PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti -- Two combat controllers from the Kentucky Air National Guard's 123d Special Tactics Squadron have been hard at work since arriving here Jan. 16, setting up drop zones and helicopter landing zones, and providing airfield operations and air traffic control at Toussaint L'Ouverture International Airport here.
The Airmen are augmenting a special tactics team from the 720th Special Tactics Group, based at Hurlburt Field, Fla.
The amphibious assault ship USS Nassau (LHA 4) arrived off the coast of Haiti on Jan. 23, and began providing humanitarian assistance immediately when they received medical casualties from the earthquake-stricken nation.
Nassau was originally scheduled to deploy to the U.S. 5th and 6th Fleet Areas of Responsibility to support Maritime Security Operations, however after the recent earthquake that decimated the island nation of Haiti the ship was tasked with assisting the U.S.
Russian President Dmitri Medvedev says opposition parties and increased political competition can help modernize Russia. He issued the call for reform in a live, nationally-televised meeting of the State Council, in which representatives of small Russian parties condemned media censorship and the ruling United Russia Party.
Russian President Dmitri Medvedev told a Kremlin meeting of various political party leaders and governors that Russia's political system must become more flexible to reflect society's growing diversity. He says that requires cooperation rather than commands.
Farmers in Zimbabwe say they face another difficult agricultural season, as the dry spell that has hit the country continues.
Weeks into the agricultural season, the rains are nowhere near normal and the crops are showing it. Zimbabwe Farmers Union Director Paul Zakariya tells VOA even crops that normally thrive under dry conditions are feeling the heat.
"We are looking at maize [corn], we are looking at cotton and, in some instances, it's also the tobacco and the other small grains which naturally will be resisting or would be tolerant but they are already succumbing," he said.
The commander of U.S. forces in Central Asia and the Middle East, General David Petraeus, says Pakistan will likely have to make some deals with tribes along its border with Afghanistan in an effort to consolidate gains its military forces have made, but can not sustain on their own. Such deals have failed in the past, and U.S.
An Afghan-international security force searched a compound north of the village of Nakhonay, in the Panjwa'I district of Kandahar and detained insurgents. The joint force also found multiple weapons, including automatic rifles, a hand grenade and Taliban propaganda.
Also in Kandahar last night, an Afghan-international security force searched compound north of the village of Khenjakak, in the Panjwa'i district and found a building with extensive IED components, including high explosives.
ISAF forces operating in the Nawah-ye Barakzai district of Helmand province yesterday engaged a number of insurgents with small arms fire after being fired upon.
The insurgents broke contact and fled the area on motorcycles.
Three children were seriously injured in the firefight.
ISAF forces broke contact with the insurgents, provided immediate medical attention and transported a 5 year old boy and a 6 year old girl to a nearby medical facility.
Roughly 20,000 U.S. troops will be supporting relief efforts in Haiti by Jan. 24, military officials said, adding to the 13,000-strong American force currently there.
Comprising the force will be the 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit, the 82nd Airborne Division's 2nd Brigade and thousands of other troops operating afloat off the Haitian coast and on shore, distributing provisions, assisting in medical operations and helping to maintain security.
When calamity strikes and only a trail of desolation remains, no other Marine Air Ground Task Force is better prepared to support a full spectrum of Humanitarian Aid missions than a Marine Expeditionary Unit.
Approximately 20 medically evacuated personnel from Haiti and USNS Comfort (T-AH 20) arrived on board USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70) Jan. 21 and the medical team activated the ship's walking blood bank.
Volunteer Sailors on board make up the walking blood bank. Those Sailors are willing to provide blood in the event of a mass casualty or other medical emergency. The medical team put the call out over the ship's announcing system for A-negative and O- negative blood types.
Medical team members initially triaged the patients whose injuries range from abdominal pain to fractures.
Dutch politician Geert Wilders has appeared in an Amsterdam court on charges of incitement and discrimination against Muslims for his comments about Islam and for an anti-Muslim film he made.
The trial in the Netherlands is being closely watched around the world, because it pits the right to free speech against religious freedom and freedom against persecution.
The defendant is Dutch politician Geert Wilders, whose remarks against Islam and Muslims, and his anti-Islamic movie, Fitna, have offended many Muslims around the world.
At the Amsterdam courthouse where he went on tr