Daily Dispatches
Sulaiman Abu Ghaith
Associated Press/Al-Jazeera, File
Sulaiman Abu Ghaith

Midday Roundup: Guilty verdict for bin Laden’s son-in-law

Newsworthy

Guilty. A New York jury this morning convicted Osama bin Laden’s son-in-law of terrorism-related charges that could land him in jail for life. Suleiman Abu Ghaith, 48, was found guilty of conspiring to kill Americans, conspiring to provide material support for terrorists, and providing such support. He served as al-Qaeda’s spokesman after the 9/11 attacks. Prosecutors said Abu Ghaith helped recruit new fighters for the terror group and knew in advance of Richard Reid’s 2001 attempt to blow up an airplane with a bomb hidden in his shoe. Taking the stand in his own defense, Abu Ghaith said he never helped plot al-Qaeda attacks and never became a formal member of the group.

Oops. In what Slate is calling the political gaffe of the year, an Iowa Democrat running for an open U.S. Senate seat disparaged the state’s other longtime, and popular, Republican senator for being a “farmer who never went to law school.” U.S. Rep. Bruce Braley, who had hoped to take over for retiring Sen. Tom Harkin, also a Democrat, might have ended his political career in a farm state where lawyers aren’t necessarily considered heroes. Braley’s comments about Sen. Chuck Grassley came during a fundraising event hosted by fellow trial lawyers in Texas. Like so many other politicians tripped up by their own unfortunate or ill-timed comments, he didn’t know his speech was being recorded. And it doesn’t help that yesterday was National Agriculture Day. And Braley’s comments are reverberating in Washington, where Democrats are desperately clinging to their Senate majority, a task their frontrunner in Iowa just made that much more difficult.

Satellite evidence. A French satellite company might have located the Malaysian Airlines plane missing for more than two weeks. Officials announced this morning that analysis of satellite images shows 122 large objects floating in the Indian Ocean in the area in which experts think Flight 370 likely went down. The objects are scattered over 154 square miles. But search planes scouring the area could not find the suspected debris field, another setback for the families of the 239 people aboard the plane when it disappeared March 9. Experts say that while the images are promising—one even shows what could be one of the plane’s wings—the items could be flotsam from cargo ships.

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Bad behavior. Three Secret Service agents sent to the Netherlands in advance of President Barack Obama’s visit have come home in disgrace after a night of drinking. Hotel staff found one of the agents passed out in a hallway. Agency officials confirmed three agents are being disciplined but would not say for what. According to anonymous sources, the agents are members of the Counter Assault Team. Agency rules adopted after an embarrassing incident in Colombia forbid team members from drinking 10 hours before an assignment. In the 2012 South American incident, a dozen agents who had been drinking heavily brought prostitutes back to their hotel rooms ahead of Obama’s arrival for an economic summit.

Search continues. Officials in Snohomish County, Wash., say 24 people are now confirmed dead in the landslide that flattened parts of Oso on Saturday. Rescue teams have recovered 16 bodies and spotted eight more. About 176 people are still listed as missing or unaccounted for, although officials do not believe all of them are victims. Despite initial reports describing the landslide as unexpected, the county’s emergency management director said residents have known for years that the hill that collapsed was unstable.

Leigh Jones
Leigh Jones

Leigh lives in Atlanta and is the managing editor of WORLD's website.

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