January 30, 2013 |
An American democracy activist accused of trying to overthrow the Vietnamese government was freed Wednesday and sent home to Southern California to rejoin his family, more than nine months after he was first detained in Saigon. The unexpected decision comes amid a recent rash of charges against dissidents in Vietnam that have triggered global condemnation and raised concerns about the country's increased strategic engagement with the United States. U.S. citizen Nguyen Quoc Quan was arrested last April and faced subversion charges tied to his activism with the banned political party and democracy group Viet Tan. Though the United Nations human rights office and other watchdogs say the banned party is a peaceful organization, Vietnam deems it a terrorist group.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 23, 2013 |
A Fountain Valley councilman is leading the charge to block a delegation of business and government officials from Vietnam, saying it will unleash a storm of protesters in the increasingly immigrant city. Mayor Pro Tem Michael Vo said an official visit from a country "without human rights and respect for freedom will not be accepted by the Vietnamese community, many who live here. " Vo said it would be fiscally irresponsible to pay for police services for a likely protest, which he predicted could draw hundreds.
December 28, 2012 |
TEHRAN - As rebel forces advance and longtime allies in Moscow distance themselves, Syria's most faithful friend is recalculating as well: Iranian officials and analysts say the Islamic Republic has launched a vigorous internal debate about how firmly it will continue to support Syrian President Bashar Assad. On the surface, Iranian officials stick to the view that Assad remains in control, and they welcome his emissaries. In Friday sermons, clerics close to Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Iran's supreme leader, accuse Israel and Western powers of plotting to bring Assad down.
December 27, 2012 |
KABUL, Afghanistan - Recent pronouncements by the Taliban have raised the possibility that the insurgents may be softening their stance on what a future without U.S. and international forces in Afghanistan might look like. But even among those who are most optimistic about reviving a stalled peace process, there is hesitation about prospects for reaching a political settlement before the bulk of NATO forces pull out in 2014. And others dismiss the Taliban's overtures as propaganda designed to build the group's political profile among Afghans and the international community.
December 12, 2012 |
MOSCOW - Russian President Vladimir Putin stunned high-level officials Wednesday by proposing restrictions on their ability to possess Western bank accounts and own real estate abroad. Putin, in his first state-of-the-union speech since returning to the presidency, focused largely on domestic issues, saying that fighting corruption is one of the key priorities of his third presidential term and that Russia should look for guidance in its own history. Putin said at a gathering of government ministers, lawmakers, regional governors and spiritual leaders in the Grand Kremlin Palace that he wanted their support in limiting the rights of bureaucrats and politicians to hold foreign bank accounts and stocks.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 7, 2012 |
U.S. Customs and Border Protection has launched what it calls a comprehensive review of its officers' use of force amid a sharp increase in fatal confrontations along the Southwest border. The initiative, which appears to be the most far-reaching of its kind in recent years, calls for an assessment of current tactics and the participation of an independent outside research center. Mexican government officials, who have condemned the shootings, will also be provided briefings on closed investigations involving force, according to a memorandum prepared for Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano and obtained by the Los Angeles Times.
November 30, 2012
The Democratic Republic of Congo has been repeatedly ravaged by war, rebellion and attacks on civilians in the last two decades. Though the country is rarely without some skirmish going on somewhere - a result of a complicated history of rivalries among ethnic groups and constant conflicts over land ownership and resources - the government made a strategic move toward peace several years ago. It signed a treaty on March 23, 2009, with a rebel group...
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
September 23, 2012 |
The city of Los Angeles should continue negotiating with government officials from the Inland Empire to determine if there is a way to transfer control of L.A./Ontario International Airport to them, a new report recommended Friday. The report by Miguel Santana, the chief administrative officer for Los Angeles, also concluded that a December 2011 proposal by Ontario municipal officials to take over the struggling airport should be declined. Researchers said that the deal could result in the illegal diversion of $50 million in airport revenue to the city, instead of Los Angeles World Airports, which operates Ontario, Los Angeles International Airport and Van Nuys Airport.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
September 16, 2012 |
One after another, people stepped before the Costa Mesa City Council to decry the blight and lawlessness on tiny Ford Road -- prostitutes, thieves, home invaders. What the city needs, they pleaded, is more cops. Councilman Jim Righeimer, a GOP activist and an architect of the city's controversial plan to radically slash its workforce, perceived the parade of concerned citizens as the pawns of a police union and its law firm, with its statewide reputation for bare-knuckle tactics.
September 6, 2012 |
JERUSALEM - Under pressure from the United Nations and human rights groups, Israel agreed Thursday to allow into the country three Eritrean refugees from a group of more than 20 that had been stranded for a week along a new newly built border fence with Egypt in the Sinai desert. Israeli officials said they would take in only two women and a teenager for humanitarian reasons and that the rest of the group would be removed from the fence area and taken to Cairo by Egyptian authorities.