WASHINGTON – President Barack Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton on Sunday urged the new Lebanese government to cooperate with a United Nations tribunal investigating the assassination of Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri.
“Ending the era of impunity for political assassinations is essential to realizing the justice and stability that the Lebanese people deserve, and any attempt to interfere with the tribunal’s work or fuel tensions within Lebanon must not be tolerated,” Obama said in a statement issued on the eve of the sixth anniversary of the car bombing that killed Hariri and 22 others.
The U.N.-backed tribunal is widely expected to accuse Hezbollah members of involvement in the 2005 killing. The Shiite militant group and its allies walked out of the previous government after then-Prime Minister Saad Hariri – the slain man’s son – refused to denounce the tribunal.
Stabbing suspect says he was set up
NEW YORK – A man accused of going on a 28-hour stabbing rampage shouted that he was the victim of a “setup” as he was led from a police station Sunday.
Surrounded by a half-dozen guards, Maksim Gelman was arraigned Sunday in Brooklyn Criminal Court on charges that he stabbed three people to death, then stalked the city for more than a day, attacking innocent strangers, hijacking vehicles and killing a pedestrian with a car.
Public defender Michael Baum, who represented Gelman at the arraignment, said he could not shed any light on Gelman’s mental state during the time police say he was committing the crimes, but he described his client Sunday evening as “calm” and “rational.”
Gelman was arraigned on charges of second-degree murder, robbery and assault in the Brooklyn attacks. He was being held without bail.
Giffords said to be mouthing songs
PHOENIX – A newspaper report says Rep. Gabrielle Giffords’ efforts to relearn how to speak include mouthing song lyrics, such as “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star,” and briefly talking with her brother-in-law by telephone while he orbited aboard the International Space Station.
The New York Times reported on its website Sunday night that Giffords has been receiving bedside briefings from aides on the uprising in Egypt and last week’s decision by Republican Sen. Jon Kyl of Arizona not to seek re-election.
Her chief of staff, Pia Carusone, says Giffords definitely understands what is being said and has been providing short, verbal responses.