U.S. now in Afghanistan as long as Soviets were
The last Red Army troops left in 1989, driven out after nine years and 50 days by U.S.-backed fighters known as mujahedin. Despite contrasts, the U.S. and Soviet wars have common narrative elements.
By Laura King and Sergei L. Loiko, Los Angeles Times
November 27, 2010
Reporting from Kabul, Afghanistan, and Moscow – As wartime days go, Friday was a fairly quiet one in Afghanistan. Helicopters skittered across the sky; convoys rumbled along desert roads; soldiers in mountain outposts scanned the jagged peaks around them.
But one thing set the day apart: With its passing, the length of the U.S. military’s campaign in Afghanistan matched that of the Soviet Union’s long and demoralizing sojourn in the nation.ion.
‘The Fight Is Not Hopeless’
The Haitian Cholera Epidemic
SPIEGEL ONLINE: Ms. Wolz, you already helped provide emergency aid after the earthquake in Haiti in January. Now cholera has brought you back to the country. How is this double catastrophe affecting the people?
Anja Wolz: Many patients are traumatized and they ask: Why us? What is going to happen next? Especially in Port-au-Prince and Leogane, where almost everything was destroyed. Here in the north, in Cap-Haitien, the people were among those most spared by the earthquake, but even they have realized how much suffering there is in their country and are in despair.
U.S. strips intelligence analyst of security clearance and job but won’t say why
By Peter Finn
Washington Post Staff Writer
Saturday, November 27, 2010; 12:09 AM
Eighteen months ago, John Dullahan was an intelligence analyst with a long and varied career in both the military and the classified world. Today, he is jobless and blacklisted from the federal workforce, his loyalty to the United States, he says, brought into question.
On St. Patrick’s Day 2009, the government stripped the Irish-born Dullahan’s security clearance and fired him from his job at the Defense Intelligence Agency in a manner that has no precedent at the Pentagon – invoking a national security clause that states that it would harm the interests of the United States to inform him of the accusations against him.
Somali-born teen arrested in car bomb plot
Feds supplied dud in sting at downtown Portland, Ore., Christmas tree lighting ceremony
NBC, msnbc.com and news services
PORTLAND, Ore. – A Somali-born teenager plotted to carry out a car bomb attack at a crowded Christmas tree lighting ceremony in downtown Portland on Friday, but the bomb turned out to be a dud supplied by undercover agents as part of a sting, federal prosecutors said.
Mohamed Osman Mohamud, 19, was arrested at 5:40 p.m. just after he dialed a cell phone that he thought would blow up a van laden with explosives but instead brought federal agents and Portland police swooping in to take him into custody.
The thwarted attack occurred at Portland’s Pioneer Courthouse Square before the annual Christmas tree lighting ceremony, The Oregonian reported.
Sinn Fein signals big trouble for Cowen
By David McKittrick, Ireland Correspondent Saturday, 27 November 2010
The woes of the Irish Prime Minister Brian Cowen increased yesterday when his Fianna Fail party was trounced by Sinn Fein in a by-election in Co Donegal.
With early ballots counted, the vote for Fianna Fail, the largest party in Dublin’s governing coalition, appeared to have slumped from its winning 50 per cent in the last general election, to just 20 per cent; a collapse broadly in line with its position in nationwide opinion polls.
The result will be regarded as confirmation that the government can expect to be swept from office when Mr Cowen calls a general election, as he has promised to do, in the new year. The seats of many present ministers are now thought to be in jeopardy.
Polish politicians welcome admission on Katyn massacre
The Irish Times – Saturday, November 27, 2010
TOM PARFITT in Moscow
IN A symbolic admission of guilt, Russia’s parliament has declared that Joseph Stalin ordered his secret police to execute 22,000 Polish army officers and civilians in 1940, in one of the greatest mass murders of the 20th century.
Yesterday’s acknowledgment of Stalin’s personal culpability in the Katyn massacre comes amid a cautious thaw between Moscow and Warsaw, whose recent relations have been thorny at best. It was also seen as a sign that Russia may finally be ready for muted self-scrutiny over its totalitarian past.
WikiLeaks may show US has helped terrorist group
Jason Koutsoukis HERALD CORRESPONDENT
November 27, 2010
JERUSALEM: Several of the documents set to be published by WikiLeaks this weekend are believed to show the US has been helping Turkey’s Kurdish separatist movement the PKK, or Kurdistan Workers Party.
The PKK is listed as a terrorist group in Turkey, the US, the European Union and Australia.
The claim is reported in the London Arabic-language newspaper Al-Hayat.
Iraq’s Troubles Drive Out Refugees Who Came Back
By JOHN LELAND Published: November 26, 2010
BAGHDAD – A second exodus has begun here, of Iraqis who returned after fleeing the carnage of the height of the war, but now find that violence and the nation’s severe lack of jobs are pulling them away from home once again.
Since the American invasion in 2003, refugees have been a measure of the country’s precarious condition, flooding outward during periods of violence and trickling back as Iraq seemed to stabilize. This new migration shows how far the nation remains from being stable and secure.
As Seoul dithers and US ships circle, an island tries to live with its grief
Donald Kirk reports from a shell-shocked Yeonpyeong Island
Saturday, 27 November 2010
The sight of a row of charred barstools in front of a scorched counter reminds visitors of the good times enjoyed here until just five days ago, on this once thriving island within easy sight of the North Korean coastline – and her gunners – eight miles away.
The narrow street of shattered shops and homes was strewn with shards of blasted glass windows, twisted walls and broken roofs. People who had lived here until last Tuesday hurriedly visited their homes to pick up a few belongings before returning again to the safety of the South Korean mainland.
Son of ex-Taiwanese vice-president shot during election rally
The Irish Times – Saturday, November 27, 2010
CLIFFORD COONAN in Beijing
SEAN LIEN, son of Taiwan’s former vice-president Lien Chan, was shot in the face and wounded at a rally yesterday on the eve of mayoral elections on the self-ruled island, but the shooting appeared not to be politically motivated.
Mr Lien (40), a member of the ruling KMT or Nationalist party’s central committee, was taken to hospital to undergo emergency surgery but his life was not in danger, according to local media.
The National Police Agency later said a 29-year-old man was also shot at the rally, but died on the way to a hospital. It identified the shooter as Lin Cheng-wei.
Egypt Facebook pages vanish before vote
MARWA AWAD | CAIRO, EGYPT – Nov 27 2010
The activists said they suspected the Egyptian government had played a role in the disappearance of the pages, possibly by covertly bombarding Facebook with complaints about the pages that resulted in their removal, but offered no evidence to support the allegation.
Egyptian interior and information ministry officials were unavailable for comment on Friday, a holiday in Egypt.
Facebook said in an email message that its security systems, designed to protect users on the site, had led it to remove the pages.
Rio de Janeiro gun battle sees toddler and photographer among casualties
Violence that has left at least 49 dead within a week is focused on headquarters of city’s oldest drug faction
Tom Phillips in Belo Horizonte
The Guardian, Saturday 27 November 2010
A two-year-old girl and a Reuters photographer were wounded and at least seven people killed yesterday during the third day of gunbattles in Rio de Janeiro.
The unprecedented violence, which has so far left at least 49 people dead, is focused on the Complexo do Alemão, a labyrinth of red-brick houses that is the headquarters of Rio’s oldest drug faction, the Red Command.
Last night local drug traffickers fired at police helicopters as hundreds of police and army operatives surrounded the giant favela, home to some 70,000 impoverished Brazilians.