January 5, 2012 |
A string of explosions targeting Shiite Muslims that killed at least 71 people bore the hallmark of Sunni Arab insurgents who have a history of trying to capitalize on tensions among Iraqi politicians to reignite the communal violence that nearly tore the country apart. The bombings Thursday in the south of Iraq and in mainly Shiite neighborhoods of the capital, Baghdad, were the second major wave of attacks since the last U.S. troops departed from Iraq less than three weeks ago. Sectarian tension has escalated sharply as a political dispute threatens to unravel U.S.-backed power-sharing arrangements among the country's Shiites, Sunni Arabs and ethnic Kurds.
December 29, 2011 |
When Vice President Joe Biden slipped into Baghdad this month to commemorate the end of eight bloody years of war in Iraq, there was one face conspicuously absent from the host of solemn ceremonies and farewell meetings he attended: that of Ahmad Chalabi. The Iraqi politician, who lived in exile before Saddam Hussein's ouster, is shunned by Washington these days. But there has never been a foreigner more crucially involved in a decision by the United States to go to war than Ahmad Chalabi.
December 22, 2011 |
Sirens wailed, smoke billowed and blood pooled on the pavement. The scenes of devastation were all too familiar after more than a dozen explosions ripped through the Iraqi capital Thursday, killing at least 60 people and injuring nearly 200, just days after the last U.S. troops left the country. The attacks, some of the worst in Iraq this year, came in the midst of a political standoff between the country's main Shiite Muslim and Sunni Arab factions. The dispute threatens to unravel a U.S.-backed power-sharing government, and is spreading anxiety over the prospect of a return to the sectarian bloodletting that devastated the country in recent years.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 11, 2011 |
Christopher B. Fishbeck was a simple man with big dreams, he liked to tell friends. Fishbeck dreamed of orbiting the Earth and running in the Olympics, he wrote on his MySpace page. He hoped to change the world and leave his mark. That indefatigable nature and unquenchable optimism endeared him to his family and friends. Born in Anaheim, Fishbeck grew up in Buena Park and from boyhood made it known that he was determined to reach for the stars, either theoretically through his love of physics and astronomy or literally as a pilot or astronaut.
December 9, 2011 |
The balding head of Hamid Hussein had been sliced open with a sword. Bright scarlet blood flowed down his sunburned face, trickling down and staining the white robes worn by his 5-year-old son, Hussein. It was a momentous day for father and son. They were observing Ashura, the annual religious holiday when Shiite Muslims display penance and mourning with self-inflicted wounds to commemorate the 7th century martyrdom of Imam Hussein, a grandson of the prophet Muhammad. There was one more reason to note the day: U.S. forces were nearly gone from all of Iraq just three weeks before the Dec. 31 deadline for their withdrawal.
November 4, 2011 |
Some men see lawn chairs in the sky and ask, "Why?" Some, though, imagine attaching the chairs to hundreds of balloons, strapping themselves in the seat, donning oxygen masks and flying straight over Baghdad. Kent Couch, who runs a gas station in Bend, Ore., is such a man. Couch boarded a flight to the Middle East on Thursday, setting out on an adventure that involves becoming the first lawn chair balloonist to traverse the now-more-or-less peaceful skies over Iraq -- and raise money for Iraqi children.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 16, 2011 |
Fresh out of high school, Ramon Mora Jr. saw no limits to his dreams: He could become a veterinarian. Or a stock market wizard. Maybe even an ace helicopter pilot. "His mind was really open and clear," said his grandfather, Baltazar Mora of Ontario . The elder Mora and his wife, Maria Theresa, helped raise their grandson for most of his life. His 19 years presented challenges at times, bumps in the road that he doggedly overcame — always determined, always looking forward.
October 1, 2011 |
When Suad Dabbagh and two other women graduated from Iraq's Judicial Institute in 1979, they became the first female judges in a nation run by Saddam Hussein. The novelty led to a deluge of news photo and interview requests. But progress was short-lived. By the mid-1980s, when Hussein's government once again stopped accepting women in its judicial study program, there were only six female judges. These days, after eight wrenching years of invasion, occupation and rebuilding, the outlook is different: There are 72 female judges working in Iraqi courts.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
September 18, 2011 |
When Russell Jeremiah Proctor was a child, his father often pushed him to excel because he thought his son could grow up to be a leader, according to family members. Proctor, 25, of Oroville , north of Sacramento, eventually joined the Army and became a staff sergeant. He was on his third deployment to Iraq when he was killed in Diyala province, northeast of Baghdad, on June 26. Army officials said Proctor and another soldier were killed by an improvised explosive device.