By Ed Payne
Saying he feels "totally abandoned and forgotten," kidnapped U.S. government contractor Warren Weinstein called on President Barack Obama to negotiate for his freedom in a video released by al Qaeda on Christmas.
The 72-year-old Weinstein was abducted from his home in the Pakistani city of Lahore in August 2011.
In the 13-minute video provided to the Washington Post, Weinstein appeals to the President, Secretary of State John Kerry, the American media, the American public and finally his family.
"Nine years ago, I came to Pakistan to help my government and I did so at a time when most Americans would not come here," he said. "And now, when I need my government, it seems I have been totally abandoned and forgotten."
2012: Video released of American captive
This is the second video with him making a direct plea to the Obama administration. The first was released in May 2012.FULL STORY
U.S. Senator John McCain arrived on an unannounced visit to Afghanistan on Thursday, a coalition spokeswoman told CNN.
The Arizona Republican is expected to meet with U.S. forces. He is a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee.FULL STORY
By Ed Payne, CNN
Reaction to North Korea's nuclear test - its third since 2006 - poured in Tuesday from around the world:
Barack Obama, U.S. president:
"This is a highly provocative act that ... undermines regional stability, violates North Korea's obligations under numerous United Nations Security Council resolutions, contravenes its commitments under the September 19, 2005 Joint Statement of the Six-Party Talks, and increases the risk of proliferation.
North Korea's nuclear weapons and ballistic missile programs constitute a threat to U.S. national security and to international peace and security. The United States remains vigilant in the face of North Korean provocations and steadfast in our defense commitments to allies in the region."
"The danger posed by North Korea's threatening activities warrants further swift and credible action by the international community. The United States will also continue to take steps necessary to defend ourselves and our allies."FULL STORY
By Ed Payne
In the months leading up to his death, U.S. Ambassador to Libya Chris Stevens worried about what he called the never-ending security threats in Benghazi and mentioned his name was on an al Qaeda hit list, a source familiar with his thinking told CNN
Stevens specifically mentioned a rise in Islamic extremism and al Qaeda's growing presence in Libya, the source said.
American intelligence officials are investigating, but Matthew Olsen, the National Counterterrorism Center director, said Wednesday that it was unlikely that Stevens and his security team were killed by random protesters.
"I would say, yes, they were killed in course of terrorist attack on our embassy," Olsen said at a Senate Homeland Security hearing.
Stevens and three other Americans were killed when protesters, angry over a film made in the United States that mocked the Muslim prophet Mohammed, attacked the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi.FULL STORY