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Showing posts from December 19, 2012

Obama backs US assault weapons ban

White House says president "actively supportive" of reinstating ban on assault weapons in aftermath of school massacre. Americas Obama backs US assault weapons ban White House says president "actively supportive" of reinstating ban on assault weapons in aftermath of school massacre. Last Modified: 18 Dec 2012 21:38 The White House has said that President Barack Obama is "actively supportive" of efforts in the US Congress to reinstate an assault weapons ban.
White House spokesman Jay Carney said on Tuesday that Obama would also support legislation to close the gun show "loophole", which allows people to buy guns from private dealers without background checks.
The president has pledged to address gun violence in the coming weeks following Friday's deadly shooting at a Connecticut elementary school that killed 26 people, including 20 children and six adults.
Obama had vowed to use "whatever power this office holds" to protect America…

Several killed in Mexico attempted jailbreak

Eleven prisoners and six guards killed during attempted prison break in norther city of Gomez Palacio. Eleven prisoners and six guards have been killed in armed clashes at a prison in northern Mexico that erupted when inmates attempted a prison break.
The shootout broke out on Tuesday as wardens were "thwarting the inmates' attempted prison break" in the city of Gomez Palacio, the public security office in Durango state said in a statement.
Wardens rang the alarm bells in the facility as the inmates shot at guard towers as they attempted to escape through a back wall and tunnel, and guards fired back to contain the revolt, according to the statement which cited by the El Universal and Milenio newspapers.
Troops eventually put a stop to the attempt and regained control of the facility.
Mass jailbreaks have become a recurrent problem in Mexico. In September, 131 prisoners escaped through the front door of a prison in Piedras Negras, a city on the US border.
In the last tw…

Clinton accepts Benghazi findings

US Secretary of State agrees that security arrangements were "grossly inadequate" during the September attack in Libya.
US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has said she accepts the findings of an independent panel that faulted the State Department over the deadly September attack on the US mission in Benghazi, Libya.
An inquiry into the attack on the US mission, which saw the US ambassador and three other US citizens killed, found that the State Department security arrangements there were "grossly inadequate".
The months-long probe found there had been "no immediate, specific" intelligence of a threat against the mission, which was overrun on September 11 by dozens of heavily armed fighters who killed the four Americans.
Clinton also ordered widespread changes to bolster US diplomatic security overseas.
She said in a letter to US congressional committees on Tuesday that she had instructed the State Department to implement its findings "quickly and…

Russia Sends Warships Toward Syria for Possible Evacuation

By ELLEN BARRY and THOMAS ERDBRINK Published: December 18, 2012
MOSCOW — Russia sent warships to the eastern Mediterranean Sea on Tuesday, the Defense Ministry announced, in what appeared to be preparation for a possible evacuation of Russian citizens from Syria. Russian officials began formulating plans during the summer for an evacuation, but have delayed announcements, analysts say, to avoid signaling a loss of confidence in President Bashar al-Assad, a longtime strategic ally. Moscow staunchly opposes international intervention in Syria and has blocked United Nations Security Council resolutions meant to force Mr. Assad from power. Officials have repeatedly said that Russia’s position has not changed. However, Moscow has signaled in recent days that it sees Mr. Assad’s forces losing ground, and that it is beginning to prepare for a chaotic transition period. One immediate concern is the large number of Russian citizens scattered across Syria, as a result of decades of intermarriage…

Benghazi Panel Strongly Assails Role of State Dept. in Attack

By ERIC SCHMITT and MICHAEL R. GORDON Published: December 18, 2012
WASHINGTON — An independent inquiry into the attack on the United States diplomatic mission in Libya that killed four Americans on Sept. 11 sharply criticized the State Department for a lack of seasoned security personnel and for relying on untested local militias to safeguard the compound, according to a report by the panel made public on Tuesday night. The investigation into the attack on the diplomatic mission and the C.I.A. annex in Benghazi that resulted in the deaths of Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens and three other Americans also faulted State Department officials in Washington for ignoring requests from the American Embassy in Tripoli for more guards for the mission and for failing to make sufficient safety upgrades. The panel also said American intelligence officials had relied too much on specific warnings of imminent attacks, which they did not have in the case of Benghazi, rather than basing assessments m…