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Somali Pirates Free Taiwanese Fishing Boat

Taiwan's Foreign Ministry says Somali pirates have freed a Taiwanese fishing boat held since last April. The Win Far 161 and its crew were released Thursday.   The French news agency, AFP, quotes a maritime monitoring group - Ecoterra International - as saying a ransom was paid, but the amount was not immediately clear. The group also says three of the 30 crew members did not survive the ordeal.

Thailand Prepares for Fresh Wave of Protests Ahead of Thaksin Court Verdict

Anti-government protesters in Thailand vow to step up pressure on the government and the Supreme Court ahead of a crucial ruling involving former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra. Protesters are expected to gather Friday in Bangkok, in front of Thailand's anti-corruption commission, in the first stage of a campaign against the government. The main anti-government group, the United Front for Democracy Against Dictatorship, plans a series of protests throughout the country over the next several weeks.

Zimbabwe's Unity Government Marks Shaky First Year in Power

Zimbabwe's rickety government of national unity commemorates its first anniversary Thursday. On February 11 last year, Morgan Tsvangirai was sworn in as prime minister of Zimbabwe after disputed elections and months of negotiations. He took the junior post to President Robert Mugabe despite the fact that his Movement for Democratic Change had won a parliamentary majority at the polls. Mr. Tsvangirai also won the first round of the presidential vote in March 2008 although he did not receive the more than 50 percent majority needed for an outright victory. Mr.

Medical Teams Render Aid After Afghanistan Avalanches

Coalition forces, volunteers and Afghan doctors are working to render medical care and assistance in the wake of a series of avalanches that struck a high pass in Afghanistan's Parwan province Feb.

IJC Operational Update, Feb. 11

An Afghan-international joint force searched a compound outside the village of Robat, in the Wali Mohammad Shaheed District of Ghazni province after intelligence information indicated militant activity. During the search the combined force captured a Taliban commander, with connections to several other militant network leaders, and another suspected insurgent. An Afghan-international joint force stopped a vehicle in north Helmand's Washer District near Shah Mirza Kariz after intelligence information indicated insurgent activity.

ACU-2 Provides Relief to Haiti During Unified Response

As part of Operation Unified Response, the crew of Assault Craft Unit (ACU) 2 has been working non-stop from dropping off a Marine Air-Ground Task Force assigned to the 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU), to carrying approximately 300 tons of cargo to Killick Haitian Coast Guard Base. Embarked aboard USS Gunston Hall (LSD 44), ACU 2 is deployed in support of Operation Unified Response, providing humanitarian aid and medical support to the Haitian people. "Our mission out here is ship-to-shore transport" said Engineman 3rd Class Jarrell Ray, from Sumpter, S.C., assigned to ACU 2.

Combined Forces Command hosts future Korean officers

YONGSAN GARRISON, South Korea - Senior ROK-U.S. Combined Forces Command leaders welcomed the 66th graduating class of the Korean Military Academy here Feb. 3 to familiarize them with the current combined defense system and the transformation of ROK-U.S. Alliance. As buses arrived near the Combined Forces Command Headquarters, ROK and U.S. Army officers greeted the graduates. The cadets took a photo with senior CFC leaders, including Gen. Walter L. Sharp, commander of United Nations Command, Combined Forces Command and U.S. Forces Korea, and Gen.

Remains of Air Force officer recovered in Haiti

Maj. Kenneth Bourland's remains were found Feb. 7 at the Hotel Montana in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, more than three weeks after the hotel collapsed following the 7.0 earthquake Jan. 12. Major Bourland, 37, of Birmingham, Ala., was assigned to U.S. Southern Command, headquartered in Miami, and had traveled to Haiti on official business the day of the earthquake. He had been selected for promotion to lieutenant colonel in June 2009. Action is pending on a posthumous promotion to lieutenant colonel.