Hagel appoints envoy to close Guantanamo
WASHINGTON — Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel named a veteran Capitol Hill lawyer Tuesday to rejuvenate the Pentagon’s flagging efforts to close the military prison at Guantanamo Bay.
Paul Lewis, a Democratic lawyer for the House Armed Services Committee and a former judge advocate in the Marine Corps, will take the newly created job of special envoy for Guantanamo closure on Nov. 1.
He will work with Clifford Sloan, who holds a similar post in the State Department, to revive the administration’s attempts to empty the prison at Guantanamo, which holds 164 inmates who were captured overseas after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.
President Obama promised to close the U.S. detention facility in Cuba during his first campaign for president, in 2008, and has repeated the pledge multiple times since, most recently in May, when he announced he would create special-envoy positions in the State and Defense departments to press the issue. But his efforts have been blocked by Congress, which has prevented him from transferring Guantanamo inmates to prisons in the United States and imposed other obstacles.
NYPD IDs woman thought to be mother of ‘Baby Hope’
NEW YORK — In a dramatic break in a cold case more than two decades old, investigators used DNA to identify the mother of a dead child known only as Baby Hope, police said Tuesday.
The New York Police Department received a tip from someone after a publicity push over the summer, police officials said. The tip led to the woman, whose name was being withheld amid a homicide investigation.
Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly declined to discuss the case further as investigators try to determine the circumstances of the 3- to 5-year-old girl’s death.
Taliban renews threat against Pakistani teenage girl
ISLAMABAD, Pakistan — The Taliban has issued a new threat against Malala Yousafzai, the teenager who was shot in the head by one of its fighters a year ago after she refused to halt her efforts to expose the plight of schoolgirls in northwestern Pakistan.
In a telephone interview Monday, a top Taliban spokesman said the group will continue to look for opportunities to harm the 16-year-old girl so long as she remains an outspoken critic of efforts to impose strict Islamic law in Pakistan.
The threat comes amid speculation Yousafzai, who sought refuge in England last year, is a leading contender to win the Nobel Peace Prize when it is announced Friday. She is already the youngest person ever nominated for the prestigious honor, and if she won, would be only the second Pakistani in history to be recognized by the Nobel prize committee.
Indiana dog crashes half-marathon, gets medal
EVANSVILLE, Ind. — An Indiana dog who became an Internet sensation after crashing a half-marathon has won a medal — and an appointment with a veterinarian to nip his wandering ways in the bud.
The chocolate Labrador retriever named Boogie ran most of the 13.1 miles in Saturday’s event and then was taken to Animal Control.
Owner Jerry Butts said the 100-pound dog slipped his leash Friday night. It was his fourth escape.
Butts said Boogie now has a microchip and an appointment to be neutered. Boogie finished the race in 2 hours, 15 minutes. That’s better than more than half of the race’s participants.
By wire sources