Page B2 article text (OCR)
2B E3 USA TODAY—DEMOCRATANDCHRONICLE MONDAY,OCTOBER19,2015 ti-submarine warfare and other duties, the Izumo’s long ﬂat deck and overall design have led many to believe that Japan eventually could use the ship to carry ﬁxed- wing aircraft. Japanese o cials have emphatically denied that. Nonetheless, Abe last month succeeded in along-sought goal to allow Japan’s military — including its maritime self-defense force — to aid U.S. or friendly forces when they come under attack. That previously was forbidden under Japan’s paciﬁst Constitution. Japan currently is embroiled in atense dispute with China over ownership of a tiny group of islands in the East China Sea. And Abe has supported U.S. demands that China halt its island-building program in the South China Sea. U.S. o cials have said in recent weeks that they plan to send U.S. warships within the presumed 12-mile territorial limit around the new islands. The patrols would be intended to demonstrate U.S. commitment to “freedom of navigation” in the region. The Ronald Reagan was the ﬁrst U.S. vessel to respond to the earthquake and tsunami in March 2011 and was warmly re- ceived when it arrived at its new home port on Oct. 2. The carrier “is a ‘tomodachi’ (friend) who rushed to the rescue at the time of the Great East Japan Earthquake. I give it a hearty welcome,” Abe said in a speech aboard a Japanese warship during Sunday’s ﬂeet review, according to the Kyodo news service. Abe also rea rmed a commitment for Japan’s military to play agreater role in world a airs. “By highly hoisting the ﬂag of proactive paciﬁsm, I’m determined to contribute more than ever to world peace and prosperity,” Abe said. In addition to the Ronald Reagan, two other U.S. warships — the cruiser USS Chancellorsville and guided missile destroyer USS Mustin — also took part in the ﬂeet review, along with warships from Australia, France, India and South Korea. The Navy was represented at the ﬂeet review by Vice Adm. Nora Tyson, commander of the San Diego-based 3rd Fleet — a signal of the growing commitment of West Coast based forces to the Asia-Paciﬁc region. Tiny islands make for a big dispute v CONTINUED FROM1B WASHINGTON The Republican chairman of the congressional panel probing the Benghazi trag- e dy is telling his GOP colleagues to “shut up” about the committee’s work because most of them know very little about what the panel is doing. Speaking Sunday on CBS’ Face the Nation , South Carolina Rep. Trey Gowdy dismissed recent statements by two Republican lawmakers — including Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy of California — implying that at least part of the panel’s mission was to embarrass Democrat Hillary Clinton, who was secretary of State during the Benghazi attacks and is now running for president. “I get that there is a presidential campaign going on,” Gowdy said on the show. “I have told my o wn Republican colleagues and f riends to shut up talking about t hings you don’t know anything a bout and unless you’re on the c ommittee, you have no idea w hat we’ve done, why we’ve done it, and what new facts we have found.” C linton is scheduled to testify before the committee Thursday. Gowdy, a former federal prosecutor, said he wants to ﬁnd out more about what role she may have played in deciding whether to draw down security at the U.S. Embassy compound in Benghazi shortly before an attack on the Libyan facility killed four Americans, including U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens. But his work has been complicated by statements from McCarthy, who told Sean Hannity on Fox News Sept. 29 that “we put t ogether a Benghazi special committee (and) what are her numbers today? Her numbers are dropping.” Last Wednesday, Rep. Richard Hanna, R-N.Y., told a local radio program that “a big part” of the Benghazi panel was designed to go after Clinton. “After what Kevin McCarthy said, it’s di cult to accept at least apart of it was not,” Hanna told a Utica radio station. “I think that’s t he way Washington works,” Hanna said. “But you’d like to expect more from a committee that’s spent millions of dollars and tons of time.” In addition, a former investigator for the Benghazi committee recently accused the panel of conducting a politically motivated probe targeting Clinton. Maj. Bradley Podliska, an intelligence o cer in the Air Force Reserve, was ﬁred from the committee in June. “These are three people who don’t have any idea what they’re talking about,” Gowdy said Sund ay. He said McCarthy and Hann a have never asked for an update f rom the committee, which was c reated 17 months ago. As for Pod liska, Gowdy said he has “no i dea” what the panel’s been doing for the past four months. But Gowdy’s Democratic c ounterpart on the panel, Rep. Elijah Cummings of Maryland, said the statements indicate how the committee’s work has veered from the initial intent to uncover what happened and prevent a future attack. “It’s a sad day for all of us because we made a commitment to the families,” Cummings told Face the Nation . “The families came in with tears in their eyes literally and said please don’t make this a political football. That’s exactly what’s happened.” Lawmakers told to ‘shut up’ on Benghazi Chairman says GOP colleagues know little about panel’s work Ledyard King USA TODAY SAUL LOEB, AFP/GETTY IMAGES Rep. Trey Gowdy JOINT CHIEFS CHAIR, ISRAEL PM MEET SUND AY America’s top military o cer met Sunday with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, pledging to work with Israel to meet a growing set of regional challenges. The visit by Marine Gen. Joe Dunford, chairman of the Joint C hiefs of Sta , comes amid growing instability in the region, including a civil war in neighboring Syria and expanding Iranian support for terrorist organizations. “I’m con ﬁ dent that the solu- t ion to those challenges is our cooperation and that’s what I’m c ommitted to,” Dunford told Net- anyahu at the start of the meeting at the prime minister’s residence. Netanyahu said Israel and the region faced twin threats from t he Islamic State and Iran, which is supporting Hezbollah and oth- e r militant organizations. The Islamic State, also called ISIS, has seized large swaths of territory in Syria and Iraq. D unford, who took o ce earli- e r this month, pledged to continue to build on the U.S. r elationship with Israel. —Jim Michaels U.S.: AL-QAEDA LEADER KILLED IN SYRIAN AIRSTRIKE The top al-Qaeda ﬁnancial op- e rative has been killed in northwest Syria by a coalition airstrike, t he Pentagon conﬁrmed Sunday. Sanaﬁ al-Nasr, the highest r anking leader of the network of veteran al-Qaeda operatives sometimes called the Khorasan Group, was killed Thursday, the P entagon said. Al-Nasr was des cribed as a longtime jihadist experienced in funneling money a nd ﬁghters for al-Qaeda. The Treasury Department named Al-Nasr a Specially Designated Global Terrorist in August 2014. Heis the ﬁfth senior Khorasan Group leader killed in the last four months. —Jim Michaels MERKEL PROMOTES MIGRANT PLAN TO TURKISH LEADERS German Chancellor Angela Merkel met with Turkey’s president and prime minister Sunday to promote a European Union plan to o er aid and concessions t o Turkey in exchange for stemming the ﬂow of refugees into E urope. The proposal discussed with President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Prime Minister Ahmet Davu- toglu includes o ering Turkey at l east $3.4 billion to help host refugees, allow visa-free travel to the E U for Turkish citizens and resume stalled negotiations on Turkey’s bid for EU membership. Turkey hosts about 2.5 million r efugees, the vast majority of t hem from neighboring Syria. Turkish o cials have said the p lan is a “draft.” Davutoglu, at a joint news conference with Merkel after the meeting, reiterated Turkey’s position for the need of creating a safe zone in Syria to help prevent the refugee ﬂow. He pointed out that new conﬂict around the Syrian city of Aleppo has increased the risk of a new refugee inﬂux. —Jane Onyanga-Omara 1 DEAD, 5 WOUNDED AT FL A. ZO MBICON FEST SHOOTING Amanhunt was underway in Fort Myers, Fla., on Sunday after a shooting rampage at a zombie- themed festival left one person d ead, ﬁve wounded and pandemonium on downtown streets. The wounded at ZombiCon on Saturday night were hospitalized with non-life-threatening i njuries,according to police Lt. Victor Medico. Z ombiCon,in its ninth year, was expected to draw more than 20,000 people. Expavious Tyrell Taylor, 20, of O keechobee, was killed. — The (Fort Myers) News-Press YOUNG AND OLD PROTEST IN YEMEN MOHAMMED HUWAIS,AFP/GETTY IMAGES Protesters objecting to military operations by a Saudi-led coalition hold posters in front of a U.N. office in Sanaa on Sunday. IN BRIEF Ayoung liberal leader with a famous pedigree in Canada, Justin Trudeau, threatens to upend nearly 10 years of conservative leadership under Prime Minister Stephen Harper as Canadians go to the polls Monday. Harper, who has held power longer that most major Western l eaders, hopes to capture a rare fourth term in the parliamentary elections and vanquish Canada’s perception as a solidly liberal nation. But polls show him trailing Liberal Party leader Trudeau, 43, the oldest of three sons of the late prime minister Pierre Trudeau. Harper, 56, campaigned Satur- d ay at a Conservative Party rally i n Toronto promoted by the Ford family, including Rob Ford, the scandalized former mayor who made headlines because of his public drunkenness and for using crack cocaine. Harper campaigned on a promise of ensuring “stability, not risk” and made an issue of his rival’s youth, casting him as “just not ready” for higher o ce and addressing him by his ﬁrst name dur- i ng national debates. But Trudeau’s performances in those ﬁve faceo s received strong reviews, and his party has been surging at the polls. Running a distant third in polls is the left-leaning New Democratic Party led by Thomas Mul- cair, who has expressed a desire to work with Trudeau to form a government if no one achieves a majority in Monday’s vote. T rudeau has campaigned on a platform of deﬁcit spending to ﬁ- nance infrastructure improvements and to boost a lackluster economy, plus tax cuts for the middle class, higher taxes for the the wealthiest 1% and improved relations with the United States. Harper’s hard-line stance in fa- vor of the Keystone XL pipeline that would carry crude from Albert a to Texas has been frustrated by President Obama’s reluctance over the project. Trudeau is in favor of it but does not want it to interfere with ties to the United States Canadian election rules add an element of uncertainty to Monday’s voting, allowing candidates to win parliamentary districts, or ridings as they are known in Canada, with merely a plurality ins tead of a majority of votes. That makes it possible to win a majority of seats with only 37% of the popular vote, Canadian pollster John Wright told TheNew York Times . “Even with six in 10 people hating (Harper), the Conservatives could still win,” Wright said. Harper tries to fend o son of former PM Trudeau in Canada Gregg Zoroya USA TODAY PHOTOS BY GEOFF ROBINS, AFP/GETTY IMAGES Justin Trudeau is mounting a strong challenge to Stephen Harper as Canadians vote Monday. DISPUTED ISLANDS Source ESRI JANET LOEHRKE, USA TODAY Miles 0 250 N Philippines Laos Cambodia Thailand Vietnam China Indonesia Taiwan South China Sea Malaysia Paracel Islands Spratly Islands China has been building islands in the South China Sea near the Spratly Islands, the focus of tensions between China, the U.S. and its regional allies. JIJI PRESS,AFP/GETTY IMAGES Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe looks at Japanese Maritime Self Defense Force naval ships on Sunday. “I have told my own Republican colleagues and friends to shut up talking about things you don’t know anything about.” Rep. Trey Gowdy ,R-S.C.