- - Wednesday, September 15, 2010

JORDAN

U.S. Embassy warns of ‘imminent threat’

AMMAN | The U.S. Embassy in Jordan warned on Wednesday that it has “credible” information of a possible “imminent threat” around the southern port city of Aqaba.

“Credible information has been received regarding a possible imminent threat in the Gulf of Aqaba region,” the embassy said in a brief statement on its website.

“The U.S. Embassy recommends that all non-official and personal travel to Aqaba be deferred for at least the next 48 hours. For those US citizens resident in Aqaba, the downtown and port areas should be avoided if possible.”

PAKISTAN

Al Qaeda No. 2 slams Pakistan relief effort

CAIRO | Al Qaeda’s No. 2 leader on Wednesday made a thinly veiled call on Pakistanis to rise up against their government over what he said was the “failure” of authorities there to provide relief to flood victims.

In a video posted on militant websites, Ayman al-Zawahri also accused the Islamabad government of corruption, saying Pakistani officials were only interested in lining their pockets and not concerned about the fate of the country or its people.

However, the al Qaeda No. 2 placed some of the blame on the Pakistani people, saying their apathy is at least partially responsible for the “deteriorating conditions and corrupt state of affairs” in the country.

AFGHANISTAN

Medal of Honor recipient says he’s nothing special

VICENZA, Italy | Army Staff Sgt. Salvatore Giunta will get the nation’s highest military honor this year. But in his words, he’s just “mediocre” and “average” at his job.

Sgt. Giunta will become the first living Afghanistan war veteran awarded the Medal of Honor, for his actions in a firefight nearly three years ago. When Sgt. Giunta’s squad was caught in an ambush, he exposed himself to enemy fire to pull a fellow soldier back to cover before opening fire on insurgents carrying away a wounded soldier.

Speaking to reporters today from his current post in Italy, Sgt. Giunta deflected all praise, saying anyone who wants to call him a hero must include all other service members who go into the unknown.

IRAN

U.S. accuses Iran of coercing inspectors

VIENNA | The United States accused Iran on Wednesday of intimidating U.N. inspectors investigating its nuclear program in an effort to influence their findings — a move an American diplomat suggested allowed the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to consider “appropriate action.”

Glyn Davies, chief U.S. delegate to the nuclear agency, did not go into details in comments to the agency’s 35-nation board. But he referred to the phrase “appropriate action” as part of the authority given the board if the inspectors are hampered in carrying out their duties.

BRITAIN

Controversial ad to target pope’s visit

LONDON | An ice cream company banned from using an ad showing a pregnant nun vowed Wednesday to place similar posters along the route of Pope Benedict XVI’s visit to London this week.

The ad for the Antonio Federici brand showed the heavily pregnant nun standing in a church holding a tub of ice cream and a spoon, with the lines “Immaculately conceived” and “Ice cream is our religion.”

Britain’s Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) said it had banned the ad for “making a mockery” of the beliefs of Roman Catholics.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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