U.S. drone missile strikes kill two al-Qaida commanders

American drone missile strikes in northwest Pakistan have killed two al-Qaida commanders, according to Pakistani intelligence sources, including a militant leader who had replaced al-Qaida’s second-in-command, Abu Yahya al-Libi, killed by a drone missile this summer.

The sources said Sunday that Abu Zaid al-Kuwaiti, a senior al-Qaida leader who had replaced al-Libi, was killed in a drone strike Thursday near the town of Mir Ali in North Waziristan, the tribal region along the Afghan border that has long served as a stronghold for an array of militant groups, including al-Qaida commanders, the Afghan Taliban wing known as the Haqqani network, and the Pakistani Taliban.


Mexican-American singer feared dead in plane crash

Mexican-American singer Jenni Rivera, a popular recording artist and reality television star, is feared dead after a small plane crashed early Sunday in northern Mexico.

Mexico’s Ministry of Transportation and Communications said the Learjet carrying seven people, including Rivera, was found in mountainous terrain near Nuevo Leon, just south of Monterrey. There were no survivors, authorities said.

The plane left Monterrey around 3:30 a.m. CST after a concert that she had given, according to The Associated Press. The U.S.-registered Learjet 25 was headed to Toluca, near Mexico City.

The 43-year-old native of Long Beach, Calif., known to fans as “la diva de la banda,” was best known for her interpretations of regional Mexican music, norteno and banda. She was one of NBCUniversal’s biggest bilingual television stars, with a hugely popular reality show, “I Love Jenni.”

SEOUL, South Korea

Window for rocket opens but North may delay liftoff

A near two-week launch window for a North Korean long-range rocket began Monday, a day after Pyongyang said it may delay liftoff. North Korea has faced mounting international pressure to abandon what critics call a cover for a banned missile test.

Scientists had been pushing forward with final preparations for the launch from a west coast site but are considering “readjusting” the timing for unspecified reasons, an unidentified spokesman for the Korean Committee for Space Technology said.


U.S. special operator killed in mission to free American

A member of a U.S. special operations team was killed during a weekend rescue mission in Afghanistan that freed an American doctor abducted by the Taliban outside of Kabul five days ago.

A spokesman for U.S. forces in Afghanistan said Dr. Dilip Joseph of Colorado Springs, Colo., was rescued early Sunday in eastern Afghanistan. Joseph, a medical adviser for Colorado Springs-based Morning Star Development, was rescued after intelligence showed he was in imminent danger of injury or possible death, according to the U.S. military.


Ex-con says he got arrested to get prison care for cancer

A 56-year-old ex-convict says he purposely got arrested for shoplifting to get prison health care for his leukemia.

Frank Morrocco of Amherst told The Buffalo News that he stole shoelaces and other items from Wegman’s as “an act of desperation” because he can’t afford health care. He was released from federal prison a year ago after serving 20 years on drug charges. He was getting cancer treatment as an inmate.

Now he’s having second thoughts about shoplifting his way back to prison because a relative and two friends say they’ll pay for his health insurance.

Federal marshals told Morrocco Friday that they have a warrant for his arrest. He said he’ll turn himself in Monday. A judge will decide whether to send him to prison for violating parole.

— From new service reports