Recruiters for controversial Blackwater Worldwide, which provides “paid contractors” (i.e. - mercenaries) to supplement United States forces in Iraq, apparently distribute consoles and popular video games to spread good will among American forces.
President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner told defence chiefs that Argentina must be prepared to assert its sovereignty and protect its natural resources, as nations compete to claim areas of the region believed to be rich in oil.
The plans threaten to inflame tensions between Britain and Argentina over the Falkland Islands, which the South American nation still considers to be its sovereign territory despite losing a war in 1982.
Sometime late last year, an employee of a McLean investment firm decided to trade some music, or maybe a movie, with like-minded users of the online file-sharing network LimeWire while using a company computer. In doing so, he inadvertently opened the private files of his firm, Wagner Resource Group, to the public.
The media is awash in stories about the stunningly successful rescue operation mounted by the Colombian military that freed 15 long-held hostages from FARC forces. A key part of the operation apparently involved convincing FARC rebels to move the hostages to meet with an “international mission” as the set-up for getting the hostages aboard a Colombian military helicopter and flown to safety. Here’s how CNN describes it:
The agents told their FARC comrades that an “international mission” — such as the Red Cross or a U.N. delegation — was coming to visit the hostages … At the appointed hour, an unmarked white helicopter set down in the jungle along the trekkers’ path. Colombian security forces posing as FARC rebels jumped out, some wearing shirts emblazoned with the likeness of revolutionary icon Che Guevara. The helicopter crew told the 60 or so real rebels that the chopper was going to ferry the hostages to the meeting with the “international mission” …
All 15 hostages were handcuffed and placed aboard the helicopter, along with two of their guards, leaving the rest of the FARC detachment on the ground. Once the chopper was up and safely away from the landing zone, the fake rebels persuaded the real ones aboard to hand them their weapons. Moments later, both rebels were on the floor of the aircraft, cuffed and blindfolded by their erstwhile comrades … A crew member turned and spoke to the hostages. “We are the national military,” he said … “You are free.”
In what must have been one of its the most difficult cases, the European Court yesterday ruled in Gäfgen v. Germany. Yesterday’s judgment is the apex of long and highly publicised judicial proceedings. In 2003, the applicant, Magnus Gäfgen, was sentenced to life imprisonment for the murder of J., the eleven year old son, of a rich bankers family from Frankfurt am Main. Gäfgen had lured the boy into his home and subsequently killed him. That same day he dropped the corpse of the boy into a pond. He had then demanded a ransom of one million euros from the family, without disclosing that J. was already dead. Shortly after picking up the ransom, Gäfgen was arrested.