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Mar 30, 2012

Lawyer says U.S. blocks investigation of Afghan massacre

SEATTLE (Reuters) – The lawyer defending the U.S. soldier accused of murdering 17 Afghan civilians claims U.S. authorities are blocking his ability to investigate the incident.

John Henry Browne, the lawyer for Staff Sergeant Robert Bales, said U.S. forces in Afghanistan have prevented his team from interviewing injured civilians at a hospital in Kandahar, and are allowing other potential witnesses to scatter, making it difficult to track them down.

Mar 27, 2012

‘Ghost ship’ off Canada heralds arrival of Japan tsunami debris

SEATTLE (Reuters) – An empty Japanese fishing boat drifting off the coast of western Canada could be the first wave of 1.5 million tons of debris heading toward North America from Japan’s tsunami last March.

The wreckage from flattened Japanese coastal towns – including refrigerators, washing machines, televisions, roofs and fishing nets – is heading inexorably east across the Pacific and could arrive sooner than expected, according to the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Mar 27, 2012

‘Ghost ship’ off Canada heralds arrival of tsunami debris

SEATTLE, March 26 (Reuters) – An empty Japanese fishing boat
drifting off the coast of western Canada could be the first wave
of 1.5 million tons of debris heading toward North America from
Japan’s tsunami last March.

The wreckage from flattened Japanese coastal towns -
including refrigerators, washing machines, televisions, roofs
and fishing nets – is heading inexorably west across the Pacific
and could arrive sooner than expected, according to the U.S.
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Mar 20, 2012

Wife of Afghan shooting suspect: how could this be?

SEATTLE/SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – The wife of the U.S. soldier suspected of gunning down 16 Afghan civilians broke her silence on Monday to say she did not know what happened half a world away, but felt for the families of the victims while loving her husband very much.

U.S. authorities say Army Staff Sergeant Robert Bales, 38, walked out of his camp in Kandahar province just over a week ago to kill the Afghans, including nine children, before turning himself in.

Mar 19, 2012

Afghan shooting suspect called to duty repeatedly

TACOMA, Washington (Reuters) – Robert Bales built a life around a call to arms. A call that emanated from the ashes of the World Trade Center in New York and took him to the mayhem of faraway Iraq and Afghanistan. A call he may have heard one time too many.

The 38-year-old U.S. Army staff sergeant suspected of gunning down 16 Afghan civilians, including nine children, had struggled to make financial ends meet and was disappointed at being sent back into a war zone for a fourth time rather than an easier posting in Germany or Hawaii.

Mar 18, 2012

Afghan shooting suspect called to duty again and again

TACOMA, Washington (Reuters) – Robert Bales built a life around a call to arms. A call that emanated from the ashes of the World Trade Center in New York and took him to the mayhem of faraway Iraq and Afghanistan. A call he may have heard one time too many.

The 38-year-old U.S. Army staff sergeant suspected of gunning down 16 Afghan civilians, including nine children, had struggled to make financial ends meet and was disappointed at being sent back into a war zone for a fourth time rather than an easier posting in Germany or Hawaii.

Mar 17, 2012

Soldier suspected in Afghanistan massacre to huddle with lawyers

TACOMA, Washington (Reuters) – The lawyer representing the U.S. soldier implicated in the massacre of 16 villagers in Afghanistan said on Saturday he and other members of the defense team would spend several days with him in the week ahead.

U.S. Army Staff Sergeant Robert Bales is in solitary confinement at a military detention center at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, where he arrived late on Friday.

Mar 15, 2012

U.S. troops numb, uncertain after Afghan massacre

LAKEWOOD, Washington (Reuters) – Around the home base of the American soldier accused of killing 16 Afghan civilians there is a sense of dedication to a tough job, but stress from years of battle in repeated tours in the “sand box” of Iraq and Afghanistan is eating away at troops.

“A lot of the guys, especially those with a lot of deployments, have built up a numbness to people being killed or hurt,” said one veteran of six tours abroad, including Iraq and Afghanistan, describing his own reaction to the weekend shooting. “The people who hate us are going to put a bad spin on us no matter what we do.”

Mar 12, 2012

U.S. home base of Afghan massacre suspect scarred by scandals

TACOMA, Washington (Reuters) – Long before the U.S. soldier suspected of slaying 16 Afghan villagers was identified as an Army sergeant from Joint Base Lewis-McChord, the installation had earned a reputation as the most troubled outpost in the U.S. military.

The Army station near Tacoma, Washington, has come under scrutiny as the home of several soldiers involved in wartime atrocities in 2010 and a base scarred by a record number of suicides last year. It has deployed troops repeatedly to Iraq, and late last year, sent soldiers to Afghanistan.

Mar 8, 2012

Former top Microsoft exec says world is over the PC

SEATTLE (Reuters) – Ray Ozzie, the man who succeeded Bill Gates as Microsoft Corp’s tech visionary, believes the world has moved past the personal computer, potentially leaving behind the world’s largest software company.

The PC, which was Microsoft’s foundation and still determines the company’s financial performance, has been nudged aside by powerful phones and tablets running Apple Inc and Google Inc software, the former Microsoft executive said.

    • About Bill

      "Bill Rigby is Reuters' chief correspondent in Seattle, reporting on Microsoft and Boeing and overseeing coverage of general news in Washington state, Oregon and Alaska. He has been a Reuters journalist since 1998, reporting on banks, insurers, stock markets, defense companies and airlines from Reuters bureaux in London, New York and Seattle."
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