Originally published on Mon February 27, 2012 8:27 pm
The violence against U.S. forces in Afghanistan has called into question the American exit strategy, which is set to play out steadily over the next three years.
It was only a few weeks ago that the second-ranking American military officer in Afghanistan laid out a new phase of that strategy. Small groups of U.S. advisers would team up with larger Afghan units to train them, said Lt. Gen. Curtis Scaparrotti.
The first of these U.S. assistance teams will head into Afghanistan this spring to train Afghan police and soldiers.
Monday was a rough day for the opposition in Syria. Senior officials in the main opposition group announced that they're forming a new organization. The development was the latest sign of the divisions within the Syrian opposition that's trying to oust the government of President Bashar Assad.
At the same time, Assad's government said that nearly 90 percent of voters endorsed constitutional reforms in a referendum a day earlier, even though the Syrian opposition and international critics called the balloting a farce.
Rick Santorum is trying to shake up the Republican primary by winning the primary Tuesday in Michigan — and many polls show him neck and neck with Mitt Romney. He's a former senator from Pennsylvania best known as a culture warrior. What's less well known is what he did after losing his re-election bid in 2006.
A spokesman for the International Committee of the Red Cross tells NPR's Newscast Unit that ambulances from the Syrian Arab Red Crescent were able to evacuate three people from the Baba Amr neighborhood of Homs, which have been heavily shelled in recent days.
One of the people evacuated was "a pregnant woman in urgent need of care," said Simon Schorno, who added the ambulances "also brought in emergency medical supplies to be distributed immediately."