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Benghazi report: 10 things that happened the night of the attack

With all the intelligence available at the time, Hillary Clinton should have realized the risks Ambassador Christopher Stevens and others faced from extremist groups in Benghazi, Libya, according to a long-awaited U.S. House committee report on the attack that left Stevens and three others dead in 2012.

The report from the “Select Committee on the Events Surrounding the 2012 Terrorist Attack in Benghazi, Libya,” was released Tuesday. In addition to taking Clinton to task for her actions, the findings also say the Obama administration failed in nearly every way it could to protect American diplomats in Benghazi that night.

>> Have a question about the news? See our explainers here

The report points out failures in military response, and slams Clinton, who was secretary of State at the time,  and the State Department for acting in a “shameful” manner in failing to turn over emails from her private email server as the attack was being investigated. The report said because it did not have the emails, it was “impossible” to know everything about the Sept. 11, 2012, attack that left four Americans – Stevens, foreign service officer Sean Smith and former Navy Seals Ty Woods and Glen Doherty, dead.

The 800-page report comes after a two-year investigation into the events of that night.

What’s in the report

Here are  some of the report’s findings:

1. Despite President Obama and Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta’s clear orders to deploy military assets, nothing was sent to Benghazi, and nothing was en route to Libya at the time the last two Americans were killed almost 8 hours after the attacks began. [pg. 141]

2. With Ambassador Stevens missing, the White House convened a roughly two-hour meeting at 7:30 PM, which resulted in action items focused on a YouTube video, and others containing the phrases “[i]f any deployment is made,” and “Libya must agree to any deployment,” and “[w]ill not deploy until order comes to go to either Tripoli or Benghazi.” [pg. 115]

3. The Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff typically would have participated in the White House meeting, but did not attend because he went home to host a dinner party for foreign dignitaries. [pg. 107]

4. A Fleet Antiterrorism Security Team (FAST) sat on a plane in Rota, Spain, for three hours, and changed in and out of their uniforms four times. [pg. 154]

5. Five of the 10 action items from the 7:30 PM White House meeting referenced the video, but no direct link or solid evidence existed connecting the attacks in Benghazi and the video at the time the meeting took place. The State Department senior officials at the meeting had access to eyewitness accounts to the attack in real time. The Diplomatic Security Command Center was in direct contact with the Diplomatic Security Agents on the ground in Benghazi and sent out multiple updates about the situation, including a “Terrorism Event Notification.” The State Department Watch Center had also notified Jake Sullivan and Cheryl Mills that it had set up a direct telephone line to Tripoli. There was no mention of the video from the agents on the ground. Greg Hicks—one of the last people to talk to Chris Stevens before he died—said there was virtually no discussion about the video in Libya leading up to the attacks. [pg. 28]

6. The morning after the attacks, the National Security Council’s Deputy Spokesperson sent an email to nearly two dozen people from the White House, Defense Department, State Department, and intelligence community, stating: “Both the President and Secretary Clinton released statements this morning. … Please refer to those for any comments for the time being. To ensure we are all in sync on messaging for the rest of the day, Ben Rhodes will host a conference call for USG communicators on this chain at 9:15 ET today.” [pg. 39]

7. Minutes before the President delivered his speech in the Rose Garden, Jake Sullivan wrote in an email to Ben Rhodes and others: “There was not really much violence in Egypt. And we are not saying that the violence in Libya erupted ‘over inflammatory videos.’” [pg. 44]

8. According to Susan Rice, both Ben Rhodes and David Plouffe prepared her for her appearances on the Sunday morning talk shows following the attacks. Nobody from the FBI, Department of Defense, or CIA participated in her prep call. While Rhodes testified Plouffe would “normally” appear on the Sunday show prep calls, Rice testified she did not recall Plouffe being on prior calls and did not understand why he was on the call in this instance. [pg.98]

9. On the Sunday shows, Susan Rice stated the FBI had “already begun looking at all sorts of evidence” and “FBI has a lead in this investigation.” But on Monday, the Deputy Director, Office of Maghreb Affairs sent an email stating: “McDonough apparently told the SVTS [Secure Video Teleconference] group today that everyone was required to ‘shut their pieholes’ about the Benghazi attack in light of the FBI investigation, due to start tomorrow.” [pg. 135]

10. Susan Rice’s comments on the Sunday talk shows were met with shock and disbelief by State Department employees in Washington. The Senior Libya Desk Officer, Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs, State Department, wrote: “I think Rice was off the reservation on this one.” The Deputy Director, Office of Press and Public Diplomacy, Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs, State Department, responded: “Off the reservation on five networks!” The Senior Advisor for Strategic Communications, Bureau of Near East Affairs, State Department, wrote: “WH [White House] very worried about the politics. This was all their doing.” [pg. 132]

Soldier surprised his mom in a traffic stop upon his return from Iraq

When a West Point, Georgia, mom saw a police car trailing her van, she was hardly expecting roses and balloons.

But that’s what she got when a West Point police car revealed her son, U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Salomon Robinson, was home early from Iraq, according to WTVM-TV.

>> Read more trending stories

Robinson met West Point Police Chief Tony Bailey at the station June 8 and they loaded into the chief’s police cruiser. Bailey waited for Robinson's mom, Claudette Hutchinson, to leave her apartment, then gave the cue to other officers standing by to pull her over.

Officer Cameron Mitchell asked the woman if her vehicle had been involved in a hit-and-run accident because it was damaged.

"I said, ‘Ma’am, come out, let me show you the damage that we’re talking about,'" the officer told WTVM. "I found a little scratch on her car and I said, "You see that right there? They reported that there was a little bit of damage.'"

"Well, that’s been on there for a while," Hutchinson said.

Mitchell headed back to the patrol car then told Hutchinson to hold on a minute.

That’s when her son appeared.

"I’m going to kill him. He got me good," Hutchinson said with tears rolling down her face.

See dash-cam video of the surprise at WTVM-TV.com.

A West Point mother was pulled over this morning, but it was all for a sweet surprise!Emilie Arroyo WTVM was there to witness this heartwarming moment: http://bit.ly/1UoUhwTPosted by WTVM News Leader 9 on Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Woman responds to rude note left on car in veteran parking spot

A Concord, North Carolina, veteran is fighting back after she received an anonymous note in a neighborhood food market parking lot.

The note said, "This parking is for veterans lady. Learn to read and have some respect."

Rebecca Landis Hayes responded in a Facebook post Monday:

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"I know I parked in one of the Veteran Parking spaces today. It was hot. I had been in and out of my car several times already this afternoon, and I was only going to be a minute. Besides, the parking lot was full, so I just did it. It was the first time, and I won't do it again. I'm sorry.

"I'm sorry that you can't see my eight years of service in the United Sates Navy. I'm sorry that your narrow misogynistic world view can't conceive of the fact that there are female veterans. I'm sorry that I have to explain myself to people like you. Mostly, I'm sorry that we didn't get a chance to have this conversation face to face, and that you didn't have the integrity and intestinal fortitude to identify yourself, qualities the military emphasizes.

"Which leads to one question, 'I served, did you?'"

Hayes’ message has been shared thousands of times.

A veterans group in Concord said the note left on Hayes' car is disrespectful and sickening.

"There's no reason for something like this that gives everybody a bad name," Ken Bratton, a veteran, told WSOC.

Employees at the market apologized to Hayes on behalf of the person who wrote the note.

To the person who left this note on my windshield today at the Coddle Creek Harris Teeter in Concord, NC:  I know I...Posted by Rebecca Landis Hayes on Monday, June 13, 2016

89-year-old WWII veteran receives high school diploma 7 decades after dropping out

An 89-year-old World War II veteran is making headlines after receiving his high school diploma more than seven decades after he dropped out to join the Navy.

According to WZZM, Erwin Empie left Cedar Springs High School in Kent County, Michigan, when he was a sophomore to serve in World War II. From 1944 to 1946, he was a 2nd Class Seaman in the Navy.

Empie "always felt incomplete and unfinished" without his diploma, he told WZZM. So seven months ago, he decided to change that.

>> Read more trending stories

"My family saw an article about veterans being able to get their GEDs, so my three kids decided to make it happen for me," he said.

Thanks to Public Act 181, aka Operation Recognition, Empie had his chance. The law says veterans who joined the military to serve in World War II, Korea or Vietnam before finishing high school are eligible to receive a high school diploma.

Empie walked across the stage June 2 to receive his diploma along with the rest of Cedar Springs' Class of 2016.

"I just looked out in the audience, then raised my fist," he told WZZM. "I almost lost my emotions then."

He added, "I just thank the Lord that I was able to do it."

Read more here.

>> Click here to watch the news report

7 things to know now: U.S. airstrikes ok'd; Malia graduates; Ali funeral; concealed carry law

Here's a roundup of news trending across the nation and world today.

What to know now:

1. Airstrikes approved: The Obama administration has approved plans to expand airstrikes against the Taliban in Afghanistan. According to officials, the move is part of a plan to better support and assist the Afghan forces in the fight against the terror group.   

2. Gun ruling: A federal appeals court in California upheld a state law that allows law enforcement to require people who want to carry a concealed weapon to show a good reason beyond simple safety before they are approved for a permit. The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Thursday that Americans don't have a constitutional right to carry concealed weapons in public. The ruling overturned a ruling by the same court in 2014 that allowed citizens of the state to more easily get a permit to carry a concealed firearm.  

3. Dude got fired: A fan of the NBA’s Cleveland Cavaliers was fired from his job after he posted an obscene tweet targeting the family of Golden State Warriors star Steph Curry. The man, who goes by the Twitter handle @SoftCaramelKiss, told the Curry family to get out of Cleveland and then made an obscene comment about Curry’s 3-year-old daughter, Riley. Curry’s sister, Sydel Curry, engaged the fan in an exchange of tweets, then blocked him from her account. The real estate company the man worked for got word of the exchange and fired the man. They apologized to the Curry family. The Cavaliers and Warriors play in Game 4 tonight in Cleveland. 

4. Ali’s funeral: Boxing great Muhammad Ali will laid to rest Friday in his hometown of Louisville, Kty. The funeral service, said to be planned by “The Greatest” himself, will see former President Bill Clinton, comedian Billy Crystal and Bryant Gumbel eulogizing Ali. Prior to the service, Ali’s body will be driven through the streets of the city.  

>> Read more trending stories    5. Malia graduates: First daughter Malia Obama will graduate from high school Friday. The 17-year-old is receiving her diploma from the private Sidwell Friends School. First lady Michelle Obama says Malia wants to be a filmmaker.  Malia will turn 18 on July 4 – today is her sister Sasha’s 15th birthday.  

And one more

The long-awaited ESPN “30 for 30” documentary about O.J. Simpson premieres Saturday. The nearly 8 hour film begins on ABC, then switches to ESPN for several nights next week. Award-winning director Ezra Edelman conducted 72 interviews for the film. According to Edelman, he tried to get Simpson to participate in the documentary. He said he mailed a letter to Simpson in care of the Lovelock Correctional Center in Nevada where he is serving time for armed robbery and kidnapping, but did not receive a response.  “O.J.: Made in America” airs at 9 p.m. ET on ABC. 

In case you missed it

Dana Carvey nails it with impersonations of Bernie Sanders, Donald Trump and Bill/Hillary Clinton.

The Blue Angels honored their fallen Marine pilot with a flyover that will bring tears to your eyes

Marine Capt. Jeff Kuss was on a practice flight when he refused to eject from his jet to avoid hitting a building near Smyrna Airport in Tennessee last week.

>> RELATED STORY: Pilot killed in Blue Angels crash

>> RELATED STORY: Reporter shares memory of flying with Blue Angels pilot Capt. Jeff Kuss

Kuss died, leaving behind a wife and two children.

>> Read more trending stories

On Tuesday, the U.S. Navy Flight Demonstration Squadron, the Blue Angels Marine Corps C-130 Fat Albert plane and one F/A-18 Hornet plane flew over Pensacola, Pensacola Beach and Pensacola Key, Fla., in honor of Kuss, WEAR-TV reported. The Blue Angels flew his body to the Naval Air Station’s home base in Pensacola.

A memorial ceremony is scheduled to take place at the base Thursday.

>> Click here or scroll down to learn more

<iframe src="//storify.com/cmgnationalnews/the-blue-angels-honored-their-fallen-marine-pilot-/embed?header=none&amp;border=false" width="100%" height="750" frameborder="no" allowtransparency="true"></iframe><script src="//storify.com/cmgnationalnews/the-blue-angels-honored-their-fallen-marine-pilot-.js?header=none&amp;border=false"></script>[View the story "The Blue Angels honored their fallen Marine pilot with a flyover that will bring tears to your eyes" on Storify]

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