2 nabbed in Canada plot
Two men were arrested and charged with plotting a terrorist attack against a Canadian passenger train, police said Monday.
The Royal Canadian Mounted Police said Monday that Chiheb Esseghaier and Raed Jaser, who live in Montreal and Toronto areas, were conspiring to carry out an al-Qaida supported attack against Via Rail, but posed no immediate threat.
Charges against the two men include conspiring to carry out an attack and murder people in association with a terrorist group. Police said the men are not Canadian citizens, but declined to say where they were from.
The investigation was part of a cross-border operation involving Canadian law enforcement agencies, the FBI and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.
Taliban takes 11 hostages
The Taliban took 11 civilians prisoner, including eight Turks and a Russian, after their cargo helicopter made an emergency landing in eastern Afghanistan, officials said Monday, in the first large scale capture of foreigners there in nearly six years.
Security forces dispatched to the remote area retreated after engaging in firefights with the insurgents but failing to secure the area or retrieve the captives.
District Governor Hamidullah Hamid told The Associated Press said the helicopter came down in a gorge in the densely forested region, known for narrow gorges and rugged mountains, about 12 miles from the Pakistani border.
Taliban fighters then captured everyone aboard the helicopter and took them away, Hamid said.
NYC wants to up smoking age
New York City Council Speaker Christine Quinn is proposing raising the minimum age for tobacco purchases from 18 to 21.
Quinn announced the proposed legislation on Monday and was joined by Health Commissioner Dr. Thomas Farley, other council members and health advocates.
Texas recently attempted to pass legislation changing the age from 18 to 21 but it failed. Several states have a 19 age limit for the purchase of cigarettes.
The Bloomberg administration recently unveiled a plan to keep cigarettes out of sight in stores until an adult customer asks for a pack. New York City has had a ban on smoking in bars, restaurants and other indoor public spaces for 10 years.
Fighting kills at least 187
Fighting between soldiers and Islamic extremists in northeast Nigeria killed at least 187 people, the worst single incident of violence in the region since an insurgency there began three years ago, an aid agency said Monday.
Nigeria’s military blocked access for relief officials to enter the town of Baga, which sits along the shores of Lake Chad in the nation’s far northeast, said Nwakpa O. Nwakpa, a Red Cross spokesman. Another 77 people are receiving medical care there in the ruins of a town where some 300 homes burned down, he said. Local residents blamed angry soldiers for burning down neighborhoods where they knew civilians were hiding.
The fighting in Baga began Friday and lasted for hours.