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In brief


December 11. 2013 11:31PM


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BERLIN


Crane collapses


supermarket, 1 dead


A building crane collapsed Wednesday onto a supermarket in western Germany, killing one person and injuring at least five others, police said.


Rescuers were struggling to comb through the wreckage of the Aldi supermarket in the town of Bad Homburg, near Frankfurt, because parts of the building remained at risk of collapse, police said in a statement.


The crane fell onto the checkout area of the Aldi supermarket shortly before noon, Bad Homburg police spokesman Siegfried Schlott told The Associated Press.


It had been stationed at a construction site next door.


BAGRAM AIR FIELD, Afghanistan


General warns of


risks of pullout


America’s top military officer warned the withdrawal of most U.S. and allied forces from Afghanistan by the end of next year could reverse gains made in the war against the Taliban and further destabilize the region.


But Gen. Martin Dempsey, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said the U.S. has no plans to reopen negotiations on the hard-won text. Dempsey said he hasn’t started planning for a so-called “zero-option,” but he may have to soon if Hamid Karzai doesn’t change his mind and sign the deal.


Much is at stake. Afghan security forces are still struggling against a resilient insurgency despite billions of dollars spent on training during nearly 13 years at war. Instability in Afghanistan, the world’s largest illicit producer of raw opium, could also impact the region as far away as Russia. Such concerns, Dempsey said, are what make Afghanistan important to America and its allies despite waning interest in the conflict at home.


PHILADELPHIA


Family sues over


missing Marine heart


The parents of a Marine whose body came back from Greece missing his heart amended their federal lawsuit Wednesday to add the Greek government and an Athens hospital as defendants.


Craig and Beverly LaLoup, of Coatesville, are also suing the U.S. Department of Defense over the remains of 21-year-old Sgt. Brian LaLoup.


The Defense Department doesn’t comment on pending litigation. Messages were left with the Greek government and state-run Evangelismos General Hospital.


LaLoup, who was assigned to a security detail at the embassy, had told a colleague he was suicidal over a breakup. The parents believe a Marine supervisor knew about his mindset, but instead of getting help, took him out for drinks. Their lawsuit alleges their son was allowed to get a weapon from a storage area later that night, despite his mood and level of intoxication, and shot himself.


BEIRUT


Aid to Syrian


groups stopped


The U.S. and Britain said Wednesday they were suspending deliveries to rebels in northern Syria of nonlethal aid such as communications equipment and laptops after some of the gear was seized by Islamic militants.


The decision reflected fears of the growing strength of al-Qaida-linked forces among the rebels in the civil war, complicating the West’s goal of bolstering the moderate opposition and persuading President Bashar Assad to step down.


Humanitarian aid such as food and blankets would not be affected, officials said, as a blustery storm dumped snow and torrential rain in the region and plunged temperatures below freezing, heaping more misery on refugees inside and outside Syria.




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