February 20, 2014 |
DOUALA, Cameroon - For Cameroonian Roger Jean-Claude Mbede, being gay came with a prison sentence, and ultimately, a death sentence. A few weeks ago, I had to say goodbye to Jean-Claude, my dear friend and client. He died at the age of 35 in his home village of Ngoumou due to complications from a hernia he developed while in prison that never got proper treatment. Jean-Claude was imprisoned after he sent a text message to another man, which read: "I think I am very much in love with you. " In Cameroon, because of homophobic laws that were personally championed by President Paul Biya, that was enough to be considered a criminal offense, punishable with time in prison.
January 5, 2014 |
A small private jet crashed and burst into flames as it landed in Aspen, Colo., on Sunday, witnesses and authorities said. An Aspen-Pitkin County Airport official, speaking with the Los Angeles Times, confirmed the crash and said the airport was "indefinitely closed. " The official declined to release further information. A Pitkin County emergency dispatcher told The Times that county emergency responders were at the scene. The airport's official Twitter account tweeted that it was a private aircraft.
December 25, 2013 |
KABUL, Afghanistan -- The U.S. Embassy in Kabul came under attack on Christmas morning, and the Taliban later claimed responsibility, saying it had fired four rockets at the American compound. U.S. officials said that two rounds of either mortar or rocket fire struck the embassy and that no Americans were hurt, the Associated Press reported. Taliban spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid said in an email to journalists that the assault "inflicted heavy casualties," but the group frequently exaggerates the scope of its attacks.
December 11, 2013 |
WASHINGTON - The first casualty of the Senate's post-nuclear era may be the long weekend. After Senate Democrats made a historic change to the Senate's filibuster rules, requiring only a majority vote instead of a three-fifths threshold to advance most nominations, Republicans vowed that there would be consequences. But in the short term, there is little the minority party can do to stop the Democratic majority from voting to confirm a dozen or more long-stalled nominations between now and the end of the year, as Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.)
November 29, 2013 |
Child refugees fleeing the war in Syria face lives of isolation, exploitation and insecurity in neighboring countries, according to a report released Friday by the United Nations. The study by the Office of the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees looked at Syrian refugee children in Lebanon and Jordan and found that a staggering number are growing up in broken homes, missing out on education and serving as the primary breadwinner. More than 1.1 million children have fled Syria, most of them to neighboring countries, with many more internally displaced.
November 19, 2013 |
KABUL, Afghanistan - In a telephone conversation Tuesday, Secretary of State John F. Kerry and Afghan President Hamid Karzai agreed that Kerry would request a letter from President Obama acknowledging the suffering of Afghan civilians caused by U.S. military raids on Afghan homes in recent years, according to Karzai's spokesman. Kerry agreed to take the proposal to Obama as a way to break an impasse that is holding up the signing of a bilateral security agreement that would define the U.S.-Afghan partnership after international combat forces leave Afghanistan at the end of 2014, the spokesman said.