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Showing posts from February 13, 2013

Charred human remains found in cabin after Christopher Dorner's last stand

Former officer suspected of pursuing murderous vendetta against LA force thought to have died amid shootout

Charred human remains have been found in the burnt-out mountain cabin outside Los Angeles where fugitive former police officerChristopher Dorner made his bloody final stand.

A spokeswoman for San Bernardino county sheriff, Jodi Miller, said the remains were found late on Tuesday after a shootout in which one sheriff's deputy was killed and another injured. Authorities believe Dorner had barricaded himself inside the cabin which later caught fire in a dramatic climax to the biggest US police manhunt in living memory.

Dorner, 33, a former LA police officer suspected of murdering three people in his vendetta against California's law enforcers and their families, is thought to have taken refuge inside the unoccupied rental cabin after a shootout and chase by vehicle and foot.

Hundreds of rounds were fired in the ensuing siege. The blaze began soon after teargas was fired into a…

Homs' displaced residents begin to return after year of sustained bombing

Syrian city is guarded about relative calm as governor calls for unity against al-Qaida and intense fighting continues elsewhere

A year after this city captured the world's attention as the victim of theworst shelling that Syria's civil war had yet seen, Homs has become a – relatively – safe haven. Hundreds of families who fled to other Syrian cities in fear last February have loaded their belongings and returned. Civilians from Aleppo and Deir el-Zour – where fighting is still intense – are moving to Homs because they have heard it is more livable.

"It's the only case I know of in Syria where people are returning after a long period of displacement. Homs may be quieter than Damascus", Khaled Erksoussi, the head of the Syrian Arab Red Crescent's emergency response team told me in the capital before I set off on the 100-mile drive north. He was right. The boom of heavy shelling, promptly followed by the screeching of birds in panic, repeatedly fills the Damasce…

Syrian rebels capture military airport

Syrian opposition fighters captured a military airport near the northern city of Aleppo yesterday in another military setback for President Bashar al-Assad’s forces, which have come under intensifying attack.

Jarrah airport is the latest military facility to fall under rebel control in a strategic region between Syria’s industrial and commercial centre and the country’s oil- and wheat- producing heartland to the east.

Fighting in the nearly two-year-old conflict has intensified in the three weeks since the political leadership of the opposition offered to negotiate a departure for Assad.

In the first direct government response, Syria’s minister for “national reconciliation”, Ali Haidar, said he was willing to travel abroad to meet Moaz Alkhatib, the Cairo-based president of the Syrian National Coalition opposition group.

Authorities had previously said they would talk to the “patriotic opposition”, figures who have not allied themselves with the armed rebellion. But most centrist oppositi…

Indian police shoot dead at least eight from Assam tribe

GUWAHATI (Reuters) - Indian police shot at hundreds of tribesmen and women in the north-eastern state of Assam on Tuesday, killing eight people, the state's chief minister said, after violence broke out during village council elections.

Police were called to deal with protests by Rabha tribesmen and women who opposed the elections saying they infringed on tribal law, another senior government official said.

Demonstrators from Rabha tribe burn a tyre as they block a road during a protest in at Dorapara in Goalpara district in the northeastern Indian state of Assam February 12, 2013. REUTERS/Stringer

"Eight people have been killed in police firing in Rabha areas of Assam today," Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi told reporters in the state capital Guwahati.

A leader of the Rabha tribe said he held the government responsible for the deaths.

Angry tribesmen armed with swords, hatchets, spears and axes marched to polling stations from villages of the western Goalpara district, police off…

Pakistan demands latest military hardware from UK

LONDON: Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf on Tuesday asked the United Kingdom to provide latest military hardware to Pakistan.

Raja met his British counterpart David Cameron on Tuesday at the latter's official residence, 10 Downing Street. During the meeting, the two leaders discussed matters of bilateral interest, including the aftermath in Afghanistan following the withdrawal of NATO troops.

Prime Minister Raja asked his British counterpart to give military hardware to Pakistan. He appreciated Britain's role in helping Pakistan promote education and healthcare. British Prime Minister Cameron said Pakistan had made huge sacrifices in the war against terror and his country would continue to stand by Pakistan to carry on the Enhanced Strategic Dialogue.

Prime Minister Raja appreciated Britain's role in helping Pakistan promote education and healthcare and also for helping the country access European markets. Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar was also present in the meeti…

Decision on Afghan Troop Levels Calculates Political and Military Interests

Soldiers in Afghanistan last month. President Obama has confronted the question of how to stay true to his pledge to wind down the war there without undermining still fragile military gains.

WASHINGTON — President Obama’s decision to remove 34,000 American troops in Afghanistan by this time next year represents a careful balancing of political interests and military requirements.

The decision, which administration officials disclosed on Tuesday and which Mr. Obama highlighted in his State of the Union address, enables the White House to say that slightly more than half of the 66,000-strong American force will be out of Afghanistan by the end of February 2014.

But Mr. Obama will also give the military commanders in Afghanistan flexibility in determining the pace of the reductions and will enable them to retain a substantial force until after the next fighting season, which ends in October. That, according to administration officials, satisfies one of the major concerns of Gen. John R…

17 cops, including commanders, defect to militants: Taliban claim

HERAT: Taliban on Monday (Feb. 11) claimed 17 local police including their commanders defected to them in Qadas district of Badghi province. Local officials, however, rejected the Taliban claims as false.

The 17 local police including commander Ziauddin and Zabihullah also surrendered their weapons to Taliban, Qari Muhammad Yousaf Ahmadi, spokesman for Taliban, told Afghan Islamic Press (AIP).

A local official, however, said Ziauddin was a Taliban deserter and rejoined Taliban along with his five associate in Shoro Dilwal area of Qadas district.

"Ziauddin is former Taliban commander and joined the peace process sometimes back. Neither he was occupying an government position and nor joined the local police. Rather he was a civilian and rejoined Taliban," he told AIP on condition of anonymity.

34 suspected Taliban said killed in joint operations: KABUL (AIP): Afghan and foreign forces killed 34 suspected Taliban during joint operation throughout the past 24 hours, interior ministr…

12 Afghans killed in US-led forces attack

At least 12 Afghan people have been killed in a nighttime attack carried out by the US-led forces in northeastern Afghanistan, Press TV reports.

Witnesses say there six civilians were among those killed in the Monday night attack in Tagab district of Kapisa province.

However, Tagab governor Abdul Qodous Safi said that 12 Taliban militants have been killed and one other has been arrested.

Taliban and the NATO have not commented on the incident.

Civilian casualties have long been a source of friction between the Afghan government and US-led foreign forces and have dramatically increased anti-US sentiments in Afghanistan.

Similar incidents in the past have led to violent public protests.

The United States and its allies entered the war in Afghanistan in October 2001 as part of Washington’s so-called war on terror. The offensive removed the Taliban from power, but after more than 11 years, the foreign troops have still not been able to establish security in the country.

China Will Not Help To "Punish" North Korea

By Moon Of Alabama

February 13, 2013  - This "news analysis" on North Korea's latest nuke test in the New York Times is rather a lightly disguised threat to China. Starve North Korea or we will disable your strategic nuclear deterrence.

Nuclear Test Poses Big Challenge to China’s New Leader

It starts:

BEIJING — The nuclear test by North Korea on Tuesday, in defiance of warnings by China, leaves the new Chinese leader, Xi Jinping, with a choice: Does he upset North Korea just a bit by agreeing to stepped up United Nations sanctions, or does he rattle the regime by pulling the plug on infusions of Chinese oil and investments that keep North Korea afloat?

Notice how this sets up a rather infantile false choice. China could also just ignore the test and do nothing. China could also chose to do some other stuff. It could embrace North Korea by delivering more energy to it. It could ensure North Korea that it would defend it with all its might should there be any attack on it ther…