April 13, 2014 |
WASHINGTON - Raised on his father's and grandfather's tales of military service in India, Amitoj Chhabra wanted nothing more than to follow in their footsteps and join the U.S. Air Force. "I dreamt it. I slept it. It was all I ever thought about 24/7," Chhabra recalled. But the dream died before he even reached boot camp. When he tried to enlist, Chhabra, a Sikh from Reno, was told that his long hair and beard, which Sikhs are religiously mandated to keep unshorn, collided with Air Force grooming requirements.
April 12, 2014 |
Russian President Vladimir Putin has massed tens of thousands of troops along Ukraine's eastern border, a reminder of his vow to protect ethnic Russians in the neighboring country. Using his army, however, is probably Plan B. Rather than repeating the "Crimean scenario" - invading, seizing and annexing territory - the Kremlin would prefer to keep Ukraine weak and divided by forcing a change in how it is governed, analysts say. Increasing regional autonomy at the expense of the central government would force Ukrainian authorities to constantly balance competing visions of the country to hold it together, and in effect give Moscow veto power through its influence among ethnic Russians in the east.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 11, 2014 |
Faced with losing an ambitious $1-billion plan to revamp the Los Angeles River, Mayor Eric Garcetti on Friday raised the stakes by offering to split the cost with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. The corps, which manages the river as a flood control channel, last year recommended a $453-million package of parks, bike paths and other enhancements to make the river more inviting to Angelenos. It recently informed the mayor's office that it was sticking with that plan rather than pursuing the $1-billion version, known as Alternative 20, that Garcetti backs.
April 6, 2014 |
In a windowless cinder-block room at Ft. Hood on Wednesday morning, 11 soldiers closed their eyes and practiced taking deep, slow breaths. The technique is useful for gaining self-control in stressful situations, explained their instructor. In the course of the day, the students would practice escaping a wrestling hold while being taunted by fellow soldiers. They would balance a dime on the end of an M16 rifle. They would watch a clip from the movie "Talladega Nights" in which Will Ferrell tries to get into a car with a cougar in the front seat.
April 4, 2014 |
After the sudden death of his mother in November, Army Spc. Ivan Lopez was upset that officials at Ft. Hood granted him less than two days to go home to Puerto Rico for her funeral. Carmen Lopez's death from a heart attack came just a month after that of his grandfather. Months later, the 34-year-old musician, father and decorated soldier posted a chilling message on his Facebook page about a robbery at his home, saying the devil had taken him and he was "full of hatred. " Lopez opened fire with a semiautomatic handgun, killing three fellow service members and wounding 16 others before turning the weapon on himself at Ft. Hood on Wednesday.
April 4, 2014 |
When Army Spc. Ivan Lopez went on the shooting rampage Wednesday at Ft. Hood, Texas, killing three soldiers and injuring 16 others, he had just learned that superiors in Washington had rejected his request to take a temporary leave to deal with family matters related to his mother's death, a federal law enforcement official said. The incident marked the second time Lopez had clashed with military supervisors over the issue of leave - he had been granted less than two days when his mother died in November - and the latest such denial left him furious, the official said.