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World and nation briefs

Saturday, January 19, 2013 - 9:53 am

Jury hears Ore. terror suspect's takedown

PORTLAND, Ore. – A jury listened Friday to a recording of the moments leading up to the arrest of a teenager in an alleged plot to kill thousands at a Portland Christmas tree-lighting ceremony in 2010.

“You know what to do,” the man said to the teenager, breathing heavily. “O Lord, O Lord, O Lord.”

“Ready,” the teenager said. “Alhamdulillah.” Praise be to God.

They were 14 blocks from this city's tree-lighting ceremony Nov. 26, 2010. On Friday, they found themselves across a federal courtroom from each other where the man — who Mohamed Mohamud would learn was an undercover FBI agent — testified against the now 21-year-old and a jury listened to a recording of the moments leading up to his arrest.

The FBI agent reads out numbers and the teenager punches them into his black disposable Nokia cellphone. He then apparently encounters an error.

“Dial it again,” the man said, words that were a cue for his fellow agents. Mohamud redialed and waited for the explosion.

Instead: “FBI, FBI, FBI! Get down!”

The agent had told Mohamud the number he dialed was connected to a cellphone that would set off six 55-gallon drums filled with diesel fuel in a van parked next to the tree-lighting.

Flu season 'bad one for the elderly,' CDC says

The number of older people hospitalized with the flu has risen sharply, prompting federal officials to take unusual steps to make more flu medicines available and to urge wider use of them as soon as symptoms appear.

The U.S. is about halfway through this flu season, and “it's shaping up to be a worse-than-average season” and a bad one for the elderly, said Dr. Thomas Frieden, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

New figures from the CDC show widespread flu activity in all states but Tennessee and Hawaii. Flu activity is high in 30 states and New York City. The nation's death total this flu season is 29.

–From wire reports