The reasons for my decision are personal. I did not come to it lightly or quickly, but given the considerations behind it, I recognized in the end it was the only choice I could make. While I won’t go into the details, my primary concern is for the health of my wife, who has sacrificed so much for so long.General John Allen • Announcing his resignation today, in a statement. Allen’s decision comes as, according to him, he wants to spend more time with his wife, who he’s said suffers numerous chronic health issues, among them an autoimmune disorder. Allen served as the commander of NATO forces in Afghanistan for 19 months, was caught up in the fringes of the Petraeus sex scandal (but subsequently cleared), and had been the Obama administration’s nomination to serve as NATO supreme allied commander until now. Said President Obama: “Today, I met with General John Allen and accepted his request to retire from the military so that he can address health issues within his family.” source
» With plans to leave the region in October, United States and NATO forces are making a final push against the Taliban in Afghanistan’s mountainous Nuristan region. After being expelled from the region, then officially abandoning it altogether, U.S. forces are offering a final round of training and aid for Afghan forces in the area. “There are a lot of Taliban around,” said Mohammad Ghazi, an Afghan militia member being treated at the NATO post in Nuristan. “If the (U.S.) supports the Afghan government it will be very good in future. If not, it will be worse.”
» The NATO action, according to British PM David Cameron, was “extraordinarily difficult” to decide to go through with. He nonetheless approved the plans after increased concern as to the hostages’ safety, among them 28-year-old Brit Helen Johntson. The kidnapped four (two of whom were Afghans) who were held in Gulati, a town in Afghanistan’s northern region near the Tajikstan border. It’s reported that numerous Taliban members were slain in the operation, but the NATO forces escaped unscathed. “We will never be able to publish their names,” Cameron said, “but the whole country should know we have an extraordinary group of people who work for us who do amazingly brave things.”
» Molotov cocktails, or home brew supplies? That’s at question in the case of three activists arrested on terrorism charges, days prior to the NATO summit in Chicago. They’re charged with constructing explosive devices, which they intended to use against very high-profile targets — the Obama reelection headquarters, and the home address of Mayor Rahm Emanuel. The attorney for the three men (identified as Brian Church of Florida, Jared Chase of New Hampshire, and Brent Betterly of Massachusetts) claims the police planted weapons at the scene of the arrest, and supporters have claimed what the police called “molotov cocktails” were actually equipment for personal beer brewing. The National Lawyer’s Guild, which has volunteers representing the men, also asserts the police “broke down doors with guns drawn and searched residences without a warrant or consent.”
I wish to express my deep regret for the reported incident. I extend to you and the Afghan people my sincere apologies. … The error was inadvertent. I assure you that we will take the appropriate steps to avoid any recurrence, to include holding accountable those responsible.President Obama • Apologizing to Afghan president Hamid Karzai about the Koran-burning incident earlier this week, which has sparked widespread demonstration in the country and led to the deaths of at least eight people — the most recent of which happened when a man, wearing an Afghan Army uniform, opened fire on two coalition soldiers, killing them. This is not going to be an easy one for coalition forces to get past.
Libyan NTC claims credit for Gaddafi killing: It’s been a rather wild day as far as world news is concerned, which you’d probably expect when a notorious dictator of forty years is slain; in the aftermath, Libya’s National Transitional Council has said that Gaddafi’s capture and subsequent death (what happened exactly is yet unknown, as video has surfaced of Gaddafi once being alive under rebel custody, albeit in chaotic circumstances) was the work of Libyans, contrary to speculation NATO may have had a hand in it. Said spokesman Ahmed Bani: “It was our courageous revolutionaries who have killed the tyrant and not NATO.” source