- The Washington Times - Monday, September 21, 2009


Black Hawk crash kills one, injures 12

BAGHDAD | A Black Hawk helicopter crashed at a major U.S. air base in Iraq, killing one U.S. service member and injuring 12 others, the military said Sunday.

The UH-60 Black Hawk went down Saturday night at the Balad Air Base, about 50 miles north of Baghdad, the military said. The military said the cause of the crash was under investigation and gave no other details.

The helicopter went down on a night of high winds that tore through the area, whipping up a fierce sandstorm that was followed by thunder, lightning and rain.


Archbishop defends People’s Mujahedeen

LONDON | The Archbishop of Canterbury said Sunday that the U.S. and Iraq must protect the residents of Camp Ashraf from violence and abuse.

The situation in Camp Ashraf “constitutes a humanitarian and human rights issue of real magnitude and urgency,” Archbishop Rowan Williams said in a statement on his Web site.

Archbishop Williams, the spiritual leader of the worldwide Anglican Church, said a U.N. monitoring team must be established to visit the camp.

Members of the People’s Mujahedeen of Iran, a resistance group opposed to the clerical regime in Tehran, accuse the United States of failing to protect their brethren at the camp in Iraq. About 3,500 members of the group have been confined there since 2003, when U.S. forces invaded and disarmed them.

The U.S. military turned over responsibility for the camp to the Iraqis on Jan. 1. Iraqi soldiers launched a bloody effort to assert their authority in late July. Iranian resistance groups say nine people were killed and hundreds were injured in the raid.


Carter: U.S. knew of anti-Chavez coup

BOGOTA | The United States knew about an abortive coup against Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez in 2002, and may even have taken part, former President Jimmy Carter has told a Colombian newspaper.

“I think there is no doubt that in 2002, the United States had at the very least full knowledge about the coup, and could even have been directly involved,” Mr. Carter said in an interview with El Tiempo, published Sunday.

The former U.S. leader said it is understandable that Mr. Chavez continues to blame the United States for the failed overthrow attempt.

The Venezuelan president, considered a bulwark of leftism in Latin America, was overthrown by a civilian-military junta for about 48 hours in April 2002, before returning to power.

Then-president George W. Bush denied any U.S. involvement in the abortive coup and called on Mr. Chavez, a fierce critic of the U.S., to “learn a lesson” from the attempted overthrow.


Paralysis cure moves closer

PARIS | Paralyzed rats whose spinal cords had been severed from their brains were made to run again using a technique that scientists say can work for people, according to a study released Sunday.

Consistent electrical stimulation and drugs enabled the rats to walk on their hind legs on a treadmill - bearing the full weight of their body - within a week of being paralyzed.

With the addition of physical therapy, the rodents were able after several weeks to walk and run without stumbling for up to 30 minutes, reported the study, published in the journal Nature Neuroscience.

Remarkably, the animals could adjust their movements in response to stimuli despite the lack of signals to and from the brain: When the treadmill was reversed, for example, the rats walked backward.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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