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Oct. 12, 2012 at 5:35 PM
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Carney: Biden was right on consulate

WASHINGTON, Oct. 12 (UPI) -- White House spokesman Jay Carney Friday backed the vice president's statement he and the president never were briefed about security at the Benghazi consulate.

In his debate Thursday night with Republican vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan, Vice President Joe Biden said, "We weren't told they wanted more security" at the consulate in Benghazi, Libya, where U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three others were killed in a Sept. 11 attack.

"Matters of security personnel are appropriately discussed and decided upon at the State Department by those responsible for it," Carney told reporters during the daily White House briefing.

"Obviously, it is the case that everyone responsible for national security in this administration and those I believe who are knowledgeable about it on Capitol Hill have long been aware of the fact that Libya is a dangerous place."

During a hearing this week before the House Committee on Oversight and Government, former regional security officer Eric A. Nordstrom and Army Special Forces security team commander Lt. Col. Andrew Wood testified numerous requests were made to beef up security in Libya but the requests were denied.

Hundreds hurt in rival protests in Cairo

CAIRO, Oct. 12 (UPI) -- Hundreds of people were injured Friday when fighting broke out between rival groups of protesters in Cairo's Tahrir Square, emergency medical workers said.

Demonstrators initially gathered for "Accountability Friday," organized by more than 21 political groups to protest what they consider President Mohamed Morsi's failure to fulfill promises about democracy and social justice, Ahram Online reported.

Fighting broke out after supporters of Morsi's Muslim Brotherhood party protested a Cairo Criminal Court decision Wednesday -- to acquit officials in the regime of ousted President Hosni Mubarak of charges they were behind the February 2011 Battle of the Camel in which 21 people were killed and hundreds injured.

An emergency medical official in Tahrir Square told Ahram Online about 100 people had been hospitalized Friday, mostly for treatment of head injuries, and "hundreds more" sustained other injuries.

Molotov cocktails and rocks were thrown and some demonstrators were shot with pellets. Leftist activist Kamal Khalil said Muslim Brotherhood demonstrators had fired the pellets.

"Our members haven't attacked anyone, the people fighting are supporters of the president," Brotherhood spokesman Mahmoud Ghozlan said.

Mohamed Waked of the National Front for Justice and Democracy posted a message on Twitter saying supporters of Morsi destroyed a stage and sound system that had been set up by Hamdeen Sabbahi's Popular Current, Ahram Online reported.

Turkey reroutes planes to avoid Syria

ANKARA, Turkey, Oct. 12 (UPI) -- Turkey Friday began diverting civilian planes to avoid Syrian airspace, officials said.

Turkey decided to reroute planes because it considers Syrian airspace unsafe, CNN reported. Passengers traveling to Saudi Arabia will be most affected.

Planes, which used to fly to Jeddah over Aleppo and Hatay Kamisli, will use airspace belonging to Jordan and the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus.

Meanwhile, Russian President Vladimir Putin canceled a trip to Turkey after Ankara forced down a passenger jet that originated in Moscow it alleged carried military equipment and ammunition destined for the embattled Syrian regime.

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan denied the cancellation of a trip set for Sunday was related to Wednesday's grounding of a Syrian Air A-320 Airbus jetliner with 35 passengers en route to Damascus.

A Putin spokesman told the Interfax news agency the visit could be rescheduled for Dec. 3.

Erdogan visited Moscow in June to discuss the Syrian crisis.

185 sick with meningitis, Minn. woman sues

ATLANTA, Oct. 12 (UPI) -- Health officials said Friday the number of meningitis cases grew to 185 in 12 states with 14 deaths, while a Minnesota woman filed one of the first lawsuits.

Jeff Montpetit said his client, Barbe Puro, of Savage, Minn., filed a lawsuit against the New England Compounding Center alleging the four steroid injections she received in mid-September caused her to suffer a dramatic rise in headaches and nausea, the Star Tribune newspaper in Minneapolis reported.

Montpetit said Puro was told by the Minnesota Health Department that there was a high probability that she was given the tainted steroid, although she hasn't been diagnosed with meningitis, the Star Tribune said.

The diagnosis of meningitis can only be made by a spinal puncture -- spinal tap -- in which a thin needle draws fluid surrounding the spinal cord and the brain. The Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta advised patients who have been injected with the steroid and physicians to closely watch for symptoms for several months following the injection.

Mystery giant eyeball found on Fla. beach

POMPANO BEACH, Fla., Oct. 12 (UPI) -- A giant eyeball that washed up on a Florida beach this week is probably that of a large squid, wildlife experts said of the softball-size peeper.

The mysterious eye washed up on Pompano Beach where it was found by a beachcomber who gave it to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission on Wednesday, National Geographic reported.

FWCC scientists put the impressive eye on ice and forwarded it to the Fish and Wildlife Research Institute in St. Petersburg, Fla.

Commission spokeswoman Carli Segelson said researchers would use genetic testing to determine what kind of creature the eye came from.

Robert L. Pitman, a marine biologist with the National Marine Fisheries Service in La Jolla, Calif., who was sent a picture of the eyeball, said he could offer a likely suspect.

"It probably is a squid eye -- other things with eyes that big (fish, cetaceans) have them imbedded in hard tissue. Squid eyes are in relatively soft tissue and more likely to dislodge as in the photo you sent. A quick DNA analysis could easily sort it out for you," Pitman said in an email message to the National Geographic.

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