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Controversy swells as Obama supports “Ground Zero” mosque

by Carlos Hamann – Sat Aug 14, 2010,1:23 pm ET WASHINGTON (AFP) – US President Barack Obama’s endorsement of a controversial plan to build a mosque just blocks from Ground Zero poured fuel Saturday on a raging debate over religious freedom and sensitivities over the 9/11 attacks. Muslims “have the same right to practice their religion as anyone else … Continue reading

Tired of intrusion from Washington? Secede!

US talks secession Article By: Carlos Hamann Sun, 11 Oct 2009                                                                                      http://news.iafrica.com/worldnews/486454.html Tired … Continue reading

Saddam’s Baghdad bunker become a tourist attraction

BAGHDAD, Dec 8,  2005 (AFP) – Saddam Hussein’s underground bunker, surprisingly undamaged despite heavy US bombing in 2003, has become an informal tourist attraction for visitors and residents of Baghdad’s downtown Green Zone area. US forces hurled two 900kg (2000 pound) GBU-28 bunker-busting bombs at the building on the opening night of the US-led offensive … Continue reading

Iraq’s air force being rebuilt from the ground up

ALI BASE, Iraq Aug 19, 2005 (AFP) –  Iraq’s new air force is being rebuilt from the ground up at this sprawling desert base outside Nasiriyah, once Saddam Hussein’s center of air operations against Iran during the 1980-1988 war. Now the site, 375 kilometers (235 miles) southeast of Baghdad, is home to Air Force Squadron … Continue reading

Robert Gates, the Anti-Rumsfeld

WASHINGTON, April 22, 2007 (AFP) – US Secretary of Defense Robert Gates took his soft-spoken approach to the troubled Middle East last week as he addressed the harsh realities facing Iraq’s beleaguered government. Unlike his more strident predecessor Donald Rumsfeld, the gray-haired, mild-mannered former CIA chief discussed Iraq in humble tones, acknowledging the serious problems … Continue reading

My front row seat at Obama’s inauguration

Believe it or not, I did have a front row seat at President Barack Obama’s January 2009 inauguration — right under Obama’s nose! If you don’t believe me, check out this gigapan picture of the inauguration — that’s me in the front row with the gray hat, curled up in my wool overcoat.

Third-generation Iraqi looks after Abraham’s birthplace

by Carlos Hamann UR, Iraq Aug 20, 2005 (AFP) –   Dhia Mhesen rattles off fact after fact about this ancient mud brick city, the site of a giant ziggurat and the reputed birthplace of Abraham — the prophet revered by Judaism, Christianity and Islam alike. “The ziggurat was the temple of the moon god,” said … Continue reading

Protesters, police clash as Americas trade summit ends early

MIAMI, Nov 20, 2003 (AFP) – Anti-globalization protesters clashed with police here Thursday, as trade ministers of countries seeking to join a sweeping hemispheric trade deal announced they reached an accord one day ahead of schedule. Ministers from every nation in the hemisphere except Cuba met here to discuss plans to implement the Free Trade … Continue reading

Rebels strike near Bogota as Colombia’s internal war heats up

BOGOTA, Feb 26, 2002 (AFP) –  At least three leftist rebels were killed in fierce clashes with army patrols in towns surrounding Bogota on Tuesday, bringing Colombia’s long-running internal conflict ever closer to the nation’s capital. The three Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) guerrillas were killed in an ongoing battle a mere 20 kilometers … Continue reading

Silvestre Reyes, El Paso’s Border Patrol Hero

THE NEW REPUBLIC, April 15, 1996 As you drive into El Paso, the first hint that you are entering a seriously conservative town is the sign announcing the exit for Porfirio Deaz street. Porfirio Deaz ruled Mexico from 1876 to 1911. His policies of forced industrialization–inspired by an elite cadre of foreign-educated savants known as … Continue reading

US, Iraqi soldiers work to secure Baghdad’s deadly aiport road

BAGHDAD, Nov 16, 2005  (AFP) – Cars roll to a stop under the bright half moon as Iraqi soldiers stretch rolls of razor wire across the road in a neighborhood near Baghdad’s airport. “Turn on your passenger lights and open your trunks,” a soldier shouts as the line of cars begins to lengthen. “Be ready … Continue reading

Saddam trial threatened by murder of defense lawyer

BAGHDAD, Nov 10, 2005 (AFP) – The murder of a second defense lawyer in the Saddam Hussein trial has threatened to unravel the proceedings of the US-supported court and raises questions about the legitimacy of the process, experts say. Lawyers representing Saddam and his co-defendants issued a call Wednesday for the Iraqi High Tribunal, the … Continue reading

Residents of Colombia ex-rebel haven in shock after army takeover

by Carlos Hamann SAN VICENTE DEL CAGUAN, Colombia, Feb 25, 2002 (AFP) – Fear, shock, even denial — residents in this steamy jungle town that until days ago was controlled by leftist rebels are still adapting to their new life under military occupation. San Vicente early Monday remained largely isolated from the world, with no … Continue reading

Mixed signals in early days of Iraq surge

by Carlos Hamann BAGHDAD, April 21, 2007 (AFP) – The clock is ticking. Politically, the US military “surge” in Iraq has to start showing positive results soon — and up to now the outcome is mixed. US officials say that time is running out for Iraqi politicians to overcome their differences and pass key legislation … Continue reading

5 p.m. means time for the Elian show in Cuba … again

by Carlos Hamann HAVANA, April 20, 2000 (AFP) – It’s 5 p.m. in Cuba, and that means that it’s time for The Elian Show — two commercial-free hours of news roundup and analysis on the case of the world’s most famous child castaway. The show, officially known as the “Informative Round Table and Open Forum,” … Continue reading