WASHINGTON (AP) — Republicans and Democrats who initially praised the release of Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl after his five years in captivity quickly scrubbed their welcoming tweets amid questions about whether the Army soldier was a deserter and an outcry over the exchange of five Taliban officials for his freedom.
Forward Operating Base Shank (Afghanistan) (AFP) - The American troops gingerly lifted the wounded Afghan out of the ambulance on the dark runway, carrying him in a stretcher up the ramp of the cargo plane. The evacuation -- ordered at a moment's notice -- is a routine event for US-led forces in Afghanistan. The vast majority of the 51,000 troops in the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) are leaving Afghanistan by the end of the year, and they are taking most of their aviation medical squadrons with them. The emergency evacuations are in high demand amid a dramatic rise in casualties among Afghan security forces.
Ukraine will swear in its new president Saturday, amid glimmers of hope for a solution to a crisis that has pitted it against its giant Russian neighbour. Ukraine's new leader, Petro Poroshenko, will take the oath in Kiev's parliament the day after he met with Russian President Vladimir Putin, widely seen in Ukraine as the country's nemesis, during World War II commemorations in northern France. "The dialogue has begun, and that's a good thing," Poroshenko said on Ukrainian television after the brief encounter. He added that a Russian representative would travel to Ukraine for talks Sunday amid the first bilateral steps towards resolving their differences.
As Egypt prepares to swear in its fourth leader since 2011, a huge slice of $1.5 billion in US aid remains in deep-freeze amid fears the nation is sliding back into authoritarianism. Former general Abdel Fattah al-Sisi will be crowned as the next president on Sunday after three years of political turmoil since the ousting of long-time iron-fisted leader Hosni Mubarak. But far from welcoming Sisi as a step toward stability, some analysts are urging Washington to re-think its decades-old, military-based aid program amid concerns over human rights abuses and a crackdown on civil liberties. In a sign of Washington's unease, no senior US cabinet members will be attending the inauguration, with State Department Counselor Thomas Shannon asked to lead the delegation.
WASHINGTON (AP) — A new batch of records from former President Bill Clinton's administration shows the ex-president musing about Republican plans to abolish a federal agency led by a black official, White House concerns about mass killings in Rwanda and political strategizing against former Republican House Speaker Newt Gingrich.
WASHINGTON (AP) — Distancing herself from some of the Obama administration's handling of the Arab Spring, Hillary Rodham Clinton says in her upcoming book that she pushed for Hosni Mubarak to initiate an orderly transition of power in Egypt but was overruled by President Barack Obama's call for the strongman to stand down immediately.
Former Northern Ireland Secretary Peter Hain is to step down as an MP at next year's general election, he has said. Hain, Labour MP for Neath in south Wales since 1991, said he had decided to "draw stumps" on his career following discussions with Labour leader Ed Miliband. "However, after considerable thought and in discussion with Ed Miliband, leader of the party and for many years my close colleague, I have decided to draw stumps on my House of Commons career.
Mosul (Iraq) (AFP) - Clashes between Iraqi security forces and militants killed 59 people in Mosul on Saturday, as heavy fighting in the northern city entered its second day, officials said. The dead comprised 21 police and 38 militants, a police lieutenant colonel and a mortuary employee said. Fighting broke out in Mosul on Friday morning and continued into the night, while twin suicide bombings targeted a minority group east of the city and soldiers shot dead suicide bombers to its south. At least 36 people were killed in Friday's violence in Mosul and elsewhere in Nineveh province.
The exiled leader of Pakistan's MQM party has been bailed by police in London after being arrested on suspicion of money laundering, a police source said Saturday. Altaf Hussain was arrested at his suburban home in the British capital on Tuesday, prompting thousands of people to protest on the streets of Karachi, Pakistan's biggest city and his party's power base. "The 60-year-old man arrested on Tuesday 3 June on suspicion of money laundering has been released on police bail to a date in July pending further enquiries," a police statement said.