Ranger from Pa. among 4 killed
CARLISLE, Pa. -- An Army Ranger from Carlisle who tried to aid a wounded comrade was among four soldiers killed last week in Afghanistan, military officials said Tuesday.
Sgt. Patrick C. Hawkins, 25, was killed Oct. 6 when enemy forces attacked his unit with an improvised explosive in the Zhari District of Kandahar Province. Sgt. Hawkins was assigned to the 3rd Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment at Fort Benning, Ga.
In a statement, the U.S. Army Special Operations Command said Sgt. Hawkins was posthumously awarded the Bronze Star Medal, Meritorious Service Medal and Purple Heart.
Also killed in the attack were 24-year-old Pfc. Cody J. Patterson of Philomath, Ore.; 25-year-old 1st Lt. Jennifer M. Moreno of San Diego; and Sgt. Joseph M. Peters, 24, of Springfield, Mo.
Special Guantanamo envoy
WASHINGTON -- Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel named a veteran Capitol Hill lawyer Tuesday to rejuvenate the Pentagon's flagging efforts to close the military prison at Guantanamo Bay.
Paul Lewis, a Democratic lawyer for the House Armed Services Committee and a former judge advocate in the Marine Corps, will take the Pentagon's newly created job of special envoy for Guantanamo closure. He will start Nov. 1.
Mr. Lewis will work with Clifford Sloan, who holds a similar post in the State Department, to revive the administration's attempts to empty the prison at Guantanamo, which holds 164 inmates who were captured overseas after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.
President Barack Obama promised to close the U.S. detention facility in Cuba during his first campaign for president, in 2008, and has repeated the pledge multiple times since, most recently in May, when he announced that he would create special-envoy positions in the State and Defense departments to press the issue. But his efforts have been blocked by Congress, which has prevented him from transferring Guantanamo inmates to prisons in the United States and imposed other obstacles.
Samsung ban upheld
WASHINGTON -- In another blow to Samsung Electronics in its continuing patent disputes with Apple, the Obama administration has decided to uphold a ban requested by Apple of some of Samsung's mobile products.
Michael Froman, the U.S. trade representative, said in a statement that he had decided to allow the ban to proceed after "weighing policy considerations, including the impact on consumers and competition, advice from agencies and information from interested parties."
The ban, which was ordered by the International Trade Commission, was issued in August after the agency determined that Samsung had violated two Apple patents. The Obama administration could have vetoed the ruling, as it did in August with a ban ordered on Apple's products.
NSA center's electrical woes
WASHINGTON -- A $1.2 billion data center being built in Utah for the National Security Agency to house U.S. intelligence secrets has been plagued by electrical failures, according to an agency official.
The electrical failures at the facility in suburban Salt Lake City have been mitigated and the center is completing acceptance testing, the official, who asked not to be identified, said in an email. The problems were reported earlier by the Wall Street Journal.
The causes of the center's problems, which include 10 electrical meltdowns in the past 13 months, have destroyed hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of machinery and delayed its opening by a year, according to the Wall Street Journal.
Also in the nation ...
Voter support for legal marijuana in Washington and Colorado is spurring similar campaigns in California and three other states that together may bring pot within lawful reach of nearly 1 in 5 Americans. ... School bus drivers in Boston took parents and city officials by surprise Tuesday morning with a work stoppage that left thousands of the city's 33,000 school children stranded at home or at bus stops. ... A southeastern Minnesota mink ranch had hundreds of its animals set loose in the dead of night on Sunday as part of a multistate assault by animal rights activists on an industry that serves a well-to-do clientele; hundreds of mink were released from their cages last month on a Cambria County farm.
First Published October 8, 2013 8:00 PM