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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(CNN) -- A teen beauty queen in Utah and three others were arrested Saturday morning for allegedly making and throwing bombs that an explosives investigator says could have killed someone.

Kendra Gill, Bryce Stone, Shanna Smith and John Reagh -- all 18 -- admitted to buying the materials for the explosives, making the devices and throwing them from a vehicle, according to a Salt Lake County Sheriff's Office probable cause statement that CNN obtained.

Gill was crowned Miss Riverton in June, and was set to compete for the Miss Utah crown, CNN affiliate KUTV reported.

Investigators began getting calls late Friday night from Riverton residents who heard "loud pops," said Capt. Clint Mecham of the Unified Fire Authority which is investigating the case.

"The adults who were arrested were driving around in a car throwing these devices at property and people," Mecham said.

Authorities found plastic bottles that contained household cleaning chemicals and aluminum foil strewn in streets around the community, he said.

"Not only do you have to worry about shrapnel, these type of devices have chemicals" that can cause burns, Mecham said.

"This is not your average kid blowing up a mailbox," he said. "These devices, they have the power to create a fair amount of damage. They can maim or kill a person."

The teenagers allegedly throwing the devices could have been badly hurt, too, he said.

"They could have lost their lives, fingers, hands," Mecham said. "It's not a very smart thing to do all around."

Authorities interviewed witnesses in two parts of town who described seeing a similar dark-colored vehicle whose occupants were throwing explosive devices, according to a probable cause statement. One of the witnesses identified Stone as the driver and gave investigators his address.

Authorities went there and questioned Stone, who allegedly implicated the three other teens, saying they had been "pranking" with fireworks with friends, the probable cause document says.

Stone allowed authorities to search his car, where remnants of water bottles with labels and sizes matching debris at the bombing scenes were recovered, according to the document. A roll of aluminum foil, toilet bowl cleaner and several water bottles containing multiple pieces of rolled-up aluminum foil were also found, the document says.

Gill, Stone, Smith and Reagh were taken into custody for questioning, and they admitted to buying, making and throwing the explosives, according to the document.

The teens were booked into the Salt Lake County Jail on 10 counts each of setting off an incendiary device, Mecham said.

All the teens bonded out Sunday night for $50,000 each, said Cammie Scogg, a Salt Lake County sheriff's spokeswoman.

Salt Lake County District Attorney Sam Gill told CNN on Monday that his office is waiting for a full report from authorities to decide on whether to file charges.

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