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Briefs

Officials cleared in Benghazi attack

– Four State Department officials have been cleared of security failures that led to an attack last year on a diplomatic outpost in Benghazi, Libya, that killed U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens, authorities said Tuesday.

State spokeswoman Marie Harf said the officials, who held senior positions at the Bureau of Diplomatic Security and the Bureau of Near East Affairs during the Sept. 11, 2012, attack, will be reassigned to new jobs.

She said an internal State review concluded “there was no breach of duty” by any of the four, who have been on paid administrative leave for months.

The State Department is not investigating any other employees.

Study: Low care cost aids blood pressure

New research suggests giving patients easier-to-take medicine and no co-pay medical visits can help drive down high blood pressure, a major contributor to poor health and untimely deaths nationwide.

Those efforts were part of a big health care provider’s eight-year program, involving more than 300,000 patients with high blood pressure. At the beginning, less than half had brought their blood pressure under control. That increased to a remarkable 80 percent, well above the national average, the researchers said.

Dr. Marc Jaffe, the lead author and leader of a Kaiser heart disease risk reduction program, said it’s impossible to know if the blood pressure program can be credited for those declines, but he thinks it at least contributed.

Evictions put Denver Housing under fire

Federal housing officials are condemning a decision by the Denver Housing Authority to evict the relatives of a mother killed by a rampaging gunman three days after her slaying, saying there is room for compassion in federal law.

Housing and Urban Development spokesman Jerry Brown said Tuesday his agency hopes Denver will reconsider after the victim’s mother and autistic son were locked out. The personal property of 47-year-old Sandra Roskilly was also seized and turned over to a public administrator.

The Denver Housing Authority said it was forced to evict 70-year-old Doris Kessler under federal law because Roskilly was the head of the household.

Wildfires taxing firefighting funds

Wildfires in Oregon, Idaho and Montana are taxing national firefighting resources and helping to push spending past $1 billion for the year.

The National Interagency Fire Center in Boise upped the national wildfire preparedness level Tuesday to the highest level for the first time in five years.

The center lists two central Idaho wildfires as the country’s top priorities, helping provide crews and resources for the Beaver Creek fire, which forced the evacuation of 1,250 homes in the resort area of Ketchum and Sun Valley and has cost nearly $12 million so far.

Ex-Pakistan leader indicted for murder

A Pakistani court indicted former president and army chief Pervez Musharraf on murder charges in connection with the 2007 assassination of iconic Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto, deepening the fall of a once-powerful figure who returned to the country this year in an effort to take part in elections.

The decision by a court in Rawalpindi marks the first time Musharraf, or any former Pakistan army chief, has been charged with a crime.

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