CAIRO

Times Square bomber seen in video before failed attack

The man who pleaded guilty to carrying out the attempted Times Square car bombing appeared in a video recorded before the failed attack that shows him meeting with senior Pakistani Taliban leaders and vowing to strike the U.S.

In the video, aired in segments by the Dubai-based TV station Al-Arabiya, Faisal Shahzad said the attack on the New York City landmark would avenge the deaths of Muslims killed in Iraq and Afghanistan.

“All the Muslim Arabs that have been martyred, I will take revenge on their behalf,” he said. “I really wish that the hearts of the Muslims will be pleased with this attack, God willing.”

CHICAGO

Blagojevich lawyers seek to use other wiretap tapes

Rod Blagojevich’s lawyers are trying to persuade the judge at his corruption trial to let them play a batch of FBI wiretap tapes that jurors haven’t yet heard.

The ousted Illinois governor’s attorneys say the tapes show Blagojevich in a more positive light than the ones jurors have heard. On those, Blagojevich spewed profanity and often sounded desperate to land a well-paying job.

His attorneys said before a hearing Wednesday that prosecutors have tentatively agreed to allow them to play 10 of the 38 tapes. They came away from the hearing with permission from U.S. District Judge James Zagel to play two more.

HELENA, Mont.

Sex-ed plan for first-graders creates furor, forces review

A proposed sex education program that teaches fifth-graders the different ways people have intercourse and first-graders about gay love has infuriated parents and forced the school board to take a closer look at the issue.

Helena school trustees were swamped Tuesday night at a hearing that left many of the hundreds of parents in attendance standing outside a packed board room. They urged the school board to take the sex education program back to the drawing board.

Supporters say the proposed health education curriculum contains honest, science-based information on wellness and allows students to make better decisions. At Tuesday’s meeting they urged the board to accept the policy.

“This is about reality and truth so our kids don’t grow up in La-La Land, and have sufficient knowledge to make informed decisions,” Mary Ann Dunwell said in the Helena Independent Record.

The board takes the issue up again next month, and the outrage suggests that members could alter the plan to deal with all the complaints. One resident said parents may have to consider impeachment of board members or a lawsuit if it goes forward.