U.S. Plans No Charges Over Deadly Strike in Pakistan
By ERIC SCHMITT
WASHINGTON – The United States military has decided that no service members will face disciplinary charges for their involvement in a NATO airstrike in November that killed 24 Pakistani soldiers, an accident that plunged relations between the two countries to new depths and has greatly complicated the allied mission in Afghanistan.
An American investigation in December found fault with both American and Pakistani troops for the deadly exchange of fire, but noted that the Pakistanis fired first from two border posts that were not on coalition maps, and that they kept firing even after the Americans tried to warn them that they were shooting at allied troops. Pakistan has rejected these conclusions and ascribed most of the blame to the American forces.
Rupert Cornwell: The murderous demon of race still stalks this land
Out of America: The killing of Trayvon Martin has again ruthlessly exposed the faultlines that underlie Obama-era America
Rupert Cornwell Sunday 25 March 2012
Every so often in America there comes a tragedy that exposes the country’s most sensitive faultlines: a shooting rampage on a university campus, a convicted killer executed when common sense suggests the evidence against him is horribly flawed, the murder by pro-life extremists of a doctor who has carried out abortions. And now we have the death of Trayvon Martin.
The basic facts of what happened are by now well known. A 17-year-old student of unblemished reputation, Martin was shot dead by a self-appointed local crime watch vigilante named George Zimmerman, as he walked home through an upscale neighbourhood in Sanford, Florida on the night of 26 February, carrying nothing more menacing than a mobile phone, a bottle of iced tea and a bag of fruit-flavoured sweets.
Clooney’s satellites reveal secrets of Sudan’s army
Mar 25 2012 06:20
Nathaniel Raymond is the first to admit that he has an unusual job description. “I count tanks from space for George Clooney,” said the tall, easygoing Massachusetts native as he sat in a conference room in front of a map of the Sudanese region of South Kordofan.
Close by, pins and ink scrawlings on the map detail the positions of Sudanese army forces and refugee populations in the troubled oil-producing province, where the Sudanese army is carrying out a brutal crackdown.
Amid bombings, Iraqi family celebrates a wedding and good grades
The Methboub family, which the Monitor has followed for a decade, has reasons for hope after dark days during which a son was wrongly imprisoned and a daughter’s marriage collapsed.
By Scott Peterson, Staff writer
They don’t need to turn on the TV or walk down the rickety narrow staircase of their modest Baghdad apartment to learn the news: Car bombs have been exploding in this family’s district of Baghdad again, their percussions felt everywhere.
Yet behind their apartment’s battered metal door – its paint worn off, and peppered with screw holes from cheap latches and locks that have failed – the family of widow Karima Selman Methboub has reasons to celebrate.
Through nearly eight years of American occupation, insurgency, civil war, and, before that, Saddam Hussein’s oppressive rule, all eight children have survived.
In Mexico, tens of thousands gather before Pope Benedict’s Mass
As religious fervor is displayed in Silao, a sexual-abuse scandal involving a notorious Mexican priest threatens to cast a pall over the pope’s visit.
By Tracy Wilkinson and Michael Robinson Chavez, Los Angeles Times
March 25, 2012
Reporting from Leon and Silao, Mexico-
Singing, strumming guitars and trying to shield themselves from a searing sun, tens of thousands of Mexican Catholics came together Saturday nearly 24 hours before an open-air Mass with Pope Benedict XVI.
They walked miles and took up positions in Bicentennial Park, a short distance from a hilltop monument that honors the 1920s Cristero War by Catholic counter-revolutionaries.
But as religious fervor was on display in Silao, in central Mexico’s Guanajuato state, a sexual-abuse scandal involving a notorious Mexican priest threatened to cast a pall over the pope’s first visit to the Spanish-speaking Americas.
Berlin artists’ lock-in protest to halt developers
Bohemians and anarchists have joined forces to fight the gentrification of their living space
Kate Connolly, Berlin
The Observer, Sunday 25 March 2012
Darko stands behind an iron gate, his bare chest daubed in red paint with the words “victim of bank”. Four floors above him Reza, an Iranian painter, leans out of the window to pull up a basket of provisions.
The artists are among 20 who have locked themselves into Tacheles, one of Berlin’s last bastions of alternative subculture, and are fighting eviction ahead of plans to develop it as an office and luxury apartments complex.
“It will be a catastrophe for Berlin if this goes,” says Darko, a painter from Bosnia who came to Berlin for a weekend, fell in love with Tacheles and stayed.