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First Posted: 2:11 pm - June 25th, 2015

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First Posted: 7/11/2013

HARRISBURG

Spanier suing Freeh, claiming libel, defamation

Penn State’s former president Graham Spanier initiated a libel and defamation case Thursday against Louis Freeh, the former FBI director who a year ago produced a report for the school that was highly critical of Spanier’s role in the child sex abuse scandal involving longtime assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky.

Paperwork filed in Centre County, where the school is located, disclosed little about the nature of his claims but checked off a box on a court system form that described the case as “slander/libel/defamation.”

The filing was made one day before the one-year anniversary of Freeh’s report, which concluded that Spanier, late coach Joe Paterno and other high-ranking Penn State administrators failed to protect children against Sandusky.

Calls and emails seeking comment from Freeh and from Spanier lawyer Elizabeth Ainslie were not returned. Along with Freeh, the paperwork also names as a defendant the law firm where Freeh works.

Spanier was forced out as president and later was charged as part of an alleged cover-up of complaints about Sandusky. A school spokesman said Thursday Spanier remains a faculty member on administrative leave.

DAMASCUS, Syria

Assad gloats about Morsi’s fall

Arab identity is back on the right track after the fall from power of Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood, which had used religion for its own political gain, Syrian President Bashar Assad said in remarks published Thursday.

Assad’s comments to the Al-Baath newspaper, the mouthpiece of his ruling Baath party, came a week after Egypt’s military ousted Islamist President Mohammed Morsi as millions took to the streets to urge his removal. Morsi was Egypt’s first freely elected president.

Assad is facing an insurgency at home and has refused to step down, calling the revolt an international conspiracy carried out by Islamic extremists and fundamentalist groups.

His comments mark the second time in a week that he has gloated publically about Morsi’s fall.

THE HAGUE, Netherlands

Judges reinstate genocide charge

Appeals judges at the United Nations’ Yugoslav war crimes tribunal have reinstated a genocide charge against Radovan Karadzic linked to a campaign of killing and mistreating non-Serbs at the start of the Bosnian war in 1992.

The decision Thursday reversed the former Bosnian Serb leader’s acquittal last year on one of the two genocide charges he faces.

Presiding Judge Theodor Meron says appeals judges believe that prosecution evidence presented at Karadzic’s trial “could indicate that Karadzic possessed genocidal intent.”

Thursday’s ruling will likely further draw out his long-running trial on 10 other charges including another genocide count for allegedly masterminding the 1995 Srebrenica massacre.

UNITED NATIONS

Russia defends Syrian government

Russia is accusing the U.S., Britain and France of intentionally making a large number of groundless allegations of chemical weapons use in Syria in order to complicate efforts to arrange a U.N. investigation.

Russia’s U.N. Ambassador Vitaly Churkin made the accusation Thursday following an announcement that Swedish chemical weapons expert Ake Sellstrom and U.N. disarmament chief Angela Kane will head to Damascus at the Syrian government’s invitation, to discuss terms of a possible investigation.

Churkin also disputed a U.S. State Department statement that Russia, Syria’s closest ally, is blocking an investigation. He insisted that Russia has promoted an investigation of “credible allegations” and stressed that a decision on a probe is up to the Syrian government and the U.N. secretary-general — not Moscow.

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