A report by an independent panel examining the terrorist attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi on Sept. 11 this year faults the State Department for an overwhelming neglect of security risks at the compound. The attack on the U.S. mission in the city killed four Americans, including the U.S. ambassador to Libya, Chris Stephens.
The review, led by retired ambassador Thomas R. Pickering, found that "systemic failures and leadership and management deficiencies
at senior levels within two bureaus of the State Department ...
resulted in a Special Mission security posture that was inadequate for Benghazi
and grossly inadequate to deal with the attack that took place." According to the review, the two bureaus -- Diplomatic Security and Near Eastern Affairs -- failed to sufficiently coordinate their actions in the run-up to the attack. The report declined to name the officials at fault.
The report also confirms that prior to the attack there were no protests outside the consulate in response to an anti-Islamic video. That video was led to protesters storming the U.S. embassy in Cairo and it was initially reported that the attack in Benghazi may have also been connected to the video, a claim that was repeated by U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice on several Sunday talk shows. Those incorrect statements resulted in a firestorm of criticism that led Rice to withdraw her name from the running to become the next Secretary of State.
South Korea: Park Guen-hye was elected Wednesday as South Korea's first female president after hotly contested campaign. Park, the 60-year-old daughter of former South Korean strongman Park Chung-hee, is expected to carry out a conservative agenda similar to that of her predecessor, though she has also said she hopes to repair relations with North Korea.
- The World Bank says it has raised its forecast for Chinese economic growth.
- The United Nations has suspended its polio immunization efforts in Pakistan following attacks on health workers.
- The gang-rape and near-fatal beating of a student aboard a New Dehli bus has triggered protests across the country.
- Iraqi President Jalal Talabani suffered a stroke and is reported to be in a coma.
- The Muslim Brotherhood is planning a mass rally likely to stoke tensions ahead of Saturday's vote on Egypt's draft constitution.
- NBC's chief foreign correspondent, Richard Engel, and his television crew escaped from captivity in Syria.
- A group of Russian lawmakers are pushing for a ban on adoptions of Russian children by Americans.
- A French appeals court has declined to dismiss charges against Dominique Strauss-Kahn related to his participation in sex parties.
- An internal report has cleared the BBC of charges that it covered up a pedophilia scandal.
- A former Congolese rebel leader has been acquitted of war crimes charges at The Hague.
- In South Africa, the African National Congress has reelected Jacob Zuma as party head.
- Chad has dispatched 2,000 soldiers to help quell a rebel movement in the neighboring Central African Republic.