US civilian killed by Afghan policewoman in ‘insider’ attack

Retired Army Col. Jack Jacobs talks to MSNBC’s Richard Lui about the killing of a U.S. civilian working for the military outside police headquarters in Kabul.

A U.S. civilian working for the military was killed inside Kabul’s police headquarters when a policewoman opened fire in apparent “insider” attack, officials told NBC News on Monday.

The man, a member of the International Security Assistance Forces and a logistics adviser to the Kabul police, was severely wounded and died on Monday in the office of the local police chief, according to Mohammad Zahir, head of the criminal investigation department.

Zahir described the incident as an “insider attack” in which Afghan forces turn their weapons on Western military they are supposed to be working with. 

What’s leading Afghan troops to turn on coalition forces?

ISAF confirmed to NBC News the victim was one of its civilian employees.

However, a spokesman for the NATO forces in Afghanistan described the victim to Reuters as “a U.S. police adviser”.

No further details were immediately available.

Earlier this year, U.S. military officials briefly suspended the training of Afghan Local Police (ALP) in the wake of a deadly series of insider killings, also known as ‘green on blue’ attacks.

In a separate incident, an ISAF member died following an insurgent attack in eastern Afghanistan on Monday, according to a statement released to NBC News. 

A blast killed 10 Afghan girls who were collecting firewood in eastern Afghanistan, according to government officials. In a separate incident, two Afghans died in an attack in Kabul.’s Dara Brown reports.

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Bimini Pet Health Announces a Series of Educational Webinars for the Veterinary Community and Pet Owners on Aging in …

This holiday season is not awesome for Idaho Senator Mike Crapo, a Republican member of the “Gang of Eight” and a Mormon bishop, after police caught him driving drunk in Virginia. This is what happens when you slug down too many egg nogs, hop in your car, run a red light in front of a police cruiser at 12:45 a.m. and then fail “several” sobriety tests. Police took the senator into custody, charged him with a DUI and released him on a $1,000 bail. …

P.M. Entertainment News Links: Bieber and Gomez cozy up for holidays, new Tarantino movie gets praise for acting

Justin Bieber

Justin Bieber poses with his awards backstage at the 38th Annual American Music Awards on Sunday, Nov. 21, 2010 in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Chris Pizzello)


 pThe afternoon’s top entertainment stories and links from around the Web.

Justin Bieber and Selena Gomez still cuddly wuddly (Fox News)

‘Django Unchained’ gets kudos for acting (CNN)

Bethenny Frankel Twitters thanks to fans for support (Hollywood Gossip)

Ashton Kutcher and Mila Kunis visit his parents for holidays (USA Today)

GMA weatherman Sam Champion marries his boyfriend (CBS News)

Cruise did abandon Suri, says publisher in libel case


Cruise did abandon Suri, says publisher in libel case

Friday, December 21, 2012

The publisher of Life Style and In Touch, which is being sued by Tom Cruise for printing that the Jack Reacher star had abandoned his daughter Suri following his divorce from Katie Holmes, has fired back at the actor’s suit.

In an answer to Cruise’s defamation lawsuit, filed in October, Bauer Publishing Co says its reporting is “substantially true”.

Bauer’s answer, filed in a US District Court in California, also asserts a number of defences, including that it’s protected by the first, fifth and 14th amendments of the US Constitution, as well as Article 1, Section 7 of the California Constitution.

Bauer asserts it’s not liable for damages because — among other things — “some or all of the allegedly defamatory statements complained of by the plaintiff are true or substantially true”.

Bauer also claims that Cruise “cannot prove that he has suffered any compensable damage as a result of any actionable statement published by the Bauer defendants”, and that he is “a public figure and the Bauer defendants did not act with actual malice”.

Cruise’s attorney has not responded for comment.

The actor sued over stories published by Life Style and its sister publication, In Touch, claiming Cruise had “abandoned” his six-year-old daughter, Suri.

Cruise’s attorney called the stories, published in July and October, “a disgusting, vicious lie”.

Meanwhile, reports are surfacing that Suri will have quite the Christmas morning.

The Sun is reporting that Katie Holmes is getting her daughter a mini iPad and a kiddie version of a Mercedes.

But her father has reportedly splashed out on a new home for Suri so she can keep her new pony there.

The actor is allegedly pulling out all the stops to make sure Suri has the perfect gifts this Christmas.

This will be Suri’s first Christmas since her parents divorced in July.

Among the gifts Suri will be receiving on Christmas Day — which she will spend with her father — is said to be a pony.

The extravagant gift will require housing, so Cruise has reportedly purchased a $13.5m (€10.1m) house in upstate New York, which is large enough to accommodate the pet.

“Tom is determined to make this the best Christmas ever,” a source told British magazine Grazia.

“Obviously there isn’t anywhere to keep a pony at Katie’s apartment, so this place is ideal. It also has space for her toys, many of which have been in storage since Katie quit their LA mansion.”

Cruise is known for lavishing Suri with gifts, including treating her to a helicopter ride earlier this year.



Egypt holds final vote on constitution as vice president quits

NBC’s Ayman Mohyeldin has more on today’s voting in Egypt on an Islamist-backed constitution that was drafted by President Mohammed Morsi. Journalist Mona Eltahawy and Rula Jebreal then join MSNBC to weigh in on the situation.

CAIRO – As Egypt on Saturday held a final voting round on a new constitution drafted by an assembly dominated by Islamists, the country’s vice president resigned, according to government-run television.

Mahmoud Mekki, a judge, had said he intended to quit if the new constitution, which eliminates the post of vice president, was adopted. 

But a statement attributed to Mekki hinted that his hurried departure might be linked to the policies of Islamist President Mohammed Morsi.

He said he first submitted his resignation last month but events forced him to stay on.

“I have realized a while ago that the nature of politics don’t suit my professional genesis as a judge,” he wrote.

Saturday’s vote follows a first-round vote last Saturday that unofficial results showed as giving 57 percent approval for the constitution.

The vote has been staggered, with about half the 51 million eligible voters covered in each round, because many judges needed to supervise the vote have boycotted the polls to protest the referendum in sympathy with the opposition.

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The opposition said voting in the first round was littered with abuses. Officials overseeing the poll said there were no major irregularities.

“I’m voting ‘no’ because Egypt can’t be ruled by one faction,” said Karim Nahas, 35, a stock market broker, heading to a polling station in Giza, a province included in this round of voting which covers parts of greater Cairo.

“Had the constituent assembly been representative of all Egyptians in the first place, we wouldn’t have been in this situation,” he said, after deadly violence marred the build-up to the referendum.

Liberals, Christians and others quit the drafting assembly, which was dominated by the Muslim Brotherhood and other Islamist allies of Morsi, saying their voices were not being heard.

Television footage showed some early queues at polling stations in areas of the country covered by this stage of the poll.

If the constitution is approved, a parliamentary election will follow in about two months.

Reuters and the Associated Press contributed to this report.

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Anderson: Holidays can add to pet health problems

Just in time for the holidays, this is a list of the most common complaints that pets are brought into a veterinary clinic for when they get into things that they shouldn’t. Hopefully this will help all of you pet owners to be more careful with what you leave out.

Gastritis —This is stomach inflammation, usually accompanied by vomiting. It can be caused by almost anything unusual that your pet ingests.

Enteritis — This is intestinal inflammation, usually accompanied by diarrhea. It is also caused by getting into various things and can be caused by a bacterial infection of the intestines as well.

Colitis — This is intestinal inflammation specifically in the colon segment of the intestine. It frequently results in bloody, mucousy diarrhea. It can be caused by infection and/or stress, as you aren’t the only ones stressed by the holidays.

Pancreatitis — This is inflammation of the pancreas and is usually caused by eating an abnormal amount of food high in fat. It can be a very serious, even life-threatening condition as profuse diarrhea and vomiting can cause severe dehydration. Keep your family from feeding the dog a bunch of table scraps!

Gastric foreign body — This is any kind of object (clothing, toys, balls, etc.) that a pet ingests which then gets stuck in the stomach. Vomiting is the main clinical sign. Depending on the size and type of foreign body, it may have to be surgically removed.

Hemorrhagic gastroenteritis — This means bloody vomiting and diarrhea. This typically occurs with “garbage gut,” where a pet has gotten into the garbage and ingested spoiled food. The bacteria then colonizes the stomach and intestine and can cause a toxic shock-like reaction in the body. This is a very serious condition that pets need to be treated for immediately.

Intestinal foreign body — This is an object that gets lodged in the intestine. This condition is usually more serious than the gastric foreign body as the intestines have a much smaller diameter than the stomach and complete blockage can occur. This condition is almost always treated with surgery.

Methylxanthine toxicity — This is also known as chocolate toxicity. Too much chocolate acts as a stimulant in the body and can result in tremors, seizures and a severely elevated heart rate. Treatment depends on the amount and type of chocolate that a pet gets into, so consult with your veterinarian to determine if your pet is at risk.

Got a pet-related question? Send it to Dr. Anderson, a veterinarian at Hawthorne Park Animal Care Center in Bloomington, via email at