Wednesday, May 31, 2006

An Eyewintes Report From Kabul: Kabul Under Siege

People were asking question why they were carrying Masoods pictures and wearing green bands. Where they get these thing in such rush? Why did the take down all President Karzi pictures but Masood’s huge pictures stayed untouched? What message the rioter were trying to deliver was 30+ dead and 109 injured and more to come worth that delivery ?

Let's not lose Afghanistan again -- Tom Lantos

While America should not underestimate these challenges, it must also recognize that the Afghan people are resilient, enterprising, and fed up with warlords, drugs, and violence. Give them the right tools, and they can fashion a society that will break new ground in the Islamic world.

Kabul is a Highly Flammable Place

German papers attribute considerable significance to the latest outbreak of violence, interpreting it as a clear indication of the limits of US policy in Afghanistan. All papers emphasize the precarious nature of the democratic government, warning against the danger of a return to war or Taliban despotism.

Many Afghans resent foreigners' presence

To many Afghans, foreigners are a privileged elite, earning hefty salaries and given to drinking alcohol while this shattered Islamic nation remains mired in violence and poverty.

Senator Clinton Kicks Off Her Re-election Bid

Former President Clinton was in the audience but didn't speak. He got a standing ovation when the former first lady singled him out as ''an inspiration, a mentor, a partner.''

Fragile calm returns to Kabul in wake of violent protests

Many Kabul residents are angry at the way US and Nato convoys move through the city at high speed with little regard for civilian life. "The US use force in the street, with their cars. When Americans are in a hurry, they don't care how they drive," said an Afghan UN employee.

Pentagon investigates alleged Iraqi massacre

US agrees to open dialogue with Iran

Condoleezza Rice, secretary of state, made the announcement before leaving for Vienna for talks with Russia and China – which are both resisting proposed sanctions against Iran – as well as France, Germany and the UK.

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Bush Nominates Wall Street Chief for Treasury Job

Mr. Paulson, 60, is chairman and chief executive of the Goldman Sachs Group and one of Wall Street's most highly compensated executives, with a net worth estimated at more than $700 million.

Financier Chosen To Head Treasury

Bush Nominates Henry Paulson To Succeed Snow

Shaken by Riots, Afghans Gripped By Uncertainty

Tolerance of U.S. Troop Presence Tested

Deadly Riots Reveal Anger Towards U.S. Military Presence

Monday, May 29, 2006

Curfew in Kabul after deadly riot

The Afghan government has imposed an overnight curfew in Kabul, following violent anti-US protests - the biggest since the fall of the Taleban in 2001.
The riots began

US faces new challenge after riots in Kabul puncture illusion of calm

After four years and $12bn, £6.5bn, in foreign aid, the majority of Afghans still scrape through life without electricity or clean water. More than seven million people are chronically hungry, according to the UN, and 53% live on less than a dollar, or 54p, a day. The sight of foreigners earning large salaries and driving large vehicles protected by private security companies has focused frustrations.

Technology and Easy Credit Give Identity Thieves an Edge

Anti-U.S. Rioting Erupts in Kabul; at Least 14 Dead

KABUL, Afghanistan, May 29 — A deadly traffic accident caused by a United States military convoy quickly touched off a full-blown antiAmerican riot on Monday that raged across much of the Afghan capital, leaving at least 14 people dead and scores injured.

Accident Sparks Riot in Afghan Capital

Mobs Rampage After Fatal Crash Involving U.S. Military Truck; Curfew Imposed

Losing the Long War

In Afghanistan, more than four years after the United States and its allies intervened to oust the Taliban and install a pro-Western regime, NATO forces face more than just another spring offensive by Taliban "remnants." May 2006 has witnessed little short of a countrywide rebellion. Significant masses of Afghan political and military forces are mounting a serious challenge to the status quo.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Afghan hunger could exacerbate insecurity: UN

KABUL (Reuters) - Hunger could haunt millions of Afghans in coming months, with serious implications for security, unless donor countries provide help, the World Food Programme (WFP) said on Thursday.

Senate approves sweeping immigration reform bill

The Senate, on a 62-36 vote, approved a sweeping measure along the lines favored by Bush that provides a path to legalization for most of the estimated 12 million illegal immigrants in the U.S. and also would beef up security along the porous border with Mexico.

Karzai Visits Site of Battle Where Many Civilians Died

KABUL, Afghanistan, May 25 — President Hamid Karzai made a surprise visit on Thursday to Kandahar, his hometown in the south, to visit civilians wounded in an American bombing nearby on Sunday.

Abbas Says He'd Put Peace Plan to a Vote

Karzai Seeks to Ensure Civilian Safety

"While the people of Afghanistan stand firmly with the international community in their effort to defeat terrorism, but it must be ensured that civilians are not affected during the operations," Karzai told Eikenberry, according to a statement.

Bush, Blair Concede Missteps on Iraq

Senate Approves Immigration Bill

Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), Kennedy's partner in the effort, said more than 11 million illegal immigrants "harvest our crops, tend our gardens, work in our restaurants and clean our houses" and added: "Some Americans believe we must find all these millions, round them up and send them back to the countries they came from. I don't know how you do that. And I don't know why you would want to."

Enron Leaders Found Guilty

VIEW: A Taliban comeback? — Ahmed Rashid

Most Afghans anticipate a full US withdrawal, despite American promises that it remains committed to Afghanistan. The Karzai government is angry with Washington, and also frustrated at the US attitude towards Pakistan.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

ICRC concerned over violence in south

KABUL, May 23 (Pajhwok Afghan News): Expressing concern over civilian casualties and worsening security situation in southern parts of the country, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) has urged upon the warring parties to respect the rules and principles of international humanitarian law.

Ambassador in Afghan plane fire

UK ambassador Stephen Evans escaped injury after a military transport plane he was travelling in caught fire at an airstrip in southern Afghanistan.

Final curtain for Bush and Blair

A Fight in Afghanistan

The war is far from over. Can it be won by NATO?

The Taliban comeback: Losing Afghanistan

Afghanistan's fate

As violence escalates, gains achieved through the U.S. military intervention are jeopardized. Outsiders must redouble their efforts.

A Vote For English, By George F. Will

In 1950 the requirement was strengthened to require people to "demonstrate an understanding of the English language, including an ability to read, write, and speak words in ordinary usage in the English language."

Attack on civilians in Afghanistan 'unfortunate,' PM Harper says

"If Canada pulls out, it results not just in a humanitarian catastrophe, but in a vicious and brutal dictatorship that we had before under the Taliban that nobody in that country wants to go back to," he said.

U.S. Voices Regret for Deaths of 16 Afghans

US Says Taliban Gain Strength; 29 Dead in Clash

Immigration Bill Backed in Senate, Setting Up Clash

Afghanistan’s CD Anthem

After several attempts at finding an acceptable version, the words to the anthem were written by Abdul Bari Jahani, an Afghan American living in Washington, DC. The music was composed by Babrak Wasa, an Afghan émigré living in Germany. The final version, performed by well-known Afghan singers from all over the world, was recorded onto CD in Germany.

A Step Backwards for Afghan Women

“I am extremely dissatisfied,” said Shukria Barakzai, a female parliamentarian in Kabul. “Without a doubt, the new cabinet has been formed based on consultation with various jihadi factions.”

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Bush urges Israel on peace talks

US President George W Bush has urged Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert to resume direct talks with Palestinians.

Albright: Bush is alienating Muslims

Da Vinci Code and Muslims, By: Dr. Aslam Abdullah

Should Muslims support Catholics demanding a ban on Da Vinci Code movie? Or should they stay neutral?

Afghan minister hails power transmission line

Afghanistan, Inc.: A CorpWatch Investigative Report

These companies are pocketing millions, and leaving behind a people increasingly frustrated and angry with the results.

Afghan Civilian Deaths Will Be Probed to `Fullest,' U.S. Says

May 24 (Bloomberg) -- The reported deaths of civilians during a raid by U.S.-led forces on Taliban fighters in southern Afghanistan will be investigated ``to the fullest,'' said U.S. Brigadier General Carter Ham of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

Amnesty attacks Government over human rights

Amnesty International has accused the British Government of using the war on terror to force through measures which cause "serious human rights violations".

Iran Requests Direct Talks on Nuclear Program

Karzai Orders Probe Into U.S. Airstrike

It was the second time in five weeks that Karzai has complained about civilian deaths from airstrikes by the U.S.-led coalition.

Mideast Border Plans Are Praised

But Bush Stops Short Of Endorsing Strategy By Israeli Premier

West Bank Pullout Gets Nod From Bush

Senate Backs Job Verification for Immigrants

Millions of Veterans at Risk of Identity Fraud Following Data Theft

There's one new law that's coming out of some of the states -- 12 so far -- that allows you to put a freeze on your credit report, and that stops the key moment when you make sure your credit report isn't disclosed when the fraudsters are applying for credit in your name.

U.S. Ambassador Khalilzad Calls for Crackdown on Militias

Zalmay Khalilzad, the U.S. ambassador to Iraq, calls on the new Iraqi unity government to take decisive action against local militias and outlines the U.S. role in security and reconstruction.

Monday, May 22, 2006

Karzai blames Pakistan over Taliban attacks

U.S. defends Afghan fight that killed 16 civilians

US warplanes kill scores of Taliban in worst Afghan clashes for years

In Germany, Concern Over Racial Violence at World Cup

Bush Speaks at National Restaurant Association Meeting

Laura sends her greetings to you all. She's a fine first lady, and I'm lucky she said yes when I asked her to marry me.

Dozens Are Killed In Afghan Fighting

U.S. Uneasy About Israel's Plans for West Bank

King Abdullah of Jordan wrote to Bush last week to express concern that unilateral action by Israel could undermine Jordanian security. Jordanian Ambassador Karim Kawar said that because the Gaza withdrawal had not been negotiated, Hamas was able to claim credit and win the elections.

Saturday, May 20, 2006

NATO General Says Drugs Afghanistan's Biggest Threat

Friday, May 19, 2006

NATO: Alliance to Continue Afghan Mission

Senate Votes English as 'National Language'

After an emotional debate fraught with symbolism, the Senate yesterday voted to make English the "national language" of the United States, declaring that no one has a right to federal communications or services in a language other than English except for those already guaranteed by law.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Turkish secularists rally over attack

Secularism is the cornerstone of the modern Turkish state, which was founded in 1923 by Mustafa Kemal Ataturk. However, political Islam has been on the rise in Turkey over the past decade.

Swiss recall Pakistan diplomats

Taliban stepping up attacks in Afghanistan

Israel: Family Reunification Ruling Is Discriminatory -- Human Rights Watch

U.S. Fails to Comply With Ban on Torture

(Washington, D.C., May 17, 2006) – A high-level U.S. delegation’s exchange with the U.N. Committee against Torture reveals that the United States is failing to meet its international obligations to end torture and cruel, inhuman, and degrading treatment, Human Rights Watch said today.

Canada Votes to Extend Mission in Afghanistan

"I don't think it's feasible for Canada simply to walk away in the next few months," Harper said.

Italian Leader Calls Iraq Occupation 'Grave Error'

Scores Killed Amid Fierce Violence in Afghanistan

"In Pakistan, they train people to go to Afghanistan, do jihad, burn schools and clinics," he told a gathering of provincial elders in a long, emotional speech. "What kind of Islam is this?"

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

A 'Da Vinci Code' That Takes Longer to Watch Than Read

Muslims join Da Vinci criticism

"The Holy Koran recognises Jesus as a prophet. What the book says is an insult to both Christians and Muslims," Maulana Mansoor Ali Khan, general secretary of the All-India Sunni Jamiyat-ul-Ulema, told the Reuters news agency.

MPs back French immigration bill

The French parliament has given strong backing to a controversial immigration bill that will make it more difficult for the unskilled to settle in France.

Senators to Question Hayden on NSA Phone Tracking Programs

Torture: A Human Rights Perspective

Afghanistan renews mediation offer

France Approves New Immigration Bill

Dow, Shocked by CPI, Falls 200 Points

Stocks plunged in response to the government's report that the consumer price index jumped 0.6 percent last month.

Bush Signs $70B Tax-Cut Package

Democrats Label Bill a Boon to Wealthy Americans

Wall Street spooked by inflation fears

Wall Street slumped on Wednesday as inflation fears punctured an already fragile mood among market participants. All the important indices suffered heavy losses, with the S&P 500 index falling to its lowest in two months. The Dow had its worst day since 2003.

Stocks Fall Sharply After Consumer Prices Jump

The glamorous Queen of Jordan is determined to change the world for women and girls.

Afghanistan ‘No one listens to us and no one treats us as human beings’: Justice denied to women

Monday, May 15, 2006

On Immigration, Bush Seeks 'Middle Ground'

Bush said: "There is a rational middle ground between granting an automatic path to citizenship for every illegal immigrant and a program of mass deportation.

Afghan ambassador: Economic growth, security key to stopping drug trade

“In an environment of total insecurity — social, political and economic — people have leveled their pomegranate orchards, their vineyards, and turned them into poppy fields, because it takes only three months to harvest poppy.”

Bush's Speech on Immigration

We are a nation of laws, and we must enforce our laws. We’re also a nation of immigrants, and we must uphold that tradition, which has strengthened our country in so many ways.

Bush Calls for Compromise on Immigration

"We cannot build a unified country by inciting people to anger, or playing on anyone's fears or exploiting the issue of immigration for political gain." [Excerpts, Page A22.]

Afghanistan offers to mediate in Iran nuclear row

BERLIN: - Afghanistan has offered to mediate between Washington and Tehran in the dispute over Iran's nuclear programme, Afghan Foreign Minister Rangeen Dadfar Spanta was quoted on Sunday as saying.

Afghan Women Graduate U.S. College Program

Babrakzai wants to become the country's finance minister, and Kohistani hopes to become an ambassador. Sahar aspires to become Afghanistan's first female president.

Female Afghan Lawmaker Faces Death Threat

Malalai Joya, 28, says her mission is to improve women's rights and expose criminal lawmakers in Afghanistan. She says she will continue to speak out despite any danger.

Friday, May 12, 2006

Telephone Records are just the Tip of NSA's Iceberg

Afghan Envoy Says Taliban Strength Growing

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Taliban strength in Afghanistan is on the rise and even with a growing NATO security force, the country's defenses against explosive devices and suicide bombings are severely strained, the Afghan ambassador said Friday.

Red Cross Chief 'Deplores' White House

Qwest's Refusal of N.S.A. Query Is Explained

Bush to Address Nation on Immigration

CORRUPTION: The Enron-isation of Afghanistan?

William Fisher, "Contractors in Afghanistan are making big money for bad work" -- that is the conclusion reached in a new report from CorpWatch written by an Afghan-American journalist who returned to her native country to examine the progress of reconstruction.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

American activist finds her calling in Afghan hot spot

"What Ails Afghanistan?"

Four and a half years after the fall of the Taliban, Afghanistan is still highly unstable. And it seems to be getting worse rather than better. Every few days now, the resurgent Taliban carry out another deadly attack on school children, aid workers, or local or international security forces. It is a grim return on the outside world's huge investment in Afghanistan.

9/11 Widows Help Afghanistan War Widows

Data on Phone Calls Monitored

Protesters flay abusing woman MP

FARAH CITY, May 10 (Pajhwok Afghan News): As many as a hundred of protesters on Wednesday took to streets in Farach, capital of the western Farah province to express their support with member of the parliament Malali Joya.

France pledges 0.8m for Afghanistan

Afghan Rapper Wins Fans with Message of Peace

Islamic Leaders Call for Aid to Palestinians

Senate Leaders Break a Stalemate Over an Immigration Bill

Senate Votes to Extend Investor Tax Cuts

Bush Says U.S. Spying Is Not Widespread

"The privacy of all Americans is fiercely protected in all our activities," he said. "Our efforts are focused on Al Qaeda and their known associates."

Iran leader says he is ready to negotiate on nuclear program

NSA has massive database of Americans' phone calls

The National Security Agency has been secretly collecting the phone call records of tens of millions of Americans, using data provided by AT&T, Verizon and BellSouth, people with direct knowledge of the arrangement told USA TODAY.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

British Attorney General Says Guantanamo 'Should Close'

"Fundamental rights must be protected if we are to preserve our democracies," he said.

Violence and Unemployment Hinder Development in Afghanistan, Leaves Millions of People in Limbo

Napolitano elected Italy's leader

Former communist Giorgio Napolitano has been elected president of Italy, clearing the way for the creation of a new government.

In Afghanistan, New Misgivings About an Old but Risky Practice

A brain drain threatens Afghanistan's future

While Iraq dominates the news and is getting far more U.S. money and military manpower than Afghanistan, it is important to remember that Afghanistan remains a nation in need of U.S. help, and faces a continued threat from remnants of the Taliban forces that once made it a haven for Osama bin Laden and other international terrorists.

Monday, May 08, 2006

U.S. Cracks Down on Stolen Computer Drives

U.S. Bars Use of Torture in Interrogations

Iran's Leader Writes to President Bush

U.S. Officials Speak Out Against Torture

GENEVA (AP) -- The U.S. told a U.N. watchdog panel Monday that it forbids all employees from torturing detainees and has improved measures to prevent any mistreatment.

Afghanistan Story, back2kabul

Woman MP is attacked in a blow for democracy

Mrs Joya told The Times yesterday: “There are two problems for these people: firstly, that I am a woman and, secondly, that I believe in democracy. They don’t believe in democracy. They don’t believe in women’s rights.”

In Afghan Poppy Heartland, New Crops, Growing Danger

"Before, we only knew how to grow poppies, but we earned a lot more," he said. "Now they say it is not allowed and we should learn about other crops. As long as they keep helping us with seeds and electricity and other things, we will continue with vegetables. But if they stop, we will all have to turn to poppy again."

Afghan Legislator Attacked by Colleagues

KABUL, Afghanistan - An outspoken female legislator was physically and verbally attacked by her colleagues after saying on the parliament floor that some of Afghanistan's mujahedeen leaders were criminals who shouldn't now be lawmakers, officials said Monday.

Amnesty International’s campaign to stop torture and ill-treatment in the ‘war on terror’

The Afghan government has an obligation under international law to protect the right to life and to prevent torture and other ill-treatment on its territory and within its jurisdiction.

Sunday, May 07, 2006

Pakistan a Haven for Militants, U.S. Says

"Has Pakistan done enough? I think the answer is no.

U.S. Immigration Debate Is a Road Well Traveled

The Germans refused for decades to give up their native tongue and raucous beer gardens. The Irish of Hell's Kitchen brawled and clung to political sinecures. The Jews crowded into the Lower East Side, speaking Yiddish, fomenting socialism and resisting forced assimilation. And by their sheer numbers, the immigrants depressed wages in the city.

The fall and fall of Afghanistan

The "deliberate use of warlords and militias in reconstruction efforts has only lent them more credibility and power, further undermining the elected government and fueling a Taliban-led insurgency that continues to gain power".

Friday, May 05, 2006

Evacuation of West Bank Settlements to Proceed, Israeli Premier Confirms

US defends treatment of terror suspects to UN body

Tony Blair Shuffles Cabinet

LONDON, May 5--Prime Minister Tony Blair fired embattled Home Secretary Charles Clarke and replaced Foreign Secretary Jack Straw Friday in a major cabinet reshuffle after the Labor Party's poor showing in local elections widely seen as a referendum on Blair's scandal-plagued government.

Afghan Warlord Pledges to Back Bin Laden

But American and Afghan military officials dismissed Gulbuddin Hekmatyar's action as propaganda, saying his fighters are increasingly isolated by military operations in the country's volatile east.

Britain's Prime Minister Reshuffles Cabinet

Mr. Straw was replaced by Margaret Beckett, the environment minister, and Britain's first female foreign secretary.

Cheney Says Iran Should Renounce Nuclear Weapons

Iran, US share Afghan goals

Japan pledges $2.3m assistance for police reforms

CIA Director Porter Goss Resigns

CIA Director Porter J. Goss resigned today after less than two years on the job, President Bush announced at the White House.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

US not interested in peace in Afghanistan: Kathy Gannon

Nato to use ‘robust force’ on Taliban

Britain took command of Nato peacekeeping forces in Afghanistan yesterday in what is widely seen as a key test for the future of the military organisation.

The Future of Afghanistan

Losing Afghanistan Again (1 Letter)

Afghanistan: Reject Known Abusers as Police Chiefs

Time for President Karzai to Show He Is a Genuine Reformer

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Afghanistan on “Life Support” Warns Council Report

Terrorism’s Dubious ‘A’ List

At about this time each year, the U.S. State Department issues its Country Reports on Terrorism, listing groups the United States officially regards as "Foreign Terrorist Organizations," as well as those countries deemed to be "state sponsors" of terrorism.

The Failed States Index

Democracy may be spreading, but is the world more stable? In the second-annual Failed States Index, FOREIGN POLICY and the Fund for Peace track the countries on the edge of collapse.

Iraq, Afghanistan on 'failed states' index

The 60 most vulnerable states of the 148 countries examined in the second annual "failed states index" of Foreign Policy magazine and the Fund for Peace:

Bush calls Afghan leader for talks on security

KABUL (Reuters) - President Bush telephoned Afghan President Hamid Karzai on Tuesday and assured Afghanistan of U.S. support in the fight against terrorism and reconstruction, a spokesman for the Afghan president said.

Afghanistan's parliament, like a 'newborn', struggling to understand the basics

AFGHANISTAN: Poverty still a huge problem, says rights group

KABUL, 1 May (IRIN) - Many Afghans are still suffering from poverty, lack of education and health care, a local rights watchdog said in a study released on Monday in the Afghan capital, Kabul.

Bush phones Karzai, congratulates on cabinet's oath-taking

During their talks, President Bush assured Karzai of his country's continued support in the fight against terrorism and reconstruction of Afghanistan, said the statement.

Two Theories Of Ijtihad

Muslim societies today have to distinguish between Islam and culture, retain their Islamic essence and reform dysfunctional cultural habits that hinder development.

Monday, May 01, 2006

Air Arabia to launch service for Kabul on May 4

Chief of the Ariana Airline Company, Dr. Mohammad Nadir Atash, told Pajhwok Afghan News:" Ariana Airline Company will suffer loss with the arrival of new Arabic Company." With its current aircraft Ariana could not challenge Arabic Airline Company, he said. However, he insisted for sound competition with foreign airline companies by buying new aircrafts and providing quality services to customers.

"90-Day Live Longer, Feel Younger Plan"

The five foods you need to stop eating now!
The foods that will keep you healthy
The 90-day plan

Immigrants Take Economic Impact to the Streets

Across the country, hundreds of thousands of Latino immigrants and their supporters took to the streets to demonstrate that they are a political and economic presence that can't be ignored.

Immigrants Stage Protests Across U.S.