Joint Chiefs chairman says unit not told to stand down
The chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff said Wednesday that four members of Army special forces in Tripoli were never told to stand down after last year’s deadly assault on the U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi, Libya, disputing a former top diplomat’s claim that the unit might have helped Americans under siege.
Army Gen. Martin Dempsey said timing and the need for the unit to help with casualties from Benghazi resulted in orders for the special forces to remain in Tripoli. Four Americans, including U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens, died in two separate attacks several hours apart on the night of Sept. 11.
Gregory Hicks, a former diplomat in Tripoli at the time of the attack, told a House panel last month that the unit was told to stand down.
Dempsey said that was not the case. “They were told that the mission they were asked to perform was not in Benghazi, but was at Tripoli airport.”
Two workers left dangling pulled inside from 44th floor
Two maintenance workers left dangling from a broken scaffold near the top of a New York City skyscraper were rescued Wednesday at the 600-foot Hearst building in midtown Manhattan.
Fire department officials said workers cut open windows on the 44th floor and pulled the men inside to safety. The workers and a firefighter moved slowly from the scaffold to the opening.
The fire department said it seems one of the scaffold’s three motors failed.
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo.
Three raging wildfires spark evacuation of 8,000 people
Three Colorado wildfires fueled by hot temperatures, gusty winds and thick, bone-dry forests have together burned dozens of homes and led to the evacuation of more than 7,000 residents and nearly 1,000 inmates at medium-security prison.
Wildfires also were burning in New Mexico, Oregon and California, where a smoke jumper was killed fighting one of dozens of lightning-sparked fires.
The U.S. Forest Service announced Wednesday it is mobilizing a pair of Defense Department cargo planes to drop slurry on the blazes. Such action can’t be taken unless all of the Forest Service’s contracted tankers already are in use.
SIOUX FALLS, S.D.
Beef processor’s lawsuit ordered back to state court
A federal judge has moved a South Dakota beef processing company’s lawsuit against ABC News back to state court.
Beef Products Inc. sued ABC News Inc. for defamation over its coverage of a meat product that critics dub “pink slime.” The company seeks $1.2 billion in damages.
ABC argued that two of the companies listed in the lawsuit, BPI Technology Inc. and Freezing Machines Inc., are not true parties and the case should be thrown out.
But BPI argued the companies have a stake in the product called lean, finely textured beef.
— From news service reports