Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Senators warn Afghan leaders about releasing detainees

Kabul, Afghanistan

Karzai warned about release of detainees

Visiting U.S. senators on Thursday intensified pressure on President Hamid Karzai to sign a long-term security deal with the United States. And responding to a new crisis between the allies this week, they warned the Afghan government away from plans to summarily release dozens of detainees accused of attacking U.S. forces. Republican Sens. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, John McCain of Arizona and John Barrasso of Wyoming said they warned Karzai that American will to stay involved with Afghanistan was dwindling, and that actions like the planned prisoner release were adding further strain.

Islamabad, Pakistan

Musharraf court date again delayed

It is Pakistan's biggest trial in years: The country's former strongman, a veteran of the powerful military, faces charges of high treason in a case that could result in the death penalty. But so far authorities can't get former President Pervez Musharraf into the courtroom. Musharraf was on the way to the latest session Thursday when his convoy suddenly turned and took him to a military hospital over an unexplained heart condition, Pakistani officials said. The move derailed a scheduled hearing a third time and brought renewed accusations of deliberately disrupting the case. The first two hearing attempts were delayed after police found explosives hidden along the road from his home to the court.

San Francisco

Fire is set outside Chinese consulate

The FBI is leading an investigation into a fire set at the main entrance of the Chinese Consulate General, authorities said Thursday. No injuries were reported. FBI spokesman Peter Lee said the fire Wednesday night was started by an "incendiary device," but it didn't appear to have been a bomb. He said the blaze caused significant damage to the building's doors. The consulate denounced the attack as "despicable" and demanded the United States move quickly to find those responsible.


Kerry puts focus on environment

Behind the scenes at the State Department, Secretary of State John Kerry has initiated a systemic, top-down push to create an agencywide focus on global warming. His aims to become the lead broker of a global, legally binding climate treaty in 2015 that will commit nations to historic reductions in fossil fuel pollution. In a significant recent accomplishment, as a result of midlevel talks Kerry set up to pave the way for a 2015 deal, the United States and China agreed in September to jointly phase down production of hydrofluorocarbons, a greenhouse gas used in refrigerators and air conditioners.


Snowden deserves mercy, papers say

The New York Times and Guardian newspapers have called for clemency for Edward Snowden, saying the espionage worker-turned-privacy advocate should be praised rather than punished for his disclosures. The papers, both of which have played a role in publishing Snowden's intelligence trove, suggested late Wednesday the former National Security Agency contractor's revelations about the United States' world-spanning espionage program were of such public importance that they outweighed any possible wrongdoing.

Times wires

Senators warn Afghan leaders about releasing detainees 01/02/14 [Last modified: Thursday, January 2, 2014 10:55pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Police: Uber driver's gun discharges during fight at Adventure Island in Tampa

    Public Safety

    TAMPA — An Uber driver's gun went off Sunday at Adventure Island during a fight between the driver and two passengers.

  2. Baker cautious on Pride politics


    Rick and Joyce Baker strode down Central Avenue Sunday amid rainbow flags, corporate booths, and blaring music of the St. Pete Pride Festival.

    St. Petersburg mayoral candidate Rick Baker chats Sunday with people at the St. Pete Pride Festival. As mayor, Baker did not sign a Pride parade proclamation, but now he says he would.
  3. Rays' bullpen stars lit up in loss to Orioles

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Saturday it was the soft underbelly of the bullpen that let one get away from the Rays, incurring the wrath of the team's faithful followers, who wondered why the high-leverage guys weren't pitching.

    Rays closer Alex Colome, coming in with the score tied in the ninth, allows three runs in his second straight poor outing.
  4. Lightning among early suitors for defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk

    Lightning Strikes

    TAMPA — Lightning general manager Steve Yzerman said he planned to explore free agency for potential needs, which include bolstering his blue line and adding a wing or two.

    Defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk, who can be a free agent Saturday, counts the Lightning among his early suitors.
  5. Senate leaders try to appease members as support for health bill slips


    WASHINGTON — Senate Republican leaders scrambled Sunday to rally support for their health care bill, even as opposition continued to build outside Congress and two Republican senators questioned whether the bill would be approved this week.

    Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky, speaking to reporters on Capitol Hill on Thursday, is one of the five Republican senators who announced they cannot support the health care bill as drafted.