Nation & World Watch
vWashington: Retired general faces rape charges
The Army on Friday announced rape charges against a retired general for assaults against a minor dating to the 1980s.
Retired Maj. Gen. James Grazioplene faces six charges of rape of a minor between 1983 and 1989, the Army announced. The criminal investigation remains open, according to the Army.
Grazioplene, in a brief interview by phone, declined to comment and expressed surprise that the Army had announced the charges. Grazioplene, an armor officer, retired in 2005. As a retiree, he is still subject to military law, the Uniform Code of Military Justice.
vAtlanta: Lawyers: Bridge suspect may be scapegoat
Attorneys for a homeless man charged in the Interstate 85 bridge collapse in Atlanta say they’re concerned he is being used as a “scapegoat.”
Basil Eleby’s legal team and some civil rights leaders have criticized the focus on their client. Eleby was indicted on charges of arson and criminal damage to property. Police say he was using drugs under the bridge and then lit a shopping cart on fire.
Eleby’s attorneys said the Georgia Department of Transportation should be held accountable for storing construction materials under the bridge.
vSyria: Blast reportedly kills at least 100 evacuees
Syrian rescue workers who operate in opposition areas say at least 100 people were killed in a blast that ripped through a bus depot where evacuees waited to be transferred to government areas.
The Syrian Civil Defense in Aleppo province says its volunteers removed at least 100 bodies from the scene of the blast.
The huge explosion Saturday came as a population transfer deal stalled while the government and rebels bickered over who should be evacuated.
Those killed included civilians as well as rebel fighters. The government blamed the rebels for the attack.
vItaly: World’s oldest person dies at 117
An Italian doctor says Emma Morano, at 117 the world’s oldest person, has died in her home in northern Italy.
Dr. Carlo Bava told The Associated Press that Morano’s caretaker called him to say the woman had passed away Saturday while sitting in an armchair in her home in Verbania, a town on Lake Maggiore.
Bava said he had last visited Morano on Friday. He said “she thanked me and held my hand” as usual.
Morano, born on Nov. 29, 1899, was believed to have been the last surviving person in the world who was born in the 1800s.
vAfghanistan: Deaths from US bomb rise to 94
The number of militants killed in an attack by the largest non-nuclear weapon ever used in combat by the U.S. military has risen to 94, an Afghan official said Saturday.
Ataullah Khogyani, spokesman for the provincial governor in Nangarhar, said the number of Islamic State group dead was up from the 36 reported a day earlier.A Ministry of Defense official had said Friday the number of dead could rise as officials assessed the bomb site in Achin district.
“Fortunately, there is no report of civilians being killed in the attack,” Khogyani said.
The U.S. attack on a tunnel complex in remote eastern Nangarhar province near the Pakistan border killed at least four IS group leaders, Khogyani said. He said a clearance operation to assess the site of the attack was continuing.
Villagers weep for members of their family missing after flash floods hit Chenar village in northwestern Iran on Saturday. At least 30 people are believed to have died.