World and Nation

Shorts (left)

Suspect in Benghazi attack, in plain sight, scoffs at US

BENGHAZI, Libya — Just days after President Barack Obama vowed to hunt down and bring to justice those responsible for the Sept. 11 attack on the U.S. diplomatic compound here, Ahmed Abu Khattala — one of those considered a ringleader — spent two leisurely hours Thursday evening at a luxury hotel full of journalists, relaxed in a red fez and sandals, sipping mango juice on a patio overlooking the Mediterranean and scoffing at the threats coming from both the American and Libyan governments.

Libya’s fledgling national army was a “national chicken,” Abu Khattala said, using an Arabic rhyme. Asked who should take responsibility for apprehending the mission’s attackers, he chuckled at the weakness of the Libyan authorities. And he accused U.S. leaders of “playing with the emotions of the American people” and “using the consulate attack just to gather votes for their elections.”

Abu Khattala’s defiance — no authority has even questioned him about the attack, he said, and he has no plans to go into hiding — offered insight into the shadowy landscape of the self-formed militias that have come to constitute the only source of social order in Libya since the fall of Moammar Gadhafi.

—David D. Kirkpatrick, The New York Times

India opens inquiry into Wal-Mart

MUMBAI, India — Indian regulators are investigating allegations that Wal-Mart Stores violated rules restricting foreign investment in the country’s fast-growing retailing industry.

The regulators are looking into a nearly $100 million investment Wal-Mart Stores made in an Indian company, Bharti Retail, which operates more than 200 supermarkets across India, at a time when India restricted investments in the retailing industry. The investment was made in the form of debentures that could be converted into equity.

India had long prohibited foreign equity investments in retailing chains that sell more than one brand of products, known here as multibrand retail, but it recently changed those rules to allow foreign companies to own up to 51 percent of such stores. That policy change has faced stiff resistance from opposition political parties and even allies of the governing coalition.

Wal-Mart, which is in the midst of an investigation involving bribery allegations at its Mexican subsidiary, has long wanted to expand into India, where small, family-o

—Vikas Bajaj, The New York Times

Seizure of ship from Argentina forces shake-up

BUENOS AIRES, Argentina — Argentina’s military intelligence director resigned Thursday, the latest casualty in a dispute between Argentina and a U.S. hedge fund over ownership of an Argentine navy training vessel that has been impounded at a port in West Africa.

The departure of Maria Lourdes Puente Olivera, a civilian and the first woman to lead the intelligence agency, comes two days after the resignation of Argentina’s top navy admiral and the suspension of two other highly placed navy officials. Those events came amid a Defense Ministry investigation into a last-minute change to the vessel’s itinerary, which had it stop in Ghana rather than Nigeria, as originally planned.

The Libertad, a three-mast tall ship with 330 navy cadets and crew aboard, was seized at Tema, an industrial port east of Ghana’s capital, Accra, on Oct. 2 through a court order obtained by NML Capital, a holdout creditor from Argentina’s default a decade ago that says it is owed more than $370 million.

—Emily Schmall, The New York Times