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Atrocities

WORLD
June 30, 2012 | By James Rainey, Los Angeles Times
It's been nearly four months since "Kony 2012" exploded into public consciousness as a rare bird: an Internet video that captivated the multitudes with a story of geopolitics and human suffering, not a pop diva's star turn. The video about a brutal militia leader in central Africa topped 70 million views in the first week of its release in March. Invisible Children, the human rights group that produced the piece, just as quickly became the object of derision. Critics said the San Diego-based organization had oversimplified and distorted the story of Joseph Kony and the Lord's Resistance Army, or LRA, which has kidnapped children and turned them into sex slaves and boy soldiers for more than a quarter of a century.
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WORLD
May 27, 2012 | Patrick J. McDonnell and Rima Marrouch
The blood-spattered children lie on a patterned rug, their wounds graphic proof that youth offers no protection from the dark forces unleashed in Syria. An unidentified man picks up the limp corpse of one boy, displaying the battered remains for the camera. He puts the child down and hoists another lifeless young body aloft. "Massacre in Houla -- all children!" someone is heard shouting amid groans of agony and disbelief. The grisly scenes posted online Saturday from Houla, a township in Homs province, drew international condemnation and in the view of some, have the potential to become a turning point in the 14-month rebellion against the government of President Bashar Assad.
WORLD
May 17, 2012 | By Janet Stobart and Carol J. Williams, Los Angeles Times
LONDON — Bosnian Serb Gen. Ratko Mladic confronted the accusations against him at the opening of his war crimes trial in The Hague on Wednesday with contemptuous gestures to the court and the victims who had come to see him face justice for atrocities during the 1992-95 Bosnian war. Slowed by age and the hardships of 15 years on the run from the indictment by the United Nations tribunal, Mladic still mustered a hint of his trademark swagger as...
OPINION
January 17, 2012
Reality of war Re "Warfare changed, but laws did not," Jan. 15 I served in Vietnam in 1965 and '66. I have one thing to say about today's methods of fighting war: There are no rules of engagement. People can sit in their fancy offices with their fancy law degrees and write out all the legal rules and regulations they want, but when the shooting starts, there is only one thing that matters — stay alive, whatever it takes. If that means innocent people must die, then so be it. That sounds cruel, heartless and dirty, and that is what it is. That is what war is. Maybe it is time to put an end to war. I doubt we are up to that.
ENTERTAINMENT
December 24, 2011 | By Steven Zeitchik, Los Angeles Times
For Ermin Bravo, it was the peanut butter that triggered the flashbacks. Years after the war in Bosnia ended, Bravo, a film and theater actor, still couldn't touch the condiment, fearful of what it would evoke. "It was the only thing sweet from those [aid] packages we got, and we ate so much of it during the war," Bravo, now 32, recalled. "Until this shoot [reacquainted me with it], I couldn't eat it. It brought back too many memories. " "This shoot" was the filming of "In the Land of Blood and Honey," a drama about some of the darkest events of the modern era, directed by one of its shiniest celebrities, Angelina Jolie.
WORLD
November 21, 2011 | By Mark Magnier, Los Angeles Times
Three top Khmer Rouge leaders accused of helping mastermind Cambodia's "killing fields" in the 1970s went on trial in Phnom Penh on Monday as hundreds of victims and curious onlookers arrived at the court from around the country to witness the proceedings. The U.N.-backed trial is expected to take months. Furthermore, there's often been a significant delay in past tribunals between the end of testimony and the verdict. This reflects in part the highly political nature of these proceedings in a nation where feelings about that brutal period of history are still raw and many of those who served in the Khmer Rouge remain prominent in society.
WORLD
May 26, 2011 | By Carol J. Williams, Los Angeles Times
Witnesses die. Memories fade. Victims move on with their lives, leaving no forwarding addresses. The passage of nearly two decades since the most heinous crimes attributed to Bosnian Serb Gen. Ratko Mladic could impede his prosecution at the U.N. war crimes tribunal in The Hague, legal analysts say. But those familiar with Mladic's alleged role in the worst atrocities to afflict Europe since the Nazis insist his conviction is assured despite...
WORLD
April 12, 2011 | By Robyn Dixon, Los Angeles Times
Ivory Coast's new leader took charge of a divided country Tuesday, facing continued fighting in some neighborhoods of its commercial capital and a growing humanitarian crisis. President Alassane Ouattara confronts the challenge of convincing skeptical opponents, including the 46% of the electorate who voted last fall for his rival, that he's not a stooge of France or the West and is strong enough to unite his African nation's disparate political forces. Nearly 2 million people were displaced by weeks of fighting when his rival, former President Laurent Gbagbo, refused to step down.
WORLD
March 30, 2011 | By Peter Nicholas, Los Angeles Times
After years as an outsider who watched in frustration as the U.S. failed to stop foreign atrocities, Samantha Power now is an influential White House insider in a position to try to help prevent mass killings and limit the influence of rogue leaders. Power is part of a small circle of presidential advisors shaping the U.S. approach to multiple crises rippling through the Middle East and North Africa. An outspoken author and academic before joining the Obama administration, she pressed in recent weeks for military intervention in Libya in the face of misgivings voiced by her superiors on the president's National Security Council.
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