You started it: Russia and Georgia are both claiming vindication from a new European Union report on the brief 2008 war between the two countries. The report supports Russia’s claim that Georgia launched the war with a barrage on the capital of South Ossetia, a separatist Georgian province friendly to Russia. Moscow’s EU ambassador, Vladimir Chizhov, said the report provided “unequivocal confirmation of who started the war —it was Georgia.” But the EU also found that Russia provoked Georgia and then used its incursion as an excuse for a full-scale invasion. “The allegations of my country have been proven,” said Georgia’s EU ambassador, Salome Samadashvili. “It was Georgia which came under invasion from another country, in violation of the international law.”
U.S. aids quake victims: The U.S. military has sent supplies and doctors to Indonesia to help the hundreds of thousands of people who were left homeless by last week’s deadly earthquake. Troops set up a 300-bed field hospital outside Padang’s main hospital, and the U.S. Navy sent three ships full of supplies, food, and heavy equipment for clearing roads to the dozens of villages cut off by landslides. Aid workers from at least 20 countries focused on caring for the homeless, who huddled in makeshift shelters and cooked meager meals of rice and noodles over open fires. “We are ready for the long haul,” said Col. Dan Settergren. “We will do whatever it takes.” The official death toll from the magnitude 7.6 quake passed the 700 mark and was expected
Crew brawls during flight: An Air India crew on a flight over Pakistan got into a brawl last week, leaving horrified passengers wondering who was steering the plane. The scuffle apparently started after the pilot and co-pilot scolded a female flight attendant for some infraction, and a male flight attendant came to her defense. Witnesses said the pilot and male attendant began pushing and cursing each other at the door of the cockpit, and their scuffle spilled into the passenger gangway, where it became a fistfight. Air India said the flight was on autopilot and that the 106 passengers were never in any danger; all four crew members have been grounded pending an investigation.
Taliban is resurgent: A suicide bombing of a U.N. aid agency in Islamabad this week dashed hopes that the Pakistani Taliban had been crippled. The bomber disguised himself in a guard’s uniform to get into the World Food Program building without going through security, authorities said. The Pakistani Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack, which left five people dead. U.S. and Pakistani officials had believed that the Pakistani Taliban was in disarray after an August drone strike killed its leader. But the day before the suicide bombing, the new leader, Hakimullah Mehsud, and a group of his commanders met with reporters to demonstrate a united front, and Mehsud promised “severe” new attacks.
Eight Americans dead: One of the war’s deadliest attacks on U.S. forces has refocused the debate on how to deploy troops in Afghanistan. In a fierce firefight that lasted several hours, hundreds of Taliban militants overwhelmed two sparsely manned outposts near the border with Pakistan last week, killing eight Americans and two Afghans. The attacks came almost exactly a year after a similar assault in the same province, Nuristan, killed nine Americans and sparked a massive military review. The new incident could bolster U.S. commander Gen. Stanley McChrystal’s argument that U.S. troops should be concentrated in Afghanistan’s cities to protect civilians. But Afghan officials warn that if outposts are abandoned, whole provinces will fall to the Taliban.
Genocide architect arrested: The man allegedly responsible for killing the Tutsi queen in Rwanda’s 1994 genocide has finally been caught. Idelphonse Nizeyimana, a military academy instructor, is considered one of the architects of the 100-day killing spree, in which nearly a million Rwandans, mostly Tutsis, were slaughtered by militias and their own neighbors. He is accused of setting up special military units that systematically massacred Tutsis, including Queen Rosalie Gicanda, who was still revered by many Tutsis even though Rwanda had long since become a republic. Nizeyimana fled the country after the genocide and hid out in Congo. He was arrested this week at a hotel in Uganda.