Wednesday, September 28, 2005

U.N.: 'Disappearances' Treaty a Major Advance

(Geneva, Sept. 27, 2005) -- The adoption of an international treaty against forced disappearances at the United Nations is a great step forward in the fight against this crime, said Amnesty International, the International Commission of Jurists, the International Federation of Human Rights and Human Rights Watch.

Monday, September 26, 2005

Zawab, Missing Journatlist Found

KABUL: An Afghan journalist, who went missing in the eastern Nangarhar province a week back, has been found unconscious, the president of Afghanistan's Independent Journalist

Sharon Survives Effort by Rival to Hasten Vote

TEL AVIV, Sept. 26 - Ariel Sharon narrowly won a crucial vote on Monday in his right-wing Likud Party, fending off a challenge from his main rival, Benjamin Netanyahu, who was seeking to oust him as party leader and prime minister.

England | First Muslim Miss England crowned

She was born in Tashkent, central Uzbekistan, after her parents were forced to flee Afghanistan.

Saturday, September 24, 2005

Rita Causes Significant Flooding, but No Deaths Reported

Hurricane Rita stormed into Texas and Louisiana at 3:30 a.m. EDT, Saturday, with relentless 120 mph winds, sheets of rain and the battering waves worthy of a menacing Category 3 hurricane.

Friday, September 23, 2005

Afghanistan, Four Years On, by Kathy Gannon

It is four years after September 11 and Afghans feel cheated. They have a constitution and a president. But they don't have security, justice or rule of law.

Afghanistan's Delicate Democracy

Kabul, once a devastated city, is blossoming, and it owes part of its resurgence to investments by drug barons.

Saudi Warns U.S. Iraq May Face Disintegration

WASHINGTON, Sept. 22 - Prince Saud al-Faisal, the Saudi foreign minister, said Thursday that he had been warning the Bush administration in recent days that Iraq was hurtling toward disintegration, a development that he said could drag the region into war.

Thursday, September 22, 2005

German Papers: Dissecting the Great Merkel Flop

With no further progress made on creating the next governing coalition in Germany, the country's pundits have finally taken some time to consider what went wrong for the Christian Democrats.

King Zahir Shah

Former Afghan King Zahir Shah speaking with BBC

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Karzai Urges Shift in Strategy

The president repeated past demands that foreign troops stop searching Afghan homes without authorization from his government. He also suggested that airstrikes, which are still sporadically employed by the U.S. military and have resulted in some civilian casualties, were not effective.

Afghanistan At Halftime

Everything we know about democracy promotion and post-conflict reconstruction tells us that Afghanistan is far from out of the woods. Even after significant international intervention, many failed states remain unstable, or relapse into conflict and chaos. Remember Haiti?

Monday, September 19, 2005

Strange bedfellows in Afghanistan

BEFORE ITS RISE to fame as a battleground in the war on terror, Afghanistan was known as a bubbling geyser of the Cold War. During the 1980s Afghan communists, installed and backed by the Soviet Army, struggled for years to overcome resistance from US-backed mujahideen.

Sunday, September 18, 2005

Preliminary Results Show Schröder, Merkel Stalemate

The preliminary results in Sunday's general elections in Germany show Angela Merkel's Christian Democrats slightly ahead of Gerhard Schröder's Social Democrats.

Afghan Voters Take Next Step to Democracy

The crucial question now is whether any of the former warlords who once ruled this country succeeded in persuading Afghans to vote them into office.

SPIEGEL -- Why is democracy important for a country as poor and instable as Afghanistan?

Karzai: Because Afghanistan has been inherently a democratic society for centuries. We are known as a country of consultations and agreements that are made by the Loya Jirga, the grand council.

No clear winner after German vote

Early projections show a tight finish to Germany's election, with both main parties claiming victory.

Afghanistan holds landmark vote

Voting has ended for the first parliamentary and local elections held in Afghanistan in more than 30 years.

Friday, September 16, 2005

Young and female - a brave new face of Afghan politics

"If elected I will face up to the old men with guns that destroyed our country," said the 25-year-old development worker on the final day of campaigning. "Now it is our turn to fight with them."

Merkel's bumpy road to polls

Angela Merkel, the conservative from the east, would become Germany's first female chancellor, ending seven years of centre-left rule.

'I'm Not an Ideologue,' Roberts Tells Senate Panel

"Many of us are struggling with . . . what kind of a justice would you be, John Roberts," implored Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.)

Clinton Gathers World Leaders

The former president listens as Jordan's Queen Rania speaks at the Clinton Global Initiative. Her husband, King Abdullah, also attended. (Getty Images)

Gazans enjoy their new freedoms

They have been walking inside the ruins of Israel's former settlements and using roads closed to them for decades.

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Frustrated by Roberts, and Unsure How to Vote

One problem for Democrats is that Judge Roberts performed so well as a witness. Hour after hour, he delved into the minutiae of the law without referring to a single note or taking one.

President Bush's Address

The following is the transcript of President Bush's address to the nation, as provided by CQ Transcriptions.

Bush Vows Aid for Storm-Struck Gulf Coast

NEW ORLEANS -- President Bush promised Thursday night the government will pay most of the costs of rebuilding the hurricane-ravaged Gulf Coast in one of the largest reconstruction projects the world has ever seen.

Roberts Frustrates Committee Democrats

"We are rolling the dice with you, Judge," Sen. Joseph R. Biden Jr. (D-Del.) said. "It's kind of interesting, this Kabuki dance we have in these hearings here, as if the public doesn't have a right to know what you think about fundamental issues facing them."

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Bush Thanks World Leaders and Takes Conciliatory Tone

"The United Nations must be strong and efficient, free of corruption, and accountable to the people it serves," he said, adding that it "must stand for integrity, and live by the high standards it sets for others."

NATO Allies Resist US Call for Tougher Afghan Role

BERLIN (Reuters) - NATO allies France, Germany and Spain rejected a U.S. call on Wednesday for the alliance to help it fight the Taliban-led insurgency in Afghanistan, insisting NATO should stick to peacekeeping tasks there.


Secretary-General Kofi Annan this morning told the leaders gathered for the 2005 World Summit that the document they have come to New York to adopt is “a good start” that contains real breakthroughs on some issues.

U.S. Considering Troop Reduction In Afghanistan

But Germany, supported by Britain, France and other European allies, said Tuesday at a meeting of defense ministers in Berlin that it strongly opposed any American-backed restructuring of the NATO command structure that could lead to having alliance troops become involved in counterinsurgency.

U.S. Considering Troop Reduction In Afghanistan

NATO defense ministers were focusing Tuesday on the alliance's widening mission in Afghanistan and efforts to speed the modernization of its forces to tackle such far-flung tasks in the future.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Bush Takes Responsibility For Failures Of Response

"Katrina exposed serious problems in our response capability at all levels of government," Bush said at a White House news conference with Iraqi President Jalal Talabani. "

Monday, September 12, 2005

The Guardian- America? 'It was like a scene from Africa'

In New Orleans they are lucky that President Bush is giving out money to help people start again. My house was destroyed years ago, when bombs were falling across Kabul. But no matter how often I ask, nobody wants to help me put it up again.·
Muhammad Ghani, 45, is a baker in Kabul

Afghan vote a milestone but democracy fragile

"Basic institutions are at a very poor state of development. Until Afghanistan has a functioning, legal economy and basic institutions, there's nothing really for a parliament to do except act as a kind of puppet platform for people's views."

Roberts's Opening Statement Before Senate Panel

I have no agenda but I do have a commitment. If I am confirmed, I will confront every case with an open mind. I will fully and fairly analyze the legal arguments that are presented. I will be open to the considered views of my colleagues on the bench. And I will decide every case based on the record, according to the rule of law, without fear or favor, to the best of my ability.

'Judges Are Not Politicians,' Roberts Says

"I have no platform," he told the Senate Judiciary Committee in a brief speech without notes in the ornate Russell Caucus Room. "

Warlords in Afghan Vote Concerns Groups

''The international community and the Afghan government have wasted a great opportunity for this country to move away from the rule of the gun.''

Sunday, September 11, 2005

Lost at Tora Bora -- By MARY ANNE WEAVER

New York Times -- The first time bin Laden had seen the Tora Bora caves, he had been a young mujahedeen fighter and a recent university graduate with a degree in civil engineering. It had been some 20 years before, during Washington's first Afghan war, the decade-long, C.I.A.-financed jihad of the 1980's against the Soviet occupation.

Saturday, September 10, 2005

Remembering September 11 attacks, Bush cites Katrina

"Today, America is confronting another disaster that has caused destruction and loss of life. This time the devastation resulted not from the malice of evil men, but from the fury of water and wind," Bush said. "America will overcome this ordeal, and we will be stronger for it."

Facts and figures about Afghan elections

Sept 4 (Reuters) - Afghanistan goes to the polls on Sept. 18 to elect a lower house of parliament and councils in each of its 34 provinces.

Friday, September 09, 2005

The German Debate:

Chancellor Schröder Cedes Stage to Chancellor Merkel -- Der Spiegel

UN Says Afghan Polls Not Signal to Scale Back

``The political transition is far from secure,'' he told Reuters in an interview. ``There is an enormous amount of expectation that has been built up now and much international commitment will be needed to fulfil that.''

The Bursting Point -- DAVID BROOKS

Last week in New Orleans, by contrast, nobody took control. Authority was diffuse and action was ineffective. The rich escaped while the poor were abandoned. Leaders spun while looters rampaged. Partisans squabbled while the nation was ashamed.

Thursday, September 08, 2005

President Bush on Hurricane Relief

You can call 1-800-621-FEMA. That's 1- 800-621-FEMA. Or you -- if you have the capability to -- to use the Internet, you can log on to A FEMA representative will arrange for your assistance to be delivered by mail or deposited into your bank account. If you have special needs, the FEMA representative can help arrange to get the money to you in another way.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

By Dan Froomkin

Washingtonpost -- Dealing With Political Disaster

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Welcome to the Bush-Clinton Katrina Fund Official Web Site

We are calling on all Americans to help the people of the Gulf Coast region by making as generous of a contribution as you can to the Bush-Clinton Katrina Fund.

Clinton And Bush In Charity Reprise

Washingtonpost -- Former Presidents Lead Fund Drive

Monday, September 05, 2005

Bush vows massive relief effort

Former Presidents George Bush Sr and Bill Clinton announced a nationwide fund-raising campaign for victims.

Bush Nominates Roberts as Chief Justice

President Seeks Quick Approval With Another Seat Left to Fill

Bush Calls Rehnquist's Death 'a Tremendous Loss'

''President Bush and Mrs. Bush are deeply saddened by the news'' of Rehnquist's death, White House counselor Dan Bartlett said. ''It's a tremendous loss for our nation.''

Sunday, September 04, 2005

U.S. Envoy to Kabul Sees Minor Security Threats to Afghan Elections, September 1, 2005

Neumann said that 197 international observers, 2,200 independent observers and more than 30,000 people affiliated with candidates or political parties will monitor the elections.

Afghans to Vote for Parliament Amid Security Fears

KABUL (Reuters) - Afghans will go to the polls on September 18 to complete the last step in an international plan to restore democratic government after 25 years of conflict but security worries are mounting on a surge of violence.

Thursday, September 01, 2005

U.S. Ambassador Predicts Good Afghan Elections

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Afghanistan's September 18 elections are expected to go well and U.S., foreign and local forces are well-equipped to deal with any security hurdles, the U.S. ambassador to Afghanistan said on Thursday.


Water engulfed much of New Orleans after breaches in the levees sent the waters of Lake Pontchartrain pouring into the city.

Bus Convoy to Move Thousands From Superdome to Astrodome

"we are dealing with one of the worst natural disasters in our nation's history.""This recovery will take years," he added.