Wed, Jun 03, 2015 - Page 7 News List

World News Quick Take

Agencies

AFGHANISTAN

Nine killed in attack

Nine Afghan employees of a Czech aid organization were killed when militants attacked their guesthouse early yesterday, officials said. “Those killed in Zari district of Balkh Province include seven aid workers — six men and one woman — and two guards,” deputy provincial police chief Abdul Razaq Qaderi said, blaming the Taliban for the attack. The victims were employees of People in Need, a Czech organization which has been delivering humanitarian aid since 2001. “Unfortunately, last night unknown armed men attacked our guesthouse in Zari and martyred nine of our employees,” an official said, requesting anonymity. In the first four months of this year, civilian casualties jumped 16 percent from the same period last year, according to the UN Assistance Mission to Afghanistan.

UNITED STATES

Obama to honor veterans

President Barack Obama is bestowing the nation’s highest military honor posthumously on two World War I army veterans who may have been denied the honor because of discrimination. Obama was holding a White House Medal of Honor ceremony yesterday for Sergeant William Shemin, who was Jewish, and Private Henry Johnson, from an all-black regiment. Both are being honored for their heroism in rescuing comrades on the battlefields of France in 1918. The award comes after Congress passed an exemption from Medal of Honor rules specifying that heroic actions have to have taken place within five years to be considered. Shemin raced across the battlefield repeatedly under gunfire to pull wounded comrades to safety and Johnson rescued a wounded comrade while fighting off a German attack.

UNITED STATES

TSA acting head reassigned

The Department of Homeland Security on Monday reassigned the acting director of the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) and ordered the agency to revise its security procedures after screeners at airport checkpoints failed to detect weapons and other prohibited items 95 percent of the time in a covert test. Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson said that he took the findings of the investigation by the department’s inspector general “very seriously.” He called on the TSA to retrain airport security officers, retest screening equipment and increase its use of covert testing in airports. In the investigation, undercover agents were able to get prohibited items through security checkpoints in 67 of 70 instances, according to ABC News, which first reported the findings. Melvin Carraway, the acting administrator of the TSA, was replaced by the acting deputy, Mark Hatfield. In April, President Barack Obama nominated Vice Admiral Peter Neffenger of the Coast Guard to be the agency’s next administrator.

UNITED STATES

Shining Path assets frozen

The Shining Path rebels which terrorized Peru in the 1980s have evolved into a major drug trafficking group, the Department of the Treasury said on Monday. The Treasury officially designated the Maoist group, whose war with the government left 70,000 people dead over two decades, a “significant foreign narcotics trafficker” under the US Kingpin Act, which freezes assets tied to those designated. “Since its founding over three decades ago, the Shining Path has evolved from a militant terrorist group to a criminal narco-terrorist organization responsible for trafficking cocaine throughout South America,” Office of Foreign Assets Control Acting Director John Smith said.

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