Oldest member of the 'Band of Brothers' dies
The oldest living member of Easy Company, the U.S. Army unit from World War II portrayed in the HBO miniseries Band of Brothers, has died at age 94. The Omaha funeral home Heafey Heafey Hoffman Dworak & Cutler confirmed that Ed Mauser died Friday (Jan. 21, 2011) in Omaha. Mr. Mauser was not among the soldiers portrayed in the miniseries. A message left for his family wasn't returned. Terry Zahn of the Midwest chapter of the 101st Airborne Division Association said Mr. Mauser had been battling pancreatic cancer. Mr. Mauser was born Dec. 18, 1916, in LaSalle, Ill. He was drafted in 1942 and volunteered for the 101st Airborne. He was assigned to Company E, or Easy Company, which fought in some of the fiercest battles of the war. The miniseries followed the unit from its training in Georgia to the war's end in May 1945.
Nuclear talks end without agreement
Diplomatic efforts to end the eight-year-old impasse over Iran's nuclear program ran aground Saturday after Iranian officials declined to bargain with the United States and other world powers unless they first agreed to conditions, including an immediate halt to economic sanctions. There was no discussion of further talks in the near future. "This is not the conclusion I had hoped for," said Catherine Ashton, the European Union's foreign policy chief.
Official fights sale of execution drug
German Health Minister Philipp Roesler has urged the nation's leading drug companies and distributors to ignore requests from the United States for supplies of sodium thiopental, an anesthetic used in lethal injections, his spokesman confirmed Saturday. Supplies of the drug are growing short after the sole U.S. manufacturer ceased production. German law does not prohibit sale of the drug abroad, but Roesler told drug companies its potential use in the United States is not in keeping with German and European values.
Ex-banker held in WikiLeaks inquiry
A court in Switzerland has ordered a former Julius Baer banker detained for 10 days while authorities investigate whether he broke Swiss banking secrecy laws when he handed secret account details to WikiLeaks. Rudolf Elmer gave two data CDs to WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange at an event in London on Monday, and says the CDs contain details of rich individuals who use offshore accounts to avoid paying taxes.
Brazil: The floods and mudslides that hit Rio de Janeiro state were Brazil's deadliest natural disaster since 1900, according to information on the website of the Brussels-based International Disaster Database. The Brazilian Civil Defense Department said on its website Saturday that the death toll has risen to 791. The previous highest toll was in 1967, when floods killed 785 people in and around Rio de Janeiro.
Central African Republic: President Francois Bozize, who fought his way to power in a hail of bullets in 2003 and kept it through an election, is expected to win another term today. Bozize, 65, will face Ange-Felix Patasse, 74, whom he overthrew nearly eight years ago while leading a rebel army.