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Taliban claim to kill 1 US soldier, hold another captive

KANDAHAR, Afghanistan (AFP) – The Taliban said Sunday that one of two American soldiers missing since Friday had been killed in a gun battle with the insurgents, while the other was captured alive. “One of the two was killed in the exchange of fire and we arrested the second alive,”…

Faced with oil spill, Gulf residents fight mental pain

With the Gulf oil spill destroying livelihoods across southern Louisiana, anxiety over an uncertain future is prompting a desperate rise in depression, health officials and residents warn. “This whole area is gonna die,” cried fifth-generation fisherwoman Darla Brooks in an interview Wednesday with AFP, in the small fishing-based town of…

Iraq car bomb kills 30

BAQUBA, Iraq (AFP) – A car bomb killed 30 people and wounded 46 near a mosque in a predominantly Shiite area of the mixed city of Baquba, north of the Iraqi capital Baghdad, on Wednesday, security officials said. The bomb in a car parked near a Shiite mosque in the…

3.6-magnitude earthquake rattles Washington

WASHINGTON (AFP) – A 3.6-magnitude earthquake, fairly rare on the US east coast, rattled Washington and the surrounding area early Friday, the US Geological Service said. The temblor struck 35 kilometers (20 miles) northwest of the US federal capital, in the state of Maryland, at 0904 GMT. But the quake…

Baghdad officials have killed over 58,000 stray dogs in just three months

Teams of veterinarians and police shooters have killed some 58,000 stray dogs in and around the Iraqi capital over the past three months as part of a campaign to curb an increasing number of strays blamed for attacks on residents. The Baghdad provincial government said in a statement released Sunday…

1.8M acres of Alaska drilling leases go up for bid

The Interior Department is offering oil and gas leases on 1.8 million acres of Alaska’s National Petroleum Reserve while promising to protect critical migratory bird and caribou habitat. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar said Friday that the Bureau of Land Management will offer 190 tracts, covering more than 2,800 square miles,…

Judge: Deal reached in ‘BP killing turtles’ lawsuit

UPDATE: A deal reached between BP and four environmental groups suing the company over the burning of endangered sea turtles in the Gulf of Mexico will see biologists monitor future oil burns and save as many turtles as they can. The two sides involved in the litigation presented the agreement…

BP ‘burning sea turtles alive’

A rare and endangered species of sea turtle is being burned alive in BP’s controlled burns of the oil swirling around the Gulf of Mexico, and a boat captain tasked with saving them says the company has blocked rescue efforts. Mike Ellis, a boat captain involved in a three-week effort…

Update: Toll in US camp flood disaster rises to 16

UPDATE: The toll from flash floods that swept through campsites in an Arkansas national forest Friday has risen to 16 dead, police said. Bill Sadler, spokesman for the Arkansas State Police, said he had no details on the fatalities. Earlier figures indicated 12 people had been killed after rivers rose…

White cop confesses he shot himself, invented black assailant

A white police officer in Philadelphia was fired this week after confessing that he shot himself in the shoulder last month and blamed the shooting on a black assailant. According to Sgt. Robert Ralston’s original story, he stopped two men on the railroad tracks late on the night of April…

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