Posted: March 18, 2010 Filed under: Analysis, Breaking News, Business, Community, Current, Politics, US & Foreign Affairs | Tags: Bestof, capital cities, Capitol Hill, center, Executive Director, finance, hearing, horizontal, law, lawsuit against toyota, Politics, president, testimony, topics, Topix, Toyota, transportation, usa, Vice President, Waist Up, washington dc
WASHINGTON – MARCH 02, 2010: Center for Auto Safety Executive Director Clarence Ditlow (R), Toyota Motor North America, Inc. President and CEO Yoshimi Inaba (2nd R), and Toyota Motor Corporation Executive Vice President Takeshi Uchiyamada (3rd R) testify during a hearing on the recall of Toyota before the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee March 2, 2010 on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. Three top officials of Toyota testified for the second panel of hearing to answer questions from legislators on the recall and safety records of auto maker. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images).
(Reuters) – Lawyers seeking civil damages against Toyota Motor Corp (7203.T) (TM.N) on behalf of U.S. consumers for diminished resale value of recalled vehicles are broadening their cases to add racketeering claims against the automaker.
Using federal racketeering laws to amend the consumer class-action complaints, which have grown in number to more than 80 suits in at least 40 states, exposes Toyota to much greater potential liability.
Under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organization Act, a commercial enterprise can be found liable for triple the damages for any harm caused by its fraudulent activities.
As a result, litigation that originally stood to reap more than $2 billion in damages for Toyota owners could end up costing the cash-rich Japanese automaker in excess of $10 billion, said Tim Howard, lead counsel for a team of law firms handling about half the cases.
Each of the revised lawsuits is “a much more robust and thorough complaint than the first rounds because of how the evidence has evolved since then,” Howard said.
A Toyota spokesman could not be immediately reached for comment on Wednesday. The automaker has declined to comment on pending litigation to date.
The updated complaints draw on numerous documents and congressional testimony by Toyota executives to make the case that the company was aware of unintended acceleration problems in its vehicles for several years, even as it continued to promote defective cars as safe and reliable.
One suit in Florida cites a technical service bulletin it says the automaker issued in August 2002 “concerning an engine surge or acceleration problem with the new 2002 Camry, with the solution to recalibrate the Engine Control Module.”
Toyota has insisted that electronics have nothing to do with sudden, unintended acceleration in its vehicles, pointing instead to entrapment of the gas pedal by ill-fitting floor mats or sticky gas pedals themselves.
Those two problems were singled out for correction in recalls of more than 8 million Toyota vehicles to date, the largest such action ever taken by the automaker.
The consumer lawsuits assert that Toyota’s alleged concealment of defects in its vehicles while advertising them as safe constitutes criminal fraud and thus falls under the definition of “racketeering activity.”
Howard said his consortium of law firms had updated existing consumer cases in eight states as of Tuesday, and filings were planned in at last 12 more by week’s end.
All those and others around the country are to be consolidated into a single class action in the next couple of months, following a hearing before a panel of judges set for next Thursday in U.S. District Court in San Diego.
Litigation against Toyota has mounted quickly in the weeks since the recalls began for a problem linked to more than 50 crash deaths in Toyota and Lexus vehicles under investigation over the past decade.
Lawsuits related to injuries and deaths are the most obvious cases being brought against Toyota, and a class-action suit was filed in Los Angeles last month on behalf of U.S. shareholders accusing Toyota of misleading investors.
The consumer class actions are based on the premise that the resale value of Toyotas has dropped substantially as a result of the company’s safety crisis.
Major automobile valuation services have downgraded the resale value of Toyotas, Howard said.
Toyota has long boasted one of the industry’s highest resale values for its vehicles, one of the major factors in its success in the U.S. market.
(Editing by Richard Chang)
Posted: March 14, 2010 Filed under: Analysis, Breaking News, Business, Community, Current, NZPacific, Politics, US & Foreign Affairs | Tags: (L), 10, 2010, afghan, afghanistan, Ahmadinejad, aimed, Angela Merkel, audience, Ban Ki-Moon, berlin, Bestof, british culture, capital cities, Chancellery, Concepts & Topics, conference, conflict, consider, country, defense, Diplomacy, does, eight, ending, england, foreign, gates, german, germany, Gordon Brown, government, hamid, hamid karzai, hillary clinton, his, horizontal, hotel, Iran, iranian, john mccain, joint, Joseph Lieberman, Kabul, karzai, Lancaster House, leadership, leaving, Mahmoud, march, meeting, munich, nato, overlaps, palace, ParsPix/ABACAPRESSCOM, peace, photo, Photograph:, Politics, Portrait, presence, president, Presidential, press, Prime Minister, receives, review, Robert, said, secretary, secretary of state, Secretary-General, security, solution, speaks, speech, surge, talking, The Media, topics, Topix, touring, troop, troops, UK, united nations, us, usa, vertical, visit, visiting, Waist Up, war, year'S
Photos aplenty showing Afghan President all over the democratic world hobnobbing with world leaders from Iran, Germany and British.
Afghan President Hamid Karzai (L) shakes hands with visiting Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad as he arrives at The Presidential Palace in Kabul, Afghanistan on March 10, 2010. Ahmadinejad said Iran does not consider the presence of foreign troops a solution for peace in Afghanistan. His visit overlaps with US Defence Secretary Robert Gates touring the country for a review of the US and NATO troop surge aimed at ending eight years of war. Photo by Parspix/ABACAPRESS.COM
Visiting Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad (L) speaks at a joint press conference with Afghan President Hamid Karzai at the presidential palace in Kabul, Afghanistan on March 10, 2010. Photo by Parspix/ABACAPRESS.COM
Afghan President Hamid Karzai addresses the audience during the 46th Munich Security Conference at the Bayerischer Hof hotel in Munich on February 7, 2010 in Munich, Germany. The 46th Munich conference on security policy ends today.
German Defence Minister Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg (R) welcomes Afghan President Hamid Karzai during the first day of the 46th Munich Security Conference at the Bayerischer Hof hotel in Munich on February 5, 2010 in Munich, Germany.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Afghan President Hamid Karzai depart after speaking to the media after talks at the Chancellery on January 27, 2010 in Berlin, Germany. Merkel has pledged an additional 500 German ISAF troops for Afghanistan as well as a program to help intice Taliban fighters who are willing to lay down their arms. Karzai is in Berlin ahead of the upcoming international conference on Afghanistan in London. (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images).
U.S. Senators Joseph Lieberman (C) and John McCain (R) talk to Afghan President Hamid Karzai (L) during the 46th Munich Security Conference at the Bayerischer Hof hotel in Munich on February 7, 2010 in Munich, Germany.
British Prime Minister Gordon Brown (R) shakes hands with President Hamid Karzai of Afghanistan in Downing Street after a breakfast meeting on January 28, 2010 in London, England. Foreign ministers from over 70 countries attended the conference, co-hosted by British Prime Minister Gordon Brown, Afghan President Hamid Karzai and UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon. Talks aims to tackle key issues on the future of Afghanistan and the gradual withdrawal of international troops from the country. (Photo by Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images).
LONDON, ENGLAND – JANUARY 28: Delegates including British Prime Minister Gordon Brown (C), Afghan President Hamid Karzai (CL) and UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon (CR) and US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (Second Row, CL) pose for a photograph ahead of the Afghanistan London Conference at Lancaster House on January 28, 2010 in London, England.
US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton speaks with Spain’s Foreign Minister Miguel Angel Moratinos Cuyaube before posing for a photograph ahead of the Afghanistan London Conference at Lancaster House on January 28, 2010 in London, England.
British Foreign Secretary David Miliband waits to greet US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to the Afghanistan London Conference at Lancaster House on January 28, 2010 in London, England.
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton (L) meets with President of Afghanistan Hamid Karzai at the London Conference on Afghanistan in London on January 28, 2010. UPI/Embassy Photo.
Posted: February 24, 2010 Filed under: Analysis, Breaking News, Business, Community, Current, US & Foreign Affairs | Tags: Bestof, capital cities, Capitol Hill, chicago, Chicago Auto Show, congressional hearing, day, divided, finance, gesturing, group, hearing, illinois, manager, Politics, president, Preview, The Media, topics, Topix, toyota recalls, usa, vertical, Vice President, washington dc
US Congressional Hearing Into Toyota Recalls.Watch it live by clicking below:
C-SPAN3 Live Stream – C-SPAN
WASHINGTON, USA: James Lentz, president and COO of Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc.. is sworn in during a House Energy and Commerce Committee hearing on Capitol Hill on February 23, 2010 in Washington, DC. In 2006 Rhonda Smith testified that for six miles she was unable to slow down or stop her Lexus ES350 and when it finally did stopped the transmission and brakes were ruined. The committee is hearing testimony on Toyota Motor Corporation s response to Incidents of sudden unintended acceleration.
(Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images).
CHICAGO : Bob Carter, Group Vice President and General Manager Toyota division, gestures as he introduces the 2011 Toyota Avalon during the first Media preview day at the Chicago Auto Show February 10, 2010, in Chicago, Illinois. Toyota has recalled numerous vehicles in their line for faulty brakes and sticking accelerators. Photo by Frank Polich/Getty Images).
Posted: February 20, 2010 Filed under: Analysis, Breaking News, Business, Community, Current, Politics, US & Foreign Affairs | Tags: (R, 18, 2010, assembling, barack, capital cities, civil rights, Dalai, dancing, Diplomacy, february, government, his, holiness, horizontal, house, Lama, map, meets, news, obama, Politics, president, room, Souza/The, Tibetan Culture, Tibetan Ethnicity, UPI/Pete, us, usa, washington, washington dc, white, White House
WASHINGTON, USA: Tibetans dance as they gather outside the White House February 18, 2010 in Washington, DC. President Barack Obama had a meeting with the Dalai Lama in the Map Room of the White House despite the opposition of the Chinese government. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images).
U.S. President Barack Obama (R) meets with His Holiness the Dalai Lama in the Map Room of the White House in Washington on February 18, 2010. UPI/Pete Souza/The White House.
The Dalai Lama arrives for a press conference outside his hotel February 18, 2010 in Washington, DC. Earlier in the day the Dalai Lama met with U.S. President Barack Obama and U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images).
Posted: February 11, 2010 Filed under: Analysis, Breaking News, Business, Community, Current, education, health, Opinion & Commentary, Politics, US & Foreign Affairs | Tags: (L), (R, 2009, 2010, 9, agriculture, Arne, attend, barack, c, campaign, ceremony, Championship, childhood, combat, dining, Duncan, education, epidemic, event, exercise, february, first, football, Glenn, government, greets, health, Hornets, house, human, interior, Kathleen, Ken, lady, Launch, Launches, let's, members, memorandum, Michelle, michelle obama, move, national, news, obama, obesity, office, oval, PeeWee, Politics, president, president obama, room, Salazar, Sebelius, secretary, services, signs, speaks, standing, state, team, Theiler, Tom, UPI/Alexis, UPI/Mike, us, Vilsack, washington, Watkins, white, youth
First Lady Michelle Obama greets members of the 2009 national championship pee-wee football team, the Watkins Hornets, as she speaks at an event to launch Let’s Move, a campaign to combat the childhood obesity epidemic, in the State Dining Room of the White House in Washington on February 9, 2010. UPI/Alexis C. Glenn.
U.S. President Barack Obama (C) signs a memorandum on childhood obesity in a ceremony in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington on February 9, 2010. Standing behind the President are (L to R) Education Secretary Arne Duncan, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, First Lady Michelle Obama and Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar. UPI/Mike Theiler
Posted: February 6, 2010 Filed under: Analysis, Breaking News, Business, Community, Current, education, Honour & Tribute, NZPacific, Opinion & Commentary, Politics, South Pacific Region | Tags: aotearoa, apartheid south africa, attending, Bill English, celebration, ceremony, cup, dawn, F.W. de Klerk, Fancourt, Finance Minister Bill English, founding document, george, golf, hold, horizontal, Human Interest, inter-racial relations, interest, john key, Listening, maori party, MP for Waiariki, MP for Whangarei Phil Heatley, national party nz, Nelson Mandela, new zealand, nz, open, People, Politics, president, Prime Minister, Prime Minister John Key, race relations, race relations NZ, racism, senior adult, serving, Sitting, south africa, sport, Te Ururoa Flavell, Thabo Mbeki, The Links, tiriti o waitangi, titwhai harawira, Traditional Culture, treaty, Treaty Grounds, Waist Up, Waitangi, Whare Runanga
PAIHIA, NEW ZEALAND – FEBRUARY 05, 2010: New Zealand Prime Minister John Key sits alongside Titewhai Harawira, a Ngapuhi kuia (elder) after being welcomed onto TeTii Marae on February 5, 2010 in Waitangi, New Zealand. Next to Harawira is (Right) Finance Minister Bill English, Maori Party MP for Waiariki Te Ururoa Flavell, and Fisheries and Housing Minister MP for Whangarei Phil Heatley. The National-led Government has been in power for just over a year after being in Opposition for nine years. This is John Key’s first term as Prime Minister. Waitangi Day is the national day of New Zealand, a public holiday held on February 6 each year to celebrate the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi. The treaty is New Zealand’s founding document, signed on February 6, 1840.
(Photo by Phil Walter/Getty Images).
By Vienna Richards
With John Key due to give a keynote speech on race relations on the Treaty Grounds of Waitangi on our national day today, it begs a few questions. So the Prime Minister is serious about improving race relations improving in New Zealand? I sincerely hope so. We need that kind of leadership from the top.
First, so far so good in Waitangi, as far as fisty cuffs go. No one has yet struck at, or bared their buttock, at a visiting dignitary on Waitangi, unless you count the bare-bottomed Maori warrior yesterday. His only piece of clothing was material covering his loins. The rest was a free show. But today is the Big Day, Waitangi itself, and if anything is going to happen, it will happen on this day.
In the past, few Prime Ministers, and Prime Ministers-in-waiting, have been spared the wrath of racial injustice that such a day evokes. At this stage, it looks like the Prime Minister will leave Waitangi without the diplomatic protection squad needed to jump in front of him.
Now, back to one begging question. (That’s all I’ve got time for). I have just watched the Great Waitangi Debate on Marae, TV One this morning. Well, bits of it. It didn’t hold my interest long enough with a teenager ready to go to his American Football game. But as I listened to the debate, one question rose out of the blue:
Would the Prime Minister John Key accept his son or daughter dating a brown man or woman in New Zealand, particularly a young Maori or Pacific Island? Yes or No.
If he can answer yes to that, then I’ll know that I can take his race relations speech seriously. Otherwise, it’s just another puff piece from a slick speechwriter. One that is more about looking good, rather than a genuine wish list of race relations in New Zealand.
Why THAT Question?
An email via the website from one reader, who identified as a Kiwi living in Oz, prompted me to respond further on this topic. She isn’t impressed with my question aimed at John Key. With all respect, she missed my point It was not about who would be the most suitable partners. It was: would you let them if they wanted to…? Based on her reaction, my hunch is she does not belong to a racial minority. Nor does she identify as Maori or Pacific. So I don’t expect that she would get the historical background to my question. I suspect she has never had to navigate, and live and work between two or three worlds in Aotearoa New Zealand.
To those who have never experienced racism on a personal level, it will be easy to belittle my assertion. How so? If racism has never touched your life in the home, in the workplace or at school, then in my experience, you’ll miss the “knowing” that is spoken only within the safety and comfort of our kitchen tables.
In the early 90s, as apartheid South Africa was beginning to dismantle its racially segregated systems, President F.W De Klerk was the public face of a racially tolerant South Africa. For the benefit of readers who were too young to care or follow its history, apartheid South Africa was a country that previously legally sanctioned racism at every level of life from the bedroom to school to eating places to Parliament. For example, interracial marriage was prohibited in apartheid South Africa. It was a criminal offence to have sexual relations with a person of a different race.
De Klerk was the moderate voice for white Afrikaners. One ready to share political power with those they had previously subjugated for generations.
Come 1990, De Klerk delivered his famous and controversial speech on the 2nd February 1990 which announced the release of Nelson Mandela after 27 years as a political prisoner.
As a 20-something, I saw De Klerk, the public politician, as progressive and color-blind. I accepted his public speech as part and parcel of his psyche as a man and a father. He defied angry threats and calls from many white Afrikaners who refused to let apartheid go. He stood up against generations of national and institutionalised racism in a country that didn’t know any different.
On Sunday 11 February 1990, De Klerk publicly released Nelson Mandela from prison. His release was broadcast live around the world. I was one of millions who stayed up all night to wait for the live satellite broadcast from Johannesburg. It marked a new dawn for apartheid South Africa.
That same day, I ended my boycott of South African products in support of government and grassroots efforts around the world to pressure South Africa to end apartheid.
A long story short, De Klerk went on to win a Nobel Peace Prize. He was feted by the world as a leader who made a difference in race relations. He ended the banning of anti-apartheid groups. He pleaded for all South Africans to work towards a new nonracial democratic constitution.
Yet in his personal life, while he dismantled apartheid laws publicly, De Klerk struggled to dismantle the same attitudes within his own home when his son Willem began dating a “mixed race” woman. Their relationship, which lead to an engagement, did not last under reported pressures from the De Klerk household.
Despite all his rhetoric, De Klerk could not put into practice his own speech about a “new South Africa” in his own home. That’s a global example, of course, from a big gone era. But news coverage of a few years ago showed those attitudes still prevalent in the country. And yes, New Zealand is worlds away from South Africa’s former apartheid system, thank goodness.
But here’s the big reveal: in the privacy of one-on-one conversations with people in Aotearoa, I am, now and then, taken aback when one says bluntly, they would not let their child date a Maori or Pacific person. It’s not a common experience here, to be fair. But then again, I largely ignore signs of racism, even when “beware” hazard lights are flashing in neon. I just plough right ahead and disregard the warning signs because they don’t matter to me. Truly. Because I know who I am. I know who I belong to and who created me. So I don’t define myself on the views of racists of any colour, including my own.
Colour and cultural definitions of self? In daily life, colour-blind is my preferred vision. Though others may try, I refuse to define myself purely in cultural or colour terms. There’s more to this brown skin than colour. And it isn’t always white-on-brown-or-black racism that I’ve seen. Sometimes it’s brown against brown. (I’m using colour definition purely for the sake of brevity). I hear pockets of ambiguous views about our melting pot, from the voices of otherwise tolerant and accepting New Zealanders ,who support racial equality as long as their child doesn’t date someone of a different colour or race. Those are not isolated views and they’re not confined to so-called rednecks, by the way.
So these days, because of what I’ve seen and heard in my lifetime in New Zealand, I’m not interested in clever speeches about race relations from a leader of any country, political party or organisation. Dare I say it, I am far from alone on that. Live that speech inside your home first before you sell it to the masses. Show me that it’s more than political rhetoric aimed at winning the next place in history. Then, believe me, if that be so with the PM, THEN I’ll take Key’s ‘nationhood’ speech seriously.
No disrespect intended. But I do rest my case.
Insight on Racism, NZ radio documentary by Radio New Zealand’s Pacific Correspondent Richard Pamatatau.
John Key’s Waitangi Speech.
Posted: January 28, 2010 Filed under: Analysis, Breaking News, Business, Community, Current, education, Honour & Tribute, NZPacific, Opinion & Commentary, Politics, US & Foreign Affairs, US Presidential Elections 2008 | Tags: 2010, 27, address, addressed, barack, barack obama, Benic, Bestof, capital cities, Capitol, Congress, create, delivers, economy, government, horizontal, january, jobs, joint, Joseph Biden, Nancy Pelosi, obama, Politics, president, session, state, the, topics, Topix, union, UPI/Pat, usa, Vice President, vowed, washington, washington dc
Remarks by the President in State of the Union Address | The White House.
The White House
Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release
January 27, 2010
Remarks by the President in State of the Union Address
9:11 P.M. EST
THE PRESIDENT: Madam Speaker, Vice President Biden, members of Congress, distinguished guests, and fellow Americans:
Our Constitution declares that from time to time, the President shall give to Congress information about the state of our union. For 220 years, our leaders have fulfilled this duty. They’ve done so during periods of prosperity and tranquility. And they’ve done so in the midst of war and depression; at moments of great strife and great struggle.
It’s tempting to look back on these moments and assume that our progress was inevitable -– that America was always destined to succeed. But when the Union was turned back at Bull Run, and the Allies first landed at Omaha Beach, victory was very much in doubt. When the market crashed on Black Tuesday, and civil rights marchers were beaten on Bloody Sunday, the future was anything but certain. These were the times that tested the courage of our convictions, and the strength of our union. And despite all our divisions and disagreements, our hesitations and our fears, America prevailed because we chose to move forward as one nation, as one people.
Again, we are tested. And again, we must answer history’s call.
One year ago, I took office amid two wars, an economy rocked by a severe recession, a financial system on the verge of collapse, and a government deeply in debt. Experts from across the political spectrum warned that if we did not act, we might face a second depression. So we acted -– immediately and aggressively. And one year later, the worst of the storm has passed. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: January 27, 2010 Filed under: Analysis, Breaking News, Business, Community, Current, education, NZPacific, Opinion & Commentary, Politics, US & Foreign Affairs, US Presidential Elections 2008 | Tags: barack obama, obama, president, state of the union, White House
Tomorrow evening, President Obama will stand before a joint session of Congress and deliver his first State of the Union address outlining where we are and where we’re going as a Nation. In preparation for this annual address, he asked his Cabinet to take a moment to prepare a similar report for the American people.
In short videos, members of the President’s Cabinet report back to you on their progress this first year and outline what lies ahead for their departments and agencies to keep America moving forward. Secretary Sebelius talks about the Department of Health and Human Services’ successes helping to prevent the spread of the H1N1 virus; Department of Energy Secretary Chu highlights the thousands of green jobs they’ve created using Recovery Act dollars; and Secretary Clinton details the Department of State’s efforts to restore global partnerships.
Take a look and get a sense of what’s to come in tomorrow’s State of the Union address:
When President Obama took office a year ago, we faced an array of historic challenges: an economy in freefall, job losses averaging almost 700,000 a month, a middle class under assault, two wars and badly frayed global alliances.
Faced with these unparalleled challenges, the President and his Cabinet got to work. The Administration took bold steps to rescue the country from a potential second Great Depression; to rebuild the economy for the long-term, so businesses can thrive, the middle class can grow and all our families can be more secure; and to restore America’s leadership in the world as we wrestle with the global challenges of the 21st Century.
Check out the Cabinet’s reports and learn more about what we’ve done this past year and how we plan to keep our Nation moving forward in the next.
Senior Advisor to the President
P.S. Tomorrow at 9 p.m. EST, remember to watch the President’s State of the Union address live at WhiteHouse.gov.
The White House • 1600 Pennsylvania Ave NW • Washington, DC 20500 • 202-456-1111
Posted: January 22, 2010 Filed under: Analysis, Breaking News, Business, Community, Current, NZPacific, Politics, US & Foreign Affairs | Tags: 18, 2010, 40, afghan, afghanistan, at, attacks, capital, clash, Clashes, death, did, Diplomacy, Fatemi, fighting, five, forces, four, government, hamid, health, hours, include, january, Kabul, karzai, key, killed, kiwi, lasted, launched, market, militants, Ministry, multiple, Nearly, new zealand, news, People, Politics, position, president, public, restored, said, security, soldiers, stated, suicide, Taliban, Talibanlinked, targets, the, three, toll, UPI/Hossein, war, wounded
Afghan soldiers take position in a public market during clashes between Taliban-linked militants and security forces on January 18, 2010 in Kabul, Afghanistan. Taliban militants launched multiple suicide attacks at key government targets.
At least five people were killed and nearly 40 others wounded in fighting between Taliban militants and security forces, the public health ministry said. The death toll did not include four militants who were also killed during the attacks, which lasted more than three hours. President Hamid Karzai had stated that security had been restored to the capital. UPI/Hossein Fatemi
At War: Notes From the Front Lines – At War Blog – NYTimes.com.
Source: New York Times writer Dexter Filkins who is embedded with troops in Kabul, Afghanistan. Filkins is the journalist who broke the story earlier this week revealing NZ SAS soldiers were fighting with Afghan soldiers against the Taliban earlier this week.
KABUL, Afghanistan — The attack on the Central Bank in downtown Kabul this week revealed many things about Afghanistan. But one of the more surprising things it brought to light was that New Zealand is at war.
New Zealand? At war?
Not a lot of New Zealanders, apparently. The news — first reported in my story—that a team of commandos from New Zealand had joined Afghan soldiers at the scene caused a sensation in the little country off the coast of Australia.
I spotted the team of New Zealanders as they moved into Pashtunistan Square, the site of the Taliban attack, which killed five people and wounded at least 70. All seven militants died or killed themselves. The city was paralyzed for hours.
“Get out of here,” one of the New Zealanders said to me. I saw the patch on his arm announcing his country.
Others were more friendly.
“Can’t talk now, mate,” another said with a smile.