Counterterrorism director resigns
WASHINGTON - The former Navy fighter pilot who was an important terrorism-fighting official in the Bush and Obama administrations is resigning after 41/2 years on the job, the White House said Thursday.
Michael Leiter, director of the National Counterterrorism Center, is credited with helping put in place major reforms after an al-Qaeda bomb plot against a Detroit-bound jet in 2009. The attempted attack highlighted a failure among government agencies to share intelligence.
White House spokesman Jay Carney said Leiter's departure was his own decision.
Leiter contributed to the White House's new national counterterrorism strategy, to be announced this summer. - AP
Biden and GOP spar over taxes
WASHINGTON - Vice President Biden and GOP negotiators sparred over taxes Thursday in a closed-door meeting that exposed just how far apart they remain as the clock ticks on negotiations on a measure to allow the government to resume borrowing more than $100 billion a month to pay its bills.
Both sides hope to pass the measure well before an early August deadline to avert a first-ever, market-rattling default on U.S. obligations. It was the sixth meeting between Biden and a handful of top lawmakers. They agreed to pick up the pace with three meetings next week.
In the 21/2-hour meeting, Biden and Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner made a pitch for more revenue, but Republicans resolutely oppose anything that could be called a tax hike. The White House push for revenues is noteworthy because Democrats will have to provide votes to get the final measure passed, since many tea party-backed House Republicans are likely to oppose any measure to increase the debt limit. House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R., Va.) told the administration that tax increases can't pass the GOP-controlled House. - AP
Terror-aid case pressed in Minn.
MINNEAPOLIS - A Somalian man who lived in Minnesota until a few months ago has been charged with providing money and people to the terror group al-Shabab in Somalia, according to an indictment unsealed Thursday.
Ahmed Hussein Mahamud, 26, was arrested Thursday at his home near Columbus, Ohio, and appeared in federal court there. The U.S. Attorney's Office said Mahamud, a U.S. citizen, would be brought to Minnesota to face four counts.
Also Thursday, authorities confirmed that a Minnesota man was one of the suicide bombers in a May 30 attack in Mogadishu. The FBI said it used fingerprints to identify Farah Mohamed Beledi, 27. Authorities believe he left Minnesota in 2009. - AP
Sections of downtown Detroit lost power Thursday after high demand from air-conditioning during the previous days' 90-degree heat caused parts of the aging municipal power system to fail.
Medical-marijuana patients can be fired from their jobs in Washington state even if they use the drug only outside the workplace, the Washington Supreme Court ruled.