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U.S. to send battalion to S. Korea

U.S. to send battalion to S. Korea

The Pentagon announced Tuesday that 800 soldiers and about 40 Abrams battle tanks would be deployed to South Korea next month as part of the Defense Department's "rebalance" of forces across Asia and the Pacific.

Pentagon officials emphasized that the nine-month deployment of a battalion from the 1st Cavalry Division at Fort Hood, Texas, had been under discussion for a year and was not tied to any specific security concern or provocation from North Korea. Pentagon officials confirmed, though, that the additional troops and armor would increase combat readiness and war-fighting capability for the United States and South Korea.

The United States already has about 28,500 troops in South Korea as an expression of commitment to its defense against North Korean aggression. An armistice, but not a peace treaty, halted the 1950-1953 Korean War.

Britain

U.S. Air Force copter crashes, killing four

A U.S. Air Force Pave Hawk helicopter crashed in the coastal marshes of eastern England during a training mission on Tuesday night, killing all four crew members aboard, officials said.

The helicopter, based at the nearby Royal Air Force station in Lakenheath, Suffolk County, was flying low at the time of the crash, an Air Force statement said. It was not yet known what caused the accident.

Billings, Mont.

Judge in rape case says he will retire

A Montana judge said he plans to retire at the end of the year after drawing widespread condemnation for sentencing a former teacher to 30 days in jail for the rape of a 14-year-old girl.

District Judge Todd Baugh, 72, said his decision to step down after three decades on the bench was unrelated to the public uproar over his actions in the case of Stacey Rambold, a former business teacher convicted of raping a freshman student.

Afghanistan

Taliban denies girl was on suicide mission

The Taliban denied Tuesday that it dispatched a 10-year-old girl to carry out a suicide attack against Afghan police, a day after the girl said that her brother wrapped her in an explosives-packed vest but that she refused to blow herself up at a checkpoint in Helmand province.

Border police in the southern Afghan province arrested the girl's father, Abdul Ghfar, and were searching for the brother, a police commander said. The girl, who was detained Monday and identified herself only as Spozhmai, said her brother is a Taliban commander. Taliban spokesman Qari Yousef Ahamdi denied any involvement in the alleged plot.

Elsewhere

Turkey: About 350 police officers in Ankara were removed from their posts, news outlets reported Tuesday. The dismissals were seen by analysts as an effort by Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan's government to fight off a corruption investigation.

Times wires

U.S. to send battalion to S. Korea 01/07/14 [Last modified: Wednesday, January 8, 2014 12:13am]

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