House Republicans’ report faults Obama on Benghazi attacks

President Barack Obama
Updated 28 June 2016

House Republicans’ report faults Obama on Benghazi attacks

WASHINGTON: Republicans on the House Benghazi Committee faulted the Obama administration Tuesday in a report on the deadly 2012 attacks in Benghazi, Libya.
The panel’s chairman, Rep. Trey Gowdy of South Carolina, and other Republicans accuse the Obama administration of stonewalling important documents and witnesses. Democrats say the panel’s primary goal is to undermine Hillary Clinton’s presidential bid.
Clinton was secretary of state during the attacks, which killed four Americans, including US Ambassador Chris Stevens, in two assaults at the diplomatic facility and CIA annex.
The Libya attacks became immediate political fodder, given their timing in the weeks before President Barack Obama’s re-election, and that has not abated despite seven previous congressional investigations. There has been finger-pointing on both sides over security at the US diplomatic outpost in Benghazi and whether the White House initially tried to portray the assault as a protest over an offensive, anti-Muslim video, instead of a calculated terrorist attack.
Democrats released a report Monday saying that while the State Department’s security measures in Benghazi the night of Sept. 11, 2012 were “woefully inadequate,” Clinton never personally turned down a request for additional security. Democrats said the military could not have done anything differently that night to save the lives of four Americans.
On Tuesday, the panel’s Democrats denounced the Republicans’ report as “a conspiracy theory on steroids — bringing back long-debunked allegations with no credible evidence whatsoever.” The statement added: “Republicans promised a process and report that was fair and bipartisan, but this is exactly the opposite.”
The State Department also issued a statement Tuesday, saying that the “essential facts” of the attacks “have been known for some time,” and have been the subject of numerous reviews, including one by an independent review board.
Spokesman Mark Toner said the department had implemented most of the recommendations of the independent review board and is continuing to expand security at its facilities and improve threat assessment.


Albania’s coronavirus cases surge for third day in row

Updated 52 min 54 sec ago

Albania’s coronavirus cases surge for third day in row

  • The country reported a total of 361 cases, 20 deaths and 104 recoveries
  • Albania was hit by an earthquake last November that killed 51 people and left 17,000 homeless

TIRANA: Albania reported 28 new cases of the new coronavirus on Sunday and said a failure to respect social distancing had led to the highest numbers of infections over the last three days.
The COVID-19 disease caused by the coronavirus has killed 20, infected 361 and caused three to need help breathing, the Public Health Institute said. It added that 104 had recovered.
Despite a lockdown monitored by police and the army and hefty fines, some Albanians have slipped through to buy food. Two were caught having coffee and brandy outside. Mourners who attended a funeral in a northern town also spread the contagion.
Since the first two cases on March 9, infections rose and fell until they reached 28, the most in a day, on March 26. They fell up to half over the next week, only to rise to 27 on Friday, 29 on Saturday, the highest ever, and 28 on Sunday.
One of the poorest countries in Europe, Albania was already hit hard by an earthquake last November that killed 51 people and left 17,000 homeless. The government is enforcing a tough lockdown to prevent the health system from being overwhelmed.
Before enforcing its third 40-hour lockdown on the weekend, the government reminded Albanians they should not be fooled by comparing their country’s figures with those of worst-hit countries because the worst had yet to pass.
“This increase in the number of cases in Shkoder and Tirana once again shows the failure to apply social distancing and measures to control the infection that the Health Ministry keeps recommending daily,” said Albana Fico of the Health Institute.
“It is equally important to respect infection prevention measures even with our cousins by avoiding visits for whatever reason,” she added.