US military officials in Baghdad said this week that military lawyers and some colonels had received internal documents that reportedly cited complaints of abuse at Abu Ghraib prison starting in November, about two months before top military officials say they were alerted to the abuse. \nThe disclosure of the documents has raised new questions about whether top military officers knew about the abuse before January, when a soldier alerted them to photographs of abused prisoners at the facility just west of Baghdad. \nAt least 20 complaints of abuse were reported in the routine memos, according to interviews of military intelligence personnel, including the beating of five former Iraqi generals in November who were blamed for causing prisoner riots. After reviewing 106 of the memos this week, the military officials said they found only one complaint, in which a prisoner said he had been handcuffed too long, but said that thousands of additional files had not been reviewed. \nThe officials said they would make the documents available to Major General George Fay, who is conducting a criminal investigation of abuses at the prison. \n"We take this pretty seriously," said Colonel Jill Morgenthaler, chief of public affairs at military headquarters in Baghdad. "The recommendation will be made to the investigation officer that the review of the files is included in the scope of the investigation." \nAccording to former workers at the prison, a small unit of interrogators and analysts known as the Detainee Assessment Branch reported complaints of abuse in weekly memos that were sent to top officers who voted on whether to release detainees. \nMilitary officials confirmed that the memos were sent to the prison's Review and Appeal Board, but said the officers on the board -- Brigadier General Barbara Fast, the top Army intelligence officer in Iraq, and Brigadier General Janis Karpinski, the commander of the 800th Military Police Battalion -- had stepped down from the board in early November. Colonel Marc Warren, a top legal officer under Lieutenant General Ricardo Sanchez, the highest-ranking US commander in Iraq, left the board on Nov. 12, the officials said. \nFast, Karpinski and Warren were replaced by several colonels, as well as other military intelligence and military police personnel, to speed up the release of detainees, the officials said.
TARNISHED LEGACY: Woodrow Wilson served as the university’s president before becoming the US’ 28th leader, but his racism was ‘significant and consequential’ Princeton University is removing former US president Woodrow Wilson’s name from its public policy school and one of its residential colleges after trustees concluded that the 28th president’s “racist thinking and policies” made him “an inappropriate namesake.” The Ivy League school’s trustees made the decision on Friday, according to a statement on Saturday. It comes at a time of widespread rethinking of the US’ racial legacy. The Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement, energized by a series of high-profile deaths of black Americans, has resulted in the removal of Confederate monuments, flags and symbols of racism across the US. Deleting Wilson’s name at Princeton
‘FULLY ENCLOSED’: Residents of Anxin County would be confined to their homes and would only be allowed out once a day to buy necessities such as food and medicine China yesterday imposed a strict lockdown on nearly half a million people near the capital to contain a fresh COVID-19 cluster as authorities warned the outbreak was still “severe and complicated.” After China largely brought the virus under control, hundreds have been infected in Beijing and cases have emerged in Hebei Province. Health officials said that Anxin County — about 150km from Beijing — would be “fully enclosed and controlled,” the same strict measures imposed at the height of the pandemic in the city of Wuhan earlier this year. Only one person from each family would be allowed to go out once a
Japan said it opposed changes to the G7 nations as it pushed back against a reform plan by US President Donald Trump that would have rival South Korea this year join in an expanded meeting. Tokyo has told the US it stands against South Korea’s participation on the grounds of differences in policy on China and North Korea, Kyodo News reported this weekend, citing more than one source related to Japanese and US diplomacy. Japan also wants to maintain its status as the only Asian country in the group, the news agency added. Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga yesterday told reporters that
‘CHAPITOS’: An ex-DEA agent said the sons of the former cartel head are engaged in a battle for control, with the health of the man temporarily in charge a factor The fight for control of drug kingpin Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman’s legacy spilled into the open on Thursday after a gun battle between rival Mexican gangs left 16 dead, authorities said. The 16 men, heavily armed and wearing bulletproof vests, died in a six-hour running shootout near the rural town of Tepuche in northwestern Sinaloa province. “A van with seven bodies was located” after an initial clash, while nine bodies were discovered following a second exchange, Sinaloa Minister of Security Cristobal Castaneda told reporters. Castaneda said that Wednesday’s clash near Tepuche, 25km from the capital of Sinaloa, Culiacan, was “part of a struggle