Homeland security chief Napolitano resigns position
WASHINGTON — Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano announced her resignation Friday to take over the University of California system, leaving behind a huge department still working to adjust to the merger of nearly two dozen agencies after the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.
The former Arizona governor came to President Barack Obama’s Cabinet with plans to fix the nation’s broken immigration system, and she is leaving in the midst of a heated battle in Congress over how, or if, that overhaul will be accomplished.
Like the department Napolitano has run since the beginning of the Obama administration, the University of California system is a giant, multilayered organization, though with a far different mission. Her appointment, which still must be confirmed by the system’s board of regents, could triple Napolitano’s salary from $199,700 to around $600,000. She said she would stay on as secretary until September.
It is not clear whom Obama may be considering to replace her.
Third girl dies in connection with Asiana Airlines crash
SAN FRANCISCO — A girl who was aboard the Asiana Airlines flight that crash-landed died Friday, the same day that authorities confirmed one of the two Chinese teenagers killed in the disaster was hit by a fire truck.
The disclosure about the teen raised the tragic possibility that she could have survived the crash only to die in its chaotic aftermath.
No one knows yet whether the two teens lived through the initial impact at the San Francisco airport. But police and fire officials confirmed Friday that Ye Meng Yuan, 16, was hit by a fire truck racing to extinguish the blazing Boeing 777.
Her close friend Wang Linjia, also 16, was among a group of passengers who did not get immediate medical help. Rescuers did not spot her until 14 minutes after the crash.
The other girl died Friday morning. San Francisco General Hospital said she had been in critical condition since arriving last Saturday after the accident. Officials did not identify the girl at the request of her parents. Her age was also withheld.
Suicide bomber hits coffee shop killing 38 in Iraq
BAGHDAD — A suicide bomber detonated his explosives in a crowded coffee shop late Friday in the northern Iraqi city of Kirkuk, killing at least 38 and wounding more than two dozen in the latest in a string of bloody attacks pounding Iraq since the start of the holy month of Ramadan this week.
Iraq is being rocked by its deadliest and most sustained wave of bloodshed in half a decade. More than 2,600 people have been killed since the start of April, raising fears that the country is once again edging toward the brink of civil war a decade after Saddam Hussein was toppled in the U.S.-led invasion.
Another suicide bomber and a shooting elsewhere in the country killed five members of the security forces, bringing Friday’s toll to 43.
The late-night blast ripped through the Classico Cafe in Kirkuk, 180 miles north of Baghdad, as patrons were enjoying tea and water pipes hours after the sunset meal that breaks the daylong Ramadan fast, police officials said.
The city is a flashpoint for ethnic tensions, with its mix of Arabs, Kurds and Turkomen holding competing claims to claims for control of the oil-rich area.
There has been no claim of responsibility for the Kirkuk blast or other attacks in recent days.
The cafe attack wounded 26, police and hospital officials said.
Murder charges filed against teen in boy’s death
SANTA ANA, Calif. — Prosecutors have filed a murder charge against a Southern California teen in the death of his 11-year-old half brother, who was the subject of an intense search.
Riverside County District Attorney spokesman John Hall said Friday the charge against the 16-year-old suspect was filed in juvenile court. But he says prosecutors will ask a judge at a Monday hearing to determine if the case should be transferred to adult court.
Terry Dewayne Smith Jr.’s body was found Wednesday in a shallow grave under a tree behind the house he shared with his mother, half brother and other family members.
Pam Ragland, 50, called in the tip that led authorities to the body. An investigation to rule out her possible involvement in the crime was ongoing, Riverside County police said.
By wire sources