World/nation briefs

  • Updated: November 14, 2012 - 7:24 PM

CONNECTICUT

Mobster linked to art heist pleads guilty

A 76-year-old reputed mobster pleaded guilty in a weapons and prescription drugs case that revealed the FBI's belief he has information about the largest art heist in history. Robert Gentile entered the pleas in federal court in Hartford and faces a prison sentence of four years. During a hearing earlier this year, a federal prosecutor disclosed that the FBI believed Gentile had some involvement with stolen property related to the 1990 heist at Boston's Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in which thieves made off with works by Rembrandt, Vermeer, Degas and Manet worth more than half a billion dollars. Gentile hasn't been charged in the art heist.

WASHINGTON, D.C.

Obama signs guide to fight cyberattacks

President Obama has signed a directive that enables the military to act more aggressively to thwart cyberattacks on the nation's government and private computer networks. Presidential Policy Directive 20 establishes a broad and strict set of standards to guide the operations of federal agencies in confronting threats in cyberspace, according to several U.S. officials who have seen the classified document.

MISSISSIPPI

3 pilots flying to safety meeting die in crash

Three pilots flying to a federal safety conference died when their single-engine plane faltered in midair and crashed into a house that went up in flames. The three men had just taken off from Jackson when a witness said the Piper PA-32 began "spitting and sputtering."

ILLINOIS

Ex-comptroller pleads guilty to taking $53M

A former treasurer of Dixon pleaded guilty to fraud in federal court in Rockford for stealing $53 million from the small northwestern city over two decades. Rita Crundwell admitted to using the money to finance her quarter-horse business and a lavish lifestyle.

AFGHANISTAN

Afghan police: NATO interpreters killed

Police in Kabul say Taliban insurgents shot and killed two young Afghan men who were working as translators for NATO forces. A spokesman for Logar Province in eastern Afghanistan said the two were killed as they drove to work. Militants left their bodies next to their car on the side of a road near the provincial capital of Puli Alim.

UNITED NATIONS

Report: Sri Lankan war was U.N. failure

A U.N. report said inadequate efforts by the world body to protect civilians during the final months of Sri Lanka's civil war marked a "grave failure" that led to suffering for hundreds of thousands. The report accused U.N. staff in Colombo of not perceiving that preventing civilian deaths was their responsibility and accused their bosses at U.N. headquarters of not telling them otherwise. A separate U.N. report released last year said up to 40,000 ethnic minority Tamil civilians might have been killed in the war's final months.

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