Bin Laden son-in-law on trial in NYC...NATO meeting on Ukraine...Anniversary of Hugo Chavez death

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NEW YORK (AP) — Opening statements are expected to start Wednesday in the New York trial of Osama bin Laden's son-in-law. Sulaiman Abu Ghaith (SOO'-lay-mahn AH'-boo GAYTH) is charged with conspiring to kill Americans after the Sept. 11 attacks. Opening statements are likely to start mid-morning after the jury is selected. Prosecutors say Abu Ghaith used his role as al-Qaida's spokesman to announce in videos with bin Laden that more attacks on the United States would be as devastating as Nine Eleven.

MOSCOW (AP) — Some 30 unarmed military observers are headed to Ukraine to monitor the Crimea region, where pro-Russian forces have taken control. The U.S. is part of that mission. Meanwhile, Russia has agreed to a NATO request to hold a special meeting Wednesday in Brussels to discuss Ukraine. The threat of military confrontation has retreated somewhat, but the economic feud has been ramping up. Troops in Russia have pulled back from the border with Ukraine, but Russia has driven up the price of natural gas it supplies to Ukraine.

TOKYO (AP) — A sense of relief over the easing of tensions in Ukraine is boosting global stocks in Asia in early Wednesday trading. On Wall Street Tuesday, the S&P 500 racked up its biggest gain since October. The Dow Jones industrial average rose 227.85 points and the Nasdaq composite rose 74.67 points.

EWING, N.J. (AP) — An investigation begins into Tuesday's explosion in a neighborhood in Ewing, N.J., that killed a woman and destroyed at least 10 houses. The afternoon blast happened after contractors digging in the area damaged a gas line. Seven workers were injured.

CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) — For Venezuelans, Wednesday is the first anniversary of the death of President Hugo Chavez. President Nicolas Maduro, Chavez's hand-picked successor, has organized 10 days of commemorative activities to mark the anniversary of the larger-than-life leader's death from cancer at age 58. Since mid-February, there've been protests triggered by the country's economic downward spiral, but no protests have been scheduled for Wednesday.

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