Obama visits Jordan
JORDAN’s KING and his nation’s top military brass welcomed President Barack Obama to Jordan on Friday with bagpipes and an ensemble of sword-carrying guardsman as the leaders headed into talks focusing on the civil war in Syria. More than 400,000 refugees have crossed into Jordan to escape two years of bloodshed at home, crowding refugee camps and overwhelming aid agencies run by this important U.S. ally in the Middle East. Jordan’s King Abdullah II has voiced fears that extremists and terrorists could create a regional base in his country.
Obama also will seek to bolster Jordan’s efforts to reform its government in an attempt to stave off an Arab Spring-style revolution that has led to the downfall of longtime leaders in Egypt, Tunisia and Libya.
Obama arrived in Jordan on Friday evening, the final stop on a four-day visit to the Middle East that included his first stop in Israel as president. After Air Force One touched down at Queen Alia International Airport in the capital of Amman, Obama was greeted on the red-carpeted tarmac by U.S. and Jordanian officials before the half-hour drive by motorcade to al-Hummar Palace.
Marine kills colleagues on base
QUANTICO, Va. (AP) — Officials say a Marine killed a male and female colleague at a base in Virginia before committing suicide.
Base spokesman Lt. Agustin Solivan says it began around 11 p.m. with a shooting that killed one at Marine Base Quantico. The suspect then barricaded himself inside the barracks, prompting a standoff with authorities.
Authorities eventually entered the barracks early Friday and found a second victim dead along with the suspect dead of a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
No names have been released by Solivan says all three of the dead are Marines.
Solivan says the shooting was an isolated incident and authorities are confident there are no other casualties. The base was put on lockdown after the shooting but the lockdown has been lifted.
Israel closes Gaza after attack
JERUSALEM (AP) — The Israeli military has closed a Gaza border crossing and restricted Palestinian fishermen in the territory after militants fired rockets into Israel during President Obama’s visit.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon instructed the army to close the border crossing used to transfer goods and reduce the permitted fishing zone in the seaside territory from six to three miles offshore.
Army official Guy Inbar said Friday that the restrictions will remain in place until Israeli officials decide to lift them. At least two rockets landed in a southern Israeli town Thursday, causing damage but no injuries. An al-Qaida-inspired group says it launched the rockets to protest a visit by Obama. It was the second instance of Gaza rocket fire since a November ceasefire.