The world in brief 8/23/10

Monday, August 23, 2010

Unlikely U.S. forces will resume combat in Iraq

WASHINGTON -- It would take "a complete failure" of the Iraqi security forces for the U.S. to resume combat operations there, the top American commander in Iraq said as the final U.S. fighting forces prepared to leave the country. With a major military milestone in sight, Gen. Ray Odierno said Sunday that any resumption of combat duties by American forces is unlikely. President Barack Obama plans a major speech on Iraq after his return to Washington, according to a senior administration official who spoke on condition of anonymity Sunday because details were being finalized. The speech will come shortly after Obama returns to the White House on Aug. 29 from his Martha's Vineyard vacation.

33 Chilean miners alive after 17 days trapped

SANTIAGO, Chile -- All 33 Chilean miners trapped deep underground for 17 days were found alive Sunday, Chile's president confirmed. A probe sent some 2,257 feet deep into the collapsed mine early in the morning came back with a handwritten note: "All 33 of us are fine in the shelter." President Sebastian Pinera joined authorities and family members in congratulations and hugs. They climbed a nearby hill, planted 33 flags and sang the national anthem. Mine officials and relatives of the workers had hoped the men reached the shelter when a tunnel collapsed Aug. 5 at the San Jose gold and copper mine.

Faulty security blamed theft of van Gogh

CAIRO -- None of the alarms and only seven out of 43 surveillance cameras were working at a Cairo museum where a Vincent van Gogh painting was stolen, Egypt's top prosecutor said Sunday. Thieves made off with the canvas, known by the titles of "Poppy Flowers" and "Vase with Flowers," on Saturday from the Mahmoud Khalil Museum in the Egyptian capital.

-- From wire reports

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