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  |   Jan. 23, 2013 at 12:07 PM
McCain blasts Clinton on Libya

WASHINGTON, Jan. 23 (UPI) -- U.S. Sen. John McCain blasted the administration and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton Wednesday for what he called a failure to help Libya fight terror.

Clinton was appearing before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee to answer questions about the terror attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi.

McCain, R-Ariz., said there were plenty of warnings leading up to the Sept. 11 attack on the anniversary of the 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, but "with all these warnings, we didn't have a single Defense Department" force to come to the aid of the consulate in the event of an attack.

"I categorically reject your answers [about the events leading up to the Benghazi attack and the U.S. response]. ... The American people deserve answers and they certainly don't deserve false answers," McCain said

Clinton told McCain they would have to disagree on the facts, but, "Since March 11 congressional holds have been placed for many months on aid to Libya. ... We've got to get our act together between the administration and the Congress."

The secretary also had to handle highly critical questions from Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky.

Clinton told the panel every crisis should not be turned into a political football, but everyone should "be smart about this" and seek to prevent such tragedies in the future.

Clinton also told the Senate panel Ambassador Susan Rice did not mislead the public about the Libyan terror attack.


French exchange student missing in Sweden

BLEKINGE, Sweden, Jan. 23 (UPI) -- A 23-year-old French exchange student who disappeared in southern Sweden nearly two weeks ago may have been kidnapped, police said.

Samuel Babin, a student at the Blekinge Institute of Technology, was last seen January 11 in a laundry room, Sweden's The Local.se reported Wednesday.

Blekinge County police said they haven't been able to trace Babin's mobile phone and no withdrawals have been made from his bank account.

Authorities now believe foul play may be involved in his disappearance and a kidnapping investigation has been launched.

Tuesday, Missing People Sweden and police went to Dragso Island on the outskirts of Karlskrona, a camping and recreation area Babin was fond of.

A search of the island's woods and beaches failed to turn up any trace of the missing student, police said.


Drug addicts holding two hostages at bank

PHNOM PENH, Cambodia, Jan. 23 (UPI) -- Two gunmen are holding two employees hostage at a bank in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, demanding methamphetamine in an ongoing standoff, police said Wednesday.

The attackers initially took three hostages Tuesday evening, but police did not know of the situation until one hostage escaped early Wednesday morning, The Phnom Penh Post reported.

"We gave them ice [crystal methamphetamine], but only a small packet, and now we don't have more," said provincial military police Cmdr. Var Sarith. "We gave them food and water, but they refused to eat. They need drugs."

Police said they heard snippets of conversation between the two men. One was heard saying, "If they shoot at us, we shoot back."


Canadian front freezing Northeast

NEW YORK, Jan. 23 (UPI) -- Freeze warnings extended as far south as Florida Wednesday as below-zero temperatures and snow dropped into the Northeast and Great Lakes, forecasters said.

Thermometers in the District of Columbia were expected to register 10 to 17 degrees Fahrenheit, while the coldest weather in two years was expected in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut, NBC reported. Winds chills there could feel like -25 degrees.

Syracuse, N.Y., recorded up to 18 inches of snow in the first two days of the week, while Ripley, N.Y., saw almost 25 inches fall Monday and Tuesday.

The storms moving into the Northeast, known as Alberta Clippers, are moving southward from western Canada, Accuweather.com reported.

The coldest air mass, where temperatures reached -40 degrees was just north of the Great lakes over central and northern Ontario and western and central Quebec, said meteorologist Henry Margusity.

"The air just north of the Great Lakes is colder than that over the North Pole," he said.


Te'o admits lying about online girlfriend

NEW YORK, Jan. 23 (UPI) -- Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te'o told Katie Couric he briefly lied to the public about his online girlfriend after he learned she was a hoax.

Te'o, 21, gave an exclusive interview to ABC's Couric about the story that surfaced last month, saying he had been tricked into believing his online girlfriend, Lennay Kekua, had died of cancer.

"You stuck to the script. And you knew that something was amiss, Manti," Couric said.

"Katie, put yourself in my situation. I, my whole world told me she died on Sept. 12. Everybody knew that. This girl, who I committed myself to, died on Sept. 12," said Te'o, who finished second in the voting for the 2012 Heisman Trophy.

Te'o's father, Brian, who joined the interview along with his wife, tearfully defended his son.

"People can speculate about what they think he is," Brian Te'o said. "I've known him 21 years of his life, And he's not a liar. He's a kid."

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