WASHINGTON, Dec. 22, 2009 – Navy Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, today issued the following holiday message:
As America celebrates this holiday season, our Soldiers, Sailors, Marines, Airmen and Coast Guardsmen are serving around the world. Families and friends at home can enjoy the holidays in peace thanks to your sacrifice. In the midst of glad tidings, we honor your service and that of your families who serve along with you.
Our thoughts and prayers are especially with our wounded warriors, their families, and the families of the fallen.
When Staff Sgt. Kenneth Guinn decided on an Air Force career field, he didn't want to be indoors behind a computer.
With that criteria narrowing the scope, he decided to volunteer for what he calls the best job in the Air Force: explosive ordnance disposal, a volunteer-only career field.
"I really enjoy it; I wouldn't have it any other way," said Sergeant Guinn, who has been a part of the 37th Civil Engineer Squadron's EOD unit since June 2005.
Sergeant Guinn followed his family's lineage into the Air Force.
The multipurpose amphibious assault ship USS Wasp (LHD 1) and her crew of approximately 1,100 Sailors returned home Dec. 22 from nearly three months deployed to U.S. Southern Command area of focus, wrapping up Southern Partnership Station (SPS) -Amphib 2009.
Wasp deployed Oct. 4 from Naval Station Norfolk. Working alongside Mayport-based Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 40 and Security Cooperation Marine Air-Ground Task Force (SCMAGTF) they worked to build interoperability and cooperation between U.S.
Prisoner of conscience Father Nguyen Van Ly was returned to prison from hospital
on 11 December: he had not fully recovered from a stroke. He is partially paralyzed
on one side. The prison authorities are not providing him with adequate medical care,
and his health is in danger.
On 11 December Father Nguyen Van Ly was moved back to Ba Sao prison from
Prison Hospital 198, administered by the Ministry of Public Security in Ha Noi,
where he had been recovering from a stroke he suffered on 14 November.
Thai military authorities say they will send about 4,000 Hmong living in a Thai refugee camp back to Laos by the end of the year, despite concerns they may face political persecution.
A military spokesman on Wednesday confirmed to VOA that Thailand will repatriate the Hmong within about a week.
They have been living at the Huay Nam Khao camp in Thailand's northern Petchabun province.
Many of the Hmong at the camp fear persecution by Lao authorities if they are sent back and are believed to want political asylum.
Thailand says they will be repatriated on a voluntary basis, but has n
The United States says it is "deeply concerned" about political developments in Sudan, where new laws have raised tensions between the northern-based government and semi-autonomous south.
The State Department said it was responding to reports that the north's ruling National Congress Party (NCP) broke an agreement with the south's dominant SPLM party and changed the language in a key bill.
The bill, setting terms for a referendum on southern independence, was passed Tuesday, despite a protest by southern lawmakers who walked out of parliament.
A State Department spokesman says the NCP
Officials in Colombia say a provincial governor who was kidnapped by suspected leftist rebels has been found dead in southern Caqueta province.
Authorities say the body, which was surrounded by explosives, was discovered Tuesday near the Caqueta's capital, Florencia, one day after Governor Luis Francisco Cuellar was abducted from his home. The kidnappers had used explosives when raiding the governor's home, killing one police officer.
Investigators believe a unit of the rebel Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC, was responsible.
President Alvaro Uribe had ordered the mil
In an Afghan General Directorate of Special Operations-led operation this morning several known instigators of a kidnapping criminal group were detained.
The Afghan force supported by ISAF forces, searched Police District 5 in Kabul City and detained the individuals who are linked to the facilitation and coordination of kidnappings in and around the city.
In other operations, an Afghan-international security force in Patkya killed several militants today, including a Taliban commander responsible for several IED attacks.