May 2, 2013 |
BAGHDAD - Iraqi security used disproportionate force, including shooting unarmed civilians, during a raid on an encampment of Sunni Arab protesters last week that left 45 people dead, according to two government investigations and foreign diplomats. The predawn raid in the city of Hawija in Kirkuk province April 23 involved security forces demanding that protesters hand over demonstrators suspected of killing an Iraqi soldier four days earlier, officials said. Shooting erupted during the raid, enraging Sunnis and leading to violence in other parts of the country.
April 30, 2013 |
MEXICO CITY - On the eve of President Obama's trip to Mexico, Mexican authorities on Tuesday announced the capture of a key drug cartel operative, the father-in-law and associate of one of the world's most-wanted fugitive kingpins. The major arrest - the first under new President Enrique Peña Nieto - comes as the extraordinarily close U.S.-Mexican cooperation in the drug war is undergoing significant changes. The Los Angeles Times reported this week that officials of the 5-month-old Mexican administration were alarmed to discover how deeply involved U.S. advisors were in sensitive areas of security and law enforcement during the six-year government of former President Felipe Calderon.
April 28, 2013 |
WASHINGTON - President Obama travels to Mexico this week amid signs that the relationship between the United States and its southern neighbor's new government faces a new period of uncertainty after years of unprecedented closeness forged by the deadly war against Mexican drug cartels. The government of Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto is said to be wary of the level of U.S. involvement in security affairs that characterized the administration of his predecessor, Felipe Calderon.
April 27, 2013 |
KABUL, Afghanistan - At a pivotal moment when U.S. forces are winding down combat operations in Afghanistan and handing over the lead security role to the Afghan government, Taliban insurgents announced Saturday the launch of their annual spring offensive. In an elaborately worded statement, the Taliban proclaimed that a "monumental spring operation" would begin Sunday with the goal of "defeating this era's Western invaders. " The Islamist insurgent group, tossed from power by U.S.-led forces in late 2001, is threatening a new round of mass suicide bombings and "insider" attacks on American and coalition forces.
April 26, 2013 |
The last time Manuel Cardenas fell ill, the 24-year-old single father had no choice but to report for work. His employer, a security contractor, doesn't offer sick pay to part-timers like Cardenas, he said, and he can't afford to lose a day's wages. "I probably shouldn't have, but I had to," said Cardenas, a security guard in San Jose. He is among California workers for whom labor groups and others are fighting to secure paid sick leave. Currently, 4.5 million workers in California, about 40% of the state's workforce, don't have sick-pay benefits.
April 26, 2013 |
Security in the Forbidden City across the street from the Great Hall of the People was tight last month when Li Keqiang was installed as premier of China. But the uniformed guards weren't armed with automatic weapons. Instead, they were equipped with fire extinguishers to prevent would-be protesters from self-immolating. China these days is consumed with concerns about domestic stability. Notwithstanding this internal preoccupation, the Middle Kingdom's increasing appetite for Persian Gulf oil has sparked unprecedented Chinese interest in the Middle East.
April 25, 2013 |
WASHINGTON - Almost 30 years ago, two young women allegedly obtained fake passports in Europe for a clandestine trip to Cuba. Today, one is in prison serving a 25-year sentence for espionage; the other has taken shelter in Sweden. On Thursday, the U.S. government stepped up its efforts to get that second woman, Marta Rita Velazquez, from Sweden to an American courtroom. Velazquez, 55, a U.S. citizen born in Puerto Rico, was charged in 2004 with conspiracy to commit espionage for her role in recruiting Ana Belen Montes to give American secrets to Cuba, according to a previously sealed indictment that the Justice Department released Thursday.
April 23, 2013 |
WASHINGTON - On the third day of hearings on a bill to overhaul the immigration system, senators took a break from partisan sniping and grilled Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano on whether the Boston bombings had exposed shortcomings in the nation's immigration security apparatus. Conservative Republicans have tried to slow the Senate bill since two brothers, ethnic Chechens granted political asylum from Russia as minors with their family, were identified as the suspects in last week's bombings.
April 23, 2013 |
Washington's tug of war over the federal budget has many wonders, but the biggest one of all must be the lengths to which politicians and pundits will go to deprive Granny and Grandpa of $30 a month. That's the amount by which benefits for the average Social Security retiree would be reduced by 2023 under a provision in President Obama's new budget. It might not sound like much to the president or fans of the proposal in both parties and the Washington commentariat. For the retiree trying to stretch an average monthly check of about $1,200 to cover housing, healthcare and every other necessity under the sun, it looms rather larger.
April 23, 2013 |
BEIRUT - Security forces for the Shiite-led Iraqi government raided a Sunni protest camp in northern Iraq on Tuesday, igniting violence around the country that left at least 36 people dead. The unrest led two Sunni officials to resign from the government and risked pushing the country's Sunni provinces into an open revolt against Prime Minister Nouri Maliki, a Shiite. The situation looked to be the gravest moment for Iraq since the last U.S. combat troops left in December 2011. The violence Tuesday started in the Sunni town of Hawija, where shooting erupted during the raid.