This day in history:
In the hours following the assassination of Rwandan President Juvenal Habyarimana, mass killings of Tutsis and moderate Hutus begin within the country led by members of the Rwandan military and extremist Hutu militias, marking the first day of the Rwandan Genocide.
Over the next 100 days an estimated 800,000 people would be killed.
April 7, 1994 - 18 years ago today.
An Afghan policeman runs away as protesters throw rocks near a U.S. military base in Kabul on Feb. 22, 2012. At least 11 people were wounded Wednesday when shots were fired as violent protests erupted for a second day after Muslim holy books were burned at NATO’s main base in Afghanistan.
The shots were fired into demonstrators when they charged at police lines and smashed car windows, witnesses told Reuters. It appeared police had fired the shots but there was no immediate confirmation from Afghan security forces.
On Tuesday thousands of demonstrators besieged the Bagram air base in protest at the alleged burning of copies of the Quran.
[Credit : Ahmad Masood / Reuters]
As last U.S. troops exit Iraq, they leave a troubled land behind: With little understanding of each other, Iraq and the U.S. collided in a long, brutal war that exacted a terrible price from both. They separate with very different understandings of what happened.
Photo credits: Times staff and wire photos
MAP: Which Countries Enlist Gay Soldiers? (Hint: The ones in red.)
The United States is now one of 43 countries worldwide that welcome gays and lesbians in the military. All laws, however, are not created equal: Some of the countries listed have “questionable” policies or laws — the Czech Republic, Estonia, Ireland, Italy, Lithuania, Slovenia, Switzerland and Germany. A list of all 43 countries is at the link.
The amount the U.S. military spends annually on air conditioning in Iraq and Afghanistan: $20.2 billion, according to former Pentagon official Steven Anderson.
That’s more than NASA’s budget.
It’s more than BP has paid so far for damage from the Gulf oil spill.
It’s what the G-8 has pledged to help foster new democracies in Egypt and Tunisia.
Africa’s North Korea
…[T]he military has taken over virtually every aspect of Eritrean life. Despite its tiny size, Eritrea has the largest army in sub-Saharan Africa, with as many as 320,000 soldiers. Its number of soldiers per capita puts Eritrea second only to North Korea, a feat made possible by the ruthless enforcement of mandatory national service for all citizens, men and women alike. Over dinner one evening, a resident U.N. staffer whispered to me about a new expansion of the requirement. To graduate from high school, she explained, youth were now required to attend “national camp” during their final year. Although the government claims this amounts to only a week or two of military training, it in fact lasts much of the year. Her agency had learned that the threat of physical and sexual abuse was causing increasing numbers of students to drop out rather than attend. But by failing to complete their service, they put themselves at constant risk of arrest.
Daily chart: who spends the most on the military? America’s defence spending, at nearly $700 billion a year, is bigger than that of the next 17 countries combined.