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In our news wrap Monday, Ahmed Abu Khattala pleaded not guilty to U.S. charges related to the 2012 attack on the American consulate in Benghazi. Also, despite a cease-fire announced between the Nigerian government and Boko Haram, fighting continued over the weekend. The military reported that at least 25 militants were killed.
At least 43 people were killed in Iraq today in a new round of suicide and car bombings. The targets were mainly Shiite communities in Baghdad and Karbala. In one of the attacks, the bomber blew himself up as worshipers were leaving a mosque after midday prayers in Central Baghdad. At least 17 people died there. In all, more than 200 Iraqis have been killed in just a week's time. Islamic State forces have claimed many of the attacks.
A Libyan militant has pleaded not guilty to U.S. charges stemming from the 2012 Benghazi attacks. Ahmed Abu Khattala entered the plea today in federal court in Washington. He faces an 18-count indictment. If convicted, he could get the death penalty. The Benghazi attacks killed U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans.
In Nigeria, Friday's announcement of a cease-fire with Boko Haram insurgents appeared increasingly shaky. Fighting continued throughout the weekend, and army officers reported at least 25 militants were killed overnight in Damboa in the country's northeast. Meanwhile, talks are supposed to resume tomorrow on freeing more than 200 schoolgirls kidnapped by Boko Haram in April.
Indonesia swore in a new leader today. Joko Widodo completed his rise from the slums of Java to become president of the world's fourth most populous country. The 53-year-old was inaugurated at the presidential palace in Jakarta. He called for unity to achieve economic growth.
PRESIDENT JOKO WIDODO, Indonesia (through interpreter):
To the fishermen, the workers, the farmers, the merchants, the meatball soup sellers, the hawkers, the drivers, the academics, the laborers, the soldiers, the police, the entrepreneurs, and the professionals, I say, let us all work hard, together, shoulder to shoulder, because this is an historic moment. We need to move together to work, work and work.
About 50,000 people attended a street party outside the inauguration, and Widodo rode through it, flashing victory signs and shaking hands with well-wishers.
There's word today that dozens of alleged Nazi war criminals and S.S. guards have collected millions of dollars in Social Security benefits since 1979. The Associated Press investigated men who entered the U.S. after World War II, then fled years later. The report said the Justice Department encouraged them to go by using a legal loophole that allowed them keep their benefits. The Social Security administration had no immediate comment.
It also turns out thousands of federal employees accused of misconduct are earning millions of dollars in paid leave. The Washington Post reports the Government Accountability Office found more than 57,000 workers were kept home for a month or longer and paid $775 million over a three-year period. The workers also kept accruing vacation days and pension earnings.
Last week's turmoil on Wall Street gave way to relative calm today. Stocks managed small gains after mostly strong corporate earnings overcame disappointing results from IBM. The Dow Jones industrial average gained 19 points to close at 16,399; the Nasdaq rose 57 points to close at 4,316; and the S&P 500 added 17 to finish at 1,904.
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