ALGIERS, Algeria, Jan. 21 (UPI) -- At least three Americans were among 37 hostages killed in the Algerian natural gas plant takeover, a U.S. official said Monday.
"We can now confirm the death of three U.S. citizens in the terrorist attack in Algeria: Victor Lynn Lovelady, Gordon Lee Rowan and Frederick Buttaccio," U.S. State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said.
"We extend our deepest condolences to their families and friends. Out of respect for the families' privacy, we have no further comment. We are also aware of seven U.S. citizens who survived the attack. Due to privacy considerations, we have no further information to provide.
"As the president said, the blame for this tragedy rests with the terrorists who carried it out, and the United States condemns their actions in the strongest possible terms. We will continue to work closely with the government of Algeria to gain a fuller understanding of the terrorist attack of last week and how we can work together moving forward to combat such threats in the future."
Nuland did not provide hometowns for the victims.
Algerian Prime Minister Abdelmalek Sellal said in a televised news conference Monday the known hostage death toll was 37 victims from eight countries, with five people missing, all of them foreigners. Twenty-nine kidnappers also died.
130+ cars crash in 2 Ohio pileups
CHICAGO, Jan. 21 (UPI) -- A snow squall in Cincinnati Monday slickened roads and blinded motorists, triggering two massive pileups that left a 12-year-old girl dead, authorities said.
The crashes on Interstates 275 and 75 also left about 20 people injured, The Cincinnati Enquirer reported.
The pileup on I-275 took place about 11:30 a.m. and involved at least 87 cars and trucks by the time it was over. The highway was closed for hours.
"It was just chaos, absolute chaos," Lt. Tory Smith of the Hamilton County Sheriff's Office told the Enquirer.
The newspaper said the unidentified 12-year-old girl died when she got out of her car after the accident and was struck by a steel guardrail cable that snapped after being hit by a car.
Up to 50 vehicles were part of the I-75 pileup that occurred about the same time.
While the squall left no more than an inch of snow, an Ohio Highway Patrol spokeswoman said it created "whiteout" conditions.
Many people in the U.S. Midwest faced icy winds that caused power outages and wind chills near 50 below zero Monday, officials said.
Catholic hierarchy hid priests' sex abuse
LOS ANGELES, Jan. 21 (UPI) -- The Catholic Church hierarchy in Los Angeles strategized how to keep child molestation by priests a secret, documents released Monday show.
The internal church documents from 1986 and 1987 reveal Archbishop Roger M. Mahony and Monsignor Thomas J. Curry, then the archdiocese's top adviser on sex abuse cases, discussed ways to keep authorities from finding out children were being sexually abused by priests, the Los Angeles Times reported.
The records, which the archdiocese fought for years to keep secret, were filed this month as evidence in a civil court case. They show Curry proposed ways to keep police from investigating three priests who had admitted to church officials they sexually abused young boys, the Times said. Curry suggested to Mahony the priests be kept from seeing therapists who might tell police and the priests be sent to other states to avoid criminal investigators, the Times said.
For example, Mahony ordered Monsignor Peter Garcia out of California "for the foreseeable future," the documents show.
"I believe that if Monsignor Garcia were to reappear here within the archdiocese we might very well have some type of legal action filed in both the criminal and civil sectors," the archbishop wrote to the director of a New Mexico treatment center for pedophile clergy in July 1986.
Morsi relies on defamation charge
CAIRO, Jan. 21 (UPI) -- Free-speech advocates said Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi has pursued more defamation cases against journalists than any leader in the past 115 years.
A report by the Arab Network for Human Rights Information said Morsi has filed 25 defamation cases since his election in June. Only 14 such cases have been filed by Egyptian leaders over the last 115 years, the group said.
Defaming a national leader is a criminal offense in Egypt, though it's rarely been invoked. Several of those charged have been sentenced to prison terms of two to five years, Egypt Independent said Monday.
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