Clinton ill, won’t testify on Benghazi

Shorter Question Everything

Cue up the next right wing freak out!
Unwell, Clinton will miss Benghazi questioning: The State Department said Saturday that after suffering from a stomach virus, Secretary Hillary Clinton fainted from dehydration and sustained a concussion. Clinton was expected to meet with Syrian rebels in Morocco on Wednesday, after President Obama said the United States would formally recognize opposition groups as a legitimate authority. Deputy Secretary of State William Burns instead replaced Clinton on the trip. Clinton was scheduled to appear before committees in both the House and Senate this coming week, to testify on the attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya from September. Clinton instead will be replaced by Deputy Secretaries Burns and Thomas Nides.

President Barack Obama has chosen Senator John Kerry to succeed Hillary Clinton as US secretary of state, news networks CNN and ABC reported. CNN on Saturday cited a Democratic source who had spoken to Kerry, while ABC mentioned unnamed sources. Asked for comment by AFP, the White House did not immediately confirm the reports, but Kerry is seen as a frontrunner for the role. The defeated 2004 Democratic presidential candidate, Kerry is currently head of the powerful Senate Foreign Relations committee.

• Less than a day after the tragic shooting in Sandy Hook, Connecticut that claimed the lives of 20 children and six adults, members of the Westboro Baptist Church are already announcing plans to protest during and after President Obama’a visit on Sunday. The hate group is best known for its protest of the funerals of U.S. service members. “Westboro will picket Sandy Hook Elementary School to sing praise to God for the glory of his work in executing his judgment,” Shirley Phelps-Roper, a member of the church, tweeted.

Authorities in Orange County said some 50 shots were fired outside a mall in Newport Beach, Calif., during the busy Christmas shopping season Saturday, a day after a mass shooting in Connecticut had the nation in mourning and again debating gun control. A 42-year-old man was in custody after the sound of gunshots at Fashion Island caused near-pandemonium, according to shoppers. No one was injured, authorities said. Newport Beach police said the gunman fired some 50 rounds into the air and at the ground in a parking lot outside the Macy’s at the upscale mall at about 4:30 p.m. The shopping center was placed on lockdown. As mall patrons scrambled into hiding places and shop employees rushed to close doors, officers on bike patrol arrested 42-year-old Marcos Sarinana Gurrola of Garden Grove without incident.

The final report from the public inquiry that examined the case of serial killer Robert Pickton will be released Monday in Vancouver.

A top Iranian military commander warned Turkey on Saturday against stationing NATO anti-missile systems on its territory, saying such a move risks conflict with Syria. The remarks by army chief of staff Gen. Hassan Firouzabadi were carried on state TV the day after the Pentagon announced it will send two batteries of Patriot missiles and 400 troops to Turkey as part of a larger NATO force to protect Turkish territory from potential Syrian missile attacks.

• With one day of voting on a contentious new constitution completed, Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi’s Muslim Brotherhood backers claimed early Sunday that a majority of Egyptians had voted in favor of the draft charter.

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