The Envoy
  • Former Israeli intelligence chief Meir Dagan, in his first U.S. television interview, says he believes that the Iran regime is rational and that now is not the time to attack Iran.

    "The regime in Iran is a very rational one," the former top Israeli spymaster tells CBS' Lesley Stahl, according to excerpts of the interview released by 60 Minutes.

    "No doubt, they are considering all the implications of their actions…They will have to pay dearly…and I think the Iranians at this point in time are…very careful on the project," says Dagan.  "They are not running."

    An excerpt of Dagan's interview with Stahl is scheduled to air on CBS Evening News Thursday. The full interview will be broadcast on 60 Minutes Sunday.

    The former Israeli intelligence chief's warnings against a premature attack on Iran reflect the widespread views of the White House and American military officials--but are sure to rile Israel's current political leaders.

    The interview airs just three days after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met with President Obama at the White House, to try to push the U.S. to commit to use force against Iran if diplomacy and economic sanctions fail to curb Iran's nuclear ambitions.

    "Israel has waited patiently for the international community to resolve this issue," Netanyahu told the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) in Washington, D.C. Monday night. "None of us can afford to wait much longer."

    But President Obama has maintained his preference for a diplomatic resolution to the Iran issue.

    Read More »from ‘The regime in Iran is a very rational one’ former Israeli intelligence chief tells CBS
  • Syria deputy oil minister defects, video claims

    A man claiming to be Syria's deputy oil minister Abdo Husameddine announced his defection in a video March 7, 2012. (APTN/AP)
    A man claiming to be Syria's deputy oil minister Abdo Husameddine has defected, denouncing the Bashar al-Assad regime in a YouTube video that urged his fellow Syrians to "abandon this sinking ship."

    "I do not want to end my life servicing the crimes of this regime," Husameddine says on the video which was posted to YouTube late Wednesday, according to the Associated Press. The video has not been independently verified. "You have inflicted on those you claim are your people a full year of sorrow and sadness, denied them their basic rights to life and humanity and pushed the country to the edge of the abyss."

    "I join the revolution of this dignified people," he adds.

    Husameddine, 48, is the most senior Syrian official known to have publicly broken ranks with the Assad regime, whose year-long brutal crackdown is estimated to have killed well over 7,500 people.

    Read More »from Syria deputy oil minister defects, video claims
  • A Pakistani family watches the destruction of Osama bin Laden's compound in Abbottabad Feb. 26, 2012. (AP Photo/Anjum Naveed, File), Pakistan. (Anjum Naveed, File/AP)

    Osama bin Laden's final months don't sound all that happy or stress-free. Before he was killed by a U.S. Navy Seal team this past May, the mastermind behind the September 11 attacks endured nasty squabbling between two of his wives as well as a power grab, where his deputy in al-Qaida, Ayman al-Zawahiri, effectively sidelined him. The details come from an unpublished investigation by a retired Pakistani general reported on by the New York Times Thursday.

    Retired Pakistani Army brigadier general Shaukat Qadir set out in the wake of the U.S. raid last year "to truth-check the competing accounts of bin Laden's last years in Pakistan," the New York Times' Declan Walsh reports. The result of Qadir's investigation is a "novella-length report, still officially unpublished [that] offers tantalizing possibilities about bin Laden's circumstances and the suspicions that drove relations between Pakistan and the United States to the brink."

    Because of his senior Pakistani military connections, Qadir was given rare access to bin Laden's former compound in the Pakistani garrison town of Abbottabad where he conducted his investigation. (The compound was razed by the Pakistani government last month.) Those same ties, however, have also generated some doubts about the veracity of his findings, given Pakistani officials' vehement denials that anyone from the Pakistani security establishment knew the fugitive al-Qaida leader was holed up in the country.

    Among the more tantalizing of Qadir's findings: the claim that bin Laden had a kidney transplant in 2002, according to what bin Laden's youngest wife, Amal Ahmed al-Sadah, told Pakistani interrogators. The allegation, if verified, "could help explain how the ailing Saudi militant was able to survive with a known kidney ailment," Walsh writes, "but raises questions about who was helping him."  (Recall that American officials for years wondered aloud how an over 6-foot-tall Saudi with a dialysis machine could survive in the Hindu Kush mountains without attracting attention from locals.)

    Qadir's account also delves into bin Laden's home life, describing it as vexed by "poisonous mistrust" between two of his five wives: Sadah, the terrorist leader's fifth and youngest wife (who naturally described herself as his favorite to her Pakistani interrogator), and his older first wife, Khairiah Saber, who lived with her family on another floor of the compound. "In the cramped Abbottabad house, [Qadir] was told, tensions erupted" between the two women, Walsh reports.

    Indeed, the rivalry was so bitter, according to Qadir's account, that Sadah accused her older rival wife of ratting out their fugitive husband to U.S. spies.

    Read More »from Bin Laden’s wives: The terrorist leader endured squabbling spouses and a power struggle his last months, says one account


(679 Stories)
  • Ukraine Suspends 'Anti-Terrorist Operation'

    Statement Cites Easter and Geneva Agreement as Reason

  • Public smoke-out marks pot holiday in Colorado
    Public smoke-out marks pot holiday in Colorado

    DENVER (AP) — Tens of thousands of revelers raised joints, pipes and vaporizer devices to the sky Sunday at a central Denver park in a defiant toast to the April 20 pot holiday, a once-underground celebration that stepped into the mainstream in the first state in the nation to legalize recreational marijuana.

  • Abrupt Lurch in Wyoming Landslide Splits House in Two
    Abrupt Lurch in Wyoming Landslide Splits House in Two

    Other Homes, Businesses Threatened by Sudden Earth Movement and Debris.

  • Australia sees 'regroup' on Malaysian plane search in a few days

    By David Lawder WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Australia will decide in a few days whether to alter or scale back the search for missing Malaysia Airlines Flight 370, but will consult all countries involved on any changes, Australia's ambassador to the United States said on Sunday. Kim Beazley told CNN the search countries would "regroup and reconsider" if nothing is found in a section of the Indian Ocean floor now being scanned by a U.S. Navy underwater drone. This includes adjustments to the air and sea surface search efforts and the possibility of bringing in private contractors to replace some military assets, he said. You may well also consider bringing in other underwater search equipment," Beazley said on the "State of the Union with Candy Crowley" program.

  • Rosie O'Donnell Loses 50 Pounds

    Comedian and host latest star to undergo weight-loss surgery.

  • 'This Week' Panel: Are Evangelicals Out of Touch With Mainstream Views?
    'This Week' Panel: Are Evangelicals Out of Touch With Mainstream Views?

    Despite major changes in public opinion in recent years, Rev. Franklin Graham, son of perhaps the most famous American preacher of all time, Billy Graham, reiterated his strong opposition to gay marriage and gay adoption today on ABC’s “This Week.” As a part of a...

  • Hamilton amazed by chequered flag blunder

    By Abhishek Takle SHANGHAI (Reuters) - Lewis Hamilton nearly backed off while still a lap away from his third win in a row on Sunday after the chequered flag was waved early in a blunder that led to a post-race revision of the results. Such places matter for small teams like Caterham, who have never scored a point and whose final position at the end of the season will be decided on placings and a possible countback as far as 17th and 18th.

  • Ukraine PM: Putin 'has a dream to restore the Soviet Union'
    Ukraine PM: Putin 'has a dream to restore the Soviet Union'

    Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk believes Russian President Vladimir Putin "has a dream to restore the Soviet Union" — and Putin realizing that dream would be disastrous for the rest of the world.

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