Tutu to retire from public life in october
After decades at the forefront of the struggle against apartheid and injustice, Desmond Tutu, the former Anglican archbishop of Cape Town, announced Thursday he would begin reducing his public appearances in October, on his 79th birthday. A Nobel Peace Prize winner in 1984, at the height of unrest in South Africa's racially segregated townships, Tutu said in a statement he would step down from many public duties in order to sip afternoon tea with his wife, watch cricket and "travel to visit my children and grandchildren rather than to conferences and conventions and university campuses."
Billions for Indian settlement pulled
The U.S. Senate rejected a $3.4 billion government settlement with American Indians that had been added to a much larger war-funding bill. The Senate passed the almost $60 billion bill funding President Obama's troop surge in Afghanistan — but not before stripping out the settlement and $20 billion in other domestic spending approved by the House. Between 300,000 and 500,000 American Indians claim the Interior Department mismanaged billions held in trust.
Green Zone attack kills 3, wounds 15
A rocket attack in Baghdad's Green Zone killed three guards employed by the U.S. Embassy and wounded 15 people, including two Americans. Also, officials disclosed four detainees linked to the Sunni insurgent group al-Qaida in Iraq escaped from a prison the United States handed over to Iraqi control last week.
U.S. to resume ties with elite troops
The U.S. military will resume relations and training with Indonesia's special forces, an elite group blamed for atrocities and repression during the country's dark years of authoritarianism. Defense Secretary Robert Gates said the United States would end its 12-year prohibition on contacts and assistance after the Obama administration concluded the unit had cleaned up its ranks and was sufficiently committed to human rights.
World court okays independent Kosovo
Kosovo's declaration of independence from Serbia in 2008 did not violate international law, the United Nations' highest court ruled. The International Court of Justice opinion, while not binding, is likely to give a big boost to the tiny Balkan country's quest for full statehood and is a blow to Serbia, which considers Kosovo part of its territory. Sixty-nine nations, including the United States, recognize Kosovo as a separate country.
Monaca, Pa.: An explosion at a zinc smelting plant in western Pennsylvania killed two and injured at least one.
New York: Rigging contractor William Rapetti, 49, was acquitted of all charges in connection with the collapse of a giant crane two years ago that killed seven people and revealed shoddy and illegal inspection practices in the city's Department of Buildings.
Washington: A federal judge ordered the immediate release of Adnan Farhan Abdul Latif, 34, a Yemeni man who has spent long periods of captivity in the Guantanamo psych ward in split decisions that upheld the indefinite detention of another Yemeni, leaving the so-called habeas corpus scorecard of government-detainee wins at 15-38.