Taliban Pummel Security Forces Across Afghanistan
Dozens of soldiers and police officers were killed or captured in nine Taliban attacks that overran security bases and outposts in different parts of Afghanistan during a 24-hour period that ended Tuesday, officials said. Insurgents captured battalion headquarters of the Afghan Border Force in Farah province, in western Afghanistan, killing or taking prisoner nearly the entire contingent of officers, with as many as 20 dead. In Kandahar province, in the south, three separate attacks killed a total of 17 police officers. And in Ghazni, a central province, an outpost fell only two days after it had been set up, with all 16 security officials killed or wounded.
Islamic State Left More Than 200 Mass Graves in Iraq, U.N. Says
More than 200 mass graves holding as many as 12,000 bodies have been found in areas of Iraq once controlled by the Islamic State, the United Nations said Tuesday. The findings were highlighted in a report released by the U.N. mission to Iraq and the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, which called the sites a “legacy of terror.” Most of the graves are in the four provinces where the Islamic State’s caliphate acted as the government: Anbar, Kirkuk, Salahuddin and Nineveh, which includes Mosul, the largest city. They range from small burial sites with eight bodies to massive pits believed to hold thousands.
Navy Completes Inquiry Into Strangling Death of Army Green Beret in Mali
Navy criminal authorities have completed their investigation into the strangling of an Army Green Beret in June 2017 in Mali and sent their report to a U.S. admiral who will decide what charges, if any, will be brought in the case, officials said Tuesday. The results of the inquiry by the Naval Criminal Investigative Service into the death of Staff Sgt. Logan Melgar, 34, a veteran of two tours in Afghanistan, were not made public. But two members of the elite SEAL Team 6 who were in Mali on assignment and shared embassy housing with Melgar have been under investigation into his death.
As Famine Looms in Yemen, Saudi-Led Coalition Redoubles Attacks
The fight in Yemen has escalated dramatically over the past week, exacerbating a dire humanitarian crisis that the United Nations says could spiral into famine — despite, or even because of, a diplomatic push by the United States to get both sides to the peace table. The Saudi-led coalition, which the United States has armed and supported, has launched a punishing wave of airstrikes against the rebel Houthis. The warplanes have hit targets in the capital, Sanaa; and in the Red Sea port of Hodeida where, aid workers warn, the country’s main humanitarian lifeline hangs by a thread.
Erdogan Champions Khashoggi While Trampling Turkish Journalists and Dissidents
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey has kept the case of Jamal Khashoggi alive through a steady drip of leaks, forcing the Saudis to admit that the journalist and dissident was killed more than a month ago in their consulate in Istanbul. But for Erdogan, the case has always been broader than journalistic freedom or human rights abuses. And, in fact, Erdogan’s use of the case in the name of justice has left many deeply conflicted in Turkey, a country where tens of thousands of citizens have been caught up in a government crackdown since a coup attempt in 2016.
Fight Against Last Vestige of Islamic State in Syria Stalls, to Dismay of U.S.
A U.S.-backed military offensive has stalled against the Islamic State’s last vestige in eastern Syria. Booby traps, land mines and a militant counterstrike have knocked the coalition back on its heels. And last week, the Syrian Democratic Forces, the Kurdish-led militia that is fighting the Islamic State with U.S. help, suspended operations after Kurdish positions farther north were shelled by Turkey. Turks consider Kurdish fighters terrorists despite their partnership with the United States. But the episode underscores the shifting nature of the fight against the Islamic State as it pivots from its battlefield losses in Iraq and Syria to directing guerrilla insurgencies in the Middle East and beyond.
Crashed Lion Air Plane Was Cleared to Fly Four Times Despite Problems
A new Boeing Max 8 jet that crashed into the Java Sea last week had problems with its airspeed indicator during its final four flights, Indonesian investigators said Monday. Analyzing the contents of a flight data recorder that was recovered from the seabed, members of Indonesia’s National Transportation Safety Committee, which is leading the investigation into the crash of Lion Air Flight 610, found that inaccurate airspeed readings continued for three days, despite the plane having been repeatedly cleared for takeoff. The Max 8, entered commercial fleets only last year. The plane was delivered to Lion Air in August.
Suicides Among Japanese Children Reach Highest Level in 3 Decades
Suicides by young people in Japan rose to their highest level in three decades in 2017, according to new figures released by the government. Japan has a persistent problem with suicides, although the number has been declining overall. But child suicides have risen recently, with experts pointing to school pressures and bullying as likely triggers. Last year 250 children in elementary, middle and high schools committed suicide, the highest number since 1986, according to data released last month by the Education Ministry. According to the Education Ministry survey, most students did not leave an explanation for why they decided to take their own lives.
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