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WASHINGTON/McChrystal retires from Army

Gen. Stanley McChrystal ended his 34-year career as an Army officer Friday in an emotional retirement ceremony at his military headquarters here, marking the last chapter of his swift and stunning fall from grace. Before a crowd of a few hundred friends, family and colleagues on the Fort McNair parade grounds, McChrystal said his service didn't end as he hoped. But he regretted few decisions he had made on the battlefield, cherished his life as a soldier and was optimistic about his future. "I cared and I still care. I wouldn't have it any other way," he said. The former commander of U.S. forces in Afghanistan was fired last month after Rolling Stone magazine published an article that quoted scathing remarks he and his aides made about their civilian bosses.


CALIFORNIA/Official accused of helping drug kingpin

A Mexican law enforcement official who worked with U.S. authorities was charged with sharing confidential information with drug traffickers and arranging the arrests of his drug boss' rivals, according to a far-reaching indictment against a gang that ferries drugs along California's border with Mexico. Jesus Quinones, the international liaison for the Baja California state attorney general's office, was among 43 defendants named in the federal racketeering complaint that alleges murder, kidnapping and other crimes. They are accused of working for Fernando Sanchez Arellano, widely considered the most-wanted drug kingpin in Tijuana, Mexico. Quinones and 30 others are in custody, while 12 defendants are at-large, authorities said. Most arrests occurred Thursday and Friday.


MICHIGAN/Pilot saved, four missing after helicopter crash

A pilot who volunteered to fly a man with cancer, his wife and a doctor to the Mayo Clinic on Friday was rescued by boaters in Lake Michigan hours after his small plane crashed into the water, authorities said. The search for a co-pilot and the three passengers was ongoing. Coast Guard Petty Officer Brandon Blackwell said Jerry Freed of Alma was rescued hours after the plane lost power and crashed off the coast of Ludington. He was in good condition at a local hospital. An air and marine search continued for co-pilot Earl Davidson, Alma schools' superintendent Don Pavlik, his wife, Irene, and Dr. James Hall. Don Pavlik was diagnosed this year with cancer and Freed and Davidson had volunteered to take to the Rochester, Minn., medical center, Alma school board vice president Tony Costanzo said. Hall, he said, came along because he wanted to help his ailing friend.


VIRGINIA/Senator wants federal diversity programs to end

Sen. Jim Webb called for ending government-run diversity programs, saying they have disadvantaged struggling whites and hurt the cause of racial harmony. The Democrat wrote an op-ed column in Friday's Wall Street Journal that said a "plethora of government-enforced diversity policies have marginalized many white workers. The time has come to cease the false arguments and allow every American the benefit of a fair chance at the future." Webb's press secretary, Jessica Smith, said Friday that the senator felt the column speaks for itself and that he would not comment further. Federal diversity programs now primarily benefit new immigrants over whites and even black Americans, their original beneficiaries, wrote Webb. There was no immediate reply to telephone requests for comment from the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee or the Democratic National Committee.

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