WASHINGTON

U.S. agencies take criticism over hostage in Afghanistan

Critics of the U.S. government’s nearly five-year effort to seek the release of the only American soldier held captive in Afghanistan claim the work suffers from disorganization and poor communication among numerous federal agencies involved, leaving his captors unclear which U.S. officials have the authority to make a deal.

The shrinking U.S. military footprint in Afghanistan has refocused attention on efforts to bring home Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, of Hailey, Idaho, who has been held by the Taliban since June 30, 2009.

About two dozen officials at the State and Defense departments, the military’s U.S. Central Command, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, U.S. Special Operations Command, the CIA and FBI are working the case – most of them doing it alongside their other duties, a defense official said.

MONTGOMERY, Pa.

Teens accused in killing of pet donkey called Eeyore

Three central Pennsylvania teenagers have been accused of fatally shooting a pet donkey on an Amish family’s farm.

WNEP-TV says the boys were charged Thursday, about a week after the donkey was shot 18 times on the Clinton Township farm in Lycoming County.

Amos Yoder and his family have lots of animals. But he says the 6-year-old Jerusalem miniature donkey named Eeyore was his children’s pet.

Yoder says the children would take turns riding Eeyore and the neighborhood children would pet him on their way to school.

Two 15-year-old boys and a 16-year-old boy are charged with cruelty to animals and weapons violations. State police say the teenagers each shot Eeyore six times.

The teens also admit shooting several deer. Additional charges will be filed by the Pennsylvania Game Commission.

– From news service reports