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World briefly for Nov. 12

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POSTED: November 12, 2012 10:08 a.m.

WASHINGTON (AP) — As questions swirl about the extramarital affair that led to the resignation of CIA Director David Petraeus, the retired general and his biographer, Paula Broadwell, have been quiet about details of their relationship. However, information has emerged about the woman who received the emails from Broadwell that led to the FBI's discovery of Petraeus' indiscretion.

A senior U.S. military official identified the second woman as Jill Kelley, 37, who lives in Tampa, Fla., and serves as an unpaid social liaison to MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa, where the military's Central Command and Special Operations Command are located.

In a statement Sunday, Kelley and her husband, Scott, said: "We and our family have been friends with Gen. Petraeus and his family for over five years. We respect his and his family's privacy and want the same for us and our three children."

The military official who identified Kelley spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to publicly discuss the investigation. He said Kelley had received harassing emails from Broadwell, which led the FBI to examine her email account and eventually discover her relationship with Petraeus. The FBI contacted Petraeus and other intelligence officials, and Director of National Intelligence James Clapper asked Petraeus to resign.

A former associate of Petraeus confirmed the target of the emails was Kelley, but said there was no affair between the two, speaking on condition of anonymity to discuss the retired general's private life. The associate, who has been in touch with Petraeus since his resignation, said Kelley and her husband were longtime friends of Petraeus and his wife, Holly.

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Afghans find hope for justice in video testimony about Kandahar massacre of 16 civilians

JOINT BASE LEWIS-McCHORD, Wash. (AP) — Through a video monitor in a military courtroom near Seattle, Staff Sgt. Robert Bales saw young Afghan girls smile beneath bright head coverings before they described the bloodbath he's accused of committing.

He saw boys fidget as they remembered how they hid behind curtains when a gunman killed 16 people in their village and one other.

And he saw dignified, thick-bearded men who spoke of unspeakable carnage: the piled, burned bodies of children and parents alike.

From the other side of that video link, in Afghanistan, another man saw something else: signs that justice will be done.

"I saw the person who killed my brother sitting there, head down with guilt," Haji Mullah Baraan said Monday in an interview with The Associated Press. "He didn't look up toward the camera."

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BBC says its news chief and her deputy have 'stepped aside' as scandal shakes the broadcaster

LONDON (AP) — The BBC's news chief and her deputy have 'stepped aside' while the broadcaster deals with the fallout from a child abuse scandal that forced its director-general to resign, the broadcaster said Monday.

Helen Boaden, the BBC's director of news and current affairs, and her deputy, Steve Mitchell, have handed over their responsibilities to others for the time being "to address the lack of clarity around the editorial chain of command," the corporation said.

"Consideration is now being given to the extent to which individuals should be asked to account further for their actions and if appropriate, disciplinary action will be taken," the statement said.

Fran Unsworth, head of newsgathering, would assume Boaden's duties and Ceri Thomas, editor of BBC radio's influential "Today" news program, will serve as deputy, the BBC said.

The move comes after resignation Saturday of the BBC's director-general, George Entwistle, after a BBC news program bungled reports that powerful Britons sexually abused children.

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In fiscal cliff scramble, defense budget part of the mix as Washington pursues deficit cut

WASHINGTON (AP) — One war is done, another is winding down and the calls to cut the deficit are deafening. The military, a beneficiary of robust budgets for more than a decade, is coming to grips with a new reality — fewer dollars.

The election accelerated an already shifting political dynamic that next year will pair a second-term Democratic president searching for spending cuts with tea partyers and conservatives intent on preserving lower tax rates above all else, even if it means once unheard of reductions in defense.

President Barack Obama and Congress have just a few weeks to figure out how to avert the automatic cuts to defense and domestic programs totaling $110 billion next year. Those reductions are part of the so-called fiscal cliff of expiring Bush-era tax cuts and the across-the-board cuts that Defense Secretary Leon Panetta has warned would be devastating to the military.

All sides are trying to come up with a deficit-cutting plan of $1.2 trillion over 10 years. Any solution that might emerge from the high-stakes negotiations before the Jan. 2 deadline likely would include some reductions in the military budget, which has nearly doubled in the last decade to half a trillion dollars. That amount doesn't include the hundreds of billions of dollars spent on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Projected defense spending over the next 10 years was expected to grow to $640 billion.

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On the streets of Athens, racist attacks on rise and growing more violent

ATHENS, Greece (AP) — The attack came seemingly out of nowhere. As the 28-year-old Bangladeshi man dug around trash bins one recent afternoon for scrap metal, two women and a man set upon him with a knife. He screamed as he fell. Rushed to the hospital, he was treated for a gash to the back of his thigh.

Police are investigating the assault as yet another in a rising wave of extreme-right rage against foreigners as Greece sinks further into economic misery. The details vary, but the cold brutality of each attack is the same: Dark-skinned migrants confronted by thugs, attacked with knives and broken bottles, wooden bats and iron rods.

Rights groups warn of an explosion in racist violence over the past year, with a notable surge since national elections in May and June that saw dramatic gains by the far-right Golden Dawn party. The severity of the attacks has increased too, they say. What started as simple fist beatings has now escalated to assaults with metal bars, bats and knives. Another new element: ferocious dogs used to terrorize the victims.

"Violence is getting wilder and wilder and we still have the same pattern of attacks ... committed by groups of people in quite an organized way," said Kostis Papaioannou, former head of the Greek National Commission for Human Rights.

As Greece's financial crisis drags on for a third year, living standards for the average Greek have plummeted. A quarter of the labor force is out of work, with more than 50 percent of young people unemployed. An increasing number of Greeks can't afford basic necessities and healthcare. Robberies and burglaries are never out of the news for long.

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Disaster tourists seek firsthand look at NY's storm-ravaged neighborhoods, annoying some

NEW YORK (AP) — Garbage trucks, hulking military vehicles and mud-caked cars move slowly through a Staten Island waterfront neighborhood still reeling from Superstorm Sandy's storm surge. Then comes an outlier: a spotless SUV with three passengers peering out windows at a mangled home choked with sea grass.

Residents recognize the occupants right away. They're disaster tourists, people drawn to the scene of a tragedy to glimpse the pictures they've seen on television come to life.

Two weeks after the superstorm socked the region, cleanup continues in New York and New Jersey, which bore the brunt of the destruction. At its peak, the storm knocked out power to 8.5 million in 10 states, and some during a later nor'easter. About 73,000 utility customers in New York and New Jersey remained without power late Sunday, most of them on Long Island.

But the storm didn't just bring darkness and despair; it also brought the gawkers.

"It's a little annoying," said Chris Nasella, who paused as he finished cleaning up a home reduced to a shell on the first floor. "By the same token, I would do it, too. I don't think anyone wouldn't want to look at boats that are picked up and left on the streets. As long as you don't get a kick out of it, it's an amazing thing."

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On Midwest campuses and beyond, international student surge brings both diversity and revenue

ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) — Want to see how quickly the look and business model of American public universities are changing? Visit a place like Indiana University. Five years ago, there were 87 undergraduates from China on its idyllic, All-American campus in Bloomington. This year: 2,224.

New figures out Monday show international enrollment at U.S. colleges and universities grew nearly 6 percent last year, driven by a 23-percent increase from China, even as total enrollment was leveling out. But perhaps more revealing is where much of the growth is concentrated: big, public land-grant colleges, notably in the Midwest.

The numbers offer a snapshot of the transformation of America's famous heartland public universities in an era of diminished state support. Of the 25 campuses with the most international students, a dozen have increased international enrollment more than 40 percent in just five years, according to data collected by the Institute of International Education. All but one are public, and a striking number come from the Big Ten: Indiana, Purdue, Michigan State, Ohio State and the Universities of Minnesota and Illinois. Indiana's international enrollment now surpasses 6,000, or about 15 percent of the student body, and in Illinois, the flagship Urbana-Champaign campus has nearly 9,000 — second nationally only to the University of Southern California.

To be sure, such ambitious universities value the global vibe and perspectives international students bring to their Midwestern campuses. But there's no doubt what else is driving the trend: International students typically pay full out-of-state tuition and aren't awarded financial aid.

Public universities hit hard by state funding cuts "really are starting to realize the tuition from international students makes it possible for them to continue offering scholarships and financial aid to domestic students," said Peggy Blumenthal, senior counselor at IIE, the private nonprofit that publishes the annual "Open Doors" study.

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Official: Syrian fighter jet bombs an area close the Turkish border; several injured

CEYLANPINAR, Turkey (AP) — A Syrian fighter jet on Monday bombed an area near the Turkish border, causing several casualties, officials and witnesses said.

An Associated Press video journalist saw the plane bomb an area around the Syrian town of Ras al-Ayn, some 10 meters (yards) from the Turkish border. Last week the rebels overran three security compounds in the town, located in the predominantly Kurdish oil-producing northeastern province of al-Hasaka, wresting control from the regime forces.

An official at the local mayor's office said Turkish ambulances were carrying several injured Syrians to a hospital, across the border in the Turkish town of Ceylanpinar. He spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to reporters.

The force of the blast shattered shop windows in Ceylanpinar, in southeastern Turkey, the official said. It was not clear if anyone in Ceylanpinar was injured in the bombing.

The fighting in Ras al-Ayn touched off a massive flow of refugees two days ago, and more refugees were seen coming after the blast.

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New York City comedy clubs turn Superstorm Sandy into a punchline, find crowds eager to laugh

NEW YORK (AP) — Comedian Dave Attell told a packed house at the Comedy Cellar that New York after Superstorm Sandy had a familiar feel. "It was dark. Toilets were backing up. ... It was pretty much like it always was."

Another comic, Paul Mecurio, told the same crowd that he got so many calls from worried family members that he started making things up about how bad it was.

"I'm drinking my own urine to survive," he joked.

New York's comedy clubs, some of which had to shut down or go on generator power in the aftermath of the storm, dealt with a bad situation like they always have — by turning Sandy into a running punchline.

"If they're going to do jokes on Sept. 12 about Sept. 11, then this thing isn't going to slow us down," said Vic Henley, the emcee of a show Oct. 28 at Gotham Comedy Club.

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Arian Foster runs for 102 yards, Texans knock out QB Jay Cutler in 13-6 win over Bears

CHICAGO (AP) — There weren't many style points in this one. J.J. Watt wasn't interested in them, anyway.

All that mattered was the result, and the Houston Texans will take that along with everything else they took from this game.

They took away the ball. They even took out the Chicago's quarterback in a 13-6 victory over the Bears on Sunday.

"I think we showed them we can win any game, any situation, any time, any place, tough weather conditions, tough place on the road, a very good football team," Watt said. "We won, so say what you want."

Arian Foster finished with 102 yards rushing and a touchdown catch, and the Texans intercepted Jay Cutler twice before knocking him out of the game with a concussion.

 

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