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NATION/WORLD Briefs: US military relocating fleet of drones in Africa

The U.S. military has been forced to relocate a large fleet of drones from a key counterterrorism base on the Horn of Africa after a string of crashes fanned local fears that the unmanned aircraft were at risk of colliding with passenger planes, according to documents and interviews.

Air Force drones ceased flying this month from Camp Lemonnier, a U.S. installation in Djibouti, after local officials expressed alarm about several drone accidents and mishaps in recent years. The base serves as the combat hub for counterterrorism operations in Yemen and Somalia, playing a critical role in U.S. operations against al-Shabab, the Somali Islamist militia that has asserted responsibility for the Nairobi shopping mall attack, which killed more than 60 people.

The Pentagon has temporarily moved the unmanned aircraft from the U.S. base in Djibouti's capital to a makeshift airstrip in a more remote part of the country.

U.S. military officials said the disruption has not affected their overall ability to launch drone strikes in the region.

Dismissal sought in suit against woman

The Obama administration on Tuesday sought dismissal of a lawsuit by a Tampa, Fla., businesswoman whose complaint to the FBI led to Gen. David Petraeus' ouster as CIA director.

If a federal judge allows the lawsuit by Jill Kelley to proceed, the case could delve into the roles played in the Petraeus scandal by the FBI, the Pentagon and other parts of the Obama administration.

Kelley wants to find out who in the U.S. government leaked her name and some of her emails to the news media amid the uproar over Petraeus' affair with Paula Broadwell, author of a biography on Petraeus.

Benedict releases letter to atheist

Seven months after leaving the papacy, emeritus Pope Benedict XVI broke his self-imposed silence Tuesday by releasing a letter to one of Italy's best-known atheists in which he denied covering up for sexually abusive priests and defended Christianity to non-believers.

It was the first work published by Benedict since he retired and his first-ever denial of personal responsibility for the sex scandal. But what made the letter published in La Repubblica more remarkable was that it appeared just two weeks after Pope Francis penned a similar letter to the newspaper's atheist editor.

The Vatican spokesman, the Rev. Federico Lombardi, said the appearance of the letters was pure coincidence. But they provide evidence that the two men in white, who live across the Vatican gardens from one another, are of the same mind about the need for such dialogue and may even be collaborating on it.

1 hurt in landing in Wabash County

One person was hospitalized after a small plane made a hard landing in a Wabash County soybean field Tuesday, officials said.

The Federal Aviation Administration says the Beechcraft 33 had engine failure and landed near Urbana, about 40 miles southwest of Fort Wayne.

Pilot Rex Ott, 62, of Danville, Iowa, told investigators the propeller came off the plane but he was able to glide the 1963 Beechcraft into the field.

The Wabash County Sheriff's Office said that two others were aboard, including 52-year-old Tracy Swift of Washington, Iowa, who was airlifted to Fort Wayne's Parkview Hospital with a possible broken leg.

The other passenger, 49-year-old Timothy Swift of Washington, was not injured.

Officer shot on duty in Indianapolis

An Indianapolis police officer was shot in the leg and another man wounded in an exchange of gunfire early Tuesday, leaving city leaders dismayed at the second shooting of an officer within a week.

Officer Gregory Stevens was released from a hospital several hours after he was wounded about 12:15 a.m. at an apartment complex on the city's east side and is expected to make a full recovery, police said. A 22-year-old man was hospitalized in fair condition and faces preliminary charges of attempted murder.

The violence follows Friday's fatal shooting of Officer Rod Bradway by a gunman.

Paparazzi face tougher penalties

Paparazzi and others who harass the children of public figures will face tougher penalties under legislation that California Gov. Jerry Brown signed.

The bill will boost penalties for actions that include taking photos and video of a child without parental consent and in a harassing manner.

Celebrities such as actresses Halle Berry and Jennifer Garner urged lawmakers to support the bill.

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