Leaders within Libya’s rebel movement believe Col. Muammar Gaddafi has fled the encircled town of Bani Walid in a southbound military convoy making its way toward the borders of Niger and Chad. An official with the rebels’ National Transitional Council says Gaddafi was believed to be in a southern town near Libya’s border with Niger roughly three days ago. On a visit to the rebel-controlled capital of Tripoli, U.N. special envoy Ian Martin praised the rebels’ advances over Gaddafi.
Ian Martin, U.N. special envoy: “I want to begin by repeating the congratulations that I expressed on my arrival in Tripoli to the Libyan people on the extraordinary transformation that they have achieved in this country, and I do so all the more because even in the very short time I’ve been in Tripoli, one can see the progress that is being made in bringing Tripoli back towards a more normal condition.”
Activists in Syria say forces loyal to President Bashar al-Assad have killed at least seven people in the central city of Homs. According to witnesses, residents sought shelter in homes and offices as armored vehicles opened fire on anything that moved. The violence comes one day after some 2,000 Homs residents took to the streets in a defiant protest against the Assad regime.
In Syria, the International Committee of the Red Cross has confirmed it has been granted access to visit detainees at the main prison in the capital of Damascus. The president of the Red Cross, Jakob Kellenberger, announced the news.
Jakob Kellenberger: “We have now started in a large prison in Damascus, and it will take a lot of time, and so we’ll have visit to visit, section after section, as I proceed. So I think I will—I cannot—I think it does not make much sense that I give you now intermediate numbers. In fact, if I understand well, in this prison, as a whole, it has 6,000 persons.”
U.S. Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta is reportedly backing a proposal to leave between 3,000 to 4,000 U.S. troops in Iraq beyond the deadline for a full withdrawal at the end of the year. According to the New York Times, Panetta’s plan would see U.S. forces remaining in Iraq to train Iraqi troops. The top U.S. commander in Iraq, General Lloyd Austin, has called for leaving behind as many as 18,000 soldiers. President Obama has repeatedly vowed to withdraw all U.S. troops. The United States will still maintain a massive presence in Iraq through the CIA and private contractors working under the State Department.
In Iraq, nine people were killed Tuesday when militants attacked a bus in Anbar province. Eight soldiers and their bus driver died in the attack.
The U.S.-led NATO occupation force in Afghanistan has stopped sending prisoners to a number of Afghan jails following revelations of widespread torture and abuse. The transfers were halted after a U.N. report uncovered human rights violations at nine Afghan prisons.
In Afghanistan, victims of U.S. attacks throughout the decade-long war are speaking out about their experiences ahead of this week’s 10-year anniversary of 9/11. A Jalalabad resident described a deadly raid on his family’s home last year.
Resident: “My father and my brother were sleeping inside the home with their children when suddenly the U.S. soldiers climbed on the roof and then entered the home and shot my father. I imagined they had a fight with him when I heard the gunfire, or I thought that robbers had entered our house. Then I heard the children shouting that robbers had come. My older brother woke up and saw that the U.S. soldiers killed my father, so he grabbed my father’s body. Then the Americans opened fire on him and killed him.”
The former head of U.S. forces in Afghanistan, General David Petraeus, has begun his new stint as head of the CIA. Petraeus was sworn in at a ceremony on Tuesday.
Gen. David Petraeus: “Thanks in advance to the tremendous men and women at the Central Intelligence Agency. That is a great organization with great people and a great mission, and I am very excited to have the opportunity to join them and indeed to be their director.”
Republican presidential hopefuls are meeting in California tonight for a key debate in their primary race. It is the first debate to include Texas Gov. Rick Perry, who has emerged as a front-runner since entering the contest last month. On Tuesday, former Massachusetts governor, Mitt Romney, unveiled an economic action plan centered around easing taxes and regulations for corporations.
Mitt Romney: “The first one is going to direct the secretary of Health and Human Services to grant a waiver from Obamacare to all 50 states, so we can stop that in its tracks. The second one is going to put all of President Obama’s regulations on hold 'til we see if they cut jobs, and if they do, we'll get rid of them. The third one—the third one is going to open up production of energy across this country, and get jobs as we do so, and get Americans back to work.”
At least 25 people have been killed in a pair of suicide attacks on a government building in the Pakistani city of Quetta. The Pakistani Taliban has claimed responsibility, calling the bombings revenge for the earlier arrests of al-Qaeda operatives. Speaking to Reuters, a Pakistani military spokesperson said the arrests were carried out with heavy CIA cooperation.
Major General Athar Abbas: “When we found out that they are there in the suburbs of Quetta, then we conducted this raid, and there was a close coordination with the external intelligence agency, the CIA. And it was a very successful operation, like in the past that we have been conducting very successful operations with coordination of each other.”
In India, at least 11 people have been killed and 45 wounded in a bombing outside the high court in the capital of New Delhi. The outlawed HUJI group has apparently claimed responsibility for the attack.
Two former executives at Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp. have contradicted assertions made by Murdoch’s son, James Murdoch, about how much he knew about the phone hacking that has engulfed the News Corp. media empire. Appearing before a British parliamentary committee, former News Corp. executive, Tom Crone, said James Murdoch approved a settlement after being told the phone hacking extended far beyond a single rogue journalist at the Murdochs’ News of the World.
Tom Crone: “Listen, it was the reason that we had to settle the case, and in order to settle the case, we had to explain the case to Mr. Murdoch and get his authority to settle. So, certainly, it would certainly have been discussed.”
Another News Corp. executive, Colin Myler, also testified that James Murdoch was told the phone hacking was extensive. James Murdoch continues to insist he was unaware of the scale of the hacking. He is expected to be recalled to testify before parliament.
Five people were killed on Tuesday when a gunman opened fire at a restaurant in Carson City, Nevada, before taking his own life. Three of the dead were uniformed members of the U.S. Army National Guard. Another four people were wounded. Sheriff Ken Furlong announced the attack.
Sheriff Ken Furlong: “Two were established dead at scene. There has been a third death during surgery. That reduces our victims that are patients down to six at this point and time. The deceased persons, at least two of the three, appear to be military folks. And so, we are working very closely with the attorney general’s office, Department of Public Safety, the FBI and the National Guard to work out those details.”
A New York City council member is accusing police of racial bias after being detained at the Brooklyn West Indian Day Parade earlier this week. Jumaane Williams and a council staffer were handcuffed after walking on what police called a restricted area. The police have claimed they moved in after an officer was struck in the face, but neither Williams nor the staffer were accused. On Tuesday, Williams said he was targeted because of his ethnicity.
Jumaane Williams: “We do have to acknowledge that if I did not look the way I looked—young, black, with locks and earrings, with another young black male—if we were elected officials of a different persuasion, we are sure that things would have been handled differently.”
The family of a black man killed in Jackson, Mississippi, in June has filed a lawsuit against a group of white teens linked to his murder. The teens allegedly beat James Craig Anderson, a 49-year-old black auto plant worker, while yelling “white power!” and other racial epithets. Surveillance footage then shows one of the individuals’ truck driving over Anderson, killing him instantly. The Anderson family lawsuit targets the two teens already charged in the case and five others who have not been charged. Anderson was also a gay man with a same-sex partner, but it is unclear if his sexual orientation factored into the deadly attack.
Georgia has scheduled an execution date for the death row prisoner Troy Davis, whose case has been taken up by death penalty opponents across the globe. Davis was convicted for the 1989 killing of an off-duty white police officer. Since then, seven of the nine non-police witnesses have recanted their testimony, and there is no physical evidence tying him to the crime scene. A judge has signed an order for Davis’s execution sometime between September 21 and September 28. It is the fourth time in as many years that Davis has been scheduled for execution. The U.S. Supreme Court turned down an appeal from Davis in March.
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