Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : November 9th 2014 Contents A37
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Two US citizens have been freed from
detention by the North Korean
government and are returning to the US,
the office of the US Director of National
Intelligence and the State Department
have said. Matthew Todd Miller and
Kenneth Bae had both been sentenced to
several years of hard labour for crimes
against North Korea.
The State Department said that they
had been held by the Pyongyang
authorities for two years and seven
In its statement, the department said:
"The safety and welfare of US citizens
abroad is the Department of State's
highest priority, and the US has long
called on DPRK [North Korea] authorities
to release these individuals on
Miller was serving a six-year jail term
on charges of espionage, after he
allegedly ripped up his tourist visa at
Pyongyang's airport in April and
demanded asylum. Bae is a Korean-
American missionary serving a 15-year
sentence for alleged anti-government
President Barack Obama says he is
grateful for North Korea's release of the
Americans. (Al Jazeera)
North Korea frees two detained US citizens
WASHINGTON---President Barack Obama
authorised a broad expansion on Friday of the
US military mission in Iraq that will boost the
total number of American troops there to about
3,100 and spread advisory teams and trainers
to the north and west where fighting with Islamic
State militants has been fierce.
The president s decision to escalate the US effort
in Iraq comes just three days after a bruising
American election and amid persistent arguments
that more US troops are needed to bolster the
struggling Iraqi forces.
In particular, there have been calls to send troops
to the western Anbar province, where extremists
have been slaughtering men, women and chil-
Obama authorised the Pentagon to send 1,500
troops to Iraq in addition to the 1,600 previously
allowed. He also is asking Congress for more than
$5 billion to fund the fight.
Rear Adm John Kirby, the Pentagon press sec-
retary, said the military will set up several training
sites across Iraq to instruct 12 Iraqi brigades, and
also establish two operations centers where small
advisory teams can work with Iraqi forces at the
headquarters and brigade levels.
A senior military official said one of those
centres will be in Anbar Province, and that it is
likely that the bulk of the additional troops will
be in Iraq by the end of the year. The official was
not authorised to discuss the matter publicly so
spoke on condition of anonymity.
Kirby said the new changes were based on a
request from the Iraqi officials, the assessment
of military commanders on the progress that Iraq s
military has made in the fight and as part of a
campaign plan "to defend key areas and go on
the offensive against the Islamic State of Iraq and
The US troops will not be in combat roles but
will do the training in protected locations around
the country. Until now, US troops have largely
been confined to Baghdad and Irbil, including two
operations centres in those cities.
The funding announcement is part of a $5.6
billion request to Congress and came just after
Obama met with congressional leaders Friday.
That funding would cover the overseas military
operations and other military equipment and
requirements to combat the Islamic State group
militants, who have seized control of large swaths
of Iraq and Syria.
The US has been launching airstrikes on Islamic
State group militants and facilities in Iraq and
Syria for weeks, as part of an effort to give Iraqi
forces the time and space to mount a more effective
Early on, the Islamic State group gained ground
across Iraq, as local Iraqi units threw down their
weapons and fled or joined the insurgents. (AP)
send 1,500 more
troops to Iraq
President Barack Obama yesterday nom-
inated Loretta Lynch as his next US attor-
ney general, describing the two-time US
attorney for the Eastern District of New
York as a "tough, fair and independent"
"It s pretty hard to be more qualified for
this job than Loretta Lynch," Obama said at
the White House, where he was joined by
Lynch and outgoing Attorney General Eric
"I can think of no better public servant
to be our next attorney general."
The president said the Senate overwhelm-
ingly confirmed Lynch twice before as a
federal prosecutor. "It s my hope that the
Senate will confirm her for a third time
without delay," he said.
"Loretta might be the only lawyer in
America who battles mobsters and drug
lords and terrorists and still has the reputation
for being a charming people person," the
Lynch, 55, said she was both thrilled and
humbled, and thanked Holder for "leading
by example" and "pushing the department
to live up to its name."
The first African-American woman to
hold the nation s top law enforcement post,
Lynch vowed "wake up every morning with
the protection of the American people my
The nominee, when confirmed by the
Senate, will replace Holder, who announced
his plans in September to step down.
At the White House, Obama praised Hold-
er, calling him "one of the longest-serving
attorney generals in American history, and
one of our finest."
Lynch qualified for new position
Lynch is a popular prosecutor who is in
her second stint as US attorney in Brooklyn,
appointed by President Obama in 2010 and
also serving in the same post from 1999 to
2001 under President Bill Clinton.
Lynch would be the second woman to
serve as attorney general.
Lynch served on the trial team that pros-
ecuted and won convictions in 1999 against
New York City police officers for violating
the civil rights of Abner Louima, a Haitian
immigrant whom police officers beat and
sodomised while he was in their custody.
That experience could help at the helm
at the Justice Department, which is over-
seeing high-profile civil rights investigations,
including one into the Ferguson, Missouri,
police shooting of Michael Brown.
"She s absolutely not a partisan lawyer,"
said Julie Myers Wood, CEO at Guidepost
Solutions and one of Lynch s first hires as
a federal prosecutor.
"I am a Republican, but she doesn t care
if people are Republicans or Democrats. She
cares about getting the job done."
Lynch has quietly built a solid reputation
in New York, where Preet Bharara, the top
federal prosecutor in Manhattan, garners
magazine covers and regular media attention
for Wall Street prosecutions.
In a statement, New York Police Com-
missioner William Bratton called Lynch "a
remarkable prosecutor with a clear sense of
justice without fear or favour."
New York Attorney General Eric Schnei-
derman said in a statement that Lynch "has
time and time again demonstrated her com-
mitment to ensuring there is one set of rules
for everyone and to defending the principle
of equal justice for all."
Lynch was born in Greensboro, North
Carolina, and earned her undergraduate and
law degrees at Harvard University.
Obama calls for speedy approval
Republicans have promised tough scrutiny
of Obama s pick after years of battles with
Holder, who is close to Lynch and appointed
her as chair of a committee that advises him
on policy. Holder has been an unflinching
champion of civil rights in enforcing the
nation s laws and his successor will be left
to grapple with several prominent civil rights
issues that have been elevated on his watch.
White House officials said they are leaving
it up to Senate leaders to work out the time-
line for her confirmation, with Obama calling
for approval "without delay." But with
Democrats facing a long list of priorities
before year s end brings a shift to Republican
control, it s likely she won t get a vote until
She was chosen in large part because the
White House sees her as likely to win
approval among the political divisions in the
wake of Republican victories in Tuesday s
"Loretta doesn t look to make headlines,
she looks to make a difference," Obama said,
offering an explanation why she s largely
unknown in Washington outside legal circles.
"She s not about splash, she is about sub-
Obama names Loretta
Lynch as attorney general
US attorney Loretta Lynch looks at President Barack Obama after she was nominated to
be the next attorney general, yesterday, in the Roosevelt Room of the White House in
Washington. Lynch would succeed Attorney General Eric Holder. AP PHOTO
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