Just as his life had been a flashpoint of contention, Osama bin Laden’s death has incited fresh disputes about whether his burial at sea was done in accordance with Islamic law. Critics, from Islamic scholars to 9/11 survivors, have censured the Obama administration’s decision to swiftly bury Mr. bin Laden's body at sea. The White House insisted Monday that the burial was performed with respect to Islamic custom and that the administration had consulted with Islamic experts and decided beforehand how to handle bin Laden’s body. Here’s a closer look at Islamic burial practices and whether bin Laden’s body was handled in accordance with Islamic law.
The press has descended en masse to the sleepy town of Abbottabad, Pakistan, considered an idyllic vacation spot until Sunday when it became more famously known as the final hideout of Osama bin Laden. Any hopes of catching a glimpse inside Mr. bin Laden's secret compound were dashed, however, as Pakistani forces are tightly guarding the area and the Army literally chased down Western journalists who attempted to get close. After the Army departed today and left security in the hands of local police, reporters were able to climb atop nearby buildings to see what they could of the mysterious hideout of America's most-wanted terrorist. Here is what one reporter observed:
Amid an official US probe into whether the Pakistani military knew of Osama bin Laden's hiding spot and if they shielded him, it could be easy to overlook Pakistan's notable successes against alleged Al Qaeda militants, thousands of whom have been killed or captured by Pakistani forces over the past decade. Here's a look at five of the highest-profile Al Qaeda captures in Pakistan with the help of the local security services.
Online supporters of Osama bin Laden and his campaign of global jihad reacted with confusion, sadness, and often anger following the news that Osama bin Laden is dead, killed by US special forces in Pakistan Sunday. Here is a sampling of four ways commenters on pro-jihadi websites responded – translated by Aaron Zelin, a researcher at Brandeis University in Waltham, Mass., and operator of his own website that studies Islamic radicalism online, Jihadology.
For a decade, it was an ongoing effort – one that a senior Obama administration official called on Monday morning “America’s most vexing intelligence problem: where to find bin Laden.” Here are 10 questions and answers about how the operatives commonly known as ‘SEAL Team Six’ killed Osama bin Laden.
Who was Osama bin Laden? The mastermind behind the 9/11 terrorist plot was one of the best-known men in the world and yet in many ways he remained an enigma. The son of a wealthy businessman, the man whom most Westerners knew as an archterrorist was also a soft-spoken family man with a fondness for poetry. The following books offer insight into Osama bin Laden – the man, his convictions, and how he came to cast so large a shadow over the Western world.
And here you thought your wedding was a bit on the stressful side. At least you're not Kate Middleton, whose every step – especially any misstep – will be broadcast live to the world. It won't get any easier if she ever becomes the consort of the king. On the bright side, she's marrying a handsome and energetic young man. Then again, Henry VIII's first queen did the exact same thing. As for the five that followed her, well, as the old rhyme puts it: "Divorced, beheaded, died. Divorced, beheaded, survived." As she figures out her strategy to keep her position (and her man), "Waity Katie" might be wise to sit back and read these instructive books about Henry VIII's queens. This time around, let's hope only the lessons roll, with everyone's heads staying right where they belong.
More than 1 million people are expected to crowd London's streets Friday for the wedding between Prince William and Kate Middleton. While royal fans speculate about the wedding dress, British police are fretting over security. Check out five questions (and answers) about the plan for keeping the royal family safe.
The Federal Reserve, the institution tasked with guarding the economy against inflation and financial instability, has long made headlines for its words as well as its actions. An utterance from the chairman can help reassure financial markets or raise concerns about the economy. Now the central bank is moving to explain itself more openly in its first-ever formalized press conferences, so the opportunity for Fed officials to make market-moving pronouncements may increase. Here's a look at some moments when a Fed chairman has made waves with his words.
Ron Paul, the Texas congressman who is expected to announce an official "exploratory committee" for a presidential run Tuesday, is known for his passionate espousal of free markets and sound money. To supporters, Congressman Paul has stood as a lone voice of reason in Congress, wiser than Wall Street. Critics see his views on issues like reviving a gold standard or ending the Federal Reserve as simplistic and more dangerous than the ills he hopes to cure. Here are his own words on key economic issues:
The NBA playoffs are well underway. It started with 16 teams, trying to stay in the game over a two-month stretch to earn the title 'NBA Champions.' However, there are a handful of teams that have established themselves as the cream of the pro-basketball crop, having won multiple NBA titles since 1947.
Thousands of teachers are being notified this spring that their jobs are in jeopardy – and many of those layoffs may actually occur, given the severe budget crises affecting state and local governments. The result is renewed scrutiny of the seniority rules that govern layoffs in many states. Just in the past month, Florida has done away with such rules, and Georgia is on its way.
Prince William and Kate Middleton have invited 1,900 people to join them when they tie the knot Friday at Westminster Abbey. Much of the invite list is dictated by tradition and diplomacy, but 1,000 attendees were also invited as "friends and family." Here's a look at some notables on the list, from Grammy-winners to representatives criticized by the international community for violating human rights.
If Western audiences are inspired by the film "Shawshank Redemption" about a solo prison escape, then Taliban sympathizers must surely be heartened by today's spectacular escape of some 500 inmates from a Kandahar prison through a 1,180-foot-long tunnel. But while character Andy Dufresne had to dig out of Shawshank prison without any assistance, the Taliban prisoners are suspected of having help from guards. This is not the first jail break that has set back the US wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, nor is it even the first escape from this specific prison. Here's a short list of recent prison breaks (and one near-escape) in Iraq and Afghanistan.
An Egyptian court on April 21 ordered the physical removal of the Mubarak family name from all public places, formalizing a process that protesters began months ago. With Hosni Mubarak's name and face plastered on everything from street signs to stadiums to train stations, it will take a long time for the state to fully remove his mark. Here are a few of places to be scrubbed of the Mubarak moniker:
Gary Johnson, who has already scaled Mt. Everest, has chosen the presidency as his next summit. The former New Mexico governor declared his candidacy on April 21 in New Hampshire. "America needs a ‘President Veto’ right now – someone who will say no to insane spending and stop the madness that has become Washington," he said in a statement. A libertarian-leaning, tee-totaling triathlete often dubbed “the next Ron Paul,” Mr. Johnson is a maverick whose liberal views on marijuana might smoke his White House bid.
Maundy Thursday commemorates the Last Supper of Jesus Christ with the Apostles, falling every year on the day before Good Friday. While the Roman Catholic Church calls it "Holy Thursday," the Anglican Church uses the name "Maundy Thursday" in accordance with the Old English phrasing of Jesus' commandment that humans should love one another. Here are ways that five European nations celebrate the Christian holiday, starting in Britain with Queen Elizabeth.