March 26th, 2012
05:30 PM ET

Source: Bales talked to troops before he went to second village

By Barbara Starr

Staff Sgt. Robert Bales, who is suspected in the shooting deaths this month of 17 Afghans, sneaked off his remote outpost twice during his alleged 90-minute rampage in two Afghan villages, two senior U.S. officials told CNN Monday.

The officials said that, after the March 11 shootings in one village in Kandahar province, Bales sneaked back onto his base. They said Bales was seen at that point by fellow troops. FULL POST

U.S. suspends aid to Mali after coup
Mali junta leader Captain Amadou Sanogo (L) speaks to his fellow soldiers at the Kati Military camp, in a suburb of Bamako, on March 22, 2012.
March 26th, 2012
04:26 PM ET

U.S. suspends aid to Mali after coup

By Jamie Crawford

The United States suspended a portion of its aid to Mali in light of last week's coup in the West African nation, the State Department said Monday.

"We have now taken the decision to suspend our assistance to the government of Mali pending a resolution of the situation on the ground," State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland told reporters. "We want to see the elected government restored as quickly as possible."

Three senior African diplomats stranded in Mali by last week's military coup have been safely evacuated, the African Union announced Monday.

The foreign ministers of Kenya and Zimbabwe were flown out on an airplane provided by the government of Kenya, while the Tunisian secretary of state flew out with a group Tunisian nationals who lived and worked in Mali, the group said.
FULL POST

Post by:
Filed under: Africa • Al Qaeda • State Department
Panetta to announce new drug fighting measures
March 26th, 2012
01:44 PM ET

Panetta to announce new drug fighting measures

By Paula Newton reporting from Ottawa, Canada

U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta arrives in the Canadian capital Monday, where he is expected to announce new measures to support the fight against narcotics in the United States, Canada and Mexico.

He is attending a two-day meeting in Ottawa with Canadian and Mexican defense leaders. FULL POST

Post by:
Filed under: Canada • drugs • Mexico • Military • Panetta
March 26th, 2012
01:10 PM ET

Pakistan foreign minister: U.S. apology for border strike not enough

Pakistan's foreign minister says an apology by the U.S. government for the NATO airstrike that killed 24 Pakistani soldiers would not satisfy the Pakistani government, and the attack demanded a reassessment of Islamabad's partnership with the United States.

"The incident was grave enough for an apology not to be good enough," said Foreign Minster Hina Rabbani Khar in a wide-ranging interview with CNN's Reza Sayah at her home in Islamabad.

"This did require a complete relook at the terms of engagement with the United States of America." FULL POST


Filed under: Afghanistan • Military • Obama • Pakistan
SSG Bales charged with 17 murders but Afghan say only 16 dead
March 26th, 2012
03:05 AM ET

SSG Bales charged with 17 murders but Afghan say only 16 dead

As the U.S. military pursues charges against the Army sergeant accused of killing Afghan civilians in what commanders say was a freelance rampage, there continues to be a discrepancy between the official count of those killed and the murder count Staff Sgt. Robert Bales is charged with.

The word of 17 murders first leaked Thursday evening.  Earlier that same day the commander of all U.S. and NATO troops in Afghanistan made no mention of the number being higher.

"Just as tragic, we're now investigating what appears to be the murder of 16 innocent Afghan civilians at the hand of a U.S. servicemember," Gen. John Allen told the Senate Armed Services Committee. FULL POST

Post by:
Filed under: Afghanistan • Gen. Allen • Military • SSGT Robert Bales
Iran nukes: How would the world know?
Fordow enrichment plant near Qom, Iran
March 26th, 2012
03:00 AM ET

Iran nukes: How would the world know?

By Pam Benson

American officials are adamant. The U.S. will respond - possibly with military force - if Iran crosses a red line and decides to actually make nuclear weapons.

But will the U.S. know with an degree of certainty that a line has been crossed?

The decision itself to push ahead really comes down to one person, according to Director of National Intelligence James Clapper. Clapper told a Senate hearing recently that any decision would be based on "the supreme leader's world view and the extent to which he thinks that would benefit the state of Iran or, conversely, not benefit."

Clapper was referring to Ayatollah Ali Khameini, the supreme leader of Iran.

FULL POST

Post by:
Filed under: CIA • Clapper • IAEA • IAEA • Intelligence • Iran • Iraq • Khamenei • Nuclear • ODNI • Petraeus • Petraeus • Stuxnet • weapons