Bill Clinton implored Democrats to back the tax-cut deal that President Barack Obama negotiated with Republicans as the former president made a surprise appearance with Obama in the White House briefing room Friday — and later took over the podium. "I don't believe there is a better deal out there," Clinton told reporters who'd been summoned at a moment's notice to see the former chief executive back the current one. Clinton and Obama had just finished a private meeting in the Oval Office.
TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — An Iranian woman sentenced to death by stoning for adultery confessed to helping a man kill her husband and re-enacted the alleged crime in an interview broadcast Friday by Iranian state television — an apparent effort by the government to deflect international criticism over the case. It was the fourth time Sakineh Mohammedi Ashtiani has been shown on TV as Tehran has faced an international outcry over the announcement that she would be stoned to death, the latest source of friction between Iran and the West.
MEXICO CITY (AP) — The eccentric leader of the brutal La Familia drug cartel was killed in a shootout during two days of fighting between federal police and gunmen that terrified civilians across a western Mexican state, the government said Friday. The death of Nazario Moreno Gonzalez — nicknamed "The Craziest One" — is a major blow to a drug cartel that rose to national prominence four years ago by rolling severed heads into a nightclub and declaring that its mission was to protect Michoacan state from rival gangs and petty criminals.
SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Elizabeth Smart waited more than eight years for the word she heard Friday. "Guilty," the court clerk said, after a federal jury deliberated five hours to convict street preacher Brian David Mitchell of snatching Smart from her bed, at knifepoint in the dead of night, and forcing sex on her while he held her captive for nine months. Smart smiled as the verdict was read, while a bedraggled, bearded Mitchell sat at the defense table, singing hymns with his hands before his chest, as if in prayer.
HAVANA (AP) — A newly released confidential U.S. diplomatic cable predicted Cuba's economic situation could become "fatal" within two to three years, and detailed concerns from other countries' diplomats — including China — that the communist-run country has been slow to adopt reforms. The cable was written last February, months before Cuban President Raul Castro announced a major revamp of the island's economy, laying out plans to fire a half-million state workers and open up the island to expanded forms of private enterprise.
LOS ANGELES (AP) — The federal agency that declared lead-laced Wizard of Oz and superhero drinking glasses were children's products has reversed itself and said the glasses are, in fact, for adults. The Consumer Protection Safety Commission says that as a result the glasses are not subject to a previously announced recall.
JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) — A judge on Friday ruled against Republican Joe Miller's lawsuit challenging how Alaska counted write-in votes for rival Lisa Murkowski in their Senate race, delivering another setback to the tea party-backed candidate in his longshot legal fight. Judge William Carey's ruling is virtually certain to be appealed to the state Supreme Court, and he said his decision wouldn't take effect until Tuesday to give Miller time to do so.
NEW YORK (AP) — Declassified CIA files reveal that U.S. intelligence officials went to great lengths to protect a Ukrainian fascist leader and suspected Nazi collaborator from prosecution after World War II and set him up in a New York office to wage covert war against the Soviet Union, according to a new report to Congress. Mykola Lebed led an underground movement to undermine the Kremlin and conduct guerrilla operations for the CIA during the Cold War, says the report, prepared by two scholars under the supervision of the National Archives. It was given to Congress on Thursday and posted online.
DENVER (AP) — A southwestern Colorado exterminator is suspected of earning the trust of his customers — and their dogs — to steal hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of items and cash over the course of nearly 30 years. Charles Trogdon was arrested Nov. 1, days after one of his customers, who was hiding, said she saw Trogdon open a nightstand where money previously had been stolen. La Plata County sheriff's investigator Dan Patterson said other customers began calling and wondering if Trogdon was responsible for missing cash and items over the years — everything from tools and jewelry to a custom-made rifle.
CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) — Stay tuned for nature's coming attraction. Early next week, the Geminid meteor shower will make its annual appearance, just in time for Christmas. Astronomers consider it the best meteor shower of the year, with more than 100 meteors streaking through the night sky every hour. The peak of the meteor shower will occur early Tuesday, between midnight and sunrise local time. The show will be best in the Northern Hemisphere, easily visible with the naked eye.