CIA faked health drive for bin Laden DNA
ABBOTTABAD, Pakistan, July 12 (UPI) -- The CIA set up a fake vaccination program near Osama bin Laden's Pakistan hideout before the raid that killed him hoping to get his family's DNA, officials say.
The elaborate scheme was carried out in Abbottabad, 30 miles northeast of the capital Islamabad, in an attempt to get evidence bin Laden's family lived where the CIA believed the al-Qaida leader was hiding, the U.S. and Pakistani officials and local residents told Britain's The Guardian newspaper.
The civilian U.S. intelligence agency, which also engages in covert activities at the request of the U.S. president, wanted confirmation bin Laden was in the compound before mounting a risky operation inside another country, the officials said.
It wanted to compare DNA from any bin Laden child from the compound with a sample from his sister, who died in Boston last year, to provide evidence the family was present, the officials said.
At one point, a nurse managed to gain entry into bin Laden's compound to administer the vaccines, and possibly record conversations or leave behind a surveillance device, the newspaper said.
U.S. special forces killed bin Laden in a post-midnight raid of the compound May 2.
Boehner: Only concession is debt ceiling
WASHINGTON, July 12 (UPI) -- The only Republican concession President Obama should expect in the U.S. budget talks is a vote raising the federal debt limit, House Speaker John Boehner said.
"Most Americans would say that a 'balanced' approach is a simple one -- the administration gets its debt-limit increase and the American people get their spending cuts and their reforms," Boehner said at a news conference Monday before heading to the White House for a bipartisan deficit-reduction and debt-limit meeting.
"And adding tax increases to the equation doesn't 'balance' anything," Boehner said.
Obama often describes his budget-discussion desire as seeking a "balanced approach" to deficit reduction.
At a news conference before Monday's talks Obama repeated his desire and said he was "prepared to take on significant heat from my party to get something done -- and I expect the other side should be willing to do the same thing."
He said unless Republicans were willing to budge on their refusal to raise taxes on America's wealthy, "I do not see a path to a deal."
Republicans said they would not raise taxes and were already taking heat for considering an increase in the legal limit on the debt, which stands at a record $14.3 trillion.
Karzai half-brother assassinated
KANDAHAR, Afghanistan, July 12 (UPI) -- Ahmed Wali Karzai, a half-brother of Afghan President Hamid Karzai and a powerful figure in Kandahar, was shot and killed Tuesday, Afghan officials said.
The Washington Post, quoting two people at the well-secured Kandahar home of Ahmed Wali Karzai, 49, reported he was killed by a guard. The report said Karzai had been meeting with tribal elders and politicians and later there were three gunshots in a room where Karzai had gone along with his guard.
Deputy provincial head Agha Lalai Destegeri, who had been meeting with Karzai, said he heard the shots and later found Karzai shot in the head, chest and hand, the Post report said.
The Post reported other guards later entered the room and killed the guard. Karzai died before reaching a hospital, the report said.
CNN, quoting provincial Gov. Tooryalai Wesa, also reported he was shot and killed in his home, but the governor said he did not know what led to the shooting. A spokesman for the governor later said Karzai was killed by a guard.
CNN, quoting the head of Kandahar Hospital, reported Karzai had been shot in the head and chest.
Suspected drone strikes kill several
ISLAMABAD, Pakistan, July 12 (UPI) -- Suspected U.S. drone strikes targeting militant hideouts in northwest Pakistan Tuesday killed several people, authorities said.
CNN, quoting two Pakistani intelligence officials, said four missiles fired from the drone killed at least 13 suspected militants in the Shawal area of South Waziristan near the border with Afghanistan.
A similar attack Monday in North Waziristan killed 10 suspected militants, the report said.
Geo News reported a far higher toll in the missile strikes the past two days.
The two regions are suspected havens for militants for launching attacks both in Pakistan and Afghanistan.
Earlier this week, the United States announced the suspension of $800 million in military assistance to Pakistan as relations between the two countries remain strained.
4 men get 420 years each for party deaths
JUAREZ, Mexico, July 12 (UPI) -- A court in Mexico's Chihuahua state sentenced four men to 420 years in prison each in the 2010 massacre in Juarez in which 15 people died, prosecutors said.
The men -- Jose Dolores Arroyo Chavarria, Heriberto Martinez, Juan Alfredo Soto Arias and Aldo Favio Hernandez Lozano -- were found guilty last week of aggravated murder in the deaths of 15 people and the attempted murder of eight others who were attending a party, the El Paso (Texas) Times reported Tuesday.
A fifth man, Israel Arzate Melendez, also was charged in the slayings, but requested protection after claiming officials tortured him to get a confession, the Times reported. The case against him is suspended while he seeks to have charges dismissed.
During the trial, state prosecutors argued that on Jan. 30, 2010, the five men arrived at a home in south Juarez, rushed the door into a birthday party and opened fire on a crowd of mostly students.