Monday, June 30, 2008

'Good' cholesterol dementia risk -- BBC

Too little of one type of cholesterol has been linked by research to memory loss and Alzheimer's disease. --- Regular exercise and eating less saturated fat, while eating more "healthy" fats such as olive oils, can boost levels.

The Alternative to War: Are Sanctions Working on Iran? - SPIEGEL

The international community is hoping that new sanctions on Iran will turn the country away from its nuclear program. An economic embargo is, perhaps, the last chance for peace. But can it work?
'We Could Do it Today': Israel Prepared to Use Force Against Iran

Bush signs $162 billion war spending bill

WASHINGTON -- President Bush on Monday signed legislation to pay for the war operations in Iraq and Afghanistan for the rest of his presidency and beyond, hailing the $162 billion plan as a rare product of bipartisan cooperation.

The legislation will bring to more than $650 billion the amount Congress has provided for the Iraq war since it began more than five years ago. For operations in Afghanistan, the total is nearly $200 billion, according to congressional officials.
Congress sends Bush expanded jobless benefits
Bill extends jobless benefits 13 weeks

50,000 Afghans in Dubai asked to get proper travel documents

DUBAI — Over 50,000 Afghan nationals in Dubai, holding Pakistani passports, have been asked to acquire proper travel documents from Afghanistan's consulate.

AFGHANISTAN: Humanitarian situation “deteriorating” – Holmes

KABUL, 30 June 2008 (IRIN) - Conflict and natural disasters have caused a “serious” and “deteriorating” humanitarian situation in Afghanistan and the aid community must scale up its efforts to meet the needs of vulnerable people, John Holmes, the UN Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, told IRIN in Kabul.
IRIN Asia Asia Afghanistan AFGHANISTAN: Humanitarian ...

Afghan government workers tied to attempt to kill Karzai

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Spain Lifts Trophy in Euro 2008 -- DW

Germany's hopes were dashed Sunday when Spain took home the title in the European Championship soccer final in Vienna. Fernando Torres scored the single goal in the intense match, which brought many German fans to tears.
German-Spanish final caps Euro 2008

Germany 0-1 Spain -- BBC

Spain claimed their first major title for 44 years after winning Euro 2008 with a deserved victory over Germany.
Deutsche Welle Spain Lifts Trophy in Euro 2008 - 2 hrs ago
CBS News Spanish reign - 2 hrs ago

Gates Retires from Daily Role at Microsoft

Trace Bill Gates' progression from child prodigy to one of the wealthiest and most powerful people in the world.

Obama Plans Meetings With Leaders in Mideast, Europe

Obama had said earlier that he would go to Iraq and Afghanistan this summer, as well.
Clinton, Obama Unite in Unity, N.H.

US Senate approves Iraq, Afghanistan war funding

WASHINGTON (AFP) - The US Senate on Thursday overwhelmingly approved a much-disputed bill alloting 162 billion dollars for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Getting Back to Afghanistan, the Forgotten War Fiercely Debated!

UN official: Afghan civilian deaths up 60 percent

KABUL, Afghanistan - The number of civilians killed in fighting between insurgents and security forces in Afghanistan has soared by two-thirds in the first half of this year, to almost 700 people, a senior U.N. official said Sunday.
INTERVIEW-Worsening Afghan security hurts humanitarian effort ...

Breakfast with Kabul's shadowy spy-master

KABUl–The Star can describe him only as a "top official" with the National Directorate of Security – Afghanistan's blood-chilling domestic intelligence service.

"I am a spy," he shrugs.
A torturer, perhaps, if human rights agencies are to be believed, or at least the man who bids others to do torturing on the nation's behalf, in pursuit of critical information: thousands of agents fanning across the land, infiltrating Taliban cadres, listening, watching, detaining. Columnist Breakfast with Kabul's shadowy spy-master

Failed states: Nation-building for dummies

AFGHANISTAN, Iraq and Somalia are among the 50 or so countries that can be described as failed or failing states. Although there are many differences between them, these nations also have certain characteristics in common. At any one time, these can include political and economic instability, poverty, civil disorder, terrorism, human trafficking, ethnic conflict, disease and genocide.

Ashraf Ghani and Clare Lockhart have worked in many of these countries. In 2005 they founded the Institute for State Effectiveness in Washington, DC, to help advise countries that are trying to make the leap from failed to functioning state. Before that, Mr Ghani was finance minister in the first post-Taliban government in Afghanistan.
Failed states Nation-building for dummies

Mass grave unearths ex-presidents body

THE MYSTERY surrounding the whereabouts of the graves of Afghanistan’s first president, killed in a communist coup thirty years ago, may have finally come to an end.

د سردار محمد داودخان
او د هغه د کورنۍ ډله ييز قبرونه وموندل شول

کشف گور داوود خان در حاشیه شرقی کابل
حاکمیت پنج ساله

Afghans find body of ex-president slain decades ago

KABUL (Reuters) - Afghan authorities have discovered mass graves containing the bodies of ex-President Mohammad Daud Khan, family members and aides, who were killed in a Soviet-backed coup three decades ago, his grandson said.

"Two mass graves, one containing 16 bodies and the other 12, were found. We recognised by their shoes and clothes that the graves belonged to the deceased Daud Khan, his family and cabinet members," his grandson Mahmoud Ghazi Daud told reporters on Saturday.

Daud Khan, Afghanistan's first president, was shot dead in the presidential palace in a military coup in April 1978.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Gates voices worry over Afghanistan

WASHINGTON -- Defense Secretary Robert Gates said Thursday he has "real concern" about a sharp rise in attacks in eastern Afghanistan, and he blamed the spike on Pakistan's failure to put pressure on insurgents there.

UN rights council passes Islamic resolution on religious defamation

GENEVA: The European Union said the text was one-sided because it primarily focused on Islam.
UN rights council passes Islamic resolution on religious ...

Biden Wants New Approach To Pakistan Aid

(AP) A top Democratic senator on Wednesday proposed tripling nonmilitary aid to Pakistan to $1.5 billion a year, while restricting reimbursements for anti-terrorist operations unless Islamabad does more to fight insurgents along its Afghan border.
Joe Biden: A New Approach to Pakistan - Politics on The Huffington ...

Better protection urged for detained Afghan children following UN-backed study

26 June 2008 – Children held in detention in Afghanistan continue to face violations of their rights, including maltreatment and lack of access to education and health services, according to a United Nations-backed study which highlights the need to ensure better protection for young people in conflict with the law.
United Nations News Service
Ban calls for rich nations to lead the way in fight against global crises

U.N.: Opium Trade Soars in Afghanistan

UNITED NATIONS, June, 26 -- Afghan opium cultivation grew 17 percent last year, continuing a six-year expansion of the country's drug trade and increasing its share of global opium production to more than 92 percent, according to the 2008 World Drug Report, released Thursday by the United Nations.
U.N.: Opium Trade Soars in Afghanistan

Bush Administration Officials Defend Policies on Interrogation

U.S. Stocks Fall Sharply on Oil Prices, Bad Corporate News

The Dow Jones industrial average was down more than 358 points at 11,453, a 3 percent drop.

G - 8 ministers urge neighbors to help Afghanistan

KYOTO, Japan (AP) -- A joint statement on Afghanistan, issued after a dinner opening a two-day meeting of ministers from the Group of Eight industrialized nations, also pledged a long-term commitment to support Kabul and urged the government to assume greater responsibility for its own security.

More German Troops to Afghanistan

Foreign Policy: The Failed States Index 2008

The Failed States Index 2008: Whether it is an unexpected food crisis or a devastating hurricane, the world’s weakest states are the most exposed when crisis strikes. In the fourth annual Failed States Index, Foreign Policy and The Fund for Peace rank the countries where state collapse may be just one disaster away.
Want to Know More? next

Foreign Policy: The World’s Top 20 Public Intellectuals

Foreign Policy: The World’s Top 20 Public Intellectuals

Click here: Foreign Policy: Top 100 Public Intellectuals#bios#bios

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Foreclosure Rescue Bill Passes Key Senate Test

Fed Eyes Interest Rate as Inflation Pressure Builds

Afghans Sees Pakistan Role in Karzai Plot

KABUL, Afghanistan — The Afghanistan government for the first time publicly accused the Pakistani intelligence service on Wednesday of organizing the plot to assassinate President Hamid Karzai at a parade in Kabul in April.
Afghanistan Sees Pakistan Agency Role in Karzai Plot -

Russia joins the war in Afghanistan

Moscow is staging an extraordinary comeback on the Afghan chessboard after a gap of two decades following the Soviet Union's nine-year adventure that ended in the withdrawal of its last troops from Afghanistan 1989. In a curious reversal of history, this is possible only with the acquiescence of the United States. Moscow is taking advantage of the deterioration of the war in Afghanistan and the implications for regional security could be far-reaching.

ULLMAN: Tough love for Afghanistan

Some wars last six days, others 100 years, but eventually all wars end. The question is how and when.
Fissures on Afghanistan, Washingtontimes

Monday, June 23, 2008

Unfinished Business in Afghanistan --Editorial

A report by the Government Accountability Office this week concluded that after investing $16.5 billion, the Pentagon and the State Department still lack a “sustainable strategy” for developing the Afghanistan Army and the country’s police force.
Unfinished business in Afghanistan - International Herald Tribune
Unfinished Business in Afghanistan: Warlordism, Reconstruction ...

Fixing the First War -- Michael Hirsh

As U.S.-Pakistani tensions mount, Petraeus steps in.

Afghan teachers face poverty

KABUL // Low salaries are forcing many of Afghanistan’s teachers to take on second jobs so they can feed their families.

But the ministry hopes that a scheme due to be implemented in stages over the next three to four years will eventually leave all of its teachers with a minimum wage of about $120 a month. The maximum will be about $500 or $600.

گزارشی از مراسم تشييع وتدفین جنازه مرحوم دکتور محمد موسی آتش یکی از فرهنگیان و چهره ملی کشور عزیز ما افغانستان در شهر ستوکهولم سویدن

تفصيل گزارش ...
پيامها و گزارشات در رابطه به درگذشت و مراسم تشييع جنازه مرحوم دکتور محمد موسي آتش
فوتوهاي از مراسم تشييع وتدفين جنازه مرحوم دکتور محمد موسي آتش

عبداله شيوالي : به سوگ آتش
پيام تسليت انجمن افغانها در سويدن
بمناسبت مرگ نابهنگام شخصيت اجتماعي سرشناس ويکي ازبنيادگذاران انجمن افغانها در سويدن
مرحوم دکتور محمد موسي آتش
زندگینامه ی مختصردوکتورمحمدموسی آتش
Doctor Musa Atash

پیام تسلیت به مناسبت وفات دکتور محمد موسی اتش -- ayenda

یادی از راد مرد تاریخ -- (Dr. Musa Atash)
دوکتور محمد موسی آتش پسر ارشد شهید مرحوم دگرجنرال محمد عیسی خان نورستانی شخصیت بزرگ سیاسی و ملی ، مبارز نستوه و آبدیده چون فولاد ، آزادیخواه و عدالت پسند به تاریخ چهاردهم جون 2008 مطابق به بيست وچهارم جوزاي 1387 هجري شمسي در گذشت و داغ بزرگی به فامیل و یاران گذاشت ، کسانیکه آتش پاک را می شناختند ، هیچگاه ظرافت ها، دانش سیاسی ، تاریخی و ادبی شانرا فراموش نمی کنند، زنده یاد مرد سخن و ادب و یک انسان شایسته بود . آتش بزرگ چنان پاک زیست که هیچ اهمیت و ارزشی به جیفه دنیا نمیگذاشت . او سمبول پاک نفسی و انساندوستی بود.
جایش در میان ما خالی است ، روانش شاد و یادش جاویدان باد
جنرال عزيز حساس
پیامهای تسلیت
کلیپ ویدیوی

Sardar Mohd Daoud -- سردار محمد داؤد

در این اواخر، حامد کرزی با صدور فرمانی به مسؤولین دولت هدایت داده است که قبر سردار محمد داؤد صدراعظم اسبق و به اصطلاح نخستین رییس جمهور افغا نستان را کشف کنند و برای احترام او بنای یاد بود ی اعمار گردد...ادامه

House passes $162B for wars in Iraq, Afghanistan

WASHINGTON (AP) — The House has voted to provide $162 billion for President Bush to carry out U.S. military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan through
House passes $162B for wars in Iraq, Afghanistan - Yahoo! News

Doctor Musa Atash -- * زنـــــدگــــــینامــــه دکـــــتر محمـــــد مــــــوسی آتــــــش

با تأسف و تألم زياد اطلاع یافتیم که شخصيت سرشناس اجتماعي و فرهنگی کشور محترم دکتورمحمد موسي آتش بتاريخ ۱۴ ماه جون ٢٠٠٨ به عمر هفتادوسه سالگی در شهر ستوکهولم، سویدن چشم از جهان پوشيد.
دکتور آتش یک شخصيت برازندهء اجتماعي و يکي از چهره های قابل قدر و دانشمند کشور عزیز ما افغانستان است، که در راه وحدت ملی و تأسیس انجمن افغانها در سویدن تلاش های خستگی ناپذیری را انجام داده است.
* زنـــــدگــــــینامــــه دکـــــتر محمـــــد مــــــوسی آتــــــش

فوتوهاي از مراسم تشييع وتدفين جنازه مرحوم دکتور محمد موسي آتش
پيامها و گزارشات در رابطه به درگذشت و مراسم تشييع جنازه مرحوم دکتور محمد موسي آتش

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Audit cites lack of planning for Afghan security

WASHINGTON - Six years and $16.5 billion later, the U.S. still lacks a solid plan to create a self-sustaining security force in Afghanistan, a new independent audit finds.
Audit cites lack of planning for Afghan security - International ...
Audit cites lack of planning for Afghan security

Pakistani Journalist Criticizes Nation Building In South-Central Asia

Afghanistan: Pakistani Journalist Criticizes Nation Building In ...
Afghanistan: Karzai's Retaliation Threat Inflames Relations With ...

Muslims barred from photo at Obama event

Muslims barred from picture at Obama event

Ongoing Midwest Flooding Threatens Mississippi River Levees

As the Mississippi River continues to rise through Iowa, Illinois and Missouri, federal officials fear many of the existing levees will fail, stressing the region's flood prevention system. A civil engineer discusses the science of levees.
Iowa Reels From Bout of Severe Flooding
Midwest Suffers Heavy Flooding Along Mississippi River

Troops Move to Defend Kandahar

Troops Move to Defend Kandahar

Is Another Bubble Behind the Soaring Prices of Gas, Food?

Is Another Bubble Behind the Soaring Prices of Gas, Food?

Political Junkie: Bill, Jim, Caroline? Readers Pick Obama VP

Bill, Jim, Caroline? Readers Pick Obama VP
Obama's Possible Running Mates

A Sober Assessment of Afghanistan

The outgoing top U.S. military commander in Afghanistan said Friday that attacks increased 50 percent in April in the country's eastern region, where U.S. troops primarily operate, as a spreading Taliban insurgency across the border in Pakistan fueled a surge in violence.

Khalilzad: I am not the next president

Khalilzad for President? (No, Not Here!) - Yahoo! News Gideon Rachman’s Blog Khalilzad for Afghan president?

Prince Andrew visits troops in Afghanistan

LONDON (AFP) - Fourth-in-line to the throne Prince Andrew visited troops in Afghanistan last weekend, as the number of British military personnel to die there reached 100, the royal household said Tuesday.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Remembering Tim Russert

Remembering Tim Russert -- Full story
‘Meet the Press’ was Russert’s ‘second son’
Bush attends wake for Russert

How Islam Came to Germany -- Ursula Spuler-Stegemann

The history of Islam in Germany goes back as far as the 8th century. From the reign of Charlemagne, to Goethe's literature, to the Turkish guest workers who arrived in the 1950s and 60s and made a home here, the Muslim religion has been a part of German culture for hundreds of years.

At the time of Charlemagne, most of the Iberian Peninsula was already under the control of the Moors (more...), who ruled over this part of Europe for nearly 800 years until the final stage of the reconquista -- the Christian reconquest of Spain and Portugal -- in the year 1492. Additional military advances by the Muslims in Europe were stopped -- exactly one century after the death of the Prophet Muhammad -- in 732 at Tours and Poitiers and in 759 in Narbonne and Nimes in France.

Karzai Threatens to Send Soldiers Into Pakistan

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan — President Hamid Karzai of Afghanistan threatened on Sunday to send soldiers into Pakistan to fight militant groups operating in the border areas to attack Afghanistan.
Taliban Free 1,200 Inmates in Attack on Afghan Prison (June 14, 2008) - Pakistan’s Pashtun MPs rally to Karzai’s side
President Hamid Karzai - Tag Story Index -

Bush ends Europe trip with good news

Bush says US can calm tensions on Afghan-Pakistan border : NPR
Bush says US can calm Afghan-Pakistan border World Latest ...
Bush ends Europe trip in London, Belfast - Yahoo! News
Outgoing US commander blames Pakistan for spike in Afghan attacks

America's Prison For Terrorists Often Held The Wrong Men

America’s Prison For Terrorists Often Held The Wrong Men ...
McClatchy Washington Bureau 06/15/2008 America's prison for ...

Seeing the bigger picture in Afghanistan

Afghanistan needs a bold strategy, a simplified mission and more coherent command form the leaders of the international forces.
Incompetence in Afghanistan

Karzai's star as Afghan savior fades abroad -- washingtontimes

Karzai's star as Afghan savior fades abroad -
Karzai's star as Afghan savior fades abroad - International Herald ...

A look at international pledges at Afghanistan donors conference

Here are some of the large donations pledged Thursday at an international conference for Afghanistan. Conference leaders put the total pledges at $20 billion, which come on top of $25 billion pledged by the international community since 2002. Only $15 billion of that has been disbursed. (All $ figures are U.S. currency.)
The Washington Times A look at Afghan conference pledges - A look at Afghan conference pledges - International ...
Letter from Europe: A softer sales pitch for the Afghan war
World refugee population jumps to 11.4 million

Friday, June 13, 2008

World: Laura Bush Steps into Foreign Policy Spotlight

"Afghanistan has reached a decisive moment for its future," Bush said. "We must not turn our backs on this opportunity."
Letter - Afghanistan’s Progress - The View From Kabul
Gates to NATO: Send More Troops to Afghanistan

Fact Sheet: The Afghanistan Support Conference: Renewed U.S. and International Commitment

President Bush And The International Community Pledge A Revitalized Long-Term Commitment To Achieve Peace And Stability In Afghanistan
Trip to Europe 2008
Fact Sheet: The Afghanistan Support Conference: Renewed U.S. and International Commitment
President Bush Participates in Joint Press Availability with Chancellor Merkel of Germany

Mrs. Bush's Remarks at International Conference in Support of Afghanistan -- Office of the First Lady

Paris, France: This conference is our chance to help the people of Afghanistan build the civic and economic institutions that can withstand these forces of oppression. We all know that success will not be easy, but Afghanistan has reached a decisive moment for its future. We must not turn our backs on this opportunity.

The Afghan people have shown me their determination to see their country succeed. And now it's up to the international community to do our part to help make that success possible.

I'm encouraged that this delegation of 80 countries and organizations has gathered here in Paris today. As the Afghan woman told me, this is our only chance. Today, it's our chance to reaffirm our commitment to Afghanistan's success.
Mrs. Bush's Remarks to the World Food Program Executive Board
Mrs. Bush's Remarks at a Reception with U.S.- Afghan Donors Conference Participants
Press Gaggle by the First Lady
Mrs. Bush Travels to Afghanistan

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Donors pledge 20 billion dollars for Afghanistan

Why Afghanistan Is Where Wars Are Lost (from The Herald )

Why Afghanistan Is Where Wars Are Lost (from The Herald )

The dream of Afghan democracy is dead - The dream of Afghan democracy is dead - The dream of Afghan democracy is dead

Brian Williams reports from Afghanistan

What I Saw in Afghanistan -- By LAURA BUSH

Wall Street Journal, This week has been a study in contrasts. On Sunday, I was in one of the most remote areas of Afghanistan – where unpaved roads are lined by tin-roofed shanties, and most people live without running water or electricity.

Today's conference is an opportunity for governments and the private sector to do more. It is important – and smart – for the world to invest in Afghanistan. Americans learned on a clear September morning that misery and oppression half a world away can manifest themselves on the next block. That lesson has been retaught in the years since, in cities from Jakarta to London to Madrid. Forums :: View topic - What I Saw in Afghanistan

He Won't Have Paris -- at Least Not This Time -- Al Kamen

So with all those powerful folks getting together to talk about Afghanistan, it's only natural that our ambassador to the United Nations, Afghan-born Zalmay Khalilzad, should want to be there. But, surely due to a clerical error, we hear Khalilzad, oft-rumored as a potential presidential candidate in Afghanistan next year, wasn't on the list to be part of the U.S. delegation.

Word is Khalilzad let it be known that he wanted to go but that folks at Foggy Bottom, maybe including Rice herself, felt this wouldn't do. Might be the thinking was that the gregarious Khalilzad's presence in Paris would detract from the efforts of the current -- and beleaguered -- president, Hamid Karzai.
International Donors Pledge Additional $21 Billion for Afghanistan

Detainees Now Have Access to Federal Court -- Washingtonpost

Defense attorneys for the 270 detainees at Guantanamo Bay said the Supreme Court decision yesterday that granted detainees habeas corpus rights was a watershed moment that will allow the men, some held for as long as 6 1/2 years, to challenge their detentions before a civilian judge.
Justices Say Detainees Can Seek Release

Earmark Spending Makes a Comeback -- Robert O'Harrow Jr.

Congress Pledged Curbs in 2007
Earmarks: The Saga Continues

Open Letter from Human Rights Watch to the International Afghanistan Support Conference on June 12, 2008

Most Afghans continue to live in an insecure environment where many of their basic rights remain unfulfilled. Because of a lack of security, in many parts of the country just going to the market, walking to school, or driving to work remains a very dangerous activity.

Human Rights Watch calls on the Paris meeting to ensure that the concept of “security” takes into account how violence or the fear of violence impacts the lives of Afghans.
Open Letter from Human Rights Watch to the International Afghanistan Support Conference on June 12, 2008
Afghanistan: Paris Donor Conference Should Prioritize Human Rights

Afghanistan: Paris Donor Conference Should Prioritize Human Rights

Urgent Need to Address Women’s Rights, Freedom of Expression, Impunity
Open Letter from Human Rights Watch to the International Afghanistan Support Conference on June 12, 2008

Bush slams anti-US 'propaganda' -- BBC

US President George W Bush has denounced "misinformation and propaganda" which he says are sullying his country's image abroad.
Bush warns Iran of 'all options'
Fallout from Guantanamo ruling

Donors promise $21 billion more for Afghanistan

Afghanistan's strategic place at the crossroads of the fight against global terrorism is a large reason that the world is willing to donate heavily, but even a $10.2 billion pledge from the United States is not enough to make much of a dent in Afghanistan's many problems.
Donors promise $21 billion more for AfghanistanABC 7 News
Westerners Play Pivotal Role in Afghan Rebuilding

Is this President the solution - or a part of the problem?

Rumour and suspicion threatens Afghan aid

Donors promise $21 billion more for Afghanistan

PARIS (AP) — Donors ranging from the U.S. the World Bank pledged more than $21 billion for Afghanistan on Thursday — and this time they want their money spent better in a desperately poor country where the president is barely in charge.
Nations offer Afghanistan aid, demand accountability
Donors Pledge $20 Billion to Develop Afghanistan (Update2)
Donors promise $21 billion more for Afghanistan - Yahoo! News
Donors promise $21 billion more for Afghanistan : NPR

Karzai government failings under spotlight at Afghan donors' conference

President Hamid Karzai's allies have urged him to tackle the corruption riddling Afghanistan's government when he asked for another £12.5 billion of Western aid.
AltaVista News: International

Hidden Treasures -- Jeffrey Bartholet

How a group of mystery 'keyholders' secretly protected Afghanistan's crown jewels—and where they can be seen now.
Buried Treasures, Repairing A Broken Culture, See All
Buried Treasures Periscope
Archeology: Where's The Third Buddha?
Treasures In The Tombs
Repairing A Broken Culture
Psychological Warfare
See All

Afghan leader asks for $20 billion in foreign aid

PARIS - Afghanistan's president appealed to world donors Thursday for massive, long-term aid for police, road-building and agriculture to help make his country safer and his countrymen less hungry.
Newsweek: Mystery of Afghanistan's fabled treasures
First lady travels to Afghanistan

U.S. expected to pledge some $10 billion for Afghans

The Paris gathering, which first lady Laura Bush will address following her visit to Afghanistan on Sunday, is intended as a show of support for the Afghan people and an opportunity to review development and security strategy.
U.S. expected to pledge some $10 billion for Afghans - Yahoo! News
U.S. expected to pledge some $10 billion for Afghans ...

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

World Bank urges Afghan openness -- BBC

The government in war-torn Afghanistan must be more accountable if it is to rebuild its country and economy, the World Bank has said in a report.
World Bank in Afghan aid warning

Bush in Germany on 'final tour'

George W Bush has arrived in Germany on the latest leg of what is expected to be his last official tour of Europe.
EU-US Summit Declaration, Brdo, Slovenia, 10 June 2008 (270KB)
US and Europe back in step again 11 Jun 08 Europe
Bush eyes economy on Europe trip 09 Jun 08 Europe
Bush bids farewell but issues remain 08 Jun 08 Americas
Analysis: Growing talk of Iran attack

U.S. Commitment to Afghan Women: The U.S.-Afghan Women's Council

Fact Sheet: Office of the Senior Coordinator for International Women's IssuesWashington, DC June 4, 2008
U.S. Commitment to Afghan Women: The U.S.-Afghan Women's Council

AFGHANISTAN: Fund shortage may shut UN humanitarian air service

KABUL, 5 June 2008 (IRIN) - The UN Humanitarian Air Service (UNHAS) may have to abandon its operations in Afghanistan due to a shortfall of US$2.5 million.

US plays down criticism of Karzai ahead of donors meeting

First Lady Laura Bush is expected to announce the US contribution at the Paris conference, while Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice will give a speech on US policy in Afghanistan.

On her brief visit to Kabul on Sunday, Laura Bush announced an 80 million dollar aid package for Afghan education projects.
World will be asked for over 10 billion for Afghan development: US
Afghanistan's natural environment a victim of war: activists

Afghanistan's natural environment a victim of war: activists

KABUL (AFP) - Years of war saw Afghanistan's forests levelled and its land polluted with fuel and mines, while more recent unchecked building and urbanisation is heaping new pressure on the environment, officials say.

Four million refugees have returned to Afghanistan since the fall of the Taliban in 2001, many of them flocking to Kabul which is now jammed with four million people, several times more than it was built to accommodate.

Air pollution is fed by roads choked with traffic and the burning of wood and plastic in the absence of electricity; garbage is piled in the streets and rivers; water supplies are often filthy.

Monday, June 09, 2008

Mrs. Bush: History will vindicate her husband

"I know he may not be that popular right now, but we've liberated two countries _ 50 million people have been liberated from very brutal regimes _ and I think that's really important," she said.
Afghan president says foreign forces needed for decade
Afghan aid ineffective: watchdog

Hidden Treasures of Afghanistan

The National Geographic Society (NGS) and the National Gallery of Art, in collaboration with the government of Afghanistan, have organized a traveling exhibition of the rediscovered treasures from the Kabul Museum – extraordinary collections long thought to have been destroyed or stolen.
Embassy of Afghanistan
National Geographic
National Gallery of Art

Critically Acclaimed Hidden Treasures Exhibit Opens to Public

Lines stretched across the mezzanine of the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. on Sunday, May 25 as hundreds stood in line to see the critically acclaimed exhibit “Afghanistan: Hidden Treasures from the National Museum Kabul.” Those who waited were not disappointed.

The 228-piece collection, with pieces dating back over 4,000 years, features stunning artifacts of gold, silver, ivory, lapis, jade, rubies and emeralds. But more than that, it tells a story of bravery and secrecy, of the attempts of dedicated Afghans to saving their heritage.
National Geographic
National Gallery of Art
Embassy of Afghanistan
Washington Press Catches First Glimpse of Afghanistan's "Hidden Treasures"

US First Lady Visits Afghanistan To Promote Aid Need

Mrs. Bush later announced two American aid initiatives for Afghanistan, a $40 million grant over five years for the American University in Kabul and a five-year $40 million package for a national literacy center that mainly teaches adults.

During a news conference with Mrs. Bush, Afghan President Hamid Karzai was asked to address donor concerns about official corruption and financial mismanagement.

First lady touts advances

BAMIYAN, Afghanistan First lady Laura Bush, on a mission to highlight signs of progress in war-weary Afghanistan, ventured outside the capital Sunday to an area that symbolizes both the destruction and attempt at rebirth.

Afghan aid ineffective: watchdog -- Jon Hemming

KABUL (Reuters) - Billions of dollars of aid to Afghanistan have not been spent effectively and the Afghan government and international agencies must be held to account or more will be wasted, an independent watchdog said on Monday.

Of the $25 billion in aid to Afghanistan from 2001 until now, only some $15 billion has been spent, aid agencies say.

But for every $100 spent, sometimes only $20 actually reaches Afghan recipients, said the Kabul-based internationally funded Integrity Watch Afghanistan (IWA).

Some staff working for the USAID, the U.S. government's development agency, earn as much as $22,000 a month in Afghanistan, IWA said, or 367 times more than an Afghan teacher.

Afghan president says foreign forces needed for decade

THE HAGUE (Reuters) - Afghanistan will need foreign security aid for at least another decade before it can run its own affairs, Afghan president Hamid Karzai said on Monday.
US, Europe grow frustrated with Karzai: report

Bush eyes economy on Europe trip -- BBC

His week-long trip will include the annual US-European Union summit, taking place in Slovenia, as well as Germany, Italy, France, the Vatican and the UK.
Bush bids farewell but issues remain

Blast takes UK Afghan toll to 100 -- BBC

Three British soldiers have been killed in Afghanistan, bringing the number of UK troops killed there to 100 since 2001, the Ministry of Defence said.
Funeral for BBC Afghan reporter
A tribute

Sunday, June 08, 2008

U.S. First Lady in Afghanistan to Promote Foreign Aid

KABUL, Afghanistan (Reuters) — The first lady, Laura Bush, made an unannounced visit to Afghanistan on Sunday with an appeal to the international community not to abandon the war-torn country in the face of resurgent violence by the Taliban.

Laura Bush's Afghan Visit Touts Progress

(CBS/ AP) First lady Laura Bush, on a mission to highlight signs of rebirth in war-weary Afghanistan, ventured outside of Kabul on Sunday to an area that symbolizes both the destruction of war and Afghanistan's attempt at rebirth.
First lady visits Afghanistan to recognize country's progress ...
Laura Bush's Afghan Visit Touts Progress

Saturday, June 07, 2008

As Ills Persist, Afghan Leader Is Losing Luster

WASHINGTON — After six years in which Hamid Karzai has been the darling of the United States and its allies, his luster may be fading.

But there is a growing concern in Europe, the United Nations and even the Bush administration that Mr. Karzai, while well-spoken, colorful and often larger than life, is not up to addressing Afghanistan’s many troubles.

Clinton Exits Race, Vows to Fully Support Obama

Read a transcript of Hillary Clinton's speech.
Hillary Bows Out of Presidential Race
Historian Imagines McCain-Obama Debate

Transcript : Hillary Rodham Clinton Suspends Her Presidential Campaign

Clinton suspends campaign, endorses Obama
Hillary Rodham Clinton Suspends Her Presidential Campaign Transcript
Ending Her Bid, Clinton Backs Obama
Transcript: Hillary Clinton Endorses Barack Obama (June 7, 2008)

Friday, June 06, 2008

Election 2008: Next Step: Choosing a Running Mate

Despite Loss, Clinton's Success a Stride for Women
Look Back: Clinton Tireless Till the Last Chapter
McCain deploys staff to battleground states

Bush weighs new measures to help stimulate economy

WASHINGTON June 6, 2008, 07:25 pm ET · President Bush is considering new measures to help stimulate the battered economy, the White House said Friday as unemployment and oil prices soared and Wall Street sank.
Unemployment Rate Jumps as Employers Shed Jobs

Experts: Lessons of Soviets in Afghanistan Ignored

All Things Considered, June 6, 2008 · More than six years since the overthrow of the Taliban in Afghanistan, the international community has pledged billions of dollars and sent tens of thousands of NATO-led soldiers to support the government of Afghan President Hamid Karzai.

But some veteran Afghan-watchers worry that the West is repeating some of the mistakes that the Soviet Union made when it sent troops to prop up a communist regime in Afghanistan in the 1980s.
The Real-Life Story Behind 'Charlie Wilson's War'
A Former Soviet Soldier Lives Among Afghans
Effects of Soviet Invasion of Afghanistan Loom Large

Pakistan seeks UN Bhutto inquiry -- BBC

Pakistan's new government has asked the United Nations to investigate the assassination of former Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto in December.

Analysis: Growing talk of Iran attack -- BBC

Dow Slides 394 Points; Oil Surges $10.75

All 30 of the stocks that make up the Dow Jones industrials took a hit as the index dropped nearly 400 points on fears that high energy prices will extend and deepen an economic slowdown.
Unemployment Rate Hits 5.5% as 49,000 Jobs Lost

Book review The secret dealings of Israel, Iran, and the US - Arab Washingtonian

The book, by Trita Parsi, reveals many of the secretive liaisons between Iran on the one hand, and the US and Israel on the other since the middle of the 20th century.

Thursday, June 05, 2008

RFK Assassination: Aide Recalls Tragedy Repeated

A Brief Snapshot of Robert F. Kennedy's Life

This 2,000-year-old gold and turquoise necklace

This 2,000-year-old gold and turquoise necklace is part of "Afghanistan: Hidden Treasures From the National Museum, Kabul" at the National Gallery.
This 2,000-year-old gold and turquoise necklace...

Clinton to end presidential bid and back Obama

Clinton Says Running Mate Choice Is Obama’s
Clinton to Suspend Campaign

Hunger, water scarcity displaces thousands of Afghans

Court annuls Turkish scarf reform -- BBC

Turkey's highest court has blocked government moves to allow college students to wear Muslim headscarves.
Turks fear political turmoil

Pakistan 'gives militants refuge' -- BBC

Afghan Foreign Minister Rangin Spanta has criticised Pakistan for seeking peace deals with pro-Taleban militants.

World Bank in Afghan aid warning -- BBC

It says President Hamid Karzai's government needs to have clearer priorities for reducing poverty. --- The request for $50bn will be discussed next week at a conference on Afghanistan in Paris that is vital for the country's future.
VOA News - World Bank Official Calls on Afghanistan to Fight ...

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Silent Survivors of Afghanistan’s 4,000 Tumultuous Years

“Afghanistan: Hidden Treasures from the National Museum, Kabul” continues through Sept. 7 at the National Gallery of Art on the National Mall, Constitution Avenue between Third and Ninth Streets, NW, Washington; (202) 737-4215,
Afghanistan Exhibition Provokes Questions
Art Review
National Gallery of Art
Afghanistan’s Hidden Treasures

Clinton Discusses What She Wants, but Not What She Will Do

Clinton Says What She Wants, but Not What She Will Do
Transcript: Hillary Clinton’s Remarks in New York City
News Analysis: Next on Agenda Is Clinton’s Role

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Obama Claims Nomination, Making History -- Brian Naylor

Transcript: Obama's Speech After Final Primaries
Who Did This to Hillary?
McCain welcomes Obama with fresh criticism

Promoting Perfume, Not Poppies, in Afghanistan

Morning Edition, June 4, 2008 · Since the fall of the Taliban in Afghanistan, poppy production has skyrocketed in the country. The Afghan heroin industry is by far the largest in the world.
Video: Poppies to Perfume: An Attempt to Change Afghanistan's Drug Economy

FRONTLINE: bush's war | PBS

Click here: FRONTLINE: bush's war PBS -- introduction

Gates wins no promises on Asia trip for help on Afghanistan

"As best I can recall I asked everybody," Gates said, describing his message as "for those who are already engaged, can you do more? And for those who are not engaged, think about what you might be able to do."

Many Afghans outraged at US decision on Marines

US death soldiers escape charges
Marines Won’t Charge 2 Officers Whose Men Killed Afghans After Car ...
US Military Says Marines Acted 'Appropriately' in 2007 Afghan Gun ...

US general takes over NATO command in Afghanistan

KABUL, Afghanistan - The U.S. general who led American troops into Iraq took command Tuesday of the 40-nation NATO-led campaign in Afghanistan.
The Associated Press: US general takes over NATO command in ...

Online Journal Contributing Writer -- Eric Walberg

The US is repeating the Soviets’ mistakes in Afghanistan, plus showing remarkable creativity in the horrors department (first of a two-part series)
The US is repeating the Soviets’ mistakes in Afghanistan, plus ...

Afghan govt must fight graft, help people-World Bank

KABUL, June 3 (Reuters) - The World Bank is committed to building a "prosperous and stable" Afghanistan, but Afghans themselves must fight corruption and provide better services for citizens, a top bank official said on Tuesday.

Poor security, corruption and the lack of good governance are some of the biggest challenges facing Afghanistan, more than six years after U.S.-led and Afghan forces overthrew the Taliban.

Outspoken MP driven from Wolesi Jirga session

You frequently disrupt meetings and I am going to expel you, Qanuni warned the blunt parliamentarian. The speaker soon asked for calling in security officials to oust the blunt.
Bakhtar News Agency
Outspoken MP driven from Wolesi Jirga session « RAWA News

Monday, June 02, 2008

Summit targets global food crisis -- BBC

A key UN-sponsored summit is set to open in Rome aimed at addressing the problem of soaring global food prices. -- Food costs are the highest in 30 years, causing riots in dozens of countries.
UN warns about higher food costs

AFGHANISTAN: Jalozai camp closed, returnees face difficulties at home

JALALABAD, 2 June 2008 (IRIN) - The once largest Afghan refugee camp in Pakistan's North West Frontier Province (NWFP), Jalozai, has been closed down and most of its residents have returned to Afghanistan, the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) said.
IRIN Asia Asia Afghanistan AFGHANISTAN: Jalozai camp closed ...


President Hamid Karzai has come under fire for not doing enough to stem corruption in Afghanistan. He speaks to SPIEGEL about the coalition forces' ties with warlords, rumors about his family's influence and why he believes dirty deals are sometimes necessary.

Western forces to blame for rising violence in Afghanistan: Karzai

Afghan President Hamid Karzai puts the blame for rising violence in his country on international forces, saying they have mismanaged the fight against the resurging Taliban.

Pomegranates and Pakistan: our role in Afghan peace

Afghan bank finally claims back its cash after 22 years - with interest

Doctors: Kennedy Brain Surgery a Success

Doctors: Kennedy Brain Surgery a Success
Doctors say Kennedy was awake during tumor removal
Chemo and radiation next for Kennedy after surgery

UN refugee agency welcomes adoption of pact to ban cluster bombs

Delegations from 111 States agreed on the text of the Convention on Cluster Munitions after two weeks of negotiations in Dublin that were also attended by representatives of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). The pact will now be signed in Oslo in December.
Ban 'delighted' at adoption of new cluster bomb convention

Ban to attend international conference on Afghan reconstruction

29 May 2008 – Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon will attend the International Conference on Afghanistan being staged in Paris on 12 June as part of international efforts to help with reconstruction and development in the Asian country.

International conference raises $8.2 billion for Afghanistan's recovery - UN