14 Stories

Democrats Want Interpreter's Notes. They Might Be Useless

Marina Gross is suddenly in an unaccustomed spotlight

(Newser) - Her name is Marina Gross, and she just happens to be, as the New York Times puts it, the only other American who was in the room when President Trump met with Vladimir Putin. Gross is a longtime State Department interpreter, and Democrats in Congress now want her to testify... More »

Mandela Interpreter Admitted to Psych Ward

Wife: 'He might have had a breakdown'

(Newser) - The interpreter who did little more than flap his arms around during Nelson Mandela's memorial is now in the hospital after a psychiatric evaluation. Thamsanqa Jantjie, who acknowledged suffering from hallucinations and schizophrenia , went for a check-up at a hospital near Johannesburg on Tuesday and was admitted immediately, the... More »

Fake Interpreter Once Faced Murder Charges

South African report says he has lengthy arrest record

(Newser) - The news about that Nelson Mandela interpreter who wasn't actually interpreting anything just keeps getting worse. Not only has Thamsanqa Jantjie acknowledged suffering from hallucinations and schizophrenia, but a new report from South Africa's eNCA says Jantile—who was standing about a foot away from President Obama and... More »

Mandela Sign Interpreter: I Was Hallucinating

He says he suffered schizophrenic episode onstage

(Newser) - The interpreter blasted for supposedly making up sign language during Nelson Mandela's memorial service says he wasn't faking it—he was hallucinating and hearing voices. Thamsanqa Jantjie says he suffers from schizophrenia and he had an episode during the service, possibly brought on by the magnitude of the... More »

Mandela Sign-Language Interpreter Made Stuff Up

Deaf community outraged

(Newser) - The sign-language interpreter at Nelson Mandela's memorial service yesterday wasn't actually signing what the speakers on stage were saying, according to many members of the deaf community. As the service was live-streamed, Wilma Newhoudt-Druchen (the first deaf woman elected to South Africa's Parliament) tweeted , "ANC linked... More »

Afghan Interpreters Who Helped US Troops Denied Visas

Gov't says they're not facing 'serious threat'

(Newser) - An increasing number of Afghan interpreters who worked with US troops for years during the war are being denied US visas, because the government doesn't think their lives are in serious danger. Think again, the interpreters tell the Washington Post . "There are tons of [Taliban members] in my... More »

Afghans Bust Ex-US Translator in Disappearances

Zakeria Kandahari worked with US special forces

(Newser) - Afghanistan authorities have arrested a former translator for US special forces over "multiple crimes," officials said today, without elaboration. The AP fills in a few of the blanks, reporting that the Defense Ministry had said Zakeria Kandahari was wanted on charges of murder and torture in connection with... More »

Storm's Unlikely Star: Bloomberg's ASL Interpreter

Lydia Callis' Sandy ASL updates were full of enthusiasm

(Newser) - There's not much room for positive news in the wake of Hurricane Sandy, but one woman has captured the hearts of those following the news of the storm, reports the New York Post . Lydia Callis is Mayor Michael Bloomberg's American Sign Language translator, and was on hand at... More »

Last Missing US Soldier in Iraq Identified

Staff Sgt. Ahmed Kousay al-Taie was kidnapped at gunpoint

(Newser) - The US military has identified the remains of America's last service member missing in Iraq—an Army interpreter who was kidnapped at gunpoint in 2006, the AP reports. Staff Sgt. Ahmed Kousay al-Taie, a native of Iraq who lived in Michigan, had sneaked off base by motorcycle to visit... More »

US Hangs Iraqi Translators Out to Dry

With visa process slowed, many now fear for their lives

(Newser) - When the US signed up translators in Iraq, it promised them an inside track for a special visa to the US. But now that the war is over, the visa approval process has slowed to a crawl, leaving translators stuck in Iraq—where many want them dead for helping the... More »

Iraq's Unmasked Interpreters Fear for Their Lives

New US rule makes it easier for insurgents to target translators

(Newser) - A change in US military policy in Iraq has endangered some of its more useful local allies: Iraqi interpreters. Since September, translators have no longer been allowed to wear masks while on the job, something they say is necessary to protect their identities from extremists who target them as traitors,... More »

Interpreter Shortage Signals Gitmo Gridlock

Lawyers struggle to find interpreters for cascade of cases

(Newser) - Hundreds of cases filed by Guantanamo prisoners will be delayed by a shortage of qualified interpreters, reports the Washington Post. Lawyers are swamped with work since the Supreme Court ruled that terror suspects have the right to seek release in federal court—and they desperately need translators. Interpreters who can... More »

Britain Opens Doors to Iraqi Interpreters

In danger if they stay in Iraq, British supporters may settle in the UK

(Newser) - Britain will allow and aid hundreds of Iraqi interpreters and their families to relocate to the UK when British forces withdraw, reports the Times of London. Interpreters and other support staff who helped coalition forces in Iraq are often targeted by death squads; dozens have been kidnapped, tortured or killed.... More »

After Uproar, Britain Reviews Asylum Policy

Iraqi interpreters left for dead may win refugee status

(Newser) - A row over the fate of 91 Iraqi interpreters working for the British military took a new turn today, with the government promising to reexamine its refusal to grant them asylum. The Times of London, which broke the story on Tuesday, now reports that Gordon Brown has ordered a review... More »

14 Stories