A suspected leader of the attack on the U.S. compound in Benghazi, Libya, captured by U.S. forces and spirited out of the country, can expect to move quickly through the initial steps of the criminal justice system within hours of arriving on American soil. Seized in a raid last Sunday, Libyan militant Ahmed Abu Khatallah is the suspected leader of a group implicated in the 2012 attack on a U.S. diplomatic compound and CIA base in Benghazi. A U.S. official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said Abu Khatallah was aboard the USS New York, an amphibious transport ship traveling toward the United States at normal speed. When the U.S. decides they're going to indict someone abroad, they're going to bring them to the criminal justice system," not to military prisons as during the George W. Bush administration, said Karen Greenberg, the director of Fordham University's Center on National Security.
US President Barack Obama warned Friday that no amount of US firepower could keep Iraq together if its political leaders did not disdain sectarianism and work to unite the country. Obama told CNN, a day after announcing the dispatch of 300 special forces advisors to Iraq following a lightning advance by extreme Sunni radicals, that American sacrifices had given Iraq a chance at a stable democracy, but it had been squandered. "We gave Iraq the chance to have an inclusive democracy.
Lawyers for more than 1,500 victims of Haiti's deadly cholera epidemic said Friday they had served UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon with a personal summons to appear in US court. Stanley Alpert, a lawyer for the plaintiffs, accused Ban and the United Nations of "ducking service in these lawsuits for months." A lawsuit was filed against the United Nations in March in US federal court in Brooklyn, demanding the UN take responsibility, compensate the victims and provide critical sanitation. There had been no cholera in Haiti for at least 150 years until it was allegedly introduced by Nepalese UN peacekeepers sent there in the wake of the devastating January 2010 earthquake.
The United States has lost more than 400 military drones in major crashes worldwide since 2001, The Washington Post said Friday in a report questioning the safety and reliability of the unmanned aircraft. Citing 50,000 pages of accident investigation reports, the Post said military drones have since the 9/11 attacks "malfunctioned in myriad ways," including mechanical breakdowns, human error and foul weather. "Military drones have slammed into homes, farms, runways, highways, waterways and, in one case, an Air Force C-130 Hercules transport plane in midair," it said. Sixty-seven drone crashes occurred in Afghanistan, and 41 in Iraq, but 47 occurred within the United States during test and training flights, the Post said on its website.
US Vice President Joe Biden warned Friday that Central American nations had a "responsibility" to work with Washington to stem a surge of thousands of illegal child migrants into the United States. Biden issued his blunt call to action in Guatemala as the White House announced new measures to speed up deportations of the illegal child migrants, amid a row with Republicans that has further dashed dimming hopes of passing a new immigration reform law.
If you're channel hopping in the restive eastern Ukraine city of Donetsk these days you can still tune in to the usual soft rock and Russian ballads. Welcome to Radio Republic -- the only official station of the self-proclaimed rebel Donetsk People's Republic, coming at the war-torn region with a blend of patriotic jingles and political diatribes to keep listeners tuned in. Georgy asked that his surname not be reported and his face not to be photographed due to the illegal nature of the operation. I am better at this than I am at shooting," Georgy said.
Suspected Boko Haram gunmen have killed 10 people in raids on five villages in Nigeria's northeast Adamawa state, a local official said on Friday. "We have confirmed that 10 people were killed in the attacks on the five villages by Boko Haram insurgents yesterday (Thursday). Many people sustained injuries while trying to escape," said Maina Ularamu, Madagali local government council chairman. Scores of gunmen dressed in military uniform stormed the villages of Imirsa, Shuwari, Yaza, Humabza and Anguwar Shuwa, burning homes and looting food supplies, he told AFP.
The US Coast Guard said Friday it had repatriated 31 Cubans and 25 Haitians found in precarious boats in the Caribbean and the Florida Straits. On June 9, a US patrol stopped a sailboat with 25 Haitians west of Mona Island, Puerto Rico. Four days later, US authorities captured three more boats carrying a total of 31 people in the Florida Straits, which separate Cuba from the southeastern US state. On Tuesday, the Haitians were brought to Cap Haitien and the Cubans to Bahia de Cabanas.
Uganda played down Friday the impact of US sanctions slapped on the country for tough anti-gay laws, and rejected claims by rights groups that the legislation had led to a rise in homophobic assaults. Washington, which counts Uganda as a regional ally, on Thursday cancelled a military exercise, imposed visa bans and withheld some aid with one US official describing the law -- which calls for "repeat homosexuals" to be jailed for life -- as "vile". The legislation "runs counter to universal human rights and complicates our bilateral relationship," the White House said, renewing calls for the law to be repealed. House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi said the sanctions were "a stern signal to the Ugandan government: the United States will not tolerate the vile persecution of LGBT Ugandans".
Yemeni warplanes supported troops battling Shiite Huthi rebels north of Sanaa Friday as fighting intensified, with dozens killed in 48 hours, officials and tribal chiefs said. The violence in Amran province comes despite President Abdrabuh Mansur Hadi warning against a military escalation. Warplanes launched at least eight air raids on Friday to try to break the rebels' grip on army positions, some of which are just 15 kilometres (nine miles) from Sanaa, local government officials and tribal chiefs said. The army hammered rebel positions in Hamdan, Bani Matar and Iyal Sreih in Amran province with artillery, local officials said.
Canada's jobs minister unveiled stricter rules for hiring temporary foreign workers Friday after allegations of widespread abuses by employers, such as sidelining Canadians for jobs. The changes are meant to ensure the foreign worker program is used as intended "as a last and limited resort to fill acute labor shortages on a temporary basis when qualified Canadians are not available," Employment Minister Jason Kenney said in a statement. Also, the amount of time a temporary foreign worker can remain in Canada has been halved to two years. Temporary foreign workers will no longer be allowed to apply for low-skilled, low-paid jobs in restaurants, hotels or retail stores in areas where unemployment is higher than six percent -- which is most major cities across Canada.
Two Ugandan men who sneaked piglets into the east African nation's parliament to protest against corruption have been sent to prison awaiting trial, and the animals impounded as evidence, relatives said Friday. "At the court the magistrate read to them three charges of criminal trespass, conspiracy to sneak piglets into parliament and a third charge of interrupting parliament work," Richard Sebuliba, a relative of one of the men, told AFP. Officials said the protestors had painted the piglets in the colours of the ruling party of President Yoweri Museveni, one of Africa's longest serving leaders, and had written slogans insulting MPs as corrupt on the animals. The pair, Robert Mayanja and Norman Tumuhimbise, are members of a protest movement calling themselves the "jobless brotherhood group".
US President Barack Obama said Friday he hopes to have an agreement on framing a vast pan-Pacific trading block by the time he makes his next visit to Asia in November. The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) would encompass 40 percent of the global economy and include 12 nations. Talks on setting up the pact have been delayed by intricate market access negotiations between Japan and the United States. Obama said he and New Zealand's Prime Minister John Key discussed the latest timeline for the deal in Oval Office talks Friday, and that he hoped to have a "document" on it by the end of the year.
The White House on Friday ordered environmental regulators to review the effect that pesticides may be having on bees and other pollinators that have suffered significant losses in recent years. Environmental advocates welcomed the plan but said it did not go far enough, noting that the European Union has already banned three common pesticides, known as neonicotinoids, on the basis that they were making bees sick. Honey bees contribute $15 billion in value to US crops annually, and have suffered severe losses in recent years due to a phenomenon known as colony collapse disorder. The government's new plan calls for the Environmental Protection Agency to "assess the effect of pesticides, including neonicotinoids, on bee and other pollinator health and take action, as appropriate," within 180 days.