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WORLD IN BRIEF: Egypt lays plans for venue of Mubarak trial

Egypt lays plans for venue of Mubarak trial

CAIRO -- Hosni Mubarak's trial will be set in a huge Cairo convention center with hundreds of seats for an audience, heavy security and a metal defendants' cage large enough to hold the man who ruled Egypt unchallenged for three decades, his two sons and seven associates, judicial officials said Thursday.

Health Minister Amr Helmy said the 83-year-old Mubarak is well enough to be moved from a hospital in the Sinai resort of Sharm el-Sheikh, where he is under arrest, to Cairo. He will face charges of corruption and ordering the killings of protesters during the uprising that toppled him in February.

Libyan rebels: Military head shot, killed

BENGHAZI, Libya -- The head of the Libyan rebel armed forces was shot and killed Thursday just before arriving for questioning by rebel authorities, their political leader said in a carefully worded statement to reporters that gave few details on who was behind the killing.

Adding to the confusion, the rebels had said hours earlier they had already detained the commander, Abdel-Fattah Younis, on suspicion his family might still have ties to the regime of Moammar Gadhafi, raising questions about whether he might have been assassinated by his own side.

Such a scenario would signal a troubling split within the rebel movement at a time when their forces have failed to make battlefield gains despite nearly four months of NATO airstrikes against Gahdafi's forces.

US accuses Iran of 'deal' with al-Qaida

WASHINGTON -- The Obama administration accused Iran on Thursday of entering into a ''secret deal'' with an al-Qaida offshoot that provides money and recruits for attacks in Afghanistan and Pakistan. The Treasury Department designated six members of the unit as terrorists subject to U.S. sanctions.

The U.S. intelligence community has in the past disagreed about the extent of direct links between the Iranian government and al-Qaida. Thursday's allegations went further than what most analysts had previously said was a murky relationship with limited cooperation.