- The Washington Times - Monday, December 21, 2009

GUANTANAMO

Detainees sent to other nations

The U.S. has transferred a dozen Guantanamo detainees to Afghanistan, Yemen and the Somaliland region.

The Justice Department said Sunday that a government task force had reviewed each case. Officials considered the potential threat and the government’s likelihood of success in court challenges to the detentions.

Over the weekend, four Afghan detainees were transferred to their country. Two Somali detainees were transferred to regional authorities in Somaliland. Six Yemeni detainees were sent to their home country.

The Justice Department said that since 2002, more than 560 detainees have departed the military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, for other destinations.

TERRORISM

Cambodia deports Uighurs, angers U.S.

The U.S. is condemning Cambodia’s decision to forcibly deport 20 Muslim asylum-seekers back to China.

The State Department said in a statement Sunday that it was “deeply disturbed” by the move, which may have violated Cambodia’s international obligations to asylum-seekers. The U.S. also said it is concerned about the welfare of the Uighurs. There are fears that the Uighurs may be mistreated in China.

Spokesman Gordon Duguid said the incident would affect Cambodia’s relationship with the United States and the country’s international standing.

TERRORISM

Mullen cheers Yemen attacks

ABOARD A U.S. MILITARY AIRCRAFT | Adm. Mike Mullen is applauding a military strike in Yemen against suspected members of the al Qaeda terrorist group.

The top U.S. military officer said Sunday that he has been concerned for some time that Yemen could become “another safe haven” for terrorism. He applauded the effort to go after an al Qaeda cell, which he said has grown significantly over the last couple of years.

Adm. Mullen said the United States will continue to help Yemen develop its ability to fight terrorism, but he refused to discuss whether the United States played an active role in the recent operation.

The New York Times reported that the U.S. provided firepower and other aid to Yemen for the strike last week against suspected al Qaeda hide-outs and training sites within its borders.

WEATHER

Alerts planned for night tornadoes

Beware of nighttime tornadoes, particularly in the winter, writes Lisa Hoffmann for the Scripps Howard News Service. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has begun to issue special alerts when overnight conditions bring the chance of a strong tornado, to help people hear of the warnings before they go to sleep.

The agency says researchers found that many people think tornadoes are just a spring and summer phenomenon. But they’re not. In February 2008, for instance, a tornado outbreak killed 57 people in Arkansas, Tennessee, Kentucky and Alabama.

This winter, the El Nino weather pattern is expected to spawn tornadoes over Florida and the Gulf Coast, where in the past many cool-season tornadoes struck after dark.

NOAA says using a bedside weather radio is a good idea.

WORKPLACE

Economy improves workplace ethics

We all know how a recession can hurt. Here’s one way bad economic times apparently can help. The Ethics Resource Center has found that we become - at least temporarily - more ethical at work.

The nonprofit center said its latest national survey showed that workers this year reported seeing less misconduct on the job than in 2007, reported it more when they did witness it and felt less pressure from bosses or others to cut corners improperly or otherwise act unethically, according to Scripps Howard News Service’s Lisa Hoffmann.

The center said it detected the same effect after the economy was battered by the bursting of the dot-com bubble and the 9/11 attacks. The bad news: Business ethics declined again once the economy improved.

From wire dispatches and staff reports.

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