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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.

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.

Carl Vinson Receives MEDEVAC, Mass Casualty

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.

Angolan Opposition Walks Out as Parliament Votes New Constitution

Angola's main opposition party has walked out of parliament to protest a new constitution that expands the powers of the presidency.

Dutch Politician on Trial for Anti-Muslim Comments

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

New Earthquake Jolts Haiti

The U.S. Geological Survey says the new quake, which shook Haiti just after sunrise Wednesday, was centered about 35 miles northwest of the capital Port au Prince. It was the largest of more than 40 significant aftershocks following the January 12th quake. There have been no reports of injuries from the new quake. Meantime, relief efforts continue in the aftermath of last week's earthquake, which killed an estimated 200,000 people.

Army aid flows to Haiti from halfway around the world

When disaster struck Haiti, relief and humanitarian agencies around the world quickly looked to see if they could locate ways to provide a clean water supply among other basic life necessities. Jan. 18, members of 3/405th Army Field Support Brigade (AFSB) were quickly putting together pallets of humanitarian aid support of the U.S. Agency for International Development's (USAID) U.S.

Altus sends six C-17s for Operation Unified Response

The 97th Air Mobility Wing launched six C-17 Globemaster IIIs from the 58th Airlift Squadron Jan. 17 and 18 here to assist with the humanitarian relief effort in Haiti, Operation Unified Response. Altus AFB officials answered the call for help with 50 aircrew personnel who will deliver aid in the form of medical evacuations and life sustaining supplies. Accompanying the aircrew are 13 C-17 maintainers to keep the aircraft readily available for the constant sorties it will take to provide relief to the island nation, which was ravaged by an earthquake Jan.

Republican Candidate Brown Wins Massachusetts Senate Seat in Blow to Obama

Republican candidate Scott Brown has won an upset victory in the race to fill the Massachusetts seat held for almost five decades by the late Democratic Senator Edward (Ted) Kennedy.  Brown defeated Democratic candidate Martha Coakley by a margin of 52 to 47 percent, in what many analysts view as a serious setback for President Barack Obama and his legislative agenda. The victory caps a dramatic surge in opinion polls, in the past week for Massachusetts State Senator Scott Brown.  He overcame a commanding lead by state Attorney General Martha Coakely, to win the race in a state where Democr

Vietnamese Political Activists Convicted

A Vietnamese court has convicted four political dissidents of subversion and sentenced them to up to 16 years in prison. The four went on trial in Ho Chi Minh City Wednesday for taking part in "activities aimed at overthrowing the people's administration," including promoting a multiparty state and collaborating with exiled Vietnamese pro-democracy groups.  U.S.-educated human rights lawyer  Le Cong Dinh and Le Thang Long received five-year sentences after the one-day trial.  A third defendant, Nguyen Tien Trung, received a seven-year sentence, while Internet entrepreneur Tran Huynh Duy

ECOWAS Will Help Guinea Organize Credible Elections, Says Official

An official of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) says the regional body is ready to help Guinea organize a credible election within the next six months. ECOWAS Political Director Abdel-Fatau Musah said the regional body will provide financial and technical assistance to ensure Guinea’s upcoming election meets international standards. “ECOWAS right from the beginning has been very supportive…under ECOWAS Supplementary Protocol and Democracy and Good Governance, ECOWAS is obligated to assist member states organizing elections … ECOWAS already had advanced an amount of

McChord deploys fourth C-17 in Haiti relief

The role of McChord Airmen in Haiti relief operations continued to grow Jan. 18 with the dispatch of a fourth C-17 Globemaster III aircraft. The aircraft departed for Pope Air Force Base, N.C., to take on specialized teams and relief supplies for immediate transport into Haiti's Toussaint L' Ouverture International Airport. Airmen were then to airlift evacuees back to the U.S. McChord AFB Airmen are contributing to the national effort to alleviate suffering and save lives in the Caribbean nation through efforts that began Jan. 16, when Airmen operating from the U.S.

USS Bataan Receives MEDEVAC, Treats Three Injured Haitians

Amphibious assault ship USS Bataan (LHD-5) received two medical evacuation (MEDEVAC) helicopters at approximately 8:15 p.m. Jan. 19, with three injured Haitians aboard who received immediate medical care from the Bataan medical team. U.S.

JTF-Bravo deploys medical personnel to support Haiti disaster relief

A team of Joint Task Force-Bravo medical personnel deployed Jan. 17, in support of disaster relief efforts in Haiti following the devastating earthquake Jan. 12. Twenty-three members JTF-B medical element departed for Port-au-Prince, Haiti, where they will provide critical medical support to Joint Task Force-Haiti in support of Operation Unified Response, the joint U.S. military disaster relief mission there. "The Soldiers, Sailors and Airmen on our medical element team are ready and eager to help Haiti," said Col.