Fed cuts rates again and hints at pause
In a conversation with German journalist Klaus-Peter Siegloch of ZDF Television, Khalilzad expressed confidence in current multilateral efforts in Afghanistan and reaffirmed American support for new UN Special Representative Kai Eide.
WASHINGTON (AP) -- The new U.N. envoy to Afghanistan told President Bush on Tuesday that an upcoming donors' conference in Paris is key to helping rebuild the war-ruined nation. Bush said he sees progress, but difficult challenges remain.
Afghanistan (Reuters) -Virtually everyone in Afghanistan can recount a story about a relative dying in childbirth, often from minor complications that can be easily treated with proper medical care.
Prince William has made a secret visit to meet British troops in Afghanistan. --- The prince, who received his RAF pilot's wings earlier this month, flew a military transport plane for part of the journey from the UK to Kandahar.
KABUL, 29 April 2008 (IRIN) - Hundreds of people have abandoned their homes and moved to urban areas in different parts of Afghanistan, and some have reportedly migrated to neighbouring Pakistan, due to worsening food insecurity, largely resulting from soaring food prices and low cereal supplies, provincial officials said.
Americans Insist No Deal Made on Settlement Growth
Our correspondent, who was at the parade ground when the gunmen opened fire at 9.45am, said he saw Afghan soldiers fleeing as gun shots cracked overhead and mortar rounds landed in the arena.
Airport, only one thing stands between them and riches beyond their wildest dreams when they arrive at the other end with a consignment of heroin.
According to senior security sources in Kabul, the Afghan police and intelligence service detained some 200 guests at a cheap hotel in Kabul popular among travelling salesman. Among them were the six assailants, who launched their machine gun and grenade attack on Sunday morning, killing an MP, a Shia Muslim religious leader and an 11-year-old boy.
WASHINGTON (AFP) - The White House said Monday that it was "very concerned" by a weekend attack which saw Afghan President Hamid Karzai survive a hail of rockets and bullets that killed three people.
د افغانستان د لومړني ولسمشر محمد داود د برخليک په اړه چې د ثور پر اوومه څه پرې راغلل، ډېرې خبرې شوي او بېشمېره کتابونه
KABUL (Reuters) - Three people were killed -- a parliamentarian, the head of a minority group and a 10-year-old child -- and 10 were wounded, officials said. The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack and said three of its fighters were killed.
KABUL, Afghanistan -- Militants firing rockets and automatic rifles attacked the Afghan president at a ceremony in Kabul on Sunday, missing their target but killing three and wounding eight others.
Mr Farhang, who holds a German passport, told a German newspaper on Friday that he was outraged at being spied on by Germany, with which he has close ties. "Because of this absurd lie that I am a double agent, my life and those of my family members are in danger".
The Afghan parliament is considering a law to ban makeup, men's jeans, long hair and couples talking in public, amid fears that the country is sliding back to Taliban-style rules and conservative power. --- The proposal is seen as part of a wider push for Islamic values by Afghanistan's ruling religious elite.
BERLIN (AFP) - Germany's foreign intelligence service came under fire Thursday after it emerged that the agency illicitly monitored emails between an Afghan minister and a journalist.
The head of Germany's foreign intelligence agency has come under fire over admissions his employees monitored e-mails exchanged between a minister in the Afghan government and a SPIEGEL journalist. Chief spy Ernst Uhrlau will likely keep his job, but the scandal is expected to shake up the organization.
KABUL, April 20 (Reuters) - Scarred by decades of turmoil and grief, 66 percent of Afghans suffer from depression or some form of mental disorder, and an increasing number are turning to illegal drugs, a top health official said.
KABUL (Reuters) - The Afghan Public Health Ministry denied on Sunday a media report that there was evidence of nuclear contamination in the Tora Bora mountains of eastern Afghanistan. --- The Tora Bora mountains in the east of Afghanistan were heavily bombed by U.S. planes in late 2001 targeting al Qaeda leaders believed to be sheltering in caves there.
UNITED NATIONS -- At his residence at the Waldorf-Astoria hotel in New York, Zalmay Khalilzad displays a banged-up AK-47 assault rifle from Saddam Hussein's arsenal: a souvenir from a war Khalilzad supported and a regime he helped topple.
The US-based Human Rights Watch said Afghanistan's legal system did not meet international standards in capital cases. --- It said the Supreme Court's sentencing of the prisoners showed "a disturbing disregard for the right to life".
Pakistan needs to revise a plan to repatriate 2.4 million Afghan refugees by the end of 2009, the UN refugee agency (UNHCR) has said.
18 April 2008 – Pope Benedict XVI today stressed the United Nations’ major role in seeking a better world as he highlighted, during an address to the General Assembly, the need to protect human rights, ensure development, security and reduce local and global inequalities.
18 April 2008 – The recent drastic rise in food prices means the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) now needs more than $750 million to meet its commitment to feed the world’s 73 million hungry people this year.
(London, April 19, 2008) – The UK government should abandon its insistence on exempting certain weapons from the new cluster munitions treaty whose text is being finalized next month, Human Rights Watch said today. The government is seeking to weaken the treaty in other ways as well, Human Rights Watch said.
KABUL, Afghanistan - Afghan President Hamid Karzai should refrain from signing execution orders for about 100 prisoners and declare a moratorium on the death penalty, a leading rights group said Thursday. --- U.S.-based Human Rights Watch said Afghanistan's emerging legal system does not meet international standards for due process and fair trials in capital cases. The group opposes the death penalty in all circumstances.
Afghanistan remains a country at war facing huge economic development challenges. But Finance Minister Anwar-ul-Haq Ahadi, in Washington for the spring IMF/World Bank meetings, says in the event of improved security and reforms in foreign aid, the country has prospects for steady long-term gains. --- He points to the natural resources sector as a prime revenue source, citing China’s investment in copper mines as a recent example.
The US has promised to curb air strikes by drones against suspected militants in Pakistan, as part of a joint counter-terrorism strategy agreed with the new civilian government in Islamabad, the Guardian has learned. That strategy will be supported by an aid package potentially worth more than $7bn (£3.55bn), which is due to go before Congress for approval in the next few months.
WASHINGTON (AFP) - A new report warns says US provincial reconstruction teams (PRT), a much publicized program for rebuilding Iraq and Afghanistan, operate as ad hoc "pickup games" with no clear direction.
KABUL (Reuters) - Conservative Muslim clerics and some politicians are outraged by the soap operas aired hour-after-hour by more than a dozen private television stations that have sprung up since the Taliban were ousted in 2001.
China may have been hoping to garner positive global attention in the run-up to the Beijing Olympics, but the issue of Tibet has shattered its image. A new poll shows that Europeans now see China -- not the US -- as the biggest threat to global security.
In tax returns the campaign released Wednesday, the Obamas reported a significant jump in their income from the previous year as profits from the books "Dreams From My Father" and "The Audacity of Hope" accounted for some $4 million. The Obamas paid federal taxes of $1.4 million and donated $240,370 to charity.
Priyanka Gandhi, daughter of former Indian prime minister Rajiv Gandhi, says she has met a woman serving a jail term for her father's assassination. --- Rajiv Gandhi was killed by a suicide bomb in May 1991 while he addressed an election rally. India has always blamed the attack on Tamil Tiger rebels.
"If the people of that country start to perceive the security forces as occupiers, it's going to be a very complicated situation," he told The Daily Telegraph. "What is important is winning their hearts and minds."
As the NATO Summit takes place in Bucharest from 2 to 4 April 2008, Amnesty International seeks to convey its concern about excessive quantities of small arms, light weapons and munitions being supplied by member states of NATO and allied states to local Afghan security forces and police where there is a substantial risk that such equipment will be used for serious violations of international human rights and humanitarian law.
KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) -- But Safi, the university professor, said that because the National Front does not represent the government, its negotiations are ''nonsense.''
The following is a transcript of the Democratic debate in Philadelphia, as provided by the Federal News Service.
WASHINGTON — Pope Benedict XVI visited the White House on Wednesday, his 81st birthday, and praised America as a nation where strong religious belief can coexist with secular society.
Pentagon documents detail abuse of Afghan prisoners at US facility
The National Endowment for the Humanities invites applications for projects that focus on Afghanistan's history and culture. The special initiative is designed to promote research, education, and public programs about Afghanistan and to encourage United States institutions to assist Afghanistan in efforts to preserve and document its cultural resources.
In Sick Around the World, FRONTLINE teams up with veteran Washington Post foreign correspondent T.R. Reid to find out how five other capitalist democracies -- the United Kingdom, Japan, Germany, Taiwan and Switzerland -- deliver health care, and what the United States might learn from their successes and their failures.
World Bank head Robert Zoellick warned that 100 million people in poor countries could be pushed deeper into poverty by spiralling prices. -- The World Bank and its sister organisation, the IMF, have held a weekend of meetings that addressed rising food and energy prices as well as the credit crisis upsetting global financial markets.
In northern Afghanistan it appears some parents are being driven by poverty and hunger to marry off their daughters at an early age. Jenny Cuffe investigates for Radio 4's Seven Days.
"Do the Westerners and the Americans know our problems -- that aid money is coming from the Westerners but it goes into the pockets of [corrupt] people in the government offices."
KABUL, April 14 (Reuters) - Impoverished Afghans struggling with rising wheat prices are not expected to get any relief soon with no sign prices are going to come down, a United Nations official said on Monday. --- "We have to put our money where our mouth is now, so that we can put food into hungry mouths. It is as stark as that," Zoellick said at the end of a meeting of the IMF and World Bank's Development Committee.
WASHINGTON, D.C. – On Mach 14, legislation was introduced to the U.S. Senate by Senators Maria Cantwell, Orrin Hatch, Kit Bond, Joe Lieberman, and Chuck Hagel that would authorize President George W. Bush to designate Reconstruction Opportunity Zones (ROZs) in Afghanistan and the border regions of Pakistan (Senate Bill no. 2776).
Afghanistan Advocacy Group (AAG) Holds Legislative Day and Policy Forum at the U.S. House of Representatives: -- On March 18, the newly formed Afghanistan Advocacy Group (AAG) held their first policy forum, “U.S. policy for Afghanistan: Reassessing Strategies,” and Legislative Day on Capital Hill. The AAG works to encourage greater focus and better policy for Afghanistan. During the forum, the members discussed strategies for key areas of reconstruction and security. Members of the AAG then visited individual Congressional offices to discuss their findings.
LONDON (AP) -- A dagger used by the emperor who built the Taj Mahal sold Thursday for $3.3 million, an auction house said. --- The dagger once belonged to 17th century Mogul emperor Shah Jahan, whose empire spanned the entire Indian subcontinent and what is now Afghanistan, Bonhams auctioneers said.
WASHINGTON — Mr. Bush defended the costs of the war, in lives and money, and said that withdrawing from Iraq would be catastrophic to the national interests. He signaled that an American force nearly as large as at any point in the last five years would remain in Iraq through his presidency, leaving any significant changes in policy to the next president.
Human Rights First lauded the Afghan government's decision to try the detainees, formerly held in the prisons at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba and Bagram, Afghanistan, in a court of law. But the New York-based group said in a new report that the legal proceedings are unfairly based on little more than allegations by American officials.
KABUL (Reuters) - The new U.N. envoy to Afghanistan said on Wednesday he wants to inject a sense of urgency in efforts to coordinate help for the country. --- Norwegian diplomat Kai Eide arrived in Afghanistan last month aiming to improve coordination of international civilian and military activities and cooperation with the Afghan government.
KABUL, Afghanistan — U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Zalmay Khalilzad said in comments broadcast Wednesday that he will resign "in the next few months" to work in the private sector.
Afghanistan's thriving trade is a significant barrier to the country fully moving into modernity after centuries of chronic instability, poverty, and barbaric rule. The U.S.-led counter-narcotics program, which emphasizes poppy crop destruction, hasn't been able to thwart it. Absent a suitable anti-drug alternative the nation risks becoming a failed state again, crippling the war against radical Islamic extremism.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Middle-aged men who ate seven or more eggs a week had a higher risk of earlier , U.S. researchers reported on Wednesday. --- Eggs are rich in cholesterol, which in high amounts can clog arteries and raise the risk of heart attack and stroke.
WASHINGTON (AFP) - Eight Afghan governors met Tuesday with US President George W. Bush to tell him a few unpleasant truths about the plight of their country as coalition forces fight ists and the Taliban.
China has reaffirmed its commitment to take the Olympic torch through Tibet despite strong international pressure.
(Washington, DC, April 9, 2008) – World leaders should defer accepting invitations to the 2008 Summer Olympic Games in Beijing until the Chinese government makes key human rights improvements, Human Rights Watch said in an open letter today.
The Atlantic Council says we're not winning in Afghanistan and they are right. In the last year, violence has spread to additional areas of the country. The Afghan government remains weak, plagued by inefficiency and corruption with limited reach into the countryside. And calls for faster economic progress are increasingly shrill among Afghans and donors alike.
JALALABAD, 8 April 2008 (IRIN) - Over 2,200 children are working long hours in dozens of brick-making factories in Nangarhar Province, eastern Afghanistan, to pay off their families' debts, a survey by the Child Action Protection Network (CAPN), an Afghan body, has found.
KABUL, 8 April 2008 (IRIN) - The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) has expressed deep concern about the intensification and spreading of armed conflict in Afghanistan, and called on aid agencies to "urgently" meet the growing humanitarian needs of conflict-affected Afghans.
WASHINGTON - The Bush administration is hoping to pledge almost $4 billion in additional aid for Afghanistan at an international donors conference to be held in Paris in June, a U.S. official said Tuesday. --- International donors have pledged about $32.7 billion in reconstruction funds for Afghanistan since 2001, of which $21 billion has come from the United States.
The financial sector faces potential losses of almost $1,000bn as a result of the credit crisis, the International Monetary Fund said on Tuesday, warning of further losses and writedowns on prime mortgages, commercial real estate, leveraged loans and consumer finance.
بسم الله الرحمن الرحیم جلالتماب سکرتر جنرال ناتو ، روسای جمهور ، صدراعظمان ، جلالتماب سرمنشی سازمان ملل متحد ، عالی جنابان ، خانم ها و آقایان !شش ونیم سال قبل افغانستان موضوعات مهمی را به جهان مطرح کرد که پاسخ به انها نه تنها به آِينده افغانستان بلکه به امنیت جامعه جهانی نیز رابطه مستقیم دارد . این موضوعات در قالب چند سوال مطرح بود - آیا جهان برای از بین بردن خطر تروریزم بین المللی دست به دست هم خواهند داد ؟ و اینکه آیا مردم افغانستان بالاخره این فرصت را خواهند یافت تا در مورد سرنوشت خود تصمیم بگیرند و کشور شانرا به سوی ثبات ، دموکراسی و سعادت و رقاه سوق دهند تا باردیگر به لانه مصئون تروریستان بین المللی مبدل نشود ؟شش ونیم سال قبل : مردم افغانستان ، یکجا با جامعه جهانی تحت رهبری ایالات متحده امریکا، افغانستان را از چنگال تروریزم بین المللی نجات داده و به باز سازی افغانستان بعد از سال ها خشونت ، ویرانی و تروریزم اغاز کردند ما راه طولانی رابرای رسیدن به این هدف مشترک پیموده ایم . امروز من اینجا نه تنها برای بحث در مورد آینده افغانستان ، بلکه برای ابراز امتنان مردم افغانستان از نقش ارزشمند ناتو و هر کشور عضو آن که در چند سال گذشته به افغانستان کمک کرده اند ، آمده ام
Visiting a malaria and leishmania centre in Darulaman, Kabul, Minister of Health Dr. Sayed Amin Fatemi said: --- "We all have a role to play in mitigating the impact of climate change, by ensuring efficient use of our existing food and water resources, reducing pollution from our vehicles and using our land more efficiently."
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has proposed selling some of its gold holdings as part of radical plans to shore up its troubled finances.
People who have had depression may be more prone to Alzheimer's disease, two studies suggest. --- Dutch researchers found Alzheimer's was 2.5 times more likely in people with a history of depression.
WASHINGTON (AFP) - Democrats have called on President George W. Bush to refocus US counter-terror efforts to Afghanistan and Pakistan, saying that over-emphasis on Iraq has allowed Islamic extremists to regroup along the Afghan-Pakistan border.
U.S. President George W. Bush and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice pose for a photo as they attend a meeting with new NATO invitees at the NATO summit in Bucharest April 3, 2008. (Reuters)
Sweeping the polls with more than 55 percent of the votes in his favor, Karzai, an ethnic Pashtun from Kandahar, the former stronghold of the Taliban movement, also had the fullest support of the United Nations, the United States and the Western countries that sent their troops and pledged billions of dollars in aid to rebuild the war-devastated country.
Princes William and Harry said they "agreed" with the verdicts and thanked the jury for the "thorough way" in which they considered the evidence. --- But Mr Al Fayed's father Mohamed has refused to accept the verdict.
The Afghan government has launched an investigation into reports that up to 33 civilians were killed in a US and Afghan army operation. --- Afghan President Hamid Karzai has repeatedly urged the US and Nato to take care to avoid civilian casualties.
Efforts to send IT work anywhere but Bangalore are taking on added urgency as costs of doing work in India rise and the dollar sinks
KABUL, Afghanistan - U.S. and Afghan forces attacked a remote village in a mountainous region of northeastern Afghanistan following reports that an infamous insurgent leader was in the area, a governor said Monday. At least 16 people were killed.
LONDON — A coroner's jury returned the most serious verdict within its power Monday, ruling that Princess Diana and her boyfriend were unlawfully killed because their driver and pursuing paparazzi were reckless — behavior tantamount to manslaughter.
BUCHAREST (PAN): US First Lady Laura Bush has called for Afghan girls and boys to acquire higher education in order to secure a bright future for their long-suffering country, hit by decades of debilitating conflict.
Military leaders in Afghanistan have welcomed the 2,000 extra troops and resources committed by a number of different nations at the Nato summit in Bucharest.
SOCHI, Russia - With time running out on an often testy seven-year relationship, President Bush and Russian President Vladimir Putin are taking on a lot of unfinished business in their final leader-to-leader meetings Sunday.
In the past eight years, Bill and Hillary Clinton earned a combined $109 million, with the former president collecting nearly half of that money as a speaker hired at times by companies that have been among his wife's most generous political supporters.
KABUL (AFP) - An Afghan woman MP controversially expelled from parliament a year ago for causing "insult" to fellow lawmakers said Saturday she had filed a petition for reinstatement. --- "The parliament's move was not only against freedom of speech and democratic values but it was fully against the constitution," she said, adding that she will fight her way back to the house through legal action.
The U.N.'s World Food Program is struggling as costs of food and fuel skyrocket while the numbers of people needing help surge across the globe. Millions are in danger.
In public, NATO is demanding that all allies contribute their fair share to the ongoing effort in Afghanistan. But behind closed doors, a paper has been circulated that may provide the beginnings of an exit strategy. Germany is pushing the plan. --- Is German Defense Minister Franz-Josef Jung looking for a way out of Afghanistan?
Judgment Comes at Time When Deportation is Occurring Frequently
The smiles in Bucharest were little more than show. Politically, the NATO summit was a fiasco. The Western alliance remains deeply divided and faces an identity crisis -- with Russian relations just one of the alliance's many points of dispute.
The U.N.'s World Food Program is struggling as costs of food and fuel skyrocket while the numbers of people needing help surge across the globe. Millions are in danger.
BUCHAREST, Romania — NATO leaders agreed Thursday to endorse a United States missile defense system based in Europe and to provide more troops for Afghanistan, but they refused to back President Bush’s proposal to bring Ukraine and Georgia closer to NATO membership.
ناټو هيله لري چې په افغانستان کې د خپل ماموريت په تړاو بحثونو کې لا يووالى وښيي
رهبران سازمان پیمان آتلانتیک شمالی (ناتو)، در دومین روز نشست خود در بخارست، در بیانیه ای آنچه را که استراتژی جدید برای تامین امنیت و ثبات در افغانستان خوانده اند، اعلام کرده اند
BUCHAREST, Romania -- At the heart of President Bush's problem in getting NATO allies to send more combat troops to Afghanistan is a basic disconnect over the war: The Europeans don't see it as one.
The Soviet Union's decade-long war in Afghanistan in the 1980s is a conflict many in the former countries of the USSR would rather forget.
France has offered to send a battalion of troops to eastern Afghanistan, a Nato spokesman at the alliance's summit in Bucharest has confirmed.
The Nato-led alliance is "getting pretty close" to losing control of Afghanistan, Lord Ashdown, the former UN envoy to Bosnia has warned.
BUCHAREST (AFP) - NATO leaders begin negotiations in earnest over Afghanistan Thursday, after the opening day of their summit in Bucharest saw a successful French offer of more troops, but a public disagreement over the alliance's enlargement.
BUCHAREST (AFP) - Afghan President Hamid Karzai Wednesday said a London media report had forced him to block the appointment of Britain's Lord Ashdown as United Nations envoy to his country.
KABUL, Afghanistan: Afghanistan's legal economy grew nearly 14 percent in fiscal year 2007, but the surge was hampered by corruption, insecurity and the lack of electricity, a new report said Wednesday.
Putin's grievances in Eastern Europe and Balkans will make it hard for Harper to get world leaders' attention at NATO summit
LONDON, April 2 (APP)- The influential British daily ‘Financial Times’ has reported that International aid and debt relief for Afghanistan has been thrown into doubt by the country’s failure to honour an agreement with the International Monetary Fund and warnings that its three-year development master plan could be rejected.
"If you protect the life of one person, then you will be rewarded as if you have protected all the world," Mr. Ahmed said, citing a verse from the Koran.
"Frankly, defeating the Taliban is the least of our worries," says one. "They are not going to beat us. It's not them that are crippling the economy. What is killing this country is corruption and drugs. That is not for NATO to deal with; that is for the Afghan government to deal with." Military measures are temporary, at best: If Afghans don't trust their government, NATO's best efforts will ultimately be futile. --- "Corruption is the tree. Terrorism, destabilization, smuggling and poppy are its branches," says parliamentarian Hossein Balkhi. "If you cut down corruption, the rest will die."
BUCHAREST, Romania (AP) — President Bush expressed confidence Wednesday that NATO will bolster its combat forces in Afghanistan and endorse a missile defense system for Europe that Russia has opposed.
The Pentagon on Tuesday made public a declassified -- and now defunct -- memo that outlined the legal justifications for using harsh interrogation techniques against terror suspects, saying that President Bush's wartime authority trumps any international ban on torture.
Elizabeth Rubin, a contributing writer for the New York Times Magazine, describes life for a U.S. Army company assigned to a remote outpost in Afghanistan.
"Recession is possible, but recession is a technical term ... I'm not ready to say whether or not the U.S. economy will face such a situation," Bernanke told lawmakers, according to Reuters.
According to one of the world’s top neurosurgeons, Doctor Vini Khurana, mobile phones *could* kill far more people than smoking or asbestos.
The BBC's security correspondent, Frank Gardner, can reveal that Arab soldiers have been taking part in dangerous missions alongside US troops in Afghanistan.
The ELBAG report called for "greater emphasis in looking at Afghan priorities rather than donor priorities" and "reducing the amount of preferenced aid, reducing the gap between donor commitment and disbursement and routing more of the external budget trough the Afghan government".
Ramazan Bashar Dost, who represents a seat in the capital, Kabul, says he developed the idea for a public meeting place from Speakers' Corner in London's Hyde Park, and would rather use the money that he would otherwise spend on a proper office to give to the poor.