CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 3, 2012 |
CAMP PENDLETON - In a ceremony replete with praise for their courage and resourcefulness, four members of an elite Marine special forces squad received medals Monday for their actions during a lengthy firefight in Afghanistan. But one key squad member, whose dedication and coolness under fire were noted in the official after-action report, was not in attendance: Posha, the military working dog. The German shepherd was with the Marines when they landed in a helicopter-borne assault to clear out a Taliban command post and quickly found two pressure-plate bombs on the main route to the Taliban compound.
October 12, 2012 |
HELMAND PROVINCE, Afghanistan - The sun pounds down on the U.S. Marine sergeant and the tribal elder in this faceless, bone-colored plain. "We haven't seen any Taliban," the silk-bearded Afghan says, with a grin too large. The sergeant, broiling in his bulletproof vest, anticipates crackling gunfire at any minute. He knows the man is lying and he expects him to lie. This barren, anonymous-feeling landscape matters because it sits outside the biggest U.S. military and coalition base in Helmand province, known as Camp Leatherneck, a miniature city built in the middle of nowhere.
September 24, 2012 |
NAIROBI, Kenya - The voices were loud and harsh outside the thin walls of the tin shack where Musa Otieno, a boy of 12, tried to sleep in the Nairobi slum of Kibera. A stranger had wandered into the neighborhood. A mob gathered around him with machetes and knives, shouting, "Thief, thief!" The boy huddled in bed, listening to the stranger pleading. "The man was saying, 'I'm not a thief, I'm looking for someone,' but no one gave him a chance to explain. " The boy heard the man's screams as the mob beat him. He heard the sound of machetes, "like someone was cutting something.
September 21, 2012 |
BEIRUT - Fierce clashes were reported Thursday in an area of north-central Syria where antigovernment rebels earlier seized a border post across from Turkey. Word of fighting in Raqqah province suggests that the tribal region, long regarded as a bastion of support for the government of President Bashar Assad, could be the latest battle zone in a conflict that has spread across much of the nation. The region of Raqqah sits strategically between two heavily contested provinces: Aleppo and Dair Alzour, both featuring raging battles and large swaths of territory in rebel hands.
September 16, 2012 |
KABUL, Afghanistan - Does a prince's presence endanger those serving alongside him? The Taliban launched a rare all-out assault on the heavily fortified NATO base in southern Afghanistan's Helmand province where Prince Harry, third in line to the British throne, is deployed. The attack lasted into the early hours of Saturday and left two U.S. Marines dead, military officials said. Afterward, a Taliban spokesman reiterated the group's desire to kill or capture Queen Elizabeth II's grandson.
September 8, 2012 |
BEIJING - At least 80 people were killed Friday when a pair of earthquakes jolted a mountainous region of southwestern China, triggering landslides, damaging thousands of buildings and forcing thousands of residents from their homes, the official New China News Agency said. The first quake, a magnitude 5.7, shook the border region of Yunnan and Guizhou provinces at 11:19 a.m. An hour later, the second quake struck, a magnitude 5.6. The temblors destroyed or damaged 20,000 homes and injured more than 700 people in the largely impoverished, rural area.
August 30, 2012 |
KABUL, Afghanistan - Not long ago, Bamiyan province was considered one of the most peaceful corners of Afghanistan, a remote and scenic enclave that was largely free of the daily violence that roils so much of the country. Now it may become a cautionary tale about the pitfalls of winding down the war here. In the summer of 2011, Bamiyan's tranquil image was such that it was picked as the country's first province for the transfer of fighting duties from Western forces to Afghan troops, a process that is to be replicated across Afghanistan in a prelude to the end of NATO's combat role in 2014.
August 17, 2012 |
KABUL, Afghanistan - No sooner had freshly minted Afghan policeman Mohammad Ismail been issued his service weapon than he turned it on his American mentors. The killings of two Americans and the wounding of a third Friday by the new recruit to an Afghan village police force brought the number of U.S. forces killed in "insider" shootings - attacks by Afghan allies on Western troops - to nine in 11 days. Underscoring the scope and perniciousness of the problem, another such shooting took place just hours later in nearby Kandahar province, but did not result in any deaths except that of the assailant, an Afghan soldier.
June 7, 2012 |
BEIRUT — Antigovernment activists accused forces loyal to Syrian President Bashar Assad of a new massacre of civilians early Thursday, even as United Nations special envoy Kofi Annan reportedly sought to create a coalition of nations to breathe new life into his flagging peace plan for Syria. Dozens were killed by government shelling and attacks by pro-regime "thugs" in the province of Hama, according to reports by the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a Britain-based antigovernment group that tracks daily casualties.
June 2, 2012 |
BEIRUT - Evidence of a new massacre - the third in a week - surfaced Friday in Syria as a United Nations human rights panel called for an "international, transparent, independent and prompt investigation" of mass killings last week in the township of Houla that left more than 100 people dead, mostly women and children slaughtered in their homes. Both sides in the conflict reported Friday that the bodies of a dozen workers at a government-run fertilizer factory had been found dumped in a field near the central town of Qusair, all apparently shot.