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WASHINGTON (AP) — The threat which has prompted the U.S. to shutter some diplomatic posts and issue a travel alert is reportedly based on intercepted communications.

The New York Times is reporting that the communications were between senior al-Qaida operatives.

The top U.S. military commander says there is what he calls "a significant threat stream." Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Martin Dempsey told ABC News that the threat was "more specific" than previous ones and that potential targets are Western, not just U.S. interests."

The State Department is urging American travelers to take extra precautions overseas. Potential dangers listed include public transportation systems and other prime sites for tourists.

The threat follows this week's White House meeting between President Barack Obama and Yemen's current president, Abdo Rabby Mansour Hadi.

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CAIRO (AP) — An Egyptian police official says that if followers of ousted President Mohammed Morsi abandon their protest sit-ins, this will allow his Muslim Brotherhood group to have a normal role in the political process.

Saturday's televised remarks by Interior Ministry spokesman Hany Abdel-Latif came as authorities announced plans to break up the two main Cairo sit-ins by erecting cordons to prevent people from entering them.

Morsi's backers, including his Muslim Brotherhood group, have vowed to continue protesting until he's reinstated.

"If you believe you are bringing victory to the Brotherhood (by pursuing the sit-ins), it is your safe and secure departure that will allow the Brotherhood to go back to its role in the political process," Abdel-Latif said.

Morsi was overthrown in a July 3 coup after millions demonstrated demanding his overthrow.

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CLEVELAND (AP) - She says she spent "11 years in hell" when she was held captive by Ariel Castro. But today, Michelle Knight smiled as Castro was led away to start serving a life sentence plus 1,000 years, for holding Knight and two other women in his home for years and raping them repeatedly.

 

   Knight earlier delivered a statement in which she said she now has her life back -- but that Castro's life is over.

 

   Castro also spoke at his sentencing hearing, apologizing to his victims in a rambling, defiant statement. He blamed a sex addiction, his former wife and even the FBI for not thoroughly investigating the abductions. And he claimed that most of the sex was consensual, and that the women were never tortured. Castro said, "I'm not a monster. I'm sick."

 

   The judge dismissed Castro's claim that the women had lived a happy life with him. The judge said, "I'm not sure there's anyone in America that would agree with you." He also told Castro that there's no place in the world for people who enslave others.

   Today's hearing gave prosecutors a chance to detail some of Castro's assaults. And authorities described the makeshift prison he built in his home -- even creating an alarm system, as he chained the women inside bolted bedrooms.

 
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