Susan's Feed
May 8, 2013

U.S. Air Force sexual assault case to be handled by civilian court

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The case of a U.S. Air Force official who headed a sexual-assault prevention unit and was arrested for allegedly groping a woman will be handled in civilian court despite the military’s request for jurisdiction, a prosecutor said on Tuesday.

Lieutenant Colonel Jeffrey Krusinski, 41, was arrested on Sunday and charged with sexual battery for allegedly grabbing a woman by the breasts and buttocks in a parking lot not far from the Pentagon. The police report said the victim fought off a drunken male as he tried to touch her again.

May 2, 2013

What options does Obama have to close Guantanamo?

By Susan Cornwell and Jane Sutton

(Reuters) – With his renewed vow to close the detention camp for foreign terrorism suspects at Guantanamo Bay, President Barack Obama has effectively assigned himself a list of possible ways to take the prison’s population down from 166 to zero.

Some would be more easily achieved than others.

In pledging to look again at an unfulfilled promise dating back to his first election campaign and early days in office in 2009, Obama made plain on Tuesday that it was untenable to keep the 11-year-old camp open.

Apr 30, 2013

Man who studied in U.S., four others freed in Uzbekistan: State Department

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Uzbekistan has released five high-profile prisoners jailed for political or religious reasons, including an accused member of an Islamist group who studied in the United States, the U.S. State Department said in its annual human rights report.

The five – also including two human rights activists and two members of the Jehovah’s Witnesses, were freed last year, the State Department said in its 2012 survey of human rights around the world.

Apr 27, 2013

FBI’s longtime director faces criticism of bureau again

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – As he nears the end of a dozen years as director of the FBI, Robert Mueller finds himself defending the agency over its handling of two high-profile cases. It is a familiar spot for the low-key ex-Marine.

At the request of President Barack Obama, Mueller stayed on for two years beyond the job’s 10-year term to help stabilize law enforcement’s fight against domestic and international threats to U.S. security. Recent events – the bombing at the Boston Marathon and ricin-laced letters sent to Obama and a U.S. senator – have left Mueller dealing with suggestions that agency missteps may have added to the damage.

Apr 25, 2013

FBI says more tests may be needed to probe ricin potency

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The FBI said on Thursday that more tests may be necessary to determine the potency of a granular material identified as ricin that was packed into letters sent to President Obama, a U.S. senator and a Mississippi judge.

Last week, the FBI said laboratory testing had confirmed the presence of the toxin in the letters. But FBI spokesman Chris Allen said Thursday he was reluctant to say all tests were complete because “they may be doing more tests on it as the investigation is ongoing.”

Apr 25, 2013

U.S., Russian spies’ “trust deficit” may have clouded Boston case

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. authorities have long cast a wary eye on counterterrorism intelligence from Russia, Obama administration officials say, raising questions about whether a “trust deficit” clouded efforts to determine if Boston Marathon bombing suspect Tamerlan Tsarnaev posed a danger.

Any intelligence disconnect between the United States and Russia could have broader repercussions, complicating plans to cooperate on security for the 2014 Winter Olympics in the Black Sea resort of Sochi, not far from Russia’s restive north Caucasus region.

Apr 24, 2013

U.S. lawmakers grill FBI on Boston bombing investigation

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. lawmakers grilled top security officials on Tuesday about the handling of the Boston Marathon bombing investigation and why one of the suspects flagged as a possible Islamist radical was not tracked more closely.

FBI officials briefed members of Congress behind closed doors in Washington about the investigation into the April 15 blasts that killed three people and injured 264 others.

Apr 24, 2013

Lawmakers grill FBI on Boston bombing investigation

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. lawmakers grilled top security officials on Tuesday about the handling of the Boston Marathon bombing investigation and why one of the suspects flagged as a possible Islamist radical was not tracked more closely.

FBI officials briefed members of Congress behind closed doors in Washington about the investigation into the April 15 blasts that killed three people and injured 264 others.

Apr 21, 2013

U.S. lawmakers ask if FBI mishandled case of one Boston suspect

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. Republican lawmakers questioned Sunday whether the FBI had fumbled the case of one of the two Boston Marathon bombing suspects, saying it was one of a series in which someone the agency had investigated had gone on to participate in terrorist attacks.

House of Representatives Homeland Security Committee Chairman Michael McCaul said he wrote to the FBI and other officials asking why more wasn’t done after the FBI’s 2011 interview with Tamerlan Tsarnaev, the elder of two brothers suspected in the Boston bombing, who was killed in a shootout with U.S. police. He was 26.

Apr 19, 2013

U.S. cites human rights problems in Russia, China, Egypt

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. government on Friday expressed concern about increasing crackdowns on civil liberties around the world, from Russia to Egypt and China, saying these and other countries were shrinking the space in which independent political and other activists can operate.

In its annual survey of human rights around the world, the State Department singled out Myanmar for praise for the second year in a row, in recognition of political and economic reforms put in place since that country’s military stepped aside and a quasi-civilian government was installed in 2011.