Franken resigns; Bachmann eyes seat


Franken resigns; Bachmann eyes seat

ST. PAUL, MINN.

Michele Bachmann, the deeply conservative former congresswoman and one-time presidential contender, said she is considering running for Al Franken’s former Senate seat in Minnesota.

Bachmann recently told televangelist Jim Bakker that she has been praying about the decision since Franken announced plans last month to leave the Senate amid sexual misconduct allegations. Franken, a Democrat, officially resigned Tuesday.

Minnesota’s governor chose Democratic Lt. Gov. Tina Smith to immediately replace Franken in the Senate. She’ll be sworn in today. Smith also plans to run for the seat in a November special election.

23 hurt in Bronx fire

NEW YORK

The Fire Department of New York says 23 people, including a firefighter, are hurt after a Bronx blaze. All of them are expected to be OK.

Investigators believe the fire started in a first-floor furniture store around 5:30 a.m. Tuesday.

Adults and children fled from the three stories of apartments above. Resident Erica Ortiz told WCBS that a window guard blocked a fire escape. She says she tried to kick it open, to no avail.

More than 200 firefighters battled the blaze.

US soldier killed in combat in Afghanistan

KABUL, Afghanistan

The U.S. military says an American soldier has been killed fighting in eastern Afghanistan.

A military statement issued Tuesday said four other soldiers were wounded in the Jan. 1 battle in the Achin district of Nangarhar province. It said two of the wounded were in stable condition and the other two have returned to duty.

Sen. Cory Booker says the Army had identified the dead soldier as Mihail Golin, of Fort Lee, N.J.

The United States formally concluded its combat mission in Afghanistan at the end of 2014 but still carries out operations against the Taliban and an Islamic State affiliate, both of which are active in Nangarhar.

Top US commander: Be more aggressive in Afghanistan

WASHINGTON

The top American commander for the Middle East wants a more aggressive Afghan military pressuring Taliban and other insurgents over the normally quieter months of Afghanistan’s winter, and then quickly going on the offensive in the spring. It’s all part of a plan the United States hopes will change the course of a war entering its 17th year.

Gen. Joseph Votel of U.S. Central Command said an influx of new American trainers can help escalate the fight. They’ll be operating with Afghan units, closer to the front lines and at greater risk, but Votel said U.S. commanders will ensure American and allied forces have adequate protection.

The goal is to get the Afghan military moving on its military campaign sooner, rather than later.

Bus crash in Peru leaves at least 48 dead

LIMA, PERU

At least 48 people died when a bus tumbled down a cliff onto a rocky beach Tuesday along a narrow stretch of highway known as the “Devil’s Curve,” Peruvian police and fire officials said.

The bus carrying 57 people was headed to Peru’s capital when it was struck by a tractor-trailer shortly before noon and plunged down the slope, said Claudia Espinoza with Peru’s voluntary firefighter brigade.

Rescuers had to struggle to rescue survivors and recover the dead from the hard-to-reach area in Pasamayo, about 43 miles north of Lima.

No road leads directly to the beach, complicating rescue efforts, Espinoza said.

Associated Press

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