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Briefs

Kerry vows to answer questions on Benghazi

– Secretary of State John Kerry said Thursday he’s determined to answer any questions related to the deadly assault on the U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi, Libya.

One day after a lengthy House hearing on the Sept. 11, 2012, attack, Kerry told reporters as he traveled overseas that anyone culpable of wrongdoing will be dealt with appropriately. But he’s withholding judgment on testimony in Congress suggesting that senior State Department officials were pressured or demoted for objecting to the administration’s initial and since-debunked explanations for the attacks.

Administration officials first said the attackers were spontaneous protesters, angry about an anti-Islamic video circulating online. But they later acknowledged the attackers were well-equipped terrorists acting under plans.

Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, on Thursday asked President Obama to direct the State Department to release internal emails, sent the day after the Benghazi assault, that deal with the cause for the attacks.

Nation

Tunisian accused of plotting terror cell

A Tunisian man accused of radicalizing a Canadian resident charged in a plot to derail a train has been charged with trying to stay in the U.S. illegally to build a terrorism cell for international acts of terror such as poisoning a water system with bacteria, authorities said Thursday.

Law enforcement authorities had watched Ahmed Abassi since he arrived in the United States from Canada in mid-March and arrested him April 22 at John F. Kennedy International Airport, authorities said.

Pit bull pack kills jogger near LA

Authorities in rural Los Angeles County were warning people to be on the lookout for four pit bulls suspected of killing a 63-year-old jogger Thursday.

Sheriff’s Lt. John Corina told reporters that a woman in a car saw the dogs attacking the female jogger Thursday morning. The witness called 911 and honked her horn to try to get the dogs to stop.

Residents who live near the site of the attack said stray dogs are constantly roaming the area and have attacked people before.

Rocker accused of seeking wife’s death

A heavy-metal singer gave an envelope containing $1,000 in cash to an undercover agent and provided instructions on how to kill his estranged wife, including her photograph, address, security gate code and dates he would be with their children to give him an alibi, a prosecutor said Thursday.

The disclosure came moments after Tim Lambesis, 32, front man for the Christian-inspired group As I Lay Dying, pleaded not guilty to solicitation of murder. If convicted, he faces up to nine years in prison.

World

Deaths, kidnappings haunt Pakistan vote

An especially violent spate of killings, kidnappings and bombings marred the run-up to Pakistan’s nationwide election, capped Thursday by the abduction of the son of a former prime minister as he was rallying supporters on the last day of campaigning before the historic vote.

Saturday’s election marks the first time in Pakistan’s military coup-riddled history that a civilian government has finished its term and will hand over power to another.

More than 125 people have been killed by a series of bombings and shootings that can mostly be traced to Taliban militants who have vowed to disrupt a democratic process they view as un-Islamic. Separatists in the province of Baluchistan have also attacked candidates and their supporters across the political spectrum.

North Korea details American’s crimes

North Korea delivered its most in-depth account yet of the case against a Korean-American sentenced to 15 years’ hard labor, accusing him late Thursday of smuggling in inflammatory literature and trying to establish a base for anti-Pyongyang activities at a border city hotel.

Still, the long list of allegations included no statement from Kenneth Bae, other than claims that he confessed and didn’t want an attorney present during his sentencing last week for what Pyongyang called hostile acts against the state.

The U.S. has called for the North to immediately release Bae. This week, former NBA star Dennis Rodman attempted to use his friendship with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un on Bae’s behalf, asking the leader to “do me a solid” and release the American.

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