Nation & World Briefly 12/26
Taliban video shows captured U.S. soldier
KABUL (AP) – The Taliban released a video Friday of an American soldier captured in Afghanistan, showing him apparently healthy but spouting criticism about the U.S. military operation.
In Idaho, Pfc. Bowe Bergdahl’s family pleaded on Christmas Day for his release and urged him to “stay strong.”
Bergdahl disappeared June 30 while based in eastern Afghanistan and is the only known American serviceman in captivity. The Taliban claimed his capture in a video released in mid-July that showed the young Idaho soldier appearing downcast and frightened. He hadn’t been heard from until Friday’s video, in which he looks well and speaks clearly.
Pope jumped by woman involved in 2008 breach
VATICAN CITY (AP) – The Vatican will review security procedures after a woman jumped a barrier and rushed at Pope Benedict XVI for the second time in two years, this time managing to knock him down before being pulled away by guards, the Vatican spokesman said Friday.
Benedict, 82, wasn’t hurt and delivered his traditional Christmas Day greetings in 65 languages from the loggia overlooking St. Peter’s Square. While a bit unsteady at first, he also delivered a short speech about the world’s trouble spots without problem.
The Vatican identified the woman involved in Thursday night’s incident as Susanna Maiolo, 25, a Swiss-Italian national with psychiatric problems who was immediately taken to a clinic for treatment.
Girl abducted in Phoenix rescued
PHOENIX (AP) – A 5-year-old girl abducted by a man as she played outside her Phoenix home Friday was rescued hours later after police chased down the suspect’s pickup and found her “alive and well” inside, officials said.
Natalie Flores was found around 9 p.m. after a patrol officer spotted the truck of the man accused of kidnapping her, Sgt. Andy Hill said.
After a short pursuit, police stopped the truck and rescued Natalie from inside, Hill said.
“We have had our Christ-mas miracle,” Hill said.
The man was taken into custody with little resistance, but police have not released his name or provided any details about him.