BY Wire Reports
Sunday, January 06, 2013
1/06/13 at 3:00 AM
Washington: McChrystal accepts blame for Rolling Stone article
Speaking out for the first time since he resigned, retired Gen. Stanley McChrystal takes the blame for a Rolling Stone article and the unflattering comments attributed to his staff about the Obama administration that ended his Afghanistan command and army career.
"Regardless of how I judged the story for fairness or accuracy, responsibility was mine," McChrystal writes in his new memoir, "My Share of the Task," in a carefully worded denouncement of the story.
The Rolling Stone article anonymously quoted McChrystal's aides as criticizing Obama's team, including Vice President Joe Biden. Biden had disagreed with McChrystal's strategy that called for more troops in Afghanistan. Biden preferred to send a smaller counterterrorism and training force - a policy the White House is now considering as it transitions troops from the Afghan war.
Port-au-Prince, Haiti: Haiti renews passport of former dictator
Haitian officials have renewed the diplomatic passport of former dictator Jean-Claude Duvalier, his attorney said Saturday.
Lawyer Reynold Georges said the country's Ministry of Foreign Affairs reissued the expired document for Duvalier last month as is customary for ex-presidents and former prime ministers.
Duvalier came back to Haiti in 2011 following 25 years in exile in France. Upon his return, Haitian authorities opened an investigation into the human rights abuses associated with his 15-year rule. But the judge instead recommended that Duvalier be indicted for financial crimes.
Sao Paulo: Prison guards foil escape plan by catching cat
Guards thought there was something suspicious about a little white cat slipping through a prison gate in northeastern Brazil. A prison official says that when they caught the animal, they found a cellphone, drills, saws and other contraband taped to its body.
Alagoas state prisons spokeswoman Cinthya Moreno says that the cat was caught New Year's Eve at the prison in the city of Arapiraca.
The O Estado de S. Paulo newspaper reported Saturday that all of the prison's 263 inmates are suspects in the smuggling attempt, though it says a prison spokesman said "It will be hard to discover who is responsible since the cat does not speak."
Algiers, Algeria: Al-Qaida's finance chief killed, Algerian paper says
An Algerian newspaper says the right-hand man to the head of al-Qaida's North African branch was one of seven insurgents killed by the army last week.
El Watan reported Saturday that the New Year's Day operation killed Izza Rezki, the finance chief for Abdelmalek Droukdel, the head of al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb.
Rome : Six Russians die when snowmobile crashes
Six Russians were killed and two seriously injured when the snowmobile and sled they were riding veered off an Italian Alpine ski slope at night and flew through the air into a ravine.
The accident occurred Friday, and when rescuers arrived at the scene six of the victims were found dead on the slope of Mount Cermis, in northeastern Italy, said Cavalese Fire Department Cmdr. Roberto Marchi.
''It is clear that the fundamental cause is recklessness and imprudence," Marchi told Sky TG24 TV in an interview on the slope Saturday.
The ANSA news agency said authorities were performing tests to determine if the snowmobile's driver - who survived the crash - was drunk.
Juneau, Alaska: 7.5-magnitude earthquake sparks tsunami alert
A powerful earthquake sparked a tsunami warning for hundreds of miles of Alaskan and Canadian coastline, but it was canceled when no damaging waves were generated.
The magnitude 7.5 quake and tsunami warning that followed caused concern in some coastal communities, with alarms sounding and people rushing to higher ground for safety.
But the Alaska Tsunami Warning Center later said the waves were too small to pose a threat, reaching just six inches above normal sea level in many places.
The temblor struck at midnight Friday (3 a.m. CST Saturday).
With temperatures around 46 degrees Fahrenheit, a man plays in the surf, along with some thousands of others celebrating the New Year by jumping into the North Sea during the traditional New Year's Dive in Ostend, Belgium, Saturday. GEERT VANDEN WIJNGAERT / Associated Press