The founder of a charity that reunites service members with stray dogs they adopted in Afghanistan was named the 2014 CNN Hero of the Year on Tuesday night. In 2006, Royal Marine Sergeant Pen Farthing broke up an organized dog fight outside his compound in Now Zad, a town in Helmand province in Afghanistan. When one of the dogs befriended him, his life was changed forever.
Shortly thereafter, Farthing founded Nowzad Dogs, a charity aimed to improve the welfare of stray animals living in Afghanistan. The charity is the first and only official animal shelter in Afghanistan located just outside of Kabul. In addition to providing veterinarian services to strays brought directly to the shelter, Nowzad Dogs also raise funds to reunite service members with animals they adopted while deployed in Afghanistan. To date, the organization has sent more than 650 stray animals back to the United States and United Kingdom to be reunited with the soldiers and their families who found them in a war zone.
"There is no stronger bond between man and dog than that formed during war," Farthing said Tuesday evening during the New York event “CNN Heroes: An All-Star Tribute.”
In its eighth year, the CNN Heroes initiative annually honors ten heroes nominated from around the world, leading to one winner of $100,000 after six weeks of public voting. The runners up receive $25,000.
(From left to right) Chris Osman, Chris McKinley, Kent Kroeker, and Talon Burton
At least four American veterans were among a group of eight men arrested by police in Haiti earlier this week for driving without license plates and possessing an arsenal of weaponry and tactical gear.
Police in Port-au-Prince arrested five Americans, two Serbians, and one Haitian man at a police checkpoint on Sunday, according to The Miami-Herald. The men told police they were on a "government mission" but did not specify for which government, according to The Herald.
They also told police that "their boss was going to call their boss," implying that someone high in Haiti's government would vouch for them and secure their release, Herald reporter Jacqueline Charles told NPR.
What they were actually doing or who they were potentially working for remains unclear. A State Department spokesperson told Task & Purpose they were aware that Haitian police arrested a "group of individuals, including some U.S. citizens," but declined to answer whether the men were employed by or operating under contract with the U.S. government.
A photo shared by Hoda Muthana on her now-closed @ZumarulJannaTwitter account. (Twitter/ZumarulJannah)
The State Department announced Wednesday that notorious ISIS bride Hoda Muthana, a U.S.-born woman who left Alabama to join ISIS but began begging to return to the U.S. after recently deserting the terror group, is not a U.S. citizen and will not be allowed to return home.
A top Senate Republican and fierce ally of President Donald Trump reportedly exploded at Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan recently about the U.S. military's plans to withdraw all troops from Syria by the end of April.
"That's the dumbest f******g idea I've ever heard," Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) reportedly replied when Shanahan confirmed the Trump administration still plans to complete the Syria withdrawal by April 30.
Later, Graham told Shanahan, "I am now your adversary, not your friend."