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Briefs

Lack of info stalled Benghazi rescue

– Two of the four U.S. deaths in Benghazi, Libya, might have been prevented, military leaders say, if commanders had known more about the intensity of the sporadic gunfire directed at the CIA facility where Americans had taken refuge and had pressed to get a rescue team there faster.

Senior military leaders have told Congress in closed-door testimony that after the first attack on the main U.S. diplomatic compound on Sept. 11, 2012, they thought the fighting had subsided and that the Americans who had fled to the CIA base about a mile away were safe. In fact, they were facing intermittent small-arms fire and rocket-propelled grenades around midnight and had returned fire. Then the attackers dispersed.

Hours later, at first light, an 11-minute mortar and rocket-propelled grenade attack slammed into the CIA annex, killing security contractors Tyrone Woods and Glen Doherty.

Pneumonic plague case confirmed

A Colorado man is infected with the rarest and most fatal form of plague, an airborne version that can be spread through coughing and sneezing.

It is the first case of pneumonic plague in the state since 2004, said Jennifer House, a spokeswoman for the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment. The man, who isn’t identified, may have been exposed in densely populated Adams County, which extends 70 miles east of Denver, health officials said. While House said the man has been hospitalized and treated, she wouldn’t release other details.

He may have contracted the illness from his dog, House said, which died suddenly and has also been found to carry the disease.

Missing baby’s mom leaves prison

An Arizona woman convicted in the disappearance of her young son was released from prison Friday without ever providing authorities with details about the missing boy’s whereabouts.

Elizabeth Johnson’s release from prison was the latest twist in the case that began with the December 2009 disappearance of 8-month-old “Baby Gabriel” and included police searches of trash containers and a Texas landfill.

Authorities have said Johnson initially told the boy’s father that she killed her son and dumped him in a trash bin but later recanted and said she gave the infant to a couple at a park in San Antonio, Texas. With no sign of the child, prosecutors were only able to file lesser charges against her.

6.8 quake hits northern Japan

A strong earthquake hit Japan’s northern coast Saturday near the nuclear power plant crippled in the 2011 tsunami. At least one person was injured and a small tsunami was triggered, but no damage was reported.

Japan’s Meteorological Agency said the magnitude-6.8 quake struck 6 miles below the sea surface off the coast of Fukushima. The pre-dawn quake shook buildings in Tokyo, about 120 miles southwest of the epicenter. An 8-inch tsunami reached the coast of Ishinomaki Ayukawa and Ofunato about 50 minutes after the quake.

Ukraine president vows bloodshed

Ukraine’s president vowed vengeance in blood after 19 troops were killed in an insurgent rocket attack Friday, and residents of the rebel-held city of Donetsk began fleeing in large numbers for fear of a government siege.

The barrage of rocket fire just before sunrise at a base near the Russian border was a devastating setback for government forces, who had seemingly gained the upper hand last weekend when they pushed the pro-Russian fighters out of their stronghold city of Slovyansk. In addition to those killed, 93 soldiers were wounded, the Defense Ministry said.

“For every life of our soldiers, the militants will pay with tens and hundreds of their own,” Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko warned.

Haden, 76, blazed trail as jazz bassist

Bassist Charlie Haden, who helped change the shape of jazz more than a half-century ago as a member of Ornette Coleman’s groundbreaking quartet and liberated the bass from its traditional rhythm section role, died Friday in Los Angeles. He was 76.

Haden’s wife of 30 years, singer Ruth Cameron, and his four children were by his side when he died after a long illness, a publicist said.

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