Nation/World Briefs

AIG weighs joining lawsuit against U.S.

NEW YORK – American International Group Inc. said Tuesday its board of directors will weigh whether to take part in a shareholder lawsuit against the government over its $182 billion bailout of the insurer.

If AIG decides to join the complaint, which seeks $25 billion in damages, it would pit the company against the government that rescued it in 2008 from collapsing under the weight of huge losses on mortgage-backed securities and other toxic assets.

AIG said that its directors will meet today and should have a decision by the end of the month.

Obama seeks $1M for inauguration

WASHINGTON – Planners of President Barack Obama’s second inauguration are soliciting high-dollar contributions up to $1 million to help pay for the celebration in exchange for special access.

The changes are part of a continuing erosion of Obama’s pledge to keep donors and special interests at arm’s length of his presidency. He has abandoned the policy from his first inauguration to accept donations up to only $50,000 from people, announcing last month that he would take unlimited contributions from people and corporations.

A fundraising appeal obtained by The Associated Press shows the Presidential Inaugural Committee is going far beyond Obama’s previous self-imposed limits and is looking to blow away modern American presidential inauguration fundraising records by offering donors four VIP packages named after the country’s founding fathers.

Tunisian suspect in Libya attack freed

TUNIS, Tunisia – Tunisian authorities released one of the only men in custody for alleged links to September’s attack on the U.S. diplomatic mission in the Libyan city of Benghazi, the latest blow to an investigation that has limped along for months.

Armed groups assaulted the lightly guarded mission on Sept. 11 and killed U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other Americans, but despite U.S. promises there has been little news of progress so far in bringing the perpetrators to justice.

Ali Harzi, a 26-year-old Tunisian extradited from Turkey in October, was one of the only people actually detained over the attack, and at the time Tunisian authorities said they “strongly suspected” he was involved.

Venezuela postpones Chavez swearing-in

CARACAS, Venezuela – Venezuelan lawmakers voted Tuesday to postpone the inauguration of ailing President Hugo Chavez for his new term, prompting complaints from opponents who called it a violation of the constitution.

Chavez’s congressional allies, who hold a majority of seats in the National Assembly, agreed with a government proposal for Chavez to be sworn in at a later date before the Supreme Court. While pro-Chavez lawmakers approved the plan with a show of hands, opponents condemned the action as illegal.

Associated Press