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A teenager was found guilty of the gang rape and murder of a student in New Delhi in December, the first verdict in a case that reverberated around the world and shone a spotlight on the scale of sexual violence in India.A tribunal in the nation’s capital handed down the maximum punishment for a juvenile offender allowed under India’s laws – a three-year reformatory term –…

WASHINGTON – U.S. intelligence services carried out 231 offensive cyber-operations in 2011, the leading edge of a clandestine campaign that embraces the Internet as a theater of spying, sabotage and war, according to top-secret documents obtained by the Washington Post.That disclosure, in a classified intelligence budget provided by NSA leaker Edward Snowden, provides new …

Nation and World

WASHINGTON – U.S. military analysts say any Western strike against the Syrian government is unlikely to draw an immediate counterattack by President Bashar Assad’s forces. That, however, does not make the response of the Syrian government – or its allies Iran, Hezbollah and Russia – any easier to predict.Assad possesses few if any real defenses against long-range precision…

WASHINGTON – Defense attorneys for three former Navy football players accused of raping a fellow midshipman at an off-campus party questioned the alleged victim for a third straight day Friday at a hearing.By Friday evening, the 21-year-old female midshipman had been cross-examined for more than 20 hours, enduring wave after wave of hostile questions. She asked Cmdr. Rober…

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PITTSFORD (AP) – Darren Manzella, a gay combat medic discharged from the Army after criticizing the military’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy in a 2007 television interview, has died in a traffic accident in suburban Rochester. He was 36.His aunt, Robin Mahoney, on Friday confirmed his death.Manzella lived in the Chautauqua County Town of Portland. On July 5, he married hi…

WASHINGTON – The Obama administration’s plan to launch a military strike against Syria is being received with serious reservations by many in the U.S. military, which is coping with the scars of two lengthy wars and a rapidly contracting budget, according to current and former officers.Having assumed for months that the United States was unlikely to intervene militarily in…

Nation and World

WASHINGTON – U.S. intervention in Syria won’t have the support of key ally Britain after a historic vote by Parliament on Thursday to reject any military action to deter the use of chemical weapons by President Bashar Assad’s regime.The move seriously undermines President Obama’s ability to build an international coalition in support of missile strikes against Syria.But th…

WASHINGTON – The U.S. commando raid that killed Osama bin Laden was guided from space by a fleet of satellites, which aimed dozens of separate receivers over Pakistan to collect a torrent of electronic and signals intelligence as the mission unfolded, according to a top-secret U.S. intelligence document.The National Security Agency was also able to penetrate guarded commun…

WASHINGTON – Republican congressional leaders, in a fresh strategy after repeatedly failing to dismantle President Obama’s health care law, are leaning toward an effort to postpone it rather than choke off funding.Freshmen Sens. Ted Cruz of Texas and Mike Lee of Utah have commanded the spotlight during this month’s congressional recess, saying they want to shut down the go…

LOS ANGELES – SeaWorld Entertainment Inc., the subject of a critical documentary over the use of killer whales in its theme parks, is slashing ticket prices in the wake of a 9 percent second-quarter attendance drop.The company’s original park in San Diego is offering area residents a free kid’s ticket with an adult ticket purchase midweek, a $71 value, according to its web…

LAS VEGAS (AP) – A mansion once owned by Liberace has sold for a half-million dollars.The Greater Las Vegas Association of Realtors reported the all-cash sale closed on Aug. 23 for $29,000 less than the listing price.The two-bedroom, 10-bathroom home with nearly 15,000 square feet of space was built in 1962 and sits on a half-acre lot in an aging neighborhood near the Univ…

Nation and World

WASHINGTON – In a ruling that gives new momentum to the national push to legalize marijuana, the U.S. Justice Department said Thursday that it would not interfere with plans by the states of Washington and Colorado to sell and tax pot for recreational use beginning next year.The department made its long-awaited announcement in a memo to federal prosecutors.Attorney General…

Nation and World

WASHINGTON – In his first direct comments about the Syrian crisis, President Obama said Wednesday that his government has concluded Syrian President Bashar Assad’s regime is responsible for a large-scale chemical weapons attack that killed civilians but that he has not yet decided how to respond to a breach he said demands “international consequences.”Obama told PBS’ “News…

Nation and World

WASHINGTON – Last Wednesday, in the hours after a horrific chemical attack east of Damascus, an official at the Syrian Ministry of Defense exchanged panicked phone calls with a leader of a chemical weapons unit, demanding answers for a nerve agent strike that killed more than 1,000 people. Those conversations were overheard by U.S. intelligence services, Foreign Policy mag…

Nation and World

Died Aug. 24, 2013HELENA, Mont. (AP) – Dr. Jesse Marcel Jr., who said he handled debris from the 1947 crash of an unidentified flying object near Roswell, N.M., has died at age 76.Denice Marcel said her father was found dead at his home here Saturday, less than two months after making his last trip to Roswell. He had been reading a book about UFOs.Over the last 35 years, D…