General: U.S. to stay the course in Afghanistan

Washington

General: U.S. to stay the course in Afghanistan

The top U.S. commander for the Afghan war will tell Congress today that the United States must stick to its strategy in Afghanistan, including the planned withdrawal calendar, over the next several months despite recent setbacks that have tested America's relations with the Afghans. Gen. John Allen will testify before the House Armed Services Committee today.

Vienna

North Korea wants monitors to return

North Korea has invited the International Atomic Energy Agency to return, three years after expelling its nuclear monitors, the agency said Monday. The United States said such a move would be welcome but remained critical of the North's missile test plans.

Arnold, Calif.

Tree falls on home, kills girl

Authorities in Northern California say a 100-foot-tall tree fell onto a house and killed an 8-year-old girl who was sleeping inside. Fire officials say a storm-weakened fir tree that was 2 to 3 feet in diameter toppled after being uprooted by a nearby creek. It crashed through the roof of the single-story house and landed in the child's bedroom.

HAVANA

Detained dissident leader is freed

One of Cuba's leading dissidents said Monday that she was released hours after being detained ahead of a weekly protest, but her husband was apparently still being held. Bertha Soler, leader of the Ladies in White, said authorities have also warned her not to spoil Pope Benedict XVI's visit next week.

Cincinnati

Man avoids jail despite order

A man who made comments about his estranged wife on his Facebook page and was threatened with jail unless he posted daily apologies for a month won't be locked up even though he promised to make amends yet stopped early, a judge says. Mark Byron says the ruling violated his freedom of speech.

Salem, Mass.

Kids found in fire; mother is charged

A mother who turned up at a Massachusetts police station covered in blood and lighter fluid was under arrest on Monday, accused of slitting the throats of her two children and setting their apartment on fire. The critically injured girl, age 3, and boy, age 8, were rushed to Boston Children's Hospital on Sunday night, where they underwent surgery.

Norway

Avalanche kills 5 tourists in Norway

Five people were killed and one person was dug out alive after Swiss and French skiers were buried by an avalanche Monday on Norway's Arctic fringe. Rescuers located the victims through beacons from their radio transceivers, but only the first person they found survived, a Swiss man who was taken to a local hospital.

Buffalo, N.Y.

Gorilla escapes, bites zookeeper

A 400-pound gorilla that escaped from its cage at an upstate New York zoo and bit a zookeeper was captured in a zookeepers' lounge and tranquilized. The Buffalo Zoo says a 24-year-old male gorilla named Koga got out of his cage into an aisle where the keeper was working Monday morning and bit her on the hand and calf.

Times wires

General: U.S. to stay the course in Afghanistan 03/20/12 [Last modified: Tuesday, March 20, 2012 12:27am]

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