Remains of missing soldier are recovered from Iraq

The U.S military announced Sunday that it has recovered the remains of the last American service member who was unaccounted for in Iraq, an Army interpreter seized by gunmen after sneaking off base to visit his Iraqi wife in Baghdad.

The remains of Staff Sgt. Ahmed al-Taie, who was 41 when militiamen seized him on Oct. 23, 2006, were positively identified at the military’s mortuary in Dover, Del., the Army said. Officials said they had no further details about the circumstances of his death.

Al-Taie’s brother, Hathal al-Taie, said that the military officer who visited the family’s home in Ann Arbor, Mich., to inform them about the remains said they are still in Dover, but that he didn’t know the circumstances surrounding his brother’s death.

The family left Iraq for the United States when Ahmed al-Taie was still a teenager..

The U.S. Embassy in Baghdad did not respond to a request for comment late Sunday.


Hospital discharges Mandela after surgical procedure

Former South African President Nelson Mandela was discharged from a hospital in good health Sunday after a laparoscopy, a surgical procedure in which a camera is inserted into the body to check abdomen or pelvis problems.

President Jacob Zuma said in a written statement that Mandela was sent home after the procedure revealed no serious health problems. Mandela, 93, had spent the night in the hospital.

South African officials did not detail the reasons for the laparoscopy other than to say it was a related to a long-standing abdominal condition that caused Mandela some discomfort.

Defense Minister Lindiwe Sisulu said Mandela was as “fine as he can be at his age.”


Girl, 11, gets bloody nose, slips into coma and dies

After getting her nose bloodied in a fight with another girl near their Southern California elementary school, Joanna Ramos, 11, told her mother on the way home she felt sick. Hours later, she was dead.

“My daughter started complaining, saying she doesn’t feel good, let’s go home, so we went to home and I changed her clothes, and she go to sleep, that’s the only thing that I know,” Joanna’s mother, Cecilia Villanueva told KNBC-TV. “We took her to the hospital, but it was too late. She was in a coma.”

Ramos died at a Long Beach hospital at 9 p.m. Friday, about six hours after the fight in an alley, police said. Authorities have not released the girl’s name, but Villanueva told KNBC that the girl who died was her daughter, Joanna.

A police spokeswoman urged caution about linking the fight to the girl’s death until a coroner’s report is released. Police, who have interviewed the other girl involved, were investigating and said that no arrests are immediately planned.

The after-school fight near Willard Elementary School didn’t appear to be especially serious or violent, no weapons were used and neither girl was knocked to the ground, police said.

— From news service reports