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Ex-Blackwater guard testifies against former colleagues

Published Jul. 31, 2014


Ex-Blackwater guard testifies for prosecution

A former Blackwater security guard testified Wednesday that he and two colleagues shot their weapons into a car in Nisoor Square in Baghdad, part of a barrage of gunfire that claimed the lives of a mother and her son and led to the shootings of 30 other Iraqis. In a calm voice, Jeremy Ridgeway told a jury that what started as "just another day at the office" in Baghdad suddenly erupted in fire from automatic weapons aimed at a car moving toward the heavily armored convoy of Blackwater guards. Ridgeway is the prosecution's chief cooperating witness in the case focusing on the 2007 shootings. Four Blackwater guard defendants say they were taking incoming gunfire from insurgents and they fired in self-defense. Federal prosecutors say the guards were unprovoked.

Tunis, Tunisia

Thousands flee Libya fighting

Up to 6,000 people have fled Libya into neighboring Tunisia in the past few days, the Tunisian foreign minister said Wednesday, the biggest influx since Libya's 2011 civil war. It's a sign of the spiraling turmoil as rival militias have battled for weeks over control of the airport in Tripoli. The fighting is the worst violence in the capital since the war. Nearly 100 people have been killed, 400 others wounded, and much of the airport has been destroyed. A huge fire has been raging for three days after shelling hit airport oil depots, forcing nearby residents to evacuate, with firefighters largely unable to put it out because of clashes. Many diplomats, including the U.S. ambassador, have left the country.

Columbia, S.C.

Drone crashes outside S.C. prison

A drone carrying cellphones, marijuana and other contraband crashed in bushes outside the walls of the maximum-security Lee Correctional Institution in Bishopville, and authorities said Wednesday they are looking for one of two people accused of trying to sneak it in. One person has been arrested in the April attempt. Corrections Department spokeswoman Stephanie Givens said officials aren't sure exactly where the drone would have gone if it made it over the 12-foot-high razor wire fence.


Washington: Johnson & Johnson is asking surgeons not to use a line of devices for removing growths from the uterus amid regulators' growing concern that the electronic surgical tools raise the risk of spreading cancer to other parts of the body. It had suspended sales of the devices in April.

Washington: The Justice Department on Wednesday sided with challengers of voting laws in Wisconsin and Ohio, saying in court filings that measures in those states unfairly affect minority voters.

South Korea: North Korea fired four short-range projectiles toward the ocean off its east coast on Wednesday in its latest in a series of missile and artillery tests, South Korea officials said.

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Times wires