the border.

It followed a Jan. 29 U.S. missile strike on a militant hideout in the northwestern tribal belt that killed Abu Laith al-Libi, a top al-Qaida commander in Afghanistan.

Mansoor Dadullah was caught in the southwestern province of Baluchistan, but there was some confusion over exactly how and where.


Obama to start ads in Ohio, Texas, hoping to sustain momentum over Clinton

COLLEGE PARK, Md. (AP) -- Democratic Sen. Barack Obama, riding a tide of momentum, and Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, who is seeking to stop him somewhere and somehow, will launch TV ads in Ohio and Texas, which hold crucial primaries in three weeks.

Having swept all five Democratic presidential contests over the weekend, Obama also was counting on wins in Tuesday's primaries in Maryland, Virginia and the District of Columbia.

Barring a Clinton upset in one of those contests, Obama could have a strong wind at his back heading into the March 4 Ohio and Texas primaries. Clinton generally has done well in larger states, and she badly needs victories there.

"This is going to be a better month for Senator Obama than it will be for us," Clinton spokesman Howard Wolfson said Monday. "We believe next month will be a better month for us than it will be for him."

Obama and Clinton are set to begin running ads in Ohio and Texas on Tuesday. Obama's ad, which has aired in other states, features him discussing the death of his mother at age 53 from cancer and the cost of health care. The Clinton camp planned to unveil its ad Tuesday and also planned to run Spanish-language ads. Obama will air Spanish-language ads later on.


McCain challenges idea of trouble with conservatives, picks up nod from Bauer

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) -- Republican John McCain challenged the notion he is struggling to rally conservative critics as he picked up the endorsement Monday of evangelical leader Gary Bauer.

"We're doing fine. We're doing fine," McCain told reporters in Annapolis, dismissing the notion that losses in two states on Saturday had hurt his campaign.

McCain lost in Kansas and Louisiana on Saturday to former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, although he won narrowly in Washington state. The Arizona senator is all but assured his party nod after rolling up huge numbers of delegates, 719, to the national convention. Huckabee has 234.

"We have close to 800 delegates. Last time I checked, Governor Huckabee had very few, so I think I'm happy with the situation I'm in," McCain said. "I'm quite pleased, recognizing that we have a lot of work to do."

He also won the endorsement Monday of former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, the president's brother.


Surprise! Even some with chronic disease can live to 100, thanks to aggressive treatment

CHICAGO (AP) -- Living to 100 is easier than you might think.

Surprising new research suggests that even people who develop heart disease or diabetes late in life have a decent shot at reaching the century mark.

"It has been generally assumed that living to 100 years of age was limited to those who had not developed chronic illness," said Dr. William Hall of the University of Rochester.

Hall has a theory for how these people could live to that age. In an editorial in Monday's Archives of Internal Medicine, where the study was published, he writes that it might be thanks to doctors who aggressively treat these older folks' health problems, rather than taking an "ageist" approach that assumes they wouldn't benefit.

For the study, Boston University researchers did phone interviews and health assessments of more than 500 women and 200 men who had reached 100. They found that roughly two-thirds of them had avoided significant age-related ailments.

But the rest, dubbed "survivors," had developed an age-related disease before reaching 85, including high blood pressure, heart disease or diabetes. Yet many functioned remarkably well -- nearly as well as their disease-free peers.


Researchers discover dinky flying dinosaur fossil in China

WASHINGTON (AP) -- As pterodactyls go it was small, toothless and had unexpectedly curved toes -- yet scientists are welcoming their new find as another piece in the puzzle of ancient life.

"We have this really amazing creature, sparrow sized, which lived essentially in the trees, showing us a very new, very interesting side of the evolutionary history of those animals," said Alexander W. A. Kellner of the National Museum of the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

"We would never have thought of it," Kellner said in a telephone interview.

The find, by researchers led by Xiaolin Wang of the Chinese Academy of Science, is reported in this week's online edition of Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Pterodactyls are best known from giant examples of the ancient flying reptiles, and most specimens have been uncovered in coastal areas.


TV program to air video of O.J. Simpson's arrival at Las Vegas jail

LAS VEGAS (AP) -- O.J. Simpson told jailers he had been planning to host a poker game at his home in Miami before he was brought to Las Vegas to spend several nights behind bars, according to a television program transcript released Monday.

"I didn't expect to be back here so soon," Simpson laughed as he was greeted by a Las Vegas police jail officer, according to the transcript from producers of the MyNetworkTV show "Jail."

A crew was already filming at the Clark County Detention Center when the former football star was brought in by his former bail bondsman on Jan. 11, said Morgan Langley, an executive producer.

"It was not something we were expecting," Langley said of Simpson's appearance, which Langley said drew cheers from other people in an intake waiting room at the jail. "It was a little bit strange."

The segment is scheduled for broadcast Tuesday at 9 p.m.


Yahoo's rebuff of Microsoft's multibillion-dollar bid leaves investors guessing

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- Yahoo Inc.'s rejection of Microsoft Corp.'s unsolicited takeover bid left investors guessing the next move in a tense mating dance that may hatch a more imposing challenger to Google Inc. or disintegrate into a bruising brawl.

The rebuff, formally announced early Monday, wasn't a surprise because Yahoo had leaked its intention over the weekend.

As expected, Yahoo's board unanimously decided to spurn Microsoft after concluding the offer -- originally worth $44.6 billion or $31 per share -- "substantially undervalues" one of the Internet's prized franchises. The cash-and stock deal is now valued at about $40 billion, or $28.91 per share, because of a drop in Microsoft's market value.

But Yahoo didn't raise antitrust concerns about the proposed deal and added language that seemed to invite a higher offer from Microsoft, the world's largest software maker.

"The board of directors is continually evaluating all of its strategic options in the context of the rapidly evolving industry environment and we remain committed to pursuing initiatives that maximize value for all stockholders," Yahoo said in a statement.


Agent: Panthers' Zednik had lifesaving surgery after severing carotid artery

BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) -- Florida Panthers forward Richard Zednik required lifesaving surgery after severing his carotid artery, his agent told The Associated Press on Monday.

Zednik was listed in stable condition in the intensive care unit at Buffalo General Hospital, and will continue to be evaluated through the day, attending surgeon Sonya Noor said in a statement released by the hospital.

Zednik had surgery Sunday night after losing a significant amount of blood during the game at Buffalo earlier in the day, agent David Schatia said.

Zednik was sliced across the right side of the throat by teammate Olli Jokinen's skate in a frightening accident midway through the third period of Buffalo's 5-3 victory.

Canada's Sportsnet cable-TV network reported on its Web site that the skate blade just missed cutting the jugular vein.

The Panthers returned home to South Florida following the game.