The Abu Sayyaf group, currently holding American New Tribes missionaries Martin and Gracia Burnham, are "are high on the list of American counter-terrorism targets to come" unnamed officials told The New York Times. But the officials may have jumped the gun.
The Philippines' National Security Adviser, Roilo Golez, dismissed the report. "Any effort that would target these terrorist groups, particularly the Abu Sayyaf, would involve exclusively Filipino troops," he said. "There is no possibility that the Americans could be conducting covert or overt military action using their own troops because this is impossible under the Philippine Constitution." Still, the U.S. is sending about two dozen military advisers to the country to train and equip the Filipino military.
Freed journalist: Shelter Now workers are strong, but hungry
Yvonne Ridley, the reporter for London's Sunday Express newspaper who was imprisoned by the Taliban for 10 days, was jailed with the female Shelter Now workers supposedly being held for promoting Christianity. "Those women just had a tremendous inner strength," Ridley wrote in an Express article (apparently not available online, but summarized in The Washington Post). The Kabul prison is "squalid," she said, but "the Taliban had cleaned the cell and made it hygienic. Before, there were cockroaches, scorpions and mice." Like Ridley, some of the six women had instituted a hunger strike protesting their captivity. One of them—she didn't say who—hasn't eaten for 20 days.
Er, what church did you say you were from, Father? Every Monday for two months, Fatima Premji and her family invited a Catholic priest into their Nairobi home for 30 minutes of prayer. ...1
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