Summary: Afghans took to the streets to protest civilian casualties, chanting “Death to Obama, down with Karzai.” … Attacks in Afghanistan killed eight American civilians including CIA employees, four Canadian soldiers, and a Canadian journalist. … Coordinated explosions in Iraq killed 23 people and wounded an Iraqi provincial governor in the worst violence in months. … One-year retrospective: One year ago today, on December 31, 2008, Aubrey Immelman reported that Michele Bachmann, Minnesota’s 6th District representative in Congress, made a strong showing in several “Year in Review” lists — no easy feat, considering the U.S. House of Representatives has 435 members, each vying for media attention.
Summary: Weekly report of U.S. military deaths in Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom (Afghanistan), compiled from U.S. Department of Defense News Releases. … One-year retrospective: One year ago today, on December 30, 2008, Aubrey Immelman reported that more than 2 million Iraqis had fled the kidnappings, car bombings, and killings that have racked Iraq since the U.S. invasion in 2003; that the United States admitted more than 16,000 Iraqi refugees in 2007-2008 and expected to more than double that number by the end of 2009; and that a coalition of advocates, including Refugees International, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, and the Baltimore-based Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service, called on the United States to nearly triple the amount of money it spends on the displaced Iraqis and allow the entry of as many as 105,000 in 2009 — a sevenfold increase in admissions.
Summary: An Afghan soldier killed a U.S. service member and wounded two Italian soldiers in western Afghanistan. … Pakistani authorities appealed for calm after a bombing against a Shiite Muslim procession marking the holy day of Ashoura killed 43 in Pakistan’s largest city, Karachi, setting off riots and igniting fears of sectarian unrest. … Gunmen killed five Sunni security guards — members of the Sons of Iraq, or Awakening Councils — in a gruesome pre-dawn slaying at a village checkpoint north of Baghdad. … One-year retrospective: One year ago today, on December 29, 2008, Aubrey Immelman reported that 8,300 to 9,000 civilians were killed in Iraq in 2008, bringing the total number of civilian deaths since the U.S.-led invasion in 2003 to at least 98,400, according to figures released by Iraq Body Count.
Summary: The New York Times reports that in the midst of two unfinished major wars — Afghanistan and Iraq — the United States has quietly opened a third, largely covert front against Al Qaeda in Yemen. … One-year retrospective: One year ago today, on December 28, 2008, Aubrey Immelman reported that the Taliban, which had long operated its own shadow government in the most dangerous parts of Afghanistan, had begun spreading north, encroaching on the capital city of Kabul.
Summary: Pat Forte suffered a setback this year around Easter with a relapse of thymic carcinoid, but has fought back courageously, sustained by his strong Christian faith, the prayers and support of his many friends, and excellent medical care at the University of Minnesota Masonic Cancer Center. … One-year retrospective: One year ago today, on December 27, 2008, Aubrey Immelman reported on Pat Forte’s achievements as Sartell hockey coach while battling life-threatening thymic carcinoid.
Summary: U.S. agencies are looking into whether al-Qaida extremists in Yemen directed Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab and provided him with the explosives used in the failed bombing of Northwest Flight 253. … One-year retrospective: One year ago today, on December 26, 2008, Aubrey Immelman reported a new Homeland Security Threat Assessment for the years 2008-2013, which projects that the terrorism threat to the United States over the next five years will be driven by instability in the Middle East and Africa, persistent challenges to border security, and increasing Internet savvy — with chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear [CBRN] attacks considered the most dangerous threats to U.S. national security.
Summary: Terror alert level raised as a Nigerian man, Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, claiming ties to al-Qaida, tries to light an apparent explosive powder aboard a commercial jetliner before it lands in Detroit.
Summary: Pope Benedict XVI 2009 Christmas message … “Urbi et Orbi” … “To the City and to the World” … Immelman family 2008 Christmas greeting. … One-year retrospective: One year ago today, on December 25, 2008, Aubrey Immelman posted Pope Benedict XVI’s 2008 Christmas message, “Urbi et Orbi” ["To the City and to the World"] and sent out the Immelman family’s 2008 Christmas greeting.
Summary: Tracking Santa Claus on his journey around the world on Christmas Eve. … Official NORAD Santa Tracker. … One-year retrospective: One year ago today, on December 24, 2008, Aubrey Immelman reported that the Iraqi parliament, in its final session of the year, forced out its abrasive speaker Mahmoud al-Mashhadani and authorized non-U.S. foreign troops to stay in the country for another six months.
Summary: Weekly report of U.S. military deaths in Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom (Afghanistan), compiled from U.S. Department of Defense News Releases. … One-year retrospective: One year ago today, on December 23, 2008, Aubrey Immelman reported that the Army had begun an investigation after being prodded by Amanda Henderson, wife of Sgt. 1st Class Patrick Henderson, an Iraq combat veteran who spent the final months of his life as an Army recruiter before hanging himself with a dog chain in his backyard shed. In all, 15 of the Army’s 8,400 recruiters committed suicide between 2003 when the Iraq war began, and 2008, with more than 540 of the Army’s half-million active-duty soldiers killing themselves.