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Lack of information hampered Benghazi rescue, commanders say

Washington

Information dearth hindered Benghazi rescue

Two of the four U.S. deaths in Benghazi might have been prevented, military leaders say, if commanders had known more about the intensity of the sporadic gunfire directed at the CIA facility where Americans had taken refuge and had pressed to get a rescue team there faster. Senior military leaders have told Congress in closed-door testimony that after the first attack on the main U.S. diplomatic compound in 2012, they thought the fighting had subsided and the Americans who had fled to the CIA base about a mile away were safe. Hours later, a mortar and rocket-propelled grenade attack killed two security contractors. In hindsight, retired Gen. Carter Ham, then head of the U.S. military command in Africa, said he would have pressed Libyan contacts to help speed the Americans' evacuation from Benghazi.

Tokyo

No damage noted in strong quake

A strong earthquake hit Japan's northern coast early today near the nuclear power plant crippled in the 2011 tsunami. At least one person was injured and a small tsunami was triggered, but no damage was reported. Japan's Meteorological Agency said the magnitude-6.8 quake struck 6 miles below the sea surface off the coast of Fukushima. The quake shook buildings in Tokyo, about 120 miles away.

Stamford, Conn.

Ex-Bush lawyer faces jail in attack

A former White House lawyer in both Bush administrations was convicted Friday of attempted murder and other charges in the beating of his wife four years ago. Prosecutors allege John Michael Farren, 61, choked Mary Margaret Farren and beat her with a metal flashlight until she lost consciousness at their multimillion dollar home in New Canaan in January 2010. The attack occurred two days after she served him with divorce papers, authorities say. Farren disputed the seriousness of the charges. He also tried to use a mental health defense, but a judge didn't allow it. He faces up to 50 years in prison at his sentencing, set for Sept. 11.

Washington

$3.7B border crisis request 'too much'

Republican Rep. Hal Rogers of Kentucky, the House spending chairman, said Friday that President Barack Obama's emergency request for the border is too big to get through the House, as a growing number of Democrats rejected policy changes Republicans are demanding as their price for approving any money. The developments indicate Obama faces an uphill climb as he pushes Congress to approve $3.7 billion to deal with tens of thousands of unaccompanied kids who have been arriving at the U.S.-Mexico border from poor and violent Central American nations.

Elsewhere

Germany: Germany's foreign minister said Friday he'll tell U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry at a meeting this weekend that Berlin wants to reinvigorate the two countries' friendship "on an honest basis" after asking Washington's top spy to leave.

California: U.S. authorities have charged a Chinese businessman with hacking into the computer systems of U.S. companies with large defense contracts, including Boeing, from 2009-13 and stealing data on military projects he tried to sell to state-owned Chinese firms.

Times wires

Lack of information hampered Benghazi rescue, commanders say 07/11/14 [Last modified: Friday, July 11, 2014 10:10pm]
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