January 9th, 2012
01:35 AM ET

Mubarak trial resumes Monday

The trial of former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak resumes Monday, with civil rights lawyers presenting their case against him.

In the final day of its presentation last week in a Cairo courtroom, the prosecution called for the death penalty for Mubarak.

Mubarak is accused of corruption and ordering protesters killed during the country's uprising last year.  He has denied the charges.

Two of Mubarak's sons are also on trial on a variety of charges. The sons, Gamal and Alaa,  have pleaded not guilty.

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January 9th, 2012
01:29 AM ET

Ahmadinejad visits Venezuela on first stop of Latin America tour

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez will welcome his Iranian counterpart Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on Monday on his first stop of a four-nation tour of Latin America, state media reported.
The Iranian leader arrived in Caracas on Sunday and is traveling with his ministers for foreign affairs, energy and economy, according to IRNA, Iran's official news agency.
It's no coincidence that Venezuela is Ahmadinejad's first stop. Despite their cultural differences, Venezuela and Iran have found significant common ground: both are among the world's top crude oil exporters and their leaders are strong allies united by a fierce opposition to what they view as U.S. imperialism.

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January 9th, 2012
12:55 AM ET

Japan holds 3 Australian anti-whaling activists who boarded ship

Three Australian activists are being held aboard a Japanese ship Monday after illegally boarding the vessel to protest Japan's annual whale hunt in Antarctic waters.

The three men are not yet under arrest, but are being questioned by Japan's Coast Guard, a spokesman for Japan's Fisheries Agency said Monday, declining to be identified as is customary in Japan.

The Australian attorney-general, Nicola Roxon, said that her government was working to secure the release of the men, but that she believed they could face criminal charges in Japan.

Video footage released by the anti-whaling group Sea Shepherd shows the three men, from the environmental group Forest Rescue Australia, approaching the Japanese vessel on a small boat on Sunday.

The video shows their boat pull up next to Japan's Shonan Maru #2, a patrol vessel supporting Japan's whaling mission in the Antarctic waters. A voice from the small boat calls out, "Go, go, go!" as the men slip onto the Japanese ship. In the background, voices in Japanese scream in alarm, saying "They're boarding!"

Sea Shepherd described the three activists - Geoffrey Owen Tuxworth, 47, Simon Peterffy, 44, and Glen Pendlebury, 27 - as "prisoners." The organization said the men boarded the vessel to force Japan's fleet to stop hunting whales.

Japan annually hunts whales despite a worldwide moratorium, utilizing a loophole in the law that allows for killing the mammals for scientific research.

Each year, environmental groups like Sea Shepherd face off with Japan's hunters in a high seas drama that has led to collisions of ships, the detaining of activists and smoke bombs fired back and forth between the groups.

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Filed under: Japan • Whales • World
January 9th, 2012
12:19 AM ET

LSU, Alabama face off in BCS championship

The rematch of the century takes place Monday night. And this time, there's more at stake than just bragging rights.

Top-ranked Louisiana State University Tigers take on No. 2 University of Alabama Crimson Tide in New Orleans for college football's national championship.

The showdown for the BCS championship game comes two months after the two giants battled in a tense Southeastern Conference match-up.

Both teams went into the November 5 game undefeated. College football pundits dubbed it the game of the century.

Alabama, playing at home in Tuscaloosa, lost 9-6.

For the Crimson Tide, Monday is a chance at redemption - and to settle the debate, one and for all, who is the best team in college football.

LSU has won all 13 of its games. Alabama is 11-1.

"These kind of competitive games, especially this game, playing somebody in your league that you already played, I think makes this a more special challenge," Alabama coach Nick Saban told reporters. "The opportunity that our players have to play LSU again is something that is unique."

LSU coach Les Miles said the key to winning the championship is his team's defense.

Both teams bring powerful offenses and stingy defenses into the New Orleans Superdome.

But special teams could also play a big part in the game.

LSU boasts an electrifying cornerback in Tyrann "the Honey Badger" Mathieu.

And the November game was decided when Alabama's kicker missed four field goals, including one in overtime.

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Filed under: College football • Football • Sports • U.S.
January 9th, 2012
12:15 AM ET

Rivals turn up heat on Romney as N.H. primary closes in

With one day to go until the New Hampshire primary, Republican presidential front-runner Mitt Romney is facing attacks from all sides.

Romney, who is making his second bid for the GOP nomination, kicks off a full day of campaigning Monday by speaking at a Chamber of Commerce breakfast in Nashua, New Hampshire.

Romney has what amounts to home-field advantage as polls indicate the former governor of neighboring Massachusetts holds a large lead over the rest of the Republican White House hopefuls.

But being front-runner invites attacks from opponents, and it was anything but an easy Sunday morning for Romney, as he had the bulls eye on his back at an NBC/Meet the Press debate in Concord, New Hampshire.

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Filed under: Politics • U.S.
January 9th, 2012
12:03 AM ET

Security stepped up at Philippines procession after terror threats

Authorities in the Philippines say they have stepped up security measures for a huge religious procession taking place in Manila on Monday after receiving information suggesting it may be the target of a terrorist attack.

"We have serious threats from trustworthy and credible information sources that the Feast of the Black Nazarene will be attacked," Cesar Garcia, a presidential national security adviser, said Monday. "We are told that almost nine suspected terrorists from Mindanao, southern Philippines, are already in the capital and can carry out the attack."

The Feast of the Black Nazarene is an annual Catholic festival in the Philippines during which millions of devotees join a procession centered around a wooden statue of Jesus Christ.

President Benigno Aquino said Sunday that he had ordered law enforcement agencies, including the military, to ramp up security efforts around the procession, according to the official Philippines News Agency (PNA).

"I call on our fellow citizens to exercise the maximum vigilance and discipline leading up to, and during, the procession," the news agency cited Aquino as saying.

Mindanao is a predominantly Muslim autonomous region, which was set up in the 1990s to quell armed uprisings by people seeking an independent Muslim homeland in the Philippines, a predominantly Christian country.

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