WASHINGTON

Ron Paul defends linking U.S. policy to 9/11 attacks

Ron Paul is polling in the top tier of the Republican field in key states like Iowa, but has largely been out of the national conversation that’s focused on fleeting moments for other surging candidates. But Sunday, he was put on the defensive for past statements linking U.S. foreign policy to the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

The Texas congressman told CBS’ “Face the Nation” that he was just stating indisputable fact.

“I think there’s an influence. And that’s exactly what, you know, the 9/11 commission said. That’s what the DOD has said. And that’s also what the CIA has said and that’s what a lot of researchers have said,” he said.

Paul took issue with the idea that he was saying the attacks were “America’s fault.”

“We didn’t cause it. The average American didn’t cause it. But if you have a flawed policy, it may influence it,” he said.

Paul said Ronald Reagan “deeply regretted” going into Lebanon after an attack on U.S. Marines.

“The same thing that (Vietnam-era Defense Secretary Robert) McNamara said after the Vietnam War. He wrote in his memoirs if we don’t learn from our policy, it won’t be worth anything,” Paul said. “So I’m saying policies have an effect. That’s a far cry from blaming America.”

HARTFORD, Conn.

Attorney: Truck in Yale tailgating death faulty

A rented U-Haul that struck and killed a tailgater at a Yale-Harvard football game malfunctioned as a Yale undergraduate drove the vehicle into a crowded parking lot, the student’s attorney said Sunday.

William Dow, representing Yale student Brendan Ross, said Saturday’s collision was a “tragic accident that appears to be the result of a vehicle malfunction.” He did not elaborate and said Ross would not be speaking publicly about what happened.

But Ross and his family wanted to express their condolences to the three people who were hit by the truck near the Yale Bowl, Dow said, including Nancy Barry, 30, of Salem, Mass., who was killed.

Yale graduate student Sarah Short, 31, of New Haven remained hospitalized Sunday with leg injuries.

Elizabeth Dernbach, 23, a Harvard employee originally from Naples, Fla., was treated for her injuries Saturday and released.

Ross passed a field sobriety test after the collision Saturday, and police said he has been cooperative in their investigation. No charges had been filed.

MADRID

Spain tilts to the right as voters oust Socialists

Spain’s center-right conservatives swept into power and into an economic hot seat Sunday as voters enduring 21.5 percent unemployment dumped the ruling Socialist government.

The vote in the country with the eurozone’s highest jobless rate and a center-stage spot in Europe’s debt crisis saga came as the continent’s troubles cause financial havoc across the globe. And the victory for Spain’s Popular Party came just after financially troubled Greece and Italy saw their governments fall.

As thousands of cheering supporters gathered outside party headquarters, future Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy urged Spaniards of all political stripes to work together to overcome the crisis.

But Rajoy, 56, gave no hints of how he will tackle Spain’s unemployment nightmare. So far, he has only promised tax cuts for small and medium-size companies that make up more than 90 percent of all businesses in Spain.

– From news service reports