gays in military avoid dismissal after new rules
No U.S. service members have been discharged for being openly gay in the month since the Defense Department adopted new rules surrounding the "don't ask, don't tell" policy, a Pentagon spokeswoman said Monday. Under new rules adopted Oct. 21, Defense Secretary Robert Gates put authority for signing off on dismissals in the hands of the three service secretaries, rather than commanding officers. Pentagon spokeswoman Cynthia Smith told the Associated Press that she did not know if the absence of recent discharges was related to the new separation procedures.
Woman at Obama forum loses job
A woman who told President Barack Obama that she was "exhausted" from defending him and his economic policies and from waiting for the change has another reason to be put out: She's lost her job. Velma Hart told CNBC on Monday that she had been laid off as chief financial officer for Am Vets, a veterans services group based in Maryland, due to downsizing. She was among those who questioned Obama at a town hall meeting on the economy in September. Hart said she still supports him.
Feds to investigate lead in glasses
Federal regulators launched an investigation Monday into lead levels in themed drinking glasses depicting comic book and movie characters, declaring them children's products subject to stricter standards than those intended for adult collectors. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission said it was collecting samples of glasses cited in an Associated Press investigation into dangerous metals in children's merchandise.
Netherlands: The war crimes trial of Congolese politician Jean-Pierre Bemba opened Monday at the International Criminal Court in The Hague, with prosecutors building the case that a militia under his command conducted a devastating campaign of rape, murder and torture in the Central African Republic in 2002 and 2003.
Germany: Samuel Kunz, 89, a former Nazi guard accused of aiding in the murder of 430,000 Jews at the Belzec death camp — and of personally shooting dead 10 people — died near Bonn before he could stand trial, officials said Monday.
New Zealand: Prime Minister John Key said today that hope is fading for 29 coal miners missing underground after an explosion.
Lebanon: The Canadian Broadcast Corp. reported that evidence links the 2005 assassination of former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri to the Shiite militia Hezbollah.