Dutch clear 5 men of terror suspicion

AMSTERDAM - Dutch authorities on Sunday cleared five of the 12 Somali men who were detained Christmas Eve on suspicion of preparing a terrorist attack in the Netherlands.

Prosecutors said they had no evidence of criminal involvement against the five, but they said the investigation of the seven others was continuing.

They must decide by Tuesday whether to bring the remaining suspects before a judge or let them go.

The men were picked up in Rotterdam after a tip from intelligence services that an attack might be imminent. There was no information on the alleged target, though Rotterdam is one of Europe's biggest commercial hubs, with a huge port and large storage facilities for oil and gas.

Three of the detainees who lacked valid residency permits were turned over to immigration police, prosecutors said. Two were residents of Denmark, and the residency of the third was not established. Two Dutch residents were released. - AP

Yemen to add new antiterror units

SANAA, Yemen - Yemen is setting up provincial antiterrorism units to confront al-Qaeda in its heartland, a security official said Sunday.

Yemen already has highly trained, U.S.-funded antiterrorism security units, operating under the military and the interior ministry. But this is the first time officials have said the units will be based in the heartland of al-Qaeda.

The United States has been pressuring Yemen to take on al-Qaeda, whose presence has grown in the poor country and which has increasingly been organizing attacks abroad from its havens in Yemen.

The new units will operate in Shabwa, where the U.S.-Yemeni radical cleric Anwar al-Awlaki is believed to be hiding, as well as in the mountainous central Marib province, in Abyan and the eastern province of Hadramawt, where many al-Qaeda operatives are taking refuge and where the government has little control, according to government officials. - AP

Mubarak's son vows new reforms

CAIRO, Egypt - Gamal Mubarak, the son of Egypt's president, said Sunday that he would press ahead with bold economic changes that would "more ambitious and more daring" than previous ones, while still vowing to protect the nation's poor from any fallout.

The younger of President Hosni Mubarak's two sons, Gamal Mubarak is widely expected to succeed his father and is a senior leader in the ruling National Democratic Party, which swept recent parliamentary elections in a vote that rights groups say was marred by fraud.

Gamal Mubarak is a key architect of a far-reaching package of economic changes that helped Egypt post impressive economic growth rates the last few years. But the changes seem to have widened the gap between rich and poor and failed to trickle down to most people, sparking a growing number of street protests over higher food prices and demands for better pay. - AP

Elsewhere:

The Afghanistan Defense Ministry said it would investigate missing U.S.-donated medicines and pharmaceutical supplies meant for its army and police.