04 21 2015
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  • When should we use military to enforce US goals? NASHUA, N.H. (AP) — Rand Paul lashed out Saturday at military hawks in the Republican Party in a clash over foreign policy dividing the packed GOP presidential field. Paul, a first-term senator from Kentucky who favors a smaller U.S. footprint in the world, said that some of his Republican colleagues would do more harm in international affairs than would leading Democrat Hillary Rodham Clinton. "The other Republicans will criticize the president and Hillary Clinton for their foreign policy, but they would just have done the same thing — just 10 times over," Paul said on the closing day of a New Hampshire GOP conference that brought about 20 presidential prospects to the first-in-the-nation primary state. "There's a group of folks in our party who would have troops in six countries right now, maybe more," Paul said. Foreign policy looms large in the presidential race as the U.S. struggles to resolve diplomatic and military conflicts across the globe. The GOP presidential class regularly rails against President Barack Obama's leadership on the world stage, yet some would-be contenders have yet to articulate their own positions, while others offered sharply different visions. Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, whose brother, President George W. Bush, authorized the 2003 invasion of Iraq, declined to say whether he would have done anything different then. Yet Jeb Bush acknowledged a shift in his party against new military action abroad. "Our enemies need to fear us, a little bit, just enough for them to deter the actions that create insecurity," Bush said earlier in the conference. He said restoring alliances "that will create less likelihood of America's boots on the ground has to be the priority, the first priority of the next president." The GOP's hawks were well represented at the event, led by Florida Sen. Marco Rubio and Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, who has limited foreign policy experience but articulated a muscular vision during his Saturday keynote address. Walker said the threats posed by radical Islamic terrorism won't be handled simply with "a couple bombings." "We're not going to wait till they bring the fight to us," Walker said. "We're going to bring the fight to them and fight on their soil." South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham addressed the question of putting U.S. troops directly in the battle against the Islamic State group militants by saying there is only one way to defeat the militants: "You go over there and you fight them so they don't come here." Texas Sen. Ted Cruz suggested an aggressive approach as well. "The way to defeat ISIS is a simple and clear military objective," he said. "We will destroy them." Businesswoman Carly Fiorina offered a similar outlook. "The world is a more dangerous and more tragic place when America is not leading. And America has not led for quite some time," she said. Under Obama, a U.S.-led coalition of Western and Arab countries is conducting regular airstrikes against Islamic State targets in Iraq and Syria. The U.S. also has hundreds of military advisers in Iraq helping Iraqi security forces plan operations against the Islamic State, which occupies large chunks of northern and western Iraq. Paul didn't totally reject the use of military force, noting that he recently introduced a declaration of war against the Islamic State group. But in an interview with The Associated Press, he emphasized the importance of diplomacy. He singled out Russia and China, which have complicated relationships with the U.S., as countries that could contribute to U.S. foreign policy interests. "I think the Russians and the Chinese have great potential to help make the world a better place," he said. "I don't say that naively that they're going to, but they have the potential to." Paul suggested the Russians could help by getting Syrian President Bashar Assad to leave power. "Maybe he goes to Russia," Paul said. Despite tensions with the U.S., Russia and China negotiated alongside Washington in nuclear talks with Iran. Paul has said he is keeping an open mind about the nuclear negotiations. "The people who already are very skeptical, very doubtful, may not like the president for partisan reasons," he said, and "just may want war instead of negotiations."
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Editor's note: Please note this story contains graphic language.

(CNN) -- Once again, social media messages are helping get Steubenville, Ohio, teenagers in trouble, according to authorities.

This time, it's for allegedly threatening violence against the 16-year-old girl whose sexual abuse by two other teens in August was partially documented in texts, tweets and pictures posted to the Internet.

A 16-year-old girl is charged with one misdemeanor count of aggravating menacing for threatening the victim's life, according to the Ohio attorney general's office. A 15-year-old is accused of misdemeanor menacing for threatening the girl with bodily harm.

They're being held in the county's juvenile lockup until a hearing Tuesday to decide whether they should be released pending formal charges, according to Fred Abdalla Jr., chief probation officer for the Jefferson County Juvenile Court.

In one of the tweets, the writer appears to threaten to kill the girl at the center of the rape case. Another warns that she will be beaten.

The arrests come a day after a judge ruled two teenage boys were guilty of raping the girl by putting their fingers in her vagina while she was too intoxicated to consent during a series of end-of-summer parties last year.

That case prominently featured photographs, videos and text messages documenting portions of the abuse -- some of them posted to the Internet by teenagers in the small Ohio River town.

The tweets were apparently sent Sunday, shortly after the trial ended. Sheriff Fred Abdalla said Judge Thomas Lipps had not yet left the courthouse when authorities got word of the threatening messages.

"We're dealing with kids, again," he said.

The girl accused of tweeting the death threat turned herself in after learning that investigators were looking for her, Sheriff Abdalla said.

While formal charges have not yet been announced, he said, "there's no question they're going to prosecute."

"I hope this sends a warning," he said. "And I can assure you we've been monitoring Twitter for 24 hours and continue to. If there's anybody else there crosses a line and makes a death threat, they're going to have to face the consequences."

Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine, whose prosecutors handled the rape case, warned that any further threats won't be tolerated.

"If anyone makes a threat verbally or via the Internet, we will take it seriously, we will find you, and we will arrest you," he said.

Steubenville has been in a harsh spotlight since the rape accusations became national news in December.

A crime blogger and former Steubenville resident, Alexandria Goddard, uncovered some of the social media documentation of the abuse and wrote pointedly about the possibility that the teenagers had been given preferential treatment because they played on the town's highly regarded football team. Police have denied that claim.

National media picked up on the case, followed by the loosely organized hacker group Anonymous, which found and posted a lengthy video in which another teenager -- who has not been charged -- made joking references to the rape.

The ensuing ire over the case brought national attention and criticism to the city from around the country, leaving city officials struggling to defend the community and residents weary of the media spotlight.

On Monday, the victim's mother told CNN that the verdicts are "the start of a new beginning for my daughter." But she added, "We need to stress the importance of helping those in need and to stand up for what is right."

"We hope that from this something good can arise," she said. "I feel I have an opportunity to bring an awareness to others, possibly change the mentality of a youth or help a parent to have more of an awareness to where their children are and what they are doing. The adults need to take responsibility and guide these children."

While the verdicts seemed briefly to indicate the case was winding down, DeWine announced a grand jury investigation to determine if anyone else should be charged with a crime as a result of incidents surrounding the abuse.

CNN's Poppy Harlow, Brian Vitagliano, Yon Pomrenze, Matt Smith, Steve Almasy and Chelsea J. Carter contributed to this report.

 

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