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Lockerbie Bomber Dies, Three Years After Release

The former Libyan intelligence officer who was the only person ever convicted in the 1988 bombing of a Pan Am flight over Lockerbie, Scotland, has died.

Family members tell The Associated Press and Reuters that Abdel Baset al-Megrahi died at home after a long battle with prostate cancer. He was 60.

Al-Megrahi had been held in a prison in western Scotland after being convicted in 2001 for the bombing that killed 270 people. He returned to Libya in 2009, released on humanitarian grounds after a diagnosis of terminal cancer. At the time, the AP notes, doctors predicted he had only three months to live.

It was a controversial decision, criticized heavily by the U.S. and sparking fury from victims' families. Al-Megrahi received a hero's welcome in Libya on his return, but spent his final years bedridden and mostly sealed off from the public by Libyan authorities.

To the end, al-Megrahi denied responsibility for the bombing. The BBC carries some of his last public words on the subject:

In his last interview, filmed in December 2011, Megrahi said: "I am an innocent man. I am about to die and I ask now to be left in peace with my family."

Copyright 2012 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

NPR

Jhumpa Lahiri Finds Freedom In Italian Memoir: 'No One Expected Me To Do It'

The Interpreter of Maladies author is a successful, Pulitzer Prize-winning English-language writer. But she found writing in Italian gave her true freedom; "Language is a very messy thing," she says.
NPR

Gulf Of Mexico Open For Fish-Farming Business

For the first time, companies can apply to set up fish farms in U.S. federal waters. The government says the move will help reduce American dependence on foreign seafood and improve security.
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What's Behind Trends In U.S. Violent Crime Rates

FBI data suggest there was a slight uptick in violent crime in the first half of last year, but overall violent crime rates in the U.S. have dropped dramatically over the last twenty years. What led to the long-term decline, and why do some say it’s likely to continue?

WAMU 88.5

Blocked: Twitter's Role In Combating Violent Extremism

Over the course of seven months, Twitter has suspended over 125,000 accounts for threatening or promoting terrorist acts.

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