World Briefs

  • 12/12/2008 01:00
  • 12/12/2008 01:00
KANDAHAR, Afghanistan – The Pentagon is moving to get three of the four combat brigades requested by commanders into Afghanistan by summ...

KANDAHAR, Afghanistan – The Pentagon is moving to get three of the four combat brigades requested by commanders into Afghanistan by summer, Defense Secretary Robert Gates said Wednesday as he traveled here to meet with military leaders.

Gates said a key "course correction" in the Afghanistan war for the administration of President-elect Barack Obama will be to build the Afghan army and better cooperate with Kabul on security operations.

"I think there's a concern on the part of some of the Afghans that we sort of tell them what we're going to do, instead of taking proposals to them and getting their input and then working out with them what we're going to do, so it's a real partnership," Gates told reporters traveling with him to Afghanistan.

BRASILIA, Brazil – An air force report Wednesday blamed Brazilian air traffic controllers and two U.S. pilots for a midair collision over the Amazon that killed 154 people, but found no evidence the Americans intentionally turned off a transponder that warns of approaching aircraft.

An Embraer Legacy 600 flown by Joseph Lepore of Bay Shore, New York, and Jan Paladino of Westhampton Beach, New York, collided with a Brazilian Boeing 737 operated by Gol airlines on Sept. 29, 2006, killing all abord.

The 277-page Brazilian air force report said Lepore and Paladino did not have sufficient knowledge of the aircraft's avionics, resulting in the inadvertent switching off of the plane's transponder and the collision-avoidance system.

UNITED NATIONS – THE U. S. is proposing to track down Somali pirates not only at sea, but on land and in Somalian air space with cooperation from the country's weak U. N. -backed government.

The United States is circulating a draft U.N. Security Council resolution which proposes that all nations and regional groups cooperating with Somalia's government in the fight against piracy and armed robbery "may take all necessary measures ashore in Somalia."

If the U.S. military gets involved, it would mark a dramatic turnabout from the U.S. experience in Somalia in 1992-1993 that culminated in a deadly military clash in Mogadishu.

WASHINGTON – New death sentences in the United States were at or near a three-decade low this year and the number of people executed will be the lowest since 1994, according to a new report.

The nonprofit Death Penalty Information Center reports 37 executions in 2008, with no more expected for the remainder of the year. That's down 12 percent from 42 in 2007 and a 30 percent drop from 2006.

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