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Tue, 30 Nov 2021
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White House received emails about Fast and Furious gun-trafficking operation

© John T. Greilick / Detroit News
A hearse containing the body of U.S. Border Patrol officer and former U.S. Marine Brian Terry drives past a line of law enforcement officers from various departments after his December funeral service in Detroit.
Three national security officials were given some details about the operation. But an administration official says the emails do not prove that anyone in the White House was aware of the covert tactics of the program.

Newly obtained emails show that the White House was better informed about a failed gun-tracking operation on the border with Mexico than was previously known.

Three White House national security officials were given some details about the operation, dubbed Fast and Furious. The operation allowed firearms to be illegally purchased, with the goal of tracking them to Mexican drug cartels. But the effort went out of control after agents lost track of many of the weapons.

The supervisor of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives operation in Phoenix specifically mentioned Fast and Furious in at least one email to a White House national security official, and two other White House colleagues were briefed on reports from the supervisor, according to White House emails and a senior administration official.


Five NASCAR Drivers Decline President Obama's White House Invitation

© Unknown
President Barack Obama will honor NASCAR champion Jimmie Johnson and the 11 other Chase drivers from last year in a White House ceremony on Wednesday - but nearly half of the 2010 playoff contenders won't be there.

NASCAR said Thursday that five drivers - Greg Biffle, Kurt Busch, Carl Edwards, Kevin Harvick and Tony Stewart - will not be attending the White House visit due to "schedule conflicts."

They must be very busy people. Regardless of one's political views, the president is still the president - and an opportunity to speak with the leader of the free world is a rare and special one.

You'd think whatever photo shoots or sponsor appearances these drivers have lined up on Wednesday afternoon - if that's indeed the reason - could be rescheduled. After all, this is the President of the United States we're talking about here.

For a sport that prides itself on patriotism, having so many drivers turn down the president's invitation simply seems strange.

Heart - Black

UK: Paedophile raped girl 400 times

© Unknown
Brown raped one girl in the town hall where he worked as a caretaker
A paedophile who was said to have raped one of his victims up to 400 times has been jailed.

Prosecutors told Exeter Crown Court David Brown treated the girl like "a sexual plaything".

The 62-year-old, of Highland Terrace, Uffculme, was convicted of 15 rapes and two indecent assaults on two young girls when they were as young as nine.

Former town hall caretaker Brown, who had denied all the charges, was sentenced to 22 years.


US: San Diego sheriff says mansion death of pharmaceutical magnate's girlfriend was suicide


San Diego-The San Diego County sheriff says the deaths of a 6-year-old boy and a 32-year-old woman at a historic Coronado mansion earlier this summer were not homicides.

Sheriff Bill Gore told a press conference Thursday that young Max Shacknai's death was an accident and the death of Rebecca Zahau was a suicide.

Max had suffered a fall down a staircase while under Zahau's care and died days later. Zahau subsequently was found hanging.

Light Saber

Turkey expels Israeli ambassador over flotilla raid

israel flag,flotilla
© AP/Ariel Schalit
In this May 31, 2010 file photo the Mavi Marmara ship, the lead boat of a flotilla headed to the Gaza Strip which was stormed by Israeli naval commandos in a predawn confrontation, sails into the port of Ashdod, Israel.

Turkey expelled Israel's ambassador and will cut military ties with the country over its refusal to apologize for last year's deadly raid on a Gaza-bound aid flotilla, officials said Friday, further straining a relationship that had been a cornerstone of regional stability.

Turkey's move came before the anticipated publication Friday of a UN report about the Israeli raid, which killed nine activists. The breakdown in ties also raised concerns that other countries, including Egypt and Jordan, may follow suit by recalling ambassadors and increase Israel's alienation in the region.

"If this ends with Turkey, it will be a miracle," said Alon Liel, a former Israeli ambassador to Turkey. "There is a lot of internal pressure in Egypt, and Turkey could use its clout in the Arab and Muslim world to pressure other nations to follow suit."


Russia to protect economic interests in Libya

© RIA Novosti
Russia to protect economic interests in Libya
Russia will protect the interests of its national companies in Libya under the country's new leadership, a Kremlin source said on Friday.

"We are not just thinking about it, but take concrete measures. The government is working on it," the source said, adding the prospects for Russian companies to continue working in Libya "were not bad."

Moscow had billions of dollars worth of energy and infrastructure deals with Libya under its deposed leader Muammar Gaddafi, and Russian officials have expressed concern they could be lost in the transition of power.

Bizarro Earth

Bodies Found in Mexico Might be Kidnapped Marines

The Mexican navy said Thursday it found bodies in the Gulf coast state of Veracruz that could include those of three marines and a naval cadet kidnapped by suspected drug cartel gunmen earlier this month.

Mexican drug cartels have kidnapped and killed military personnel before, but it remains a relatively rare occurrence.

The navy said in a statement that objects belonging to the kidnapped servicemen were found in a raid on a warehouse Sunday and that investigators later found the four bodies in four pits on the outskirts of the state capital.

The raid also resulted in the capture of five people suspected of participating in the abductions, authorities said.

Neither the navy nor federal security spokesman would say which cartel the suspects allegedly worked for, but the Zetas gang is known to be active in the area.


US: Ohio sells state prison to private contractor for $73 million


Cleveland - Ohio said on Thursday it had gone through with a controversial plan to privatize a portion of the state's prison system, the latest step in Republican Governor John Kasich's campaign to shrink government and close the state's budget shortfall.

Officials said the state had sold the Lake Erie Correctional Institution, an 11-year-old prison housing about 1,500 nonviolent prisoners, to the Corrections Corporation of America for $72.7 million. The state will now pay the Nashville-based company to run the facility.

The privatization of parts of Ohio's prison system was one of the deficit-closing provisions contained in the budget Kasich signed into law earlier in June.

Che Guevara

Dozens Arrested in US as Pipeline Protest Kicks Off

© Agence France-Presse
Pipelines are seen in Canada 2007. Dozens were arrested at the White House Saturday as protesters began a two-week sit-in expected to draw over 2,000 opponents of a proposed pipeline from Canada to the US Gulf Coast.
Dozens were arrested at the White House Saturday as protesters began a two-week sit-in expected to draw over 2,000 opponents of a proposed pipeline from Canada to the US Gulf Coast.

"President (Barack) Obama can stop this climate-killing disaster with the stroke of a pen," said Bill McKibben, spokesman for Tar Sands Action, the environmental group that organized the protest. Tar Sands said on its website that more than 70 people were arrested Saturday.

"This is the most important environmental test that President Obama has faced. He has to decide whether or not to grant permission for this giant pipeline," said McKibben.

A total of 2,200 people from all 50 states are expected to take part in the event, which is designed to pressure Obama to deny a permit for the $13 billion Keystone XL pipeline project due to stretch across 1,700 miles (2,700 kilometers).


North Carolina, US: Mother Accused of Hacking Daughters to Death Says Ghost Did It

A 33-year-old mother accused of killing her two young daughters with a hatchet and then trying to kill herself told investigators that a ghost killed her children, according to a warrant.

The murder warrant against Naiyana Patel also said that she has said she does not want to live and she did not want surgery for her head injuries.

On Saturday, Patel's husband, Lalji Patel, returned home from work to find his daughters, 7-year-old Jiya and 4-year-old Piya, dead and their mother seriously injured.

Police said Naiyana Patel struck herself in the head repeatedly with the hatchet after she killed the girls.

Relatives said Naiyana was being treated for depression after a pregnancy she did not carry to full term, and, at some point she switched medication because the initial prescription did not seem to help.