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Death Toll Rises in Haiti Quake Rises to 150,000

The Haitian government says the confirmed death toll from the massive earthquake that devastated the capital nearly two weeks ago has risen to 150,000. Officials said Sunday the number does not include outlying areas such as Jacmel, where many other bodies are believed to be buried under rubble. Authorities have estimated that the final toll will reach 200,000.  The government officially called off search and rescue operations on Friday, but international rescue teams pulled a man from the rubble of a grocery store in Port-au-Prince on Saturday. Tim Callahan, an official with the U

Iraqi Police arrest 4 in operation targeting AQI explosives cell

The 3rd Emergency Response Unit arrested four individuals today during a joint security operation conducted in Bayji, located approximately 99 km southwest of Kirkuk, to arrest a suspected member of an AQI explosives cell. Based on a warrant issued by an Iraqi court, Iraqi Police and U.S.

Afghan National Army Commando Recognized for Bravery in Kabul Attacks

Less than five days after he helped stop one of the largest insurgent attacks on Kabul since October, a member of the Afghan National Army 6th Kandak commando unit was recognized for his bravery by the ANA Chief of Staff. For his bravery and actions that day, General Bismillah Khan Mohammadi presented 1st Lt. Mentaz with a promotion and the Baryal Medal 1st State during the a commando graduation ceremony at Camp Morehead.

U.S. 6th Fleet Aids in Search and Rescue Efforts off Coast of Lebanon

Commander, U.S. 6th Fleet is coordinating assets in support of search and rescue efforts Jan. 25 at the crash site of Ethiopian Airlines Flight ET 409 at the request of the government of Lebanon and U.S. Department of State. Ethiopian Airlines Flight ET409 crashed shortly after take-off from Beirut International Airport en route to Ethiopia. Within hours, a U.S.

Kentucky ANG combat controllers assist with parachute drops, airfield operations in Haiti

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.

Nassau Arrives in Haiti

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.

Kremlin Says Modernization Requires Political Competition

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. The Kr

Zimbabwe Facing Another Drought

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

Petraeus Accepts Some Pakistani Deals with Border Tribes

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.

IJC Operational Update, Jan. 22

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.

Children Treated After Gun Battle

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.

U.S. forces in Haiti to grow to 20,000

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.