January 17, 2015 |
When, in 1993, the body of an American soldier was dragged, beaten and bloodied, through the streets of Mogadishu in Somalia, Paul Watson photographed the horror, winning the Pulitzer Prize for the picture. He believes the dead soldier said to him, "If you do this, I will own you forever. " That haunting has, apparently, endured to this day, recorded in Watson's memoir, Where War Lives, and in Dan O'Brien's play The Body of an American , at the Wilma Theater until Feb. 1. The play concerns war and Watson's belief that war lives inside us. So rather than indict the inhumanity of those who inflict the misery, the play's documentary style becomes a kind of travelogue of suffering: Rwanda, Somalia, Iraq, Philippines, Afghanistan, Bosnia, Syria.
October 6, 2013
A story Friday on a service honoring Staff Sgt. Randall Shughart, a Pennsylvanian killed in a 1993 battle in Somalia, misstated how many Pennsylvanians died in that battle. Sgt. First Class Earl Fillmore Jr., 28, of Blairsville, also died. In addition, Inquirer reporter Mark Bowden's series on the events did not receive a Pulitzer Prize. A story Friday about Camphill Village Kimberton Hills misspelled the name of the philanthropist Mabel Pew Myrin.
June 10, 2013 |
WHO EXACTLY is the enemy in the continuing U.S. war against terrorism? In some cases, the answer is: It's a secret. When the United States began its war against al Qaeda, after the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, the identity of the enemy was clear: Osama bin Laden and his followers, and the Taliban who protected them in Afghanistan. Congress quickly passed a resolution authorizing President George W. Bush to use "all necessary and appropriate force" against anyone who "planned, authorized, committed or aided" the 9/11 attacks, plus anyone who harbored them.
April 30, 2013 |
NAIROBI, Kenya - The 2011 Somali famine killed an estimated 260,000 people, according to a new report to be published this week, officials told the Associated Press. The total more than doubles previous estimates, and half of the victims were age 5 and younger. The aid community believes tens of thousands of people died needlessly because the international community was slow to respond to early signs of approaching hunger in East Africa in late 2010 and early 2011. The toll was also exacerbated by extremist militants from al-Shabab who banned food-aid deliveries to the areas of south-central Somalia that they controlled.
April 16, 2013 |
MOGADISHU, Somalia - A barrage of bullets and two car bomb blasts rattled Mogadishu on Sunday when nine al-Shabab Islamic extremists stormed Somalia's main court complex, officials said, in a two-hour attack that shows the country's most dangerous militant group may be down but not defeated. A preliminary death toll stood at 16, including all nine attackers. The government didn't immediately publicize the number of security forces, government employees. and civilians who died. The assault was the most serious in Mogadishu since al-Shabab was forced out of the capital in August 2011.
January 27, 2013 |
MOGADISHU, Somalia - Three officials have been arrested for mismanaging a scholarship scheme that sends Somali students to Turkey, Somalia's education minister said Saturday, a sign that the fledgling government is committed to fighting the corruption that contributes to the country's failed-state status. Minister Maryan Qasim Ahmed said the officials were arrested for offering the scholarships to undeserving students. The officials include the ministry's former director general, who faced widespread accusations that he took bribes, Ahmed said.
January 14, 2013 |
MOGADISHU, Somalia - A raid to free a French intelligence agent held captive in Somalia for three years went horribly wrong, leaving 17 Islamists and at least one French commando dead in a mud-caked farming town deep in militant territory. In the chaotic aftermath of the firefight, the hostage's fate was unclear Saturday. The Islamists denied French claims that he was killed and said they had a new prisoner - a wounded French soldier. The botched rescue in East Africa came the same day French air strikes in the West African nation of Mali targeted resurgent rebel Islamists.
December 4, 2012 |
WASHINGTON - The top U.S. military commander in Africa warned Monday against any premature military action in Mali, even as he said that al-Qaeda-linked extremists have strengthened their hold on the northern part of the country. Army Gen. Carter Ham said that any military intervention done now would likely fail and would set the precarious situation there back "even farther than they are today. " The African Union and United Nations are currently discussing the funding, troops, and other assistance necessary to take back northern Mali from the extremists who took control earlier this year.
September 13, 2012 |
MOGADISHU, Somalia - Somalia's new president survived an assassination attempt on his second day in office when two suicide bombers blew themselves up Wednesday while trying to gain access into a heavily guarded hotel that is his temporary residence, officials and witnesses said. The attack highlights the challenge that insecurity caused by an Islamist insurgency poses to Somalia's fledgling government, which is expected to help transform the east African country from being a failed state to one with functioning government.
September 11, 2012
Syrian rebels get atrocity warning BEIRUT, Lebanon - The top U.N. human-rights official warned opposition fighters in Syria on Monday that they would not be immune from prosecution for atrocities, as videos from the Syrian city of Aleppo appeared to show a mass execution by rebel fighters of bound and blindfolded Syrian government soldiers. One of the videos, first publicized Monday on the Brown Moses blog, which curates and analyzes video evidence from Syria, showed at least 20 corpses lying in crooked rows on a bloodstained street curb.