The Envoy
  • Afghan police moving toward the scene of an attack in Kabul on April 15, 2012. (Getty)

    The Taliban claimed responsibility for a series of coordinated attacks on and near several foreign embassies rocked Kabul on Sunday, as gunmen fired rocket-propelled grenades into the residences of Western diplomats near the so-called "green zone" of the Afghan capital.

    The Taliban also were said to be behind a raid on a jail in northern Pakistan that freed hundreds of inmates and wounded at least four prison officials.

    In Kabul, the Taliban said their "main targets were the German and British embassies and the headquarters of Afghanistan's NATO-led force," according to Reuters. Two rockets hit a British Embassy guard tower near Reuters' Kabul offices, the news service said. A supermarket near the German embassy was also struck.

    According to the New York Times, gunfire and "several explosions broke out near the German and British embassies and a major NATO military camp, usually a heavily guarded area of the Afghan capital" just after 1:35 p.m. local time. Rockets landed near the British and Canadian embassies and World Bank office, the paper reported.

    CNN reported that attackers took over a central Kabul hotel close to the presidential palace, United Nations office and several foreign embassies--and that the Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack in a text message.

    Kabul police said there were at least two other attacks in progress near the presidential palace and Parliament.

    An Afghan man examines the remains of a car after three suicide bombers were killed before they reached Jalalabad airport, April 15, 2012. (AP)

    A NATO spokesman confirmed the attacks, according to the Times, in as many as seven locations.

    U.S. army forces there were seen moving through the area, though the U.S. embassy did not sustain an attack, reports said. However, the embassy was in "lock-down mode," according to CBS News.

    In September 2011, suicide bombers led a 19-hour attack on the U.S. embassy. A spokesman for the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) told Al Jazeera that the ISAF similar tactics were used in Sunday's attacks.

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    Read More »from Taliban attacks: Militant group claims responsibility for embassy assault in Kabul, prison raid in Pakistan
  • A massive earthquake struck off the coast of Indonesia on Wednesday, triggering immediate tsunami warnings for the regionand fears for an area devastated by an earthquake almost eight years ago. The tsunami warnings were later lifted.

    According to the U.S. Geological Survey, the 8.6 magnitude earthquake struck 270 miles southwest of Banda Aceh, Indonesia, at a depth of 14 miles.

    Two hours later, an 8.2 magnitude aftershock also struck off the coast of the Sumatra island.

    According to CNN, the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center issued a tsunami watch for the entire Indian Ocean. According to the New York Times, the earthquake could be felt in Bangladesh, India, Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand.

    Fearful residents in Banda Aceh fled to higher ground after the quake, and several aftershocks could be felt there.

    According to Reuters, power was down in Aceh province.

    "The electricity is down, there are traffic jams to access higher ground," a spokesman for Indonesia's disaster management agency told the news service. "Sirens and Koran recitals from mosques are everywhere."

    There were no immediate reports of damage, injuries or fatalities, Indonesian president Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono said on local television.

    In 2004, a 9.1 magnitude earthquake killed an estimated 230,000 people in the region.

    Read More »from Indonesia earthquake: Tsunami warnings lifted after 8.6 magnitude quake strikes off coast
  • New video aired on Al Arabiya television this week shows Osama bin Laden's three wives, who are currently under house arrest in Islamabad, Pakistan. While security is present, the footage gives a rare glimpse into everyday life for the family of the late terrorist leader.

    The women, their faces covered, are shown praying and reading the Quran as their children play with toys nearby.

    Bin Laden's wives and two of his daughters are serving 45-day sentences for illegally entering the country, though they have been in government custody last May, when U.S. Navy SEALs shot and killed bin Laden in a raid on their compound. The family is expected to be deported to their home countriesYemen and Saudi Arabiaafter their sentences end on April 18.

    "The documents are almost ready for the Yemeni wife," Mohammed Amir Khalil, the family's lawyer, told London's Telegraph. "For the Saudi wives there are still some things to be arranged. Saudi Arabia was initially unwilling to take them back but there is some hope."

    Read More »from Bin Laden’s wives: New video shows family under house arrest in Islamabad

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(679 Stories)
  • Ukraine seeks to join NATO; defiant Putin compares Kiev to Nazis
    Ukraine seeks to join NATO; defiant Putin compares Kiev to Nazis

    By Alexei Anishchuk and Richard Balmforth LAKE SELIGER Russia/KIEV (Reuters) - Ukraine called on Friday for full membership in NATO, its strongest plea yet for Western military help, after accusing Russia of sending in armored columns that have driven back its forces on behalf of pro-Moscow rebels. Russian President Vladimir Putin, defiant as ever, compared Kiev's drive to regain control of its rebellious eastern cities to the Nazi invasion of the Soviet Union in World War Two. Speaking to young people at a summer camp, Putin told his countrymen they must be "ready to repel any aggression towards Russia." He described Ukrainians and Russians as "practically one people," language that Ukrainians say dismisses the very existence of their thousand-year-old nation. Kiev and Western countries say the reversal was the result of the arrival of armored columns of Russian troops, sent by Putin to prop up a rebellion that would otherwise have been near collapse.

  • Harry Reid’s Alma Matter Dumps His Name From Building
    Harry Reid’s Alma Matter Dumps His Name From Building

    Harry Reid’s alma matter is removing his name from a school building after citizens and alumni lobbied the school president and pledged more than $40,000 to the cause. Concerned citizens lobbied Southern Utah University president Scott Wyatt months ago for the change, but he has only now decided to remove the name out of respect for the Senate majority leader, Utah’s The Spectrum reports. Cedar City Councilman Paul Cozzens told The Specter he received $40,000 in pledges to remove the Nevada senator’s name in just five days. “These people in Nevada do not espouse to Reid’s political philosophies,” he said, “and they told me they would not support the university or send any more of their children there … so long as Harry Reid’s name remained.”

  • Adopted Pit Bull Saves Little Boy’s Life [VIDEO]
    Adopted Pit Bull Saves Little Boy’s Life [VIDEO]

    When a little boy stepped on a bee nest Tuesday and was hit by a swarm of bees, his family’s adopted pit bull dragged him to safety. Jesse-Cole, 8, his sister Jasmine, 17, and seven other kids were playing in a creek behind their Oregon apartment complex when someone stepped on a rotten log and unleashed a dangerous swarm of bees, Fox 12 Oregon reports. The other kids quickly climbed up the steep embankment to safety, but Jesse-Cole, who was stung at least 24 times, was unable to make it. He and his sister Jasmine, who is allergic and was injected twice with an EpiPen were taken to the hospital.

  • Recline-Gate 2: Another Plane Diverted After Passenger Leans Back
    Recline-Gate 2: Another Plane Diverted After Passenger Leans Back

    An American Airlines flight headed from Miami to Paris had to be diverted into Boston airport late on Wednesday night after two passengers began arguing and the argument turned physical. It was at that moment that air marshals, who were on the flight undercover, had to intervene.

  • Actor arrested with Jackie Chan's son released
    Actor arrested with Jackie Chan's son released

    BEIJING (AP) — A Taiwanese actor arrested on drug charges along with the son of Hong Kong film star Jackie Chan was released Friday after two weeks in detention, amid a broad anti-drug crackdown in China's capital that has ensnared several celebrities.

  • Russian-backed rebels aim to push west along coast
    Russian-backed rebels aim to push west along coast

    NOVOAZOVSK, Ukraine (AP) — Their tanks bearing the flag of their would-be state, Russian-backed separatists held control Friday over this coastal town on the new front in the Ukraine conflict and announced their intention to keep pushing west toward a major port city.

  • US urges global 'coalition' to fight IS jihadists
    US urges global 'coalition' to fight IS jihadists

    US Secretary of State John Kerry has called for a global coalition to combat Islamic State fighters' "genocidal agenda" after President Barack Obama admitted he had no strategy to tackle the group. The number of refugees who have fled Syria, where rebels have been battling the regime as well as jihadists, has now exceeded three million people, the United Nations said. Writing in the New York Times, a week before a NATO summit in Wales, Kerry urged "a united response led by the United States and the broadest possible coalition of nations." He said he and Defence Secretary Chuck Hagel would meet with European counterparts on the sidelines of the summit to enlist assistance, and then travel on to the Middle East to build support "among the countries that are most directly threatened."

  • How much does Malia Obama tip? A brush with American royalty

    My daughter’s voice was breathless on the other end of the phone: “I just waited on Malia Obama!” How cool! How Washington! I thought. What did Malia eat? The restaurant is in the Woodley Park neighborhood of Washington, well situated between two major hotels, and gets people from all over the world.

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