January 29, 2012 |
KABUL, Afghanistan - In the gray light of each cold dawn, the parents of 10-month-old Shoaib hold their own breath as they listen for the rasp of his, waiting to see whether their coughing, feverish little boy has survived another night. Winter's chill has settled over the Afghan capital, and with it, privation is sharpening, especially among the city's poor. Nighttime temperatures regularly fall into the teens or lower. The season's first snow is on the ground, the open sewage ditches are crusted over with ice, and in shantytowns such as the one where Shoaib's family lives, survival turns on a series of cruelly simple calculations.
December 20, 2011
The obits for North Korean dictator Kim Jong Il are filled with details about his weird personal habits and his country's nukes, but the history books will reveal him as one of the great mass murderers of our times. One of my most chilling journalistic experiences came in 2004 in South Korea, when I was interviewing a handful of North Koreans who had managed to escape to Seoul, and listening to the horrors they'd endured in their home country. Only a few thousand North Koreans have made it out, and they bear witness to the terrible suffering that Kim and his father, Kim Il Sung, inflicted on the North Korean population.
November 22, 2011 |
ROCHESTER, N.Y. - A Vietnamese war refugee who survived a 1977 pirate attack that separated him from his wife and infant boy reunited Monday with his grown son in Upstate New York after nearly 34 years apart. Hao Truong was tossed into the South China Sea after pirates attacked a boat taking refugee families to Thailand in December 1977. He said he managed to stay afloat for 16 hours before a fishing boat rescued him. In a Thai refugee camp, Truong learned weeks later that his wife had died; her body washed up on shore along with another female victim.
November 12, 2011 |
NAIROBI, Kenya - A U.S. satellite-monitoring group said Friday that Sudan's military was upgrading air bases near the border with South Sudan and building up air resources in what could be a precursor to a widened aerial bombing campaign. The report came one day after officials accused Sudan of bombing a refugee camp in South Sudan, which became the world's newest country only four months ago. The Khartoum-based Sudan government denied Friday that there was even a camp housing northern Sudanese refugees who had fled south, and said its air force had not bombed any area of South Sudan.
November 11, 2011 |
NAIROBI, Kenya - Military aircraft from Sudan crossed the new international border with South Sudan and dropped bombs Thursday in and around a camp filled with refugees, officials said. A government official initially reported deaths, but an American activist who spoke to aid workers at the camp later said there were no casualties. There was no immediate comment from the Sudanese government in Khartoum on Thursday, as deadly fighting broke out in the Sudanese state of South Kordofan between the military and forces loyal to South Sudan, according to official Sudanese media.
November 10, 2011 |
Not so long ago, in a galaxy not very far, far away, there existed a breed apart - feral, solipsistic, arrogant, and rich as Croesus. Masters of the Universe, they dubbed themselves, and they ruled Wall Street in the 1980s, buying and selling and liquidating faster than you can say slick. But it all came down, first with the stock market crash of 1987, then with a skein of criminal charges. Yes, Wall Street was at the heart of shenanigans in the 1980s, just it is in the 21st century.
November 1, 2011 |
KANDAHAR, Afghanistan - Insurgents driving a suicide truck bomb and attacking on foot killed five people, including three U.N. employees, near the offices of the United Nations' refugee agency in the southern city of Kandahar on Monday, officials said. Afghan forces and the militants exchanged fire for nearly seven hours before the militants were killed. One insurgent slammed an explosives-rigged pickup into a checkpoint near the UNHCR offices at about 6:10 a.m., and immediately afterward, three insurgents rushed into area, which houses several international aid organizations, the Interior Ministry said.
October 31, 2011 |
WHILE Melissa Fitzgerald was in northern Uganda filming her documentary "Staging Hope," a teenager came up to her and asked for one thing: "Don't let us die in these camps," the youth said. "Don't forget about us. " His appeal is repeated several times throughout "Staging Hope. " Through the documentary, Fitzgerald - who grew up in Chestnut Hill and graduated from Springside School and the University of Pennsylvania - hopes to inform the U.S. about the plight of northern Uganda and keep the conversation about humanitarian efforts alive.
September 4, 2011 |
DADAAB, Kenya - As tens of thousands of refugees flee Somalia's famine for Kenya's arid east, residents say they are torn between welcoming their fellow ethnic Somalis - and feeling threatened as the new arrivals squeeze the area's limited resources and compete for jobs. Officials fear the new influx could force long-simmering tension in the region to boil over. Police say they have already seen local residents clash with refugees who have recently crossed the nearby border. That has prompted police to ask for hundreds more officers.
August 19, 2011 |
SAN DIEGO - Federal officials said Thursday they had broken up a drug-trafficking ring involving Mexico's most powerful cartel and members of an Iraqi immigrant community in the United States who were caught selling illegal drugs, assault rifles, grenades, and homemade explosives. About 60 people from the Iraqi community were arrested after a six-month investigation carried out by the Drug Enforcement Administration and police in El Cajon, a working-class city east of San Diego. Many of the suspects are Iraqi Chaldeans - Christians who fled their homeland amid threats from al-Qaeda and other extremists.