Alan Gross, held in Cuba for four years, launches hunger strike
April 8th, 2014
10:09 AM ET

Alan Gross, held in Cuba for four years, launches hunger strike

By Kevin Liptak

Alan Gross, the former American subcontractor who's spent four years imprisoned in Cuba, launched a hunger strike last week in a bid to spur both the United States and Cuba to resolve his case.

Gross has called on President Barack Obama to become personally involved in securing his release from the small Cuban jail where he's been incarcerated since 2009. Gross' lawyer on Tuesday said the U.S. government had put a resolution to his case in jeopardy after secretly setting up a social media network designed to help Cubans communicate.

"I am fasting to object to mistruths, deceptions, and inaction by both governments, not only regarding their shared responsibility for my arbitrary detention, but also because of the lack of any reasonable or valid effort to resolve this shameful ordeal," Gross wrote in a statement distributed by his U.S.-based public relations firm.
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U.S. Navy discloses nuclear exam cheating
February 5th, 2014
03:58 AM ET

U.S. Navy discloses nuclear exam cheating

Senior Navy enlistees seeking credentials to train others on using nuclear reactors that power carriers and subs are under investigation for cheating on an exam that may have involved classified information, top military officials said Tuesday.

The troubling disclosure comes just weeks after the Air Force alleged widespread cheating on a proficiency test by officers with oversight responsibilities for nuclear missiles. Both involved written exams.

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Obama, al-Maliki to address Iraq's violence spike at White House meeting
October 30th, 2013
04:52 PM ET

Obama, al-Maliki to address Iraq's violence spike at White House meeting

By Kevin Liptak

President Barack Obama's meeting Friday with Iraq's leader will include discussion of how to counter a fresh rise in suicide bombers affiliated with al Qaeda, a senior U.S. official says.

Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki is slated to visit the White House at the end of the week for a meeting with the President as tensions rise between Iraq's Shiite majority and its Sunni minority. Violence has been on the upswing - on Wednesday, a suicide bomber killed at least nine people and wounded 25 others at a police checkpoint west of Mosul. In all, more than 6,000 people have been killed in attacks this year.

A bipartisan group of senators harshly criticized Maliki in a letter to Obama on Tuesday, writing that the recent security deterioration in Iraq was partially the Prime Minister's fault.

"Unfortunately, Prime Minister Maliki's mismanagement of Iraqi politics is contributing to the recent surge of violence," the senators wrote. Signatories included Republicans John McCain, James Inhofe and Bob Corker, and Democrats Carl Levin and Robert Menendez.

"By too often pursuing a sectarian and authoritarian agenda, Prime Minister Maliki and his allies are disenfranchising Sunni Iraqis, marginalizing Kurdish Iraqis, and alienating the many Shia Iraqis who have a democratic, inclusive, and pluralistic vision for their country," the lawmakers continued.
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Filed under: Iraq • Obama