Revolving door of wars tied to severe PTSD
Shortage of troops means some traumatized soldiers do multiple tours
By SHARON COHEN Associated Press
It wasn’t his first tour in Iraq, but his second and third when Joe Callan began wondering how long his luck would last – how many more months he could swerve around bombs buried in the dirt and duck mortars raining from the skies.
It was only natural, considering the horrors he’d seen: One buddy killed when a mortar engulfed his tent in flames. A fresh-faced Marine sniper dead (also a mortar) on his first day in Iraq. A 9-year-old Iraqi boy, blood trickling from his head, after he was mistakenly shot by U.S. troops. An Iraqi grandmother collapsing from a heart attack after her home was searched (she later died).
Borneo’s ‘Lost World’ to be nominated World Heritage Site
From Times Online
April 13, 2010
Luke Hunt, Malaysia
Malaysian authorities have ended years of tortuous debate and decided to nominate the pristine Maliau Basin as a World Heritage Site, effectively saving the celebrated rainforests from the clutches of timber and mining interests.
The basin, located deep within the remote interior of North Borneo was only discovered in the 1970s and remain mainly unexplored.
Scientists hailed the decision saying it was a victory for the environment and the species of life that remain undiscovered.
Lehman Channeled Risks Through ‘Alter Ego’ Firm
By LOUISE STORY and ERIC DASH
Published: April 12, 2010
It was like a hidden passage on Wall Street, a secret channel that enabled billions of dollars to flow through Lehman Brothers. In the years before its collapse, Lehman used a small company – its “alter ego,” in the words of a former Lehman trader – to shift investments off its books.
The firm, called Hudson Castle, played a crucial, behind-the-scenes role at Lehman, according to an internal Lehman document and interviews with former employees. The relationship raises new questions about the extent to which Lehman obscured its financial condition before it plunged into bankruptcy.
Jobless dropouts head back to school for basic skills
By Christopher Connell
Tuesday, April 13, 2010
LOUISVILLE — The push to return unemployed workers to the nation’s payrolls is hamstrung by a decades-old legacy of poor schooling that has left tens of millions of Americans without the basic reading or math skills necessary for today’s jobs.
They are people such as Sherry Carr, 56, a high school dropout who spent years working at printing presses but struggled to stay employed after that industry went into decline.
Judge who targeted Russia’s neo-Nazis is found shot dead
Eduard Chuvashov refused state bodyguard despite death threats
By Shaun Walker in Moscow Tuesday, 13 April 2010
A leading Russian judge who received death threats after handing out long prison sentences to nationalist and neo-Nazi groups was shot dead yesterday in Moscow.
Eduard Chuvashov was shot three times in the stairwell outside his second-floor apartment, just before 9am as he was leaving for work. Sources in Russian law-enforcement said that nationalist groups could have been behind the attack. Mr Chuvashov, 47, had handled several high-profile cases involving racist killings, and death threats were posted along with his photograph on extremist online forums.
Analysis: error, pressure or lost in translation
From The Times
April 13, 2010
Charles Bremner in Paris
There is a growing suspicion that the pilot of the aircraft that crashed at Smolensk, killing the Polish President and 95 others, was deferring to military top brass when he attempted to land in thick fog.
An account today from the Russian controller who was handling the Tupolev-154 jet strengthened the belief in aviation circles that Captain Arkadiusz Protasiuk may have been under pressure to land in unacceptable conditions.
Some professionals likened his low approach to Smolensk North military airbase in fog to Russian roulette.
Yemen balks at possible US strike on cleric Anwar al-Awlaki
Yemen said this weekend it is not hunting Anwar al-Awlaki, the US-born cleric who has been linked to the Fort Hood shooter and Christmas Day underwear bomber. Awlaki was recently added to the CIA’s hit list.
By Sarah A. Topol, Correspondent / April 12, 2010
Yemen appeared to balk this weekend at a recent US authorization to capture or assassinate Anwar Al-Awlaki, the Yemeni-American cleric tied to 9/11 attackers, the Fort Hood shooter, and the Christmas Day underwear bomber.
“Anwar al-Awlaki has always been looked at as a preacher rather than a terrorist and shouldn’t be considered as a terrorist unless the Americans have evidence that he has been involved in terrorism,” Foreign Minister Abu Bakr al-Qirbi told reporters on Saturday, adding that the government was not hunting the US-born cleric believed to be living in Yemen.
Israeli Troops Kill Palestinian Militant at Border
By FARES AKRAM
Published: April 13, 2010
GAZA – A Palestinian militant was killed and two others were wounded on Tuesday when Israeli troops shot at them as they tried to plant explosives near the border boundary, according to an Israeli military spokesman in Tel Aviv and Palestinians in Gaza.
An official of Al-Aqsa hospital in the town of Deir el-Balah said Marwan al-Jarba, 22, was dead when he arrived and the two other men had injuries that were moderate to serious.
The Islamic Jihad group, a small, more radical competitor of the ruling Hamas party, said in a statement that it had sent men to strike at Israeli forces along Gaza’s eastern boundary but the group was spotted and attacked.
Rioters vent fury at US after Nato troops kill Afghan civilians on bus
Protesters take to streets in Kandahar after attack kills four and leaves 18 wounded
By Julius Cavendish in Kabul Tuesday, 13 April 2010
Nato’s hopes for winning over the Afghan population in the south of the country ahead of a massive new military campaign took a major blow yesterday when Nato soldiers opened fire on a civilian bus in Kandahar City and killed four passengers.
Eighteen passengers were also injured in the shooting, which sparked riots in Kandahar. Hundreds of protesters burned tyres, chanted “Death to America! Death to Karzai! Death to this government!” and blocked the main road out of the city.
Kyrgyzstan’s ousted President Bakiyev’s immunity lifted
The interim government of Kyrgyzstan has said President Kurmanbek Bakiyev no longer has presidential immunity and has called on him to surrender.
The BBC Tuesday, 13 April 2010
Interim security minister Azimbek Beknazarov said the country would use force to arrest Mr Bakiyev if he does not give himself up.
Mr Bakiyev was removed from office following violent protests.
He has refused to resign and has been attempting to rally support in the south of the country.
Mr Bakiyev has maintained that he is still in charge, and has been operating from the southern city of Jalalabad.
In a defiant move, the ousted president is holding a rally there, which has reportedly drawn thousands of supporters.
Acting leader of Nigeria tries to reassure skeptics
By Shashank Bengali | McClatchy Newspapers
WASHINGTON – The acting president of Nigeria pledged Monday that his fractious, oil-rich nation will hold clean elections next year as he sought to ease concerns about a leadership crisis in his African nation.
The Nigerian leader, Goodluck Jonathan, also told an audience at the Council on Foreign Relations that a program to rehabilitate militants whose attacks have crippled oil production in the Niger Delta region was making progress, despite many skeptics.
“The issue of young men who have taken arms to fight the system … it’s not something you can say you can even complete in the four years of this administration,” Jonathan said. “But I can assure you that we will set up a solid base and have a clear focus and a program with timelines that you will see that we are progressing.”
Rio de Janeiro police occupy slums as city fights back against drug gangs
Polls suggest ‘pacification’ project welcome in favelas despite reports of draconian tactics
Tom Phillips in Rio de Janeiro
guardian.co.uk, Monday 12 April 2010 16.32 BST
On a hilltop high above downtown Rio, an ageing white sign clings to a bullet-pocked water tank that sprouts from the peak of the city’s oldest shantytown. “Rio’s state government,” it reads. “Making our people happier.”
For years residents of the Morro da Providência have stared up at the sign and its bulletholes – the result of shoot-outs between police and drug traffickers – with a mixture of amusement, frustration and disgust. Accustomed to the iron fist of the drug faction and to sporadic and deadly police raids, the area’s impoverished residents had little to thank Rio’s governors for.