AP sources: CIA Director David Petraeus quits over extramarital affair with his biographer
WASHINGTON (AP) — David Petraeus, the retired four-star general renowned for taking charge of the military campaigns in Iraq and then Afghanistan, abruptly resigned Friday as director of the CIA, admitting to an extramarital affair.
The affair was discovered during an FBI investigation, according to officials briefed on the developments. They spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to publicly discuss the matter.
Petraeus carried on the affair with his biographer and reserve Army officer Paula Broadwell, according to several U.S. officials with knowledge of the situation. They spoke anonymously because they were not authorized to discuss the investigation that led to the resignation publicly.
The FBI discovered the relationship by monitoring Petraeus' emails, after being alerted Broadwell may have had access to his personal email account, two of the officials said.
Broadwell did not respond to voice mail or email messages seeking comment.
Acclaimed years in Iraq marked highlight of Petraeus' legendary Army career
WASHINGTON (AP) — At the close of his time commanding U.S. forces in Iraq, at the height of a legendary military career, Gen. David Petraeus was lauded by his boss, then-Defense Secretary Robert Gates, as "one of our nation's great battle captains."
The depth of admiration for Petraeus' decades of accomplishment in uniform make it all the more remarkable that barely a year after retiring to head the CIA he resigned in disgrace over an extramarital affair.
Often talked about as a potential Republican presidential candidate in the mold of another popular war hero, Dwight D. Eisenhower, Petraeus built a reputation during 37 years in the Army as a skilled and personable leader with a penchant for publicity.
An ambitious soldier whose childhood nickname was "Peaches," he rose quickly through the ranks after graduating from the West Point military academy in 1974.
Shrewd, articulate, competitive — Petraeus built an exceptional record of accomplishment in the Army.
Obama calls for wealthy to pay more in taxes, says election showed nation wants his approach
WASHINGTON (AP) — An economic calamity looming, President Barack Obama on Friday signaled willingness to compromise with Republicans, declaring he was not "wedded to every detail" of his tax-and-spending approach to prevent deep and widespread pain in the new year. But he insisted his re-election gave him a mandate to raise taxes on wealthier Americans.
"The majority of Americans agree with my approach," said Obama, brimming with apparent confidence in his first White House statement since securing a second term.
Trouble is, the Republicans who run the House plainly do not agree with his plans. Speaker John Boehner insisted that raising tax rates as Obama wants "will destroy jobs in America."
So began the "fiscal cliff" political maneuvering that will determine which elected power center — the White House or the House — bends more on its promises to voters. The outcome will affect tens of millions of Americans, given that the tax hikes and budgets cuts set to kick in Jan. 1 could spike unemployment and bring on a new recession.
An exhausting presidential race barely history, Washington was back quickly to governing on deadline, with agreement on a crucial goal but divisions on how to get there. The campaign is over, but another has just begun.
Gas shortage forces storm-battered NYC to ration for 1st time since 1970s, fraying nerves
NEW YORK (AP) — A gasoline shortage caused by Superstorm Sandy forced 1970s-era rationing on New Yorkers Friday, adding a fuel-gauge obsession to their frayed nerves and dwindling patience.
"I take passenger, I look at gas. I take another passenger, I look at gas," said New York City taxi driver Shi Shir K. Roy. "Tension all the time."
Though rationing that allowed private motorists to fill up only every other day seemed to help with gas lines, it didn't answer motorists' questions about why they had been waiting for days in hourslong lines to fuel up. The confusion led some, like Angel Ventura, to panic.
Ventura, who drives a delivery van for a camera rental company, has taken to hunting for gasoline every time his gauge drops below a quarter of a tank. "It makes me crazy, thinking I might hit empty and not be able to find it," he said.
As drivers waited on police-monitored lines, thousands more in the region got their power back for the first time since Sandy came ashore 12 days ago. More than 420,000 customers were still without power in New Jersey and the New York City area. President Barack Obama, who visited the battered Jersey coast two days after the storm, said he would survey the damage in New York next week from the storm, which the American Red Cross said will create its largest U.S. relief effort since Hurricane Katrina in 2005.
Why is it still tough to get gasoline? Questions and answers on the crisis in NY, NJ
NEW YORK (AP) — Many drivers in New York and New Jersey are still struggling to find gasoline nearly two weeks after Superstorm Sandy battered the region's energy infrastructure. To help alleviate long lines at service stations, a gas rationing plan that lets motorists fill up every other day went into effect in New York on Friday. New Jersey instituted a similar plan last week. Local officials say the long waits have caused some panic-buying and hoarding among drivers.
Some questions and answers about the gasoline situation:
Q: Why is it still so difficult to get gas in New York and New Jersey?
A: Imagine the energy infrastructure as a giant hose pumping gas to drivers' cars. There are still major kinks that are slowing down delivery. A key New Jersey refinery remains closed. Gas terminals in both states are shut or operating at reduced capacity. Lines at gas stations have been made longer by drivers topping off their tanks. And many stations remain without power.
Q: What are the biggest kinks right now?
A turning point? Colorado, Washington await federal response to recreational pot measures
DENVER (AP) — Should marijuana be treated like alcohol? Or should it remain in the same legal category as heroin and the most dangerous drugs? Votes this week by Colorado and Washington to allow adult marijuana possession have prompted what could be a turning point in the nation's conflicted and confusing war on drugs.
Colorado's governor and attorney general spoke by phone Friday with U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, with no signal whether the U.S. Justice Department would sue to block the marijuana measures. Both states are holding off on plans to regulate and tax the drug while waiting to see whether the Justice Department would assert federal authority over drug law.
Meanwhile, prosecutors in Washington's largest counties dropped all pending misdemeanor cases of marijuana possession Friday in response to that state's vote to legalize the drug.
The Obama administration has largely turned a blind eye to the 17 states that currently flout federal drug law by allowing people with certain medical conditions to use pot, something that is banned under federal law.
A spokesman for Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper said during Friday's talks, state officials asked Holder for the federal government's response to the marijuana vote but didn't get one.
Arrest made in rape of mentally disabled woman on Los Angeles County bus
LOS ANGELES (AP) — For 10 agonizing minutes, an 18-year-old mentally disabled woman was raped in the back of a Los Angeles County bus at rush hour as it rolled past a state park, shopping mall and cemetery while no one on board did anything to stop it.
Surveillance video shot on the bus showed the attack and helped deputies nab a suspect, but it also showed that the driver and all but one of the few passengers aboard didn't seem to notice what was going on.
"The victim told our detective that she was shocked and didn't know what to do and was in fear for her safety and for her life," said Sgt. Dan Scott of the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department.
The one passenger who appeared to try to get the driver's attention in the video left the bus without saying anything and police were still trying to track him down.
Kerry Trotter, 20, was arrested thanks to an anonymous tip by someone who saw an image from the surveillance camera that was publicly released.
BBC apologizes for airing discredited abuse report, suspends investigations at 'Newsnight'
LONDON (AP) — For the last month, the BBC has been heavily criticized for not airing allegations of child sex abuse committed by one of its star hosts, the late Jimmy Savile. Now it is in crisis because it did broadcast claims against a former senior politician that turned out to be wrong.
In a humiliating retreat for one of the world's leading broadcasters, the BBC apologized Friday for airing a report featuring accusations from a child abuse victim which the victim later retracted.
The BBC also said it was suspending investigations at "Newsnight" — its premiere investigative program. That's the same show under investigation for not airing a report on Savile.
Friday's apology stems from a BBC report aired last week that indicated there were child abuse allegations against an unnamed senior politician from the Margaret Thatcher era. The network did not name the politician, but Internet chatter identified him as Alistair McAlpine, a Conservative Party member of the House of Lords.
Angry about the rumors, McAlpine came forward Friday to denounce the claims as completely false. His accuser, abuse victim Steve Messham, then apologized and said he had identified the wrong man.
European leaders take important steps to ease crisis, end sense of panic in financial markets
FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) — The worst of Europe's financial crisis appears to be over.
European leaders have taken steps to ease the panic that has plagued the region for three turbulent years. Financial markets are no longer in a state of emergency over Europe's high government debts and weak banks. And this gives politicians from the 17 countries that use the euro breathing room to fix their remaining problems.
Threats remain in Greece and Spain, and Europe's economy is forecast to get worse before it gets better. But an imminent breakup of the euro now seems unlikely, analysts say.
"We are probably well beyond the worst," says Holger Schmieding, chief economist at Berenberg Bank in London. He says occasional flare-ups in financial markets are likely, but "coming waves of turmoil will be less severe."
Evidence that Europe has turned a corner can be found in countries' falling borrowing costs, rising stock markets and a slow but steady stabilization of the region's banking system:
Brown out: LA Lakers abruptly fire coach Mike Brown after 1-4 start, winless preseason
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Mike Brown followed an 11-time NBA champion coach with the Los Angeles Lakers, taking charge of a roster packed with aging talent and a franchise anticipating more titles.
And after just 71 regular-season games, the Lakers decided Brown wasn't the man for a pressure-packed job.
The Lakers fired their coach on Friday after a 1-4 start to his second season in charge, making one of the earliest coaching changes in NBA history.
Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak announced the surprising move several hours before the club hosted Golden State. Assistant coach Bernie Bickerstaff agreed to run the Lakers against the Warriors while the club's top brass began what's likely to be a swift search for Brown's replacement just 18 months after his hiring.
"The bottom line is that the team is not winning at the pace we expected this team to win, and we didn't see improvement," Kupchak said at the Lakers' training complex in El Segundo.