Labor Day

White House: No second stimulus in future

White House: No second stimulus in future

The White House stressed on Thursday that no second economic stimulus package is being considered as part of new measures under review by President Barack Obama’s team. Obama said on Monday he and his advisers are discussing further tax cuts for businesses to help create jobs, as well as an extension of tax cuts for […]

Major push underway in Afghanistan

Insurgent sniper teams battled U.S. Marines and Afghan troops across the Taliban haven of Marjah, as several major gunbattles erupted across the town Monday on the third day of a major offensive to reclaim the extremist southern heartland.

Multiple firefights in different locations were taxing the ability of the coalition forces to provide enough air support to help cover the advance as NATO forces forged deeper through town, moving through suspected insurgent neighborhoods, the U.S. Marines said.

In a few horrorfic seconds, a way of life is redefined

I was sitting on my bed surfing the Internet when I noticed silence, followed by a weird groaning sound. I figured it was a passing water truck. But funny, I thought — sounds more like an earthquake.

The house started shaking. Then it really started shaking. I walked out of my room and kneeled slowly to the undulating floor, laptop in hand, as windows, two years’ worth of Haitian art and a picture of my grandfather smashed around me.

I was not hurt. Not only that, the staircase in the house where I live and work, while completely invisible behind a choking white cloud of drywall and dust, was still standing. I yelled out for Evens, the AP’s all-in-one driver/translator/bodyguard here.

To my shock and delight he answered: “Let’s go.”

I went. Barefoot, over rocks, past a crack running the height of the house, out to the street in my underwear, first to look for a telephone to call in what had happened, then brave any aftershocks and return to the house for a chance at shoes and pants.

Quake-ravaged Haitians struggle as aid flows in

Turning pickup trucks into ambulances and doors into stretchers, Haitians were frantically struggling to save those injured in this week’s earthquake as desperately needed aid from around the world began arriving Thursday.

An Air China plane carrying a Chinese search-and-rescue team, medics and tons of food and medicine landed at Port-au-Prince airport before dawn, joining three French planes with aid and a mobile hospital, officials said. A British relief team arrived in neighboring Dominican Republic.

The U.S. and other nations said they were sending food, water, medical supplies to assist the Western Hemisphere’s poorest nation, where the international Red Cross estimated 3 million people — a third of the population — may need emergency relief.

Haitian capital leveled by powerful earthquake

Dazed and injured Haitians sat on darkened streets pleading for help Wednesday and untold numbers were trapped in tons of rubble brought down by the strongest earthquake to hit this poor Caribbean nation in more than 200 years.

Destroyed communications made it impossible to tell the extent of destruction from Tuesday afternoon’s 7.0-magnitude tremor — or to estimate the number of dead lying among thousands of collapsed buildings in Haiti’s capital of about 2 million people.

The ornate National Palace crumbled into itself, the headquarters of the U.N. peacekeeping mission collapsed and swaths of rickety shacks lay in shambles. Clouds of dust thrown up by falling buildings choked Port-au-Prince for hours.

Bomber’s wife: War against U.S. ‘must go on’

CIA Bomber

The Turkish wife of a Jordanian doctor who killed seven CIA employees in a suicide attack in Afghanistan says her husband was outraged over the treatment of Iraqis at Abu Ghraib prison and the U.S.-led invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan.

Defne Bayrak, the wife of bomber Humam Khalil Abu-Mulal al-Balawi, said in an interview with The Associated Press that his hatred of the United States had motivated her husband to sacrifice his life on Dec. 30 in what he regarded as a holy war against the U.S.

Bayrak also said Friday, “I think the war against the United States must go on.”

U.S. soldier dies in Blackhawk crash

The U.S. military says a Blackhawk helicopter has crashed inn an American base in Iraq, killing 1 service member and wounding 12 others.

The military says the helicopter went down Saturday night at the Balad Air Base, 50 miles (80 kilometers) north of Baghdad. It says the cause of the crash is unknown and under investigation.

The name of the service member killed is being withheld pending notification of next of kin.

With Saturday’s death, at least 4,345 members of the U.S. military have died in the Iraq war since it began in March 2003, according to an Associated Press count.

Balad Air Base is home to about 20,000 U.S. forces. It provides air power, logistics and counterterrorism support, as well as training for Iraqi security forces.

Webb: Prisoner release could thaw relations

Myanmar freed an ailing American whom it had sentenced to seven years of hard labor and handed him to an influential U.S senator on Sunday, a move that could help persuade Washington to soften its hardline policy against the military regime.

Sen. Jim Webb of Virginia, who secured John Yettaw’s freedom, said he believes years of sanctions have failed to move the Southeast Asian country toward democratic reforms or talks with detained opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi.

Webb said he would discuss his conclusions and recommendations with Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and others on his return to Washington. He declined to speculate on what the Obama administration — which is reviewing its policy toward Myanmar — would do. Webb can rally support for changes to U.S. policy in Asia as chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee’s East Asia and Pacific Affairs Subcommittee.

Webb flew with Yettaw to Bangkok on Sunday afternoon. Yettaw had been held at Insein Prison in Myanmar’s biggest city Yangon since his arrest in early May.

Car bomb kills 7, wounds 91 in Kabul

A suicide car bomb exploded Saturday outside the main gate of NATO’s headquarters five days before Afghanistan’s presidential election, killing seven and wounding 91 in the biggest attack in the Afghan capital in six months.

The bomber evaded several rings of Afghan police and detonated his explosives on the doorstep of the international military headquarters, an assault possibly aimed at sending the message that the Taliban can attack anywhere as Afghans gear up for their second-ever direct presidential election. Militants have warned Afghans not to vote and have threatened to attack voting sites.

The NATO headquarters — where top commander U.S. Gen. Stanley McChrystal is based — sits beside the U.S. Embassy and shares the same street as the presidential palace. The explosion was the first major attack in Kabul since February, when eight Taliban militants struck three government buildings simultaneously in the heart of the city, an assault that killed 20 people and the eight assailants.

Afghanistan has braced for attacks ahead of the election. International workers in the country were planning on working from home over the next week or had been encouraged to leave the country. U.S., NATO and Afghan troops were working to protect voting sites, particularly in regions where militants hold sway.

President Hamid Karzai condemned the attack and said Afghans knew the importance of Thursday’s election.