April 18th, 2012
09:44 PM ET

CNN prime time: Dick Clark's influence, Clinton's words for N. Korean leader


Dick Clark's impact on race and music

Dick Clark and "American Bandstand" gave vital exposure to African-American music artists, CNN's Jack Cafferty says.


Clinton to Kim Jong Un: Reform N. Korea

CNN's Wolf Blitzer asks Secretary of State Clinton to speak directly to North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.


New Martin judge will 'apply the law'

CNN's Erin Burnett speaks to a panel of analysts about the new judge in the Trayvon Martin shooting case.

Overheard on CNN.com: Dick Clark 'helped us deny our own aging,' says nostalgic reader
Dennis Foreman of Overland Park, Kansas, met Dick Clark in 1992 at the opening of one of the TV legend's restaurants.
April 18th, 2012
08:23 PM ET

Overheard on CNN.com: Dick Clark 'helped us deny our own aging,' says nostalgic reader

Editor's note: This post is part of the Overheard on CNN.com series, a regular feature that examines interesting comments and thought-provoking conversations posted by the community.

Dick Clark, beloved "American Bandstand" creator-host and iconic New Year's Eve emcee, died Wednesday at age 82. Readers described his passing as the "end of an era" and a shock for generations of people who have viewed Clark as eternally youthful.

'America's oldest teen' Dick Clark dies

Upon learning of the news, many iReporters were eager to dig through their photo albums and memory banks. Dennis Foreman of Overland Park, Kansas, met Dick Clark at a restaurant opening in 1992. Dick Clark's American Bandstand Grills are a nationwide chain of music-themed restaurants. The Overland Park location is now closed, but Foreman says he will always treasure seeing Clark shake hands with people in the room rather than hide behind a rope line.

"The thing that I thought was most memorable was when I thanked him," Foreman recalled. "He said, 'No sir, thank you for coming to my restaurant.' "

W J O'Reilly of New York looked back at Clark's life and the fairly recent passing of Soul Train's Don Cornelius.

wjoreilly: "Dick Clark's passing is one of those events that anyone who said he saw it coming would be a liar. His omnipresence in the media, his involvement with the Philly, then Motown, sounds of the '50s and '60s were rivaled only by Don Cornelius, who ironically passed away only recently. There must be something in the two of them moving on down the road at about the same time. Dick Clark and Don Cornelius were fixtures in their media presence and in their living associations with what's cool, what sells and what expresses us best in music, movement and style. Thank you, Dick Clark for helping us to express ourselves and to understand our place in our culture a little better."

It seems like everyone who responded has a unique story and perspective. Alan Light of Iowa City, Iowa, shared a photo he took of Clark with his wife backstage at the 1990 Grammy Awards. FULL POST

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Filed under: Celebrity • iReport • Music • Overheard on CNN.com • Showbiz
April 18th, 2012
06:28 PM ET

The CNN Daily Mash-up

The CNN Daily Mash-up is a roundup of some of the most interesting, surprising, curious, poignant or significant items to appear on CNN.com in the past 24 hours. We'll top it with a collection of the day's most striking photographs. Your comments, as always, are welcome.

Quote of the day

Merle Butler, from a small town in Illinois, described the discovery that he held one of the winning tickets in the $656 million Mega Millions lottery:

"So, after I looked at it for a couple of minutes, I turned to my wife, who was right there with me, and I says, 'We won.' And she kind of looked at me funny, and I says, 'No, we won,' and then she started giggling, and she giggled for about four hours, I think."

A cultural icon is gone

Dick Clark, who as host of "American Bandstand" for more than 30 years earned the nickname "America's oldest teenager," has died of a heart attack at 82, his publicist and family say. Clark was a driving force in the development of the rock 'n' roll music industry, and he parlayed his business sense into a wide-ranging television production company. "American Idol" host Ryan Seacrest, who co-hosted several New Year's Eve shows with Clark, tweeted:
[tweet https://twitter.com/#!/RyanSeacrest/status/192710906034126848%5D

iReporter goes inside 'Day of Action'

Peter Khauo submitted an iReport showcasing the second annual "Global Day of Action on Military Spending," an Occupy-esque protest against extreme government military spending and a demand that the money instead be spent on things like health care and education.

Horrifying accident, amazing result

A shocking video Wednesday from CNN affiliate WJXT shows a car plowing through the front door of a busy Florida supermarket, sending a stroller - and the baby inside - flying. Watch heroic store employees and patrons lift the car off an injured victim:

[cnn-video url=http://www.cnn.com/video/#/video/bestoftv/2012/04/18/dnt-fl-publix-car-crash.wjxt]

Strange local story: Plunger attack

A Roebuck, South Carolina, bartender is accused of assaulting a fired employee with a toilet plunger, according to CNN affiliate WSPA. You'll just have to read the rest for yourself.

User comment of the day

John Brennan, the man arrested for taking off his clothes at Portland International Airport in Oregon to protest his treatment by TSA screeners, not only was the subject of the story, but he also got involved in the conversation in the comments section. Here's one bit of advice he gave:

"Oh, and always smile for your mug shot. I look so grim, but I'd never been to jail before."

On the horizon: Public meeting on Florida shooting

The city of Sanford, Florida, has scheduled a community meeting at 6:30 p.m. Thursday at a church to provide members of the public an opportunity to discuss the February shooting of unarmed teenager Trayvon Martin, according to the Sanford mayor's office. Mayor Jeff Triplett will be among officials attending, his office said.

mega millions numbers

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Filed under: CNN Daily Mash-up
April 18th, 2012
05:36 PM ET

Overheard on CNN.com: Readers cheer efforts of naked TSA protester

Editor's note: This post is part of the Overheard on CNN.com series, a regular feature that examines interesting comments and thought-provoking conversations posted by the community.

We last spoke of jets carrying shuttles and planes dodging Venus, and we're venturing skyward again (after the security check) with this story of a man who stripped naked at Portland International Airport in Oregon to protest TSA searches. Many of our readers have hailed him as some sort of unclothed hero, while others aren't sure about the value of being naked in public.

Police: Man strips naked at Oregon airport in TSA protest

CNN has already spoken with John Brennan, the naked flier, and we found him apparently commenting on the story about the incident. One of the posts gave this advice:

John Brennan: "Always smile for your mug shot. I look so grim, but I'd never been to jail before."

From our other readers, this was the most-liked comment:

Anex: "While it sucks for the people who had to wait because of him, or the children's/passerby's poor eyes, I respect what he did. His protest was non-violent and just shows the general sentiment of airport security."

USA401: "Yes but it is also illegal to be naked in public and refusing to cooperate. Lets face it, those are two things we want to keep as laws."

Many of our readers said people need to calm down and realize that airport security is a necessity.

collagekid: "Get off your high horse and deal with it. If you dont want to fly because the TSA may feel you are hiding something or have cause to search you then don't fly. Its your right not to; however, when you purchase a ticket I feel you give up your right to some of those privacies and liberties. I have no problem with TSA doing whatever and whenever to ensure that they can prevent someone from inflicting harm on an airplane or worse. The truth is, when they search children or people in wheelchairs, they do it because there are people out there who are disturbed enough to strap a bomb to a child!"

A few readers with knowledge about Portland's local laws had a different take. FULL POST

April 18th, 2012
05:32 PM ET

Source: Some agents to resign following Secret Service scandal

The U.S. Secret Service is set to announce agent resignations following a prostitution scandal in Colombia, according to a source with knowledge of the investigation.

The resignations could occur as early as Wednesday evening, the source said, adding that not all 11 agents involved in the scandal are expected to resign.

Adviser to lottery winners: Take the money and hush
Neysa Thomas, the Kansas Lottery deputy executive director, presents a Mega Milions jackpot check to 'Anonymous.'
April 18th, 2012
05:03 PM ET

Adviser to lottery winners: Take the money and hush

The Butlers kept their secret for more than two weeks, but like most lottery winners they eventually had to let the world know of their millions.

It was revealed Wednesday that Merle and Pat Butler, a 60-something couple from the tiny St. Louis suburb of Red Bud, Illinois, had the third and final winning ticket in the $656 million Mega Millions jackpot from March 30.

Their take was $217 million, which comes to $158 million after taxes, and the couple had good reason for waiting so long to come forward.

“I figured the quieter I keep it, the better we are to get it set up and get it going before we did the claim,” Merle Butler said.

Michael Boone, a Bellevue, Washington-based wealth manager, said he often encourages clients with “found money” – that is, inheritance, lottery winnings or high-dollar sports contracts – to keep a low profile.

It seems at least a few lucky souls got similar advice. Of 10 past lottery winners CNN tried to reach, seven had changed their numbers. Of the three who answered their phones, two politely declined to discuss their experiences.

“I still prefer to remain anonymous,” said a past District of Columbia Lotto winner.


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Filed under: Finance • Illinois • Kansas • Lotto • Maryland • U.S.
April 18th, 2012
04:42 PM ET

Photos just latest issue hounding U.S. military in Afghanistan

Wednesday’s release by the Los Angeles Times of photos showing U.S. soldiers posing with what the newspaper says were insurgents’ bodies in Afghanistan has launched the latest in a string of recent investigations into U.S. military members’ conduct in that country.

A U.S. soldier provided the photos to the Times, saying that the photos reveal a breakdown in leadership and discipline that he believed compromised troops’ safety, and that he hoped that the photos’ publication would stop those shortcomings, the Times reported. Times Editor Davan Maharaj said the paper decided that "publishing a small but representative selection of the photos would fulfill our obligation to readers to report vigorously and impartially on all aspects of the American mission in Afghanistan."

NATO’s International Security Assistance Force has blasted the photos, saying they represent "a serious error in judgment by several soldiers who have acted out of ignorance and unfamiliarity with U.S. Army values."

The Pentagon is investigating the photos, which allegedly were taken in 2010.

"An investigation that could lead to disciplinary measures is under way," Pentagon spokesman George Little said. "Anyone found responsible for this inhuman conduct will be held accountable in accordance with our military justice system."

The photos are just the latest of several high-profile U.S. military incidents in Afghanistan prompting U.S. investigation this year. Among the others:

March: Soldier accused of killing 17 civilians in two villages

On March 11, a U.S. solider left an Army outpost in Kandahar province’s Panjwai district, walked into two nearby villages and killed 17 Afghan civilians, U.S. authorities allege.

U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Robert Bales is charged with 17 counts of murder with premeditation, for which he could face the death penalty. He also faces six counts of attempted murder and two counts of assault and is being held at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, after being flown from Afghanistan a few days after the killings.


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Filed under: Afghanistan
'America's oldest teen' Dick Clark dies
April 18th, 2012
03:48 PM ET

'America's oldest teen' Dick Clark dies

[Updated at 4:34 p.m. ET] Broadcast icon Dick Clark, the creator and longtime host of "American Bandstand," has died, publicist Paul Shefrin said. He was 82.

Clark suffered a heart attack while at St. John's Hospital in Santa Monica for an outpatient procedure, his publicist said. "Attempts to resuscitate were unsuccessful."

iReport: Share your favorite Dick Clark memory

Photos: Clark through the years

Clark suffered what was then described as "a mild stroke" in December 2004, just months after announcing he had been diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes.

That stroke forced Clark to cut back on his on-camera work, including giving up the hosting duties for the "Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve" specials. He reappeared as a co-host with Ryan Seacrest on December 31, 2005.

His "American Bandstand" work, which he began as a local TV show in Philadelphia in 1956, earned him the nickname "America's oldest living teenager." The show was picked up by ABC and broadcast nationally a year later.

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Filed under: Celebrity • Showbiz • TV
Judge disqualifies herself from George Zimmerman case
CNN contributor Mark NeJame said Judge Jessica Recksiedler (pictured) did nothing improper by waiting to be asked to recuse herself.
April 18th, 2012
03:20 PM ET

Judge disqualifies herself from George Zimmerman case

A Florida judge Wednesday approved a motion to disqualify herself from the criminal case involving a neighborhood watch volunteer who fatally shot 17-year-old Trayvon Martin, according to the court.

The defense team for George Zimmerman requested Monday that Seminole Circuit Judge Jessica Recksiedler, who was assigned to Zimmerman's case, be removed after she revealed that her husband works with a CNN legal analyst.

Zimmerman's defense attorney, Mark O'Mara, had said Monday he was confident the motion would be granted.

Recksiedler said in her decision that while the findings on each basis were "legally insufficient" for disqualification, "the cumulative effect of the events and the totality of the circumstances provides a legally sufficient basis for this court to grant the motion to disqualify," a statement from the court said.

Zimmerman, 28, fatally shot Martin in Sanford, Florida, on February 26, a killing he has said was in self-defense. The case has stirred civil rights activists nationwide and drawn intense publicity.

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Filed under: Courts • Florida • Trayvon Martin
Pat Summitt steps down as Tennessee women's basketball coach
Summitt, seen here in 2011, announced she had early onset Alzheimer's disease last year.
April 18th, 2012
02:08 PM ET

Pat Summitt steps down as Tennessee women's basketball coach

[Updated at 4:40 p.m. ET] Eight months after revealing her diagnosis with early-onset Alzheimer's, the head coach of the University of Tennessee's women's basketball team announced she was stepping down Wednesday.

Summitt, who led the Lady Vols to eight national championships and whose 1,098 wins are the most in major-college basketball history, will now serve as "head coach emeritus," helping with on-campus recruiting, mentoring players and serving as a liaison between the coaching staff and the athletics director, Tennessee said.

"I've loved being the head coach at Tennessee for 38 years, but I recognize that the time has come to move into the future and to step into a new role," Summitt, 60, said in a statement released by Tennessee.

Holly Warlick, an assistant on the Tennessee staff for 27 seasons and a former Lady Vols player, has been named Summitt's successor.

"I support Holly Warlick being named the next head coach, and I want to help ensure the stability of the program going forward," Summitt said. "I would like to emphasize that I fully intend to continue working as head coach emeritus, mentoring and teaching life skills to our players, and I will continue my active role as a spokesperson in the fight against Alzheimer's through the Pat Summitt Foundation Fund."

Tennessee has scheduled a news conference for Thursday afternoon.


Gotta Watch: Naked in public
A man stripped naked at Portland International Airport.
April 18th, 2012
11:14 AM ET

Gotta Watch: Naked in public

A man in Portland, Oregon stripped naked in an airport last night to protest the screening process. Whether you think he's a hero or just plain crazy, he definitely tops our list of awkward TSA patdowns. He’s certainly not the first person to have an awkward encounter in a state of undress. You’ve Gotta Watch these uncomfortable moments in public nudity history.


Naked TSA patdown

When a 50-year-old man felt that TSA screeners were “harassing” him at the Portland International Airport, he decided to strip down in protest. See what the bystanders saw — if you dare.


Naked car chase

This woman reached 128 miles per hour in her car before getting pulled over by police. When she stepped out of the car, police were stunned to find that she was mostly naked. See how she acts in the back of the police car.


Naked on Wall Street

These performance artists tried “exposing” Wall Street with a naked protest. Their goal was to promote transparency, of course. Watch the stunt that shocked even the most hardened New Yorkers.

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Filed under: Crime • Gotta Watch • Oregon • Portland
Retired Illinois couple claims share of record Mega Millions jackpot
Pat Butler and her husband, Merle Butler, of Red Bud, Illinois, are the last winners of March 30's record Mega Millions jackpot to claim their prize.
April 18th, 2012
11:10 AM ET

Retired Illinois couple claims share of record Mega Millions jackpot

[Updated at 11:26 a.m. ET] Merle and Pat Butler, lifetime residents of Red Bud, Illinois, hold the third winning ticket worth $218 million in last month's record $656 million Mega Millions lottery jackpot, officials announced Wednesday.

"I looked (at) my wife, who was right there with me, and said, 'We won,' Merle Butler, 65, told reporters in Red Bud on Wednesday of the moment he realized he had a winning ticket on the night of the March 30 drawing. "Then she looked at me funny, and I said, 'No, we won.' "

"She giggled for about four hours, I think," he said.

The retired couple bought just three numbers for the drawing, meaning they spent $3 to win their share of the jackpot. They bought the ticket in Red Bud, a community of about 3,700 people roughly 25 miles southeast of St. Louis, Missouri.

The Butlers came forward publicly in their hometown's City Hall on Wednesday after spending the past two weeks hiring "real good financial advisers" and a lawyer to help them manage their new fortune, which is $158 million after taxes are deducted, they said.

Two other winning tickets (worth roughly $218 million each, before taxes) were sold for the March 30 drawing that had a record $656 million pretax payout: One in Maryland, and one in Kansas.

The three people who shared a winning ticket in Maryland and the one winner in Kansas claimed their prizes earlier this month, but they exercised their rights in those states to not reveal their names. Illinois, unlike those states, requires lottery winners to come forward publicly.

Still, the Maryland lottery winners made it known that they are three public school employees - a woman in her 20s, a man in his 40s and a woman in her 50s. The Maryland winners are an elementary school teacher, a special education teacher and an administrative worker, according to Maryland Lottery.

The man and two women who shared ownership of the winning ticket in Maryland are known only as the "Three Amigos." They said they plan to keep their fortune a secret - and keep working.

mega millions

Rockies’ Moyer, 49, becomes oldest pitcher to win game
Colorado Rockies pitcher Jamie Moyer leads his team to a 5-3 win against the San Diego Padres on Tuesday night in Denver.
April 18th, 2012
09:27 AM ET

Rockies’ Moyer, 49, becomes oldest pitcher to win game

Baseball’s ageless wonder has become one for the ages.

The Colorado Rockies’ Jamie Moyer - at 49 years and 150 days of age - on Tuesday night became the oldest pitcher in Major League Baseball history to win a game, surrendering two unearned runs in seven innings to guide his new team past the San Diego Padres 5-3 in Denver.

He also tied Hall of Fame pitcher Jim Palmer for 34th on the all-time wins list at 268.

The previous oldest pitcher to win a game in the majors was the Brooklyn Dodgers’ Jack Quinn, who was 49 years and 70 days old when he beat the St. Louis Cardinals in 1932.

Moyer said it was a special night for him, but he said that during the game he was more concerned about having the Rockies finish their nine-game home stand with a winning record than history, according to MLB.com.

"For me to put that in front of the game really would be unfair to my teammates, unfair to myself," Moyer said, according to MLB.com. "It would tell me also that my focus and my attention were in the wrong place.”

Baseball’s attention is now focused on the man who easily could have given up the game two years ago, when - already the oldest active player - he injured his elbow.


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Filed under: Baseball • Colorado • Sports
April 18th, 2012
09:22 AM ET

U.S. troops pose with suspected Afghan bombers' bodies

The Los Angeles Times published photos Wednesday of U.S. soldiers posing with what the newspaper said were bodies of insurgents - sparking outrage and condemnation from U.S. military officials.

Two photos published by the paper are among 18 provided by a U.S. soldier, who wanted "to draw attention to the safety risk of a breakdown in leadership and discipline," The Times reported.

The military said an investigation is under way.

The photos, from incidents in 2010, represent "a serious error in judgment by several soldiers who have acted out of ignorance and unfamiliarity with U.S. Army values," NATO'S International Security Assistance Force said in a statement. Gen. John Allen, the ISAF commander, condemned the photos, as did U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta.


Filed under: Afghanistan • Military
April 18th, 2012
07:36 AM ET

Wednesday's live events

The 2012 presidential election can sometimes change at the drop of a hat.  Watch CNN.com Live for all the latest news and views from the campaign trail.

Today's programming highlights...

10:00 am ET - GSA spending controversy hearing - A third day of hearings on questionable spending by the General Services Administration takes place on Capitol Hill.  Today, the Senate Public Works Committee takes up the issue.


Filed under: On CNN.com today • Politics
April 18th, 2012
05:18 AM ET

Confirmed tornado tally nears 60 from weekend storms

The National Weather Service has confirmed 59 tornadoes from a weekend outbreak of storms that killed six people.

"The Storm Prediction Center estimates the total will be around 75 when all surveys are complete," the weather service website said.

There were initial reports of 135 tornadoes - spread across Nebraska, Iowa, Kansas and Oklahoma - from the sprawling storm system that ripped across the Plains and Midwest on Saturday. A much smaller outbreak was reported Sunday.

At the time, the weather service said a final confirmed count would only come after officials had a chance to fan out across the states and determine how many of the reports were indeed tornadoes.


Filed under: U.S. • Weather
April 18th, 2012
04:29 AM ET

Myanmar lawmakers' oath creates problem for Suu Kyi's party

The party of Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi has requested a change in the wording of the oath that lawmakers have to take, presenting a potential hurdle to her taking up the parliamentary seat she won this month.

The National League for Democracy has asked the authorities to adjust the wording of the oath to say that parliamentarians will "abide by the law" rather than "protect the constitution," Nyan Win, a spokesman for the party, said Wednesday.

Suu Kyi's party won 43 of the 44 seats it contested in by-elections on April 1. She is scheduled to attend her first session of parliament on Monday after she was elected in the constituency of Kawhmu.

Nyan Win said the NLD was waiting for Myanmar authorities to respond to the request. He declined to say what Suu Kyi and the other elected members of the party would do if the oath wasn't changed before the parliament session began.

News of the complication emerged as Norway announced that Suu Kyi would visit the country in June, her first overseas trip since she was released from decades of house arrest in 2010.

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Filed under: Myanmar • Norway
April 18th, 2012
02:44 AM ET

Police: Man strips naked at Oregon airport as protest against TSA

A 50-year-old man who said he felt that airport screeners were "harassing" him stripped naked at Portland International Airport, police in Oregon said.

Police charged John E. Brennan with disorderly conduct and indecent exposure after he disrobed while going through the security screening area at the airport Tuesday evening.

"When interviewed about his actions Mr. Brennan stated he fly's a lot and had disrobed as a form of protest against TSA Screeners who he felt were harassing him," a police incident report said.

He was not intoxicated or under the influence of drugs at the time, police said.

Brennan was scheduled to fly on Alaska Airlines from Portland to San Jose, California.

Police said screeners asked him "numerous times" to put on his clothes, but he refused.

"Mr. Brennan's actions caused two screening lanes to be closed and while some passengers covered their eyes and their children's eyes and moved away from the screening area, others stepped out of the screening lanes to look, laugh and take photos of Mr. Brennan," the police report said.

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Filed under: Oregon • U.S.
Miami manager Guillen returns to dugout after 5-game suspension
Manager Ozzie Guillen of the Marlins looks on during a game against the Chicago Cubs in Miami on Tuesday.
April 18th, 2012
01:05 AM ET

Miami manager Guillen returns to dugout after 5-game suspension

Manager Ozzie Guillen was back in the dugout Tuesday night after serving a five-game suspension imposed by the Miami Marlins for his comments praising former Cuban leader Fidel Castro and angering the city's sizable Cuban-American population.

"It's been a tough couple of days, you know what I mean?" Guillen, in his first season as Marlins manager, told reporters before a game against the Chicago Cubs.

"I feel proud of the players and the coaching staff because they play well - we wish they'd won a couple more games, but they ... went after their job very good, the way I thought they were gonna go about their business, and there's no one more excited than me to be back with them."

In an interview with Time magazine earlier this month, Guillen said, "I love Fidel Castro," adding, "You know why? A lot of people have wanted to kill Fidel Castro for the last 60 years, but that (expletive) is still there."

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Filed under: Sports
April 18th, 2012
12:58 AM ET

Bin Laden widows, daughters face deportation from Pakistan

Osama bin Laden's three widows and two daughters could be deported from Pakistan on Wednesday after their period of house detention expired overnight.

A Pakistani judge ordered earlier this month that the five women be deported back to their countries of citizenship after serving their sentence for living illegally in Pakistan.

The 45-day detention period ended Tuesday night, said Aamir Khalil, the widows' lawyer. But he said he had no information on when they would be deported.

The widows - identified by U.S. and Pakistani officials as Amal Ahmed Abdul Fateh, Khairiah Sabar and Siham Sabar - have been in Pakistani custody since U.S. Navy SEALs raided bin Laden's compound in Abbottabad and killed the al Qaeda leader in May 2011.

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Filed under: Osama bin Laden • Pakistan • Saudi Arabia • Yemen
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