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They only had a matter of hours to plan the mission. After tracking a known Taliban warlord for months, the Special Forces team based in Herat received notice that their target was in a village only a few kilometers away. With no time to spare, the ODA quickly planned a capture/kill mission for that very night and received approval. Though hastily devised, the plan was designed from mission templates they had rehearsed over and over; the team felt confident they could pull it off.

Ivory Coast Diplomat Warns Crisis Threatens to Bring Genocide

Ivory Coast's new U.N. ambassador said Wednesday the ongoing dispute over who won last month's presidential election is pushing his country to the brink of genocide.

Youssofou Bamba made his comments in New York after presenting his credentials to U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon. Mr. Bamba was appointed by Alassane Ouattara, who the United Nations and the international community recognize as Ivory's Coast's president.

Both Mr. Ouattara and incumbent President Laurent Gbagbo say they won the November 28 presidential runoff.

Unresolved Issues Will Render Referendum 'Illegimate' Warns Sudan Party Official

A senior member of Sudan’s governing National Congress Party (NCP) said failure to resolve all outstanding issues before the 9th January referendum will render the outcome of the vote, in his word, “illegitimate,” if southern Sudanese choose secession over unity.

Rabie Abdelati Obeid told VOA a decision by southerners to choose to become independent rather than be part of the north will only be “political secession” and would not have any impact on the ground.

Chavez Dares US to Cut Diplomatic Ties

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez has dared the United States to "cut diplomatic relations" amid a dispute over the White House's choice of a new ambassador in Caracas.

Mr. Chavez said Tuesday the U.S. "can do whatever they want," but diplomat Larry Palmer will not be coming to Venezuela.

Palmer was nominated to be U.S. ambassador to Venezuela four months ago. The U.S. State Department has said Venezuela's rejection of his appointment will have consequences for the countries' already strained relations.

Ivory Coast President Threatens to Expel Ambassadors

The government of Ivory Coast's incumbent president, Laurent Gbagbo, says it will sever ties with countries that recognize envoys named by presidential challenger Alassane Ouattara.

A government statement Tuesday said it will expel ambassadors from countries that cut ties with Gbagbo appointees.

Earlier Tuesday, three West African presidents traveled to Abidjan to demand President Gbagbo accept the results of last month's elections and step down or face possible removal by West African military forces.

Ivory Coast Leader Insists He is Rightful President

Ivory Coast's incumbent leader Laurent Gbagbo is insisting he is the true president of the country, but said he would be willing for an international committee to re-examine the election results.

In a speech broadcast on state television Tuesday, Mr. Gbagbo defied a global barrage of criticism, saying he won the November election.

However, he said he did not want more bloodshed in his country and offered to allow envoys from world powers, including the African Union, the United Nations and the European Union, to form a panel to study the post-election crisis.

At Least 159 Inmates Escape from Mexican Prison

Mexican prison officials say that at least 159 inmates have escaped from a prison in Nuevo Laredo, a northeastern town near the U.S. border.

Officials say the inmates escaped early Friday through the main entrance. One police source said the method of escape points to complicity of prison guards. Reports say local, state and federal authorities are searching for the escapees.

Karen National Union Statement

Fourteenth KNU Congress, 3rd CSC Meeting Statement

December 21, 2010
General meeting of the 3rd Central Standing Committee (CSC) of the 14th KNU Congress was successfully held from December 14 to 19, 2010. Twenty three CSC members, 10 candidate members and one specially invited member attended the meeting, reviewed the political, military and social problems the KNU had to face and laid down future work programs.

South Korea Conducts Additional Military Drills

South Korea is carrying out more military exercises on land and sea this week. While officials call the training routine it could raise already high tensions with North Korea.

South Korea's navy Wednesday began a three-day exercise in waters off the country's east coast, about 100 kilometers south of the maritime border.

The chief military research fellow at South Korea's Institute for Defense Analyses, Park Chang-kwon, says the drill demonstrates a readiness posture to the South Korean public, as well to North Korea's military leadership.