Monday, September 29, 2008

Afghanistan: What is the plan?

Food crisis competes for Afghan "hearts and minds"

KABUL (Reuters) - Afghanistan is facing one of its worst food shortages in years as winter approaches, with prices of the staple wheat rising 60 percent in the first half of the year after Pakistan slapped export bans, a poor harvest and drought.

Rising prices are hitting what is already one of the poorest countries in the world, with more than half of the population living below the poverty line.
Food crisis competes for Afghan "hearts and minds" - Yahoo! News

Olmert: Israel withdrawal needed -- BBC

Outgoing PM Ehud Olmert says Israel must withdraw from almost all the land it occupied in 1967 if it wants peace with Syria and the Palestinians.

He said this would include parts of East Jerusalem, which Palestinians want as the capital of their future state.

Pakistanis flee into Afghanistan -- BBC

The UN says 20,000 people have fled Pakistan's tribal area of Bajaur for Afghanistan amid fighting between troops and militants in recent months.
The human and political fall-out of the attack

Stocks crushed -- CNNMoney

NEW YORK-- The day's loss knocked out approximately $1.2 trillion in market value, the first post-$1 trillion day ever, according to a drop in the Dow Jones Wilshire 5000, the broadest measure of the stock market.

Bailout plan rejected - supporters scramble

Stock markets reacted violently. Investors who had been counting on the rescue plan's passage sent the Dow Jones industrial average down well over 700 points. The stock gauge closed 778 points lower - nearly 7%. (Full coverage)
Wondering which bank is next
Bank bailouts sweep Europe
Stocks crushed

Kidnapped Afghan diplomat recovered in Pakistan

ISLAMABAD (Reuters) - Afghanistan's top diplomat in Pakistan, ambassador-designate Abdul Khaliq Farahi, was "recovered" on Monday, a week after gunmen kidnapped him and killed his driver, Pakistani officials said.

"He has been recovered," said an intelligence agency official who declined to be identified.

Taliban Claim Responsibility in Killing of Key Female Afghan Officer

Citigroup Buys Bank Operations of Wachovia

Citigroup reached an agreement early Monday morning to acquire the banking operations of the Wachovia Corporation after making a daring bid that pulled the deeply troubled company from the brink of collapse.
F.D.I.C. News Release
Comptroller of the Currency News Release
Statement by Treasury Secretary

BAILOUT FAILS; STOCKS PLUNGE, Dow Loses 777 Points After Vote

The president was described as “very disappointed” by a spokesman, Tony Fratto. Mr. Bush’s disappointment may have been deepened by the fact that members of his own party voted against the package by more than 2 to 1.
House Rejects Package, 228-205
For Stocks, Worst Single-Day Drop in Two Decades
Citigroup Buys Bank Operations of Wachovia

Dow Drops 778 Points as Congress Defeats Bailout Bill

Spooked investors fled the market today after the House rejected the $700 billion financial plan to rescue the financial Postmarket.
Why the Bailout Bill Failed
CNN - The Associated Press

Bloomberg warns of possible 'next wave' crisis

House Narrowly Defeats Bailout Legislation

After a week of intense debate in both party caucuses, 95 Democrats and 133 Republicans opposed the bill just five weeks before they face voters in an election that is shaping up as a referendum on the economy; 140 Democrats and 65 Republicans supported the controversial measure.
Bush: Congress Must Pass Bailout Bill
Dow Drops 778 Points as Congress Defeats Bailout Bill
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Dow Drops 778 Points as Congress Defeats Bailout Bill
FDIC Announces Citigroup to Buy Wachovia

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Karzai’s Popularity Slips in Afghanistan

Poor Economy, Corruption Will Make Aghan President's Re-Election Bid Next Year Difficult
Karzai’s Popularity Slips in Afghanistan
The Washington Independent

Blair Praises U.S. Presidential Candidates

Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair on Thursday offered a nod of approval to the U.S. government's decision to bail out Wall Street.

He also offered words of support for Sens. Barack Obama and John McCain. "I think you have two very good people standing to be your president, and I think you actually can take a lot of comfort from that."
Bailout Will Dominate New President's Agenda

Poverty, unemployment driving Afghanistan towards instability

Though there is no exact statistic about the rate of unemployment in Afghanistan, it is said that some 40 percent of the country's 25 million populations are jobless and some 5 million Afghans live under poverty line in the war-battered nation.

The war-torn and landlocked Afghanistan is largely dependent on international community's assistance to recover from over three decades of war and civil strife.

INTERVIEW-Rice sees promising Pakistan-Afghanistan rapport

Poppy-Free Nangarhar Province Shows Afghanistan Improvements

WASHINGTON, DC - Sept. 26, 2008 – Things are looking up in Afghanistan's Nangarhar province, a region that has been declared poppy-free and experiences little insurgent-generated violence, senior U.S. officials posted in Afghanistan told Pentagon reporters today.

Afghanistan's Karzai: 'I yelled, Bush smiled'

WASHINGTON (AFP) - Karzai noted that Bush leaves office in January, and told him that Afghans grateful for the 2001 US-led toppling of the Taliban Islamist regime will remember his fondly -- and invited him to come see for himself.

"My trip this time to Washington, as I insisted to be here with you, is for one reason alone, and that is to thank you -- and through you the American people -- for all that you have done for Afghanistan," said Karzai.

"I would like you to remember, as you leave office, that Afghanistan will remember you tremendously nicely, with affection," he added. "Come and visit us so we can show it to you in a manner that we do traditionally in Afghanistan."
Afghan security worse, more police needed - U.N. Reuters

$700-billion Wall Street bailout plan is unveiled -- LATimes

WASHINGTON -- The plan includes a program to purchase bad assets and an insurance program to underwrite others. It would also require the government to gain an equity stake in companies that benefit from the rescue, ensuring that taxpayers would make money once the assets regained some value. And the deal would require curbs on executive pay and the $700 billion to be released in installments.

The 110-page bill is posted on the website of the House Financial Services Committee. It is expected to be voted on by the House as soon as Monday and by the Senate on Wednesday.
Bloomberg - Chicago Tribune - New York Times

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Candidates Each Claim Debate Victory in New Ads

What a Surge Can't Solve in Afghanistan

If there was one foreign policy issue on which Barack Obama and John McCain agreed during Friday night's debate, it was that the United States should send more troops to Afghanistan. The bipartisan enthusiasm for this surge is so strong that there has been relatively little discussion of whether this strategy makes sense.

With the security situation in his country...

With the security situation in his country steadily deteriorating and Taliban attacks on the rise, Afghan President Hamid Karzai sat down in New York last week with Newsweek-Washington Post's Lally Weymouth to discuss the future of Afghanistan. Excerpts:
With the security situation in his country...

Paul Newman: A First-Class Actor and a Class Act

Paul Newman: 1925 - 2008
Obituaries: Academy Award-Winning Actor Paul Newman Dies at 83
Remembering Paul Newman
View All Items in This Story
Hollywood Icon Dies at 83

A Magnetic Titan of Hollywood - nytimes
Bad Boy to Rebel to Used-Up Guy on the Hustle
One of the Last Greats

Entertainment: Legendary Actor Paul Newman Dies At 83

A Hollywood legend known as much for his generosity as for his bright blue eyes.

(AP) Paul Newman, the Academy-Award winning superstar who personified cool as an activist, race car driver, popcorn impresario and the anti-hero of such films as "Hud," "Cool Hand Luke" and "The Color of Money," has died. He was 83. Newman died Friday after a long battle with cancer at his farmhouse near Westport, publicist Jeff Sanderson said. He was surrounded by his family and close friends.
Paul Newman 1925-2008
Legendary Actor Paul Newman Dies At 83
Photos: Paul Newman 1925-2008

One-On-One With Sarah Palin -- CBS News anchor Katie Couric

CBS Evening News Anchor Katie Couric Interviews Alaska's Governor On The Ailing Economy
Exclusive: Sarah Palin
Exclusive: Sarah Palin Part II

Day One: The Economy Transcript Clip One Clip Two Short Clip: Another Great Depression?
Day Two: Foreign Policy Transcript Video with online exclusives Short clip: Alaska's Neighbor, Russia

Horserace: Palin Calls For Surge In Afghanistan

International Community Makes $16 Billion Commitment for UN Millennium Development Goals

World leaders met this week and pledged $16 billion to achieve the UN Millennium Development Goals by 2015. The goals seek to cut extreme poverty in half and were adopted unanimously by UN member states in 2000. One focus of the new monetary commitments is on protecting and improving health conditions for women globally.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Ancient Kabul garden in bloom again after years of ruin

KABUL (AFP) - Babur's Garden, on the slope of an arid mountain, is in flower again after years of desolation brought on by drought and war, an island of green in an Afghan capital oppressed by heat and dust.
Ancient Kabul garden in bloom again after years of ruin - Yahoo! News

President Bush Participates in Video Teleconference with President Karzai -- For Immediate Release

President Bush Participates in Video Teleconference with President Karzai of Afghanistan, United States Provincial Reconstruction Team Leaders, National Guard Agriculture Development Team Representatives, and Afghan Governors

Click here: Rebuilding Afghanistan

Bush, Karzai discuss conditions in Afghanistan

WASHINGTON -- President Bush on Friday highlighted civilian reconstruction work that has improved daily life in Afghanistan, where extremist attacks have made this the most violent year since the U.S.-led invasion that ousted the hard-line Taliban regime in 2001.

The meeting was likely Karzai's last with Bush at the White House. Karzai thanked Bush for his commitment to his country _ and for the president's patience in coping with the nation's many problems. "I've yelled at times," Karzai said, prompting a laugh from Bush. "I've been angry at times. But you've always been smiling and generous, and just so nice."
President Bush, center, and Afghanistan...
Bush, Karzai to discuss conditions in Afghanistan - Yahoo! News

Obama, McCain Face Off Over Spending And War

Listen: First presidential debate on the economy and foreign policy

Election 2008

Lawmakers Lurch Toward Accord On Bailout Plan

President Bush said on Friday that a bailout package to offer financial assistance to troubled financial services firms will be passed.

The U.S. Economy'sBrush With Death

Conservatives Viewed Bailout Plan as Last Straw

WASHINGTON — The seeds of the House Republican revolt over the financial industry bailout were sown in an e-mail message circulated Monday night as internal animosity built quickly over the Bush administration’s request for $700 billion to prevent an economic collapse.
Three Weeks of Financial Turmoil

Wachovia, Looking for Help, Turns to Citigroup
Wachovia approaches potential buyers Financial Times

Candidates Clash on Economy and Iraq

Both men offered qualified support for the financial bailout plan being discussed in Congress, saying that the nation had to take action to shore up the economy but that certain conditions needed to be attached to the plan.

Video Transcript

U.S. says Pakistan shot at U.S. copters in Afghanistan

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Two NATO helicopters fired upon by Pakistani forces on Thursday were U.S. military aircraft operating inside Afghanistan, the Pentagon said.
U.S. says Pakistan shot at U.S. copters in Afghanistan - swissinfo
U.S. says Pakistan shot at U.S. copters in Afghanistan - Yahoo! News

Talks Falter on Bailout Deal

White House Summit Fails to Yield Accord as House GOP Floats New Plan
Economists Question Basis of Paulson's Plan
As Credit Crisis Threatens, Smaller Banks Thrive

Karzai scolds U.S., allies for killing of civilians

WASHINGTON — The killing of innocent Afghans by foreign troops imperils the credibility of the United States and its allies in the war against Taliban insurgents, Afghanistan's President Hamid Karzai told the United Nations Wednesday.

Zardari lashes out at US in UN speech

Pakistan's President Asif Ali Zardari has lashed out at the United States over alleged violation of airspace on the border with Afghanistan

In a speech to the UN General Assembly, Zardari said Pakistan would not tolerate violations of its sovereignty, even by its allies.

Palin Sits Down With 2 Foreign Leaders

Nominee Talks to Afghan, Colombian Presidents, Also Confers With Kissinger

Speaking later at the Asia Society, Karzai described his meeting with the vice presidential nominee as "very good. I found her quite a capable woman. She asked the right questions on Afghanistan." He added, "She was concerned and she said how can she help, so I'm very pleased with that meeting."
In U.N. Speech, Bush Focuses on Terrorism

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Bush Afghan review could recommend changes soon

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A wide-ranging Bush administration review of the war in Afghanistan could recommend changes to U.S. strategy in less than a month, officials said on Wednesday.
Bush Afghan review could recommend changes soon - Yahoo! News

As Crime Increases in Kabul, So Does Nostalgia for Taliban

Afghan FM asks Pakistan to secure safe release of kidnapped diplomat

Daily Times - Leading News Resource of Pakistan

Shots fired in US-Pakistan clash -- BBC

The United States military says US and Afghan forces have exchanged gunfire with Pakistani troops across the border with Afghanistan.

Iran’s Leader Criticizes U.S. Policies Around World

White House Talks End Without Bailout Deal

White House Talks End Without Bailout Deal

Doctors Urge Research On Cell Phone-Cancer Issue

Can Working The Night Shift Cause Cancer?
Scientist: Cell Phone Use May Increase Cancer Risk
Study Finds Link Between Plastics Chemical, Disease

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

At U.N., Karzai notes Afghan tension with U.S.

UNITED NATIONS - Afghanistan's president on Wednesday decried civilian casualties in his country from foreign bombing raids, telling world leaders at the U.N. General Assembly that innocent deaths can seriously hurt legitimate efforts to fight terrorism.
U.S. presses NATO to target Afghan drug lords - Afghanistan-
UN hears call for ‘Afghan-ization’ of military, development processes

Global leaders set to meet at UN to chart progress towards development goals

Afghan president addresses UN General Assembly

UNITED NATIONS (AP) - Afghan President Hamid Karzai wants the international community to strengthen his country's army and police, telling world leaders Wednesday that a more powerful Afghanistan can better fight terrorists.Karzai, though, criticized casualties from foreign bombing raids, saying in an address to the U.N. General Assembly that the deaths can seriously undermine
Afghan president addresses UN General Assembly

Bush Makes Final Address As President To U.N.

But his call for U.N. member states to work together to fight violent extremism was not echoed by other leaders who spoke. Most were more concerned about the financial crisis shaking America and what it could mean for poor nations around the world.

Bush said the U.N. is needed now more than ever to prevent acts of terror.
Palin Meets World Leaders In New York
Afghanistan Seeks Changes In Western Troops Deal

Bush Calls For Action On Economy


What Ever Happened to Afghanistan?

As The Times reported on Tuesday, President Bush and his top civilian and military aides are conducting four major new reviews of the war strategy and overall mission there.
Bush Administration Reviews Its Afghanistan Policy, Exposing ...

Bush Administration Reviews Its Afghanistan Policy, Exposing Points of Contention

PresTranscript: ident Bush’s Speech to the Nation on the Economic Crisis

We've seen triple-digit swings in the stock market. Major financial institutions have teetered on the edge of collapse, and some have failed. As uncertainty has grown, many banks have restricted lending, credit markets have frozen, and families and businesses have found it harder to borrow money.

We're in the midst of a serious financial crisis, and the federal government is responding with decisive action.

President Issues Warning to Americans (September 25, 2008)

President Issues Warning to Americans

Mr. Bush used a prime-time address to warn Americans that “a long and painful recession” could occur if Congress does not act quickly. “Our entire economy is in danger,” he said.
Speech: Video Transcript

TRANSCRIPT; President Bush’s Speech to the Nation on the Economic Crisis (September 24, 2008)

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Some Lawmakers Seek To Broaden Rescue Bill

Who Will Pay For The Wall Street Bailout?
Congress Eyes Oversight In Wall Street Cleanup


Hill Clashes on Rescue Plan; Dollar Drags Down Markets

Bailout's Tricky Balancing Act: How Much Is Too Much?

Currency's Dive Points to Further Pain
Bloomberg warns of possible 'next wave' crisis

Top Afghan diplomat abducted in Pakistan ambush

PESHAWAR, Pakistan (AFP) - Unidentified gunmen abducted Afghanistan's ambassador-designate to Pakistan and killed his driver Monday in a brazen ambush in the northwestern city of Peshawar, officials said.

DE BORCHGRAVE: Losing the Afghan war?

Is NATO losing the Afghan war, as the Soviet Union did in 1980s and the British Empire in the 19th century? Notwithstanding NATO and U.S. denials, the answer is affirmative. And abundant evidence is provided in a detailed 113-page report released by the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS). The author is Anthony Cordesman, CSIS' senior strategic thinker.

Bill Clinton: Hillary didn't want the vice presidency

(CNN) – Sitting on a couch shmoozing the ladies of The View on Monday, Bill Clinton said Hillary didn’t want to be Barack Obama’s running mate, but that she would have taken the job if she was asked.

Cafferty: What will Sarah Palin and Hamid Karzai talk about?

CNN Political Ticker: All politics, all the time Blog Archive ...

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Interpol pushes Afghanistan to record 'terrorist' prisoners

AFP: Interpol pushes Afghanistan to record 'terrorist' prisoners

نیاز افغانستان به سیستم بایومتریک -- BBC

INTERVIEW-Military surge in Afghanistan not enough - Interpol

The Plain Vanilla Revolutionary -- David Ignatius

KABUL -- Bob Gates looks uncomfortable in his pinstriped suit, standing in the hot sun outside the U.S. Embassy here before a gaggle of Afghan reporters. But he wants to send a message of contrition to a country that is angry about civilian deaths caused by U.S. airstrikes. He announces later that the United States will adopt a new approach of compensating the victims of such accidents first and then investigating the details.

$700 Billion Is Sought for Wall Street in Vast Bailout

Text of Draft Proposal for Bailout Plan (September 21, 2008)
Text of Bush’s Radio Address (September 21, 2008)
Audio: Bush’s Radio Address (mp3)

INTERVIEW-Karzai to discuss Afghan casualties with Bush | Reuters

KABUL, Sept 20 (Reuters) - Afghan President Hamid Karzai will work with U.S. President George W. Bush at a meeting later this month to find ways to reduce civilian casualties, the foreign minister said on Saturday.

FACTBOX-Security developments in Afghanistan, Sept 20 Reuters

Karzai Agrees To Meet With Palin

Republican vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin will meet next week with Afghan President Hamid Karzai in New York, on the sidelines of the opening of the U.N. General Assembly, according to Afghan officials in Washington.
General Petraeus told he 'must succeed' in Afghanistan - Telegraph

At Least 60 Dead In Massive Pakistan Suicide Bombing

Bombing Kills at Least 60 In the Capital of Pakistan -
Historic Loss for Marriott Obama, McCain React

Zardari could face threat from Army: IISS report Pakistan News ...

Explosion at Pakistan Marriott hotel kills 40 - Los Angeles Times

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan - At least 40 people were killed Saturday evening in a massive truck bombing that struck a five-star hotel popular with Pakistani leaders and foreign diplomats in the heart of this violence-racked capital.
Suicide bomb guts Pakistan Marriott hotel; 40 dead - Yahoo! News
AFP: Bush to meet Pakistan's Zardari as ties strain

Friday, September 19, 2008

Danger Along the Durand Line -- PATRICK SEALE

The Durand Line was a British creation. It was demarcated and then signed into a treaty on Nov. 12 1893, between the ruler of Afghanistan, Amir Abdul Rahman Khan, and Sir Mortimer Durand, foreign secretary of what was then British India.

The idea was to create a buffer zone to protect British India from possible Czarist Russian aggression in what was then the "Great Game" between the British and Russian empires. When British India was partitioned between India and Pakistan in 1947, the Durand Line was recognized as the Pakistan-Afghan border.
Danger Along the Durand Line - Middle East Times

US wants $20bn to fund Afghanistan effort

The US is seeking $20bn from its allies to help stabilise Afghanistan as it plans to send thousands more of its own troops to confront the growing insurgency in the country, American officials disclosed yesterday.

Bush Urges Congress to Enact Rescue Package

President Bush, warning that urgent steps are needed to "to preserve America's financial system," asked Congress today to put aside partisan differences and enact a historic rescue package now being finalized by his administration.
Bush says government role essential to ease crisis
Transcript: Paulson Responds to Market Instability

Transcript: Bush Remarks on Financial Crisis

Stocks Surge as U.S. Acts to Shore Up Money Funds and Limits Short Selling

Vast Bailout by U.S. Proposed in Bid to Stem Financial Crisis
S.E.C. Temporarily Blocks Short Sales of Financial Stocks
Treasury to Guarantee Money Market Funds
Paulson Explains Need for Plan to Buy Mortgages
Statement by Treasury Secretary Henry M. Paulson Jr.

McCain, Obama seize on Wall Street woes -- LATimes

SEC Ponders Temporary Ban on Short-Selling BusinessWeek

U.S. Drafts Sweeping Plan to Fight Crisis -- WSJ

Paulson Briefs Congress on Idea to Buy Bad Assets From Banks, Insure Money-Market Funds; Stocks Rebound Sharply
New bailout planned CNNMoney
Reuters - The Associated Press

آمریکا قول آماده کردن طرح نجات مالی را داد -- BBC

مقام های آمریکایی می گویند یک طرح "جامع" را برای مقابله با آنچه که به یک بحران مالی در جهان بدل شده است تنظیم خواهند کرد.
آمریکا قول آماده کردن طرح نجات مالی را داد
اقدام بانک های بزرگ دنیا تکانی به بازارهای مالی داد
بحران در بازارهای مالی ادامه دارد

کابلوف: امريکا زموږ او افغانستان اړيکي خرابوي -- BBC

په کابل کې د روسيې سفير امريکا او د هغې متحدين په دې تورن کړل چې گواکي غواړي د روسيې اړېکي له افغانستان سره خراب کړي.
په افغانستان کې د روسيې سفير ضمير کابلوف له بي بي سي سره په يوه ځانگړې مرکه کې د شمالي انتلانتيک (ناټو) د يو شمېر غړيو هېوادونو بهرني سياستونه د روسيې پر وړاندې له دښمنۍ ډک وبلل
کابلوف: امريکا زموږ او افغانستان اړيکي خرابوي

انتقاد سفیر روسیه در کابل از آمریکا و بریتانیا

Arming the Taleban -- By Kate Clark

Twenty-year war Countering Taleban plans for a long-term conflict

Food left to rot on Kabul shop shelves

THE GOVERNMENT has failed to collect out of date food from shop shelves, Kabulis say.

Rice Says Russia Has Taken a 'Dark Turn'

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice stepped up U.S. criticism of Russia yesterday, saying its military action against neighboring Georgia last month failed to achieve Moscow's objectives and has put Russia on a path to "self-imposed isolation and international irrelevance."

Speaking before a gathering of the German Marshall Fund in Washington, Rice vowed that the United States and Europe "will resist any Russian attempt to consign sovereign nations and free peoples to some archaic 'sphere of influence' " and "will not allow Russia to wield a veto over the future of our Euro-Atlantic community."
Russia envoy warns NATO on air space to Afghanistan - Yahoo! News

Bush Defends 'Extraordinary' Steps

After days of silence amid a broadening financial crisis, President Bush yesterday defended his approval of "extraordinary measures" to shore up faltering Wall Street firms and said his administration would remain focused on the "serious challenges" facing the troubled economy.
Bush Defends 'Extraordinary' Steps
White House Avoids Standard Assurance About Economy

Congress vows quick action on bank rescue plan

WASHINGTON -- The stock market finally found reason to rally Thursday, and Congress promised quick action as the Bush administration prepared a plan to rescue banks from the bad debt at the heart of the worst crisis on Wall Street since the Great Depression.
In Crucible of Crisis, Paulson, Bernanke, Geithner Forge a Committee of Three

Attacks on aid challenge Afghan reconstruction

KABUL (Reuters) - Food convoys hit by rocket propelled grenades along major highways. A U.N. polio vaccination team targeted by a suicide bomber. A spurt in kidnaps.

Attacks on aid agencies in Afghanistan have spiraled this year, hampering reconstruction efforts just as the country faces both frustration from ordinary Afghans over slow development as well as one of its worst food crises and droughts in years.

War and Drought Threaten Afghan Food Supply

YAKOWLANG, Afghanistan — A pitiable harvest this year has left small farmers all over central and northern Afghanistan facing hunger, and aid officials are warning of an acute food shortage this winter for nine million Afghans, more than a quarter of the population.
Looming Food Crisis in Afghanistan

کمک آمریکا برای مبارزه با فقر در افغانستان -- BBC

آمریکا اعلام کرده که برای کاهش فقر در افغانستان حاضر است سی و پنج هزار تن مواد خوراکی را در اختیار این کشور قرار دهد
سازمان توسعه آمریکا (USAID) در یک نامه خبری گفته است که در نظر دارد سی و پنج تن مواد خوراکی را به ارزش چهل میلیون دلار در زمستان امسال به مناطق آسیب دیده از خشکسالی ها بفرستد و هم بخشی از این کمک را به افرادی اختصاص دهد که توانایی خرید مواد خوراکی ندارند.
کمک آمریکا برای مبارزه با فقر در افغانستان
'چهارده درصد مردم خشخاش می کارند'

نشریات کابل: ۲۸ سنبله
سفر رابرت گیتس به افغانستان

Fed and Treasury Offer to Work With Congress on Bailout Plan

WASHINGTON — The head of the Treasury and the Federal Reserve began discussions on Thursday with Congressional leaders on what could become the biggest bailout in United States history.
Asian Stocks Rise on Hopes of U.S. Action

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

President Bush's plan may be too late for Afghanistan

MOSCOW. (RIA Novosti political commentator Pyotr Goncharov) - The Pentagon is negotiating with Afghanistan and Pakistan the possibility of launching special operations inside Pakistan.
RIA Novosti - Opinion & analysis - President Bush's plan may be ...
President Bush's plan may be too late for Afghanistan - Topix

Russia envoy warns NATO on air space to Afghanistan

KABUL (Reuters) - Russia threatened to block NATO from using its air space for operations in Afghanistan if member states did not stop "hostile" policies toward Moscow, the Kremlin's top diplomat in Kabul said.
Russia envoy warns NATO on air space to Afghanistan - Yahoo! News

Gates: US reviewing its Afghanistan war strategy

LONDON (AP) — The Bush administration is considering changing its war strategy in Afghanistan in light of rising levels of violence and an increasingly complex insurgent threat, Defense Secretary Robert Gates said Thursday.
ABC News: Gates: U.S. Reviewing Its Afghanistan War Strategy

Stocks Rise As Plan To Handle Bank Debts Is Aired

Do Federal Moves Take Us Back To The New Deal?

Gates Tries to Ease Tension in Afghan Civilian Deaths

KABUL, Afghanistan — Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates sought Wednesday to defuse growing tensions with the Afghan government over civilian deaths, expressing his “sincere condolences” and promising speedier compensation and investigation after such casualties.
Afghanistan Is in Its Worst Shape Since 2001, European Diplomat Says

Bush Emerges After Days of Financial Crisis

“The American people can be sure we will continue to act to strengthen and stabilize our financial markets and improve investor confidence.”
Fed Offers $180 Billion for Ailing Money Markets
Dow Swings Back, Closing Up About 400 Points

Scientists, FDA face off over safety of BPA in consumer plastics

Scientists link chemical used in plastics to health problems
Activists Hit the (Plastic) Bottle Again

Stocks Soar; Banks Lead the Way -- WSJ

Stocks whipsawed all day long Thursday, ending on a high note as investors dove back into the shares of commercial banks, hailed steps by regulators to muzzle bearish betting activity, and hoped for a new government entity to help Wall Street unwind its disastrous credit bets.

Your Money: Q&A: Shielding Your Nest Egg From Financial Woes

Nervous investors saw their fears realized this week as the stock market tumbled to a low point not seen since right after the Sept. 11 attacks.
History's Advice During A Panic? Don't Panic

Afghanistan in Backward Slide, Analysts Say

VOA News - Afghanistan in Backward Slide, Analysts Say

France wants Europe to lift Afghan troop restrictions

"Most of Europe has made NATO responsible for their security. Therefore, the weakness of Europe is typified by what you see in Afghanistan," Morin told
France wants Europe to lift Afghan troop restrictions - Yahoo! News
France wants Europe to lift Afghan troop restrictions ...
France wants Europe to lift Afghan troop restrictions - swissinfo

Money Market Funds Enter a World of Risk

“It used to be O.K. to have money in a CD, but now you have to worry, ‘Is my bank going to go under?’ ” he added. “You used to be able to buy a guaranteed annuity from an insurance company, but now you have to worry, ‘Is my insurance company going to go under?’ Or, you can have auction-rate preferred securities, but now there is no market.”

A money market deposit account, on the other hand, is entirely different. It is an interest-bearing bank account that is insured — up to $100,000 per account and up to $250,000 for some retirement accounts — by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation. Joint accounts are insured for $100,000 per account holder.
Money-Market Alternatives Are Limited, Advisers Say (Update2) Bloomberg
BusinessWeek - MarketWatch - Nightly Business Report

How Safe Is Your Money Fund?

The strains on the Reserve Primary Money Market Fund have prompted investors to ask whether their own money-market funds could be at risk. Money-market funds are not insured or guaranteed by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. or any government agency. But fund companies have historically covered losses.

Beyond Wall St., Losses Spill Over

Livni narrowly wins party vote, eyes Israel PM job

TEL AVIV (Reuters) - The final result was a relief to Livni, a 50-year-old lawyer, who had declared victory to supporters hours earlier.

"The good guys won," the one-time Mossad intelligence agent had told her backers within the centrist Kadima party.
Analyze This: Can Livni now reshape Kadima in her own image? Jerusalem Post

Gates apologises for civilian deaths

Spy agency disrupts Kabul criminal gang

'Key members' of kidnapping network arrested by secret service

Gates regret over Afghan civilians killed in air strike

KABUL (AFP) - US Defence Secretary Robert Gates Wednesday announced a joint probe with Afghanistan into civilian s in an air strike, and suggested more troops may be sent next year to help fight Taliban rebels.

"On those rare occasions when we do make mistakes, when there is an error, we need to apologise quickly, to compensate civilians quickly, and then carry out an investigation," he said.

US 'must cut' Afghan casualties -- BBC

The US must do more to limit civilian casualties in Afghanistan, the Defence Secretary Robert Gates has said after meeting President Hamid Karzai.

Mr Gates said he regretted the loss oflives and would be discussing the subject with the US military. The issue of civilian casualties has caused increasing anger in Afghanistan.

"You have my word we will do everything in our power to target our common enemy while protecting the good people of Afghanistan," Mr Gates said after his meeting with President Karzai.

"I extend my sincere condolences and personal regret over the recent loss of lives as a result of coalition air strikes."

Fundamental question: Is economy really OK?

Housing market in tatters, Wall Street in turmoil, but still plenty of strength

Dow falls 449 as fear sweeps Wall St.

Stocks fell to their lowest levels in three years today after the Federal Reserve agreed to lend up to $85 billion to troubled insurance giant American International Group (AIG, news, msgs).

At the close, the Dow Jones industrials were down 449 points, or 4.1%, to 10,610. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index was down 57 points, or 4.7%, to 1,156, and the Nasdaq Composite Index was down 109 points, or 4.9%, to 2,099.

All 30 Dow stocks were lower, along with 478 S&P 500 stocks and 92 stocks in the Nasdaq-100 Index ($NDX.X), which tracks the largest Nasdaq stocks.

Pakistan seeks British help over border strains with US

LONDON (AFP) - Britain agrees that US cross-border incursions by US forces into Pakistan "didn't help," Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari said Tuesday, as he sought London's help in a simmering row with Washington.

Pakistan troops ordered to open fire on US raiders AP

Political Tea Leaves in Afghanistan -- Author: Greg Bruno

On most matters of social development, from health care to literacy, the United States and Afghanistan are worlds apart. But on presidential politics, the disparate democracies both find themselves enmeshed in prolonged electoral contests with potentially transformative results. A year before Afghans cast ballots for their president, voters, politicians, and analysts already are dissecting President Hamid Karzai's political record. And like the American contest, the race for Afghanistan's top office
Political Tea Leaves in Afghanistan - Council on Foreign Relations
Political Tea Leaves in Afghanistan -

Ashdown: Obama may be Afghanistan's best hope -- The Guardian

The former leader of the Liberal Democrats, Lord Ashdown, warned his party yesterday that there was a real chance of Afghanistan slipping into civil war.

Pakistan spy agency must be reformed - U.S. official

Willing To Win in Afghanistan?

'The President Will Never Forget 9/11' (SPIEGEL INTERVIEW WITH ANDREW CARD)

'The President Will Never Forget 9/11'
Part 2: "Bush Was a Good Leader"

AIG Gets $85 Billion Fed Loan, Cedes Control to Avoid Collapse

AIG Gets $85 Billion Fed Loan, Cedes Control to Avoid Collapse
Fed’s $85 Billion Loan Rescues Insurer New York Times
US government rescues insurer AIG
کمک دولت آمریکا به بزرگترین شرکت بیمه این کشور

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

بوش گل اغا شېرزى په ځانگړي ډول وستايۀ -- BBC

ښاغلي بوش د ناقانونه نشه يي توکو د توليدوونکو او لېږدوونکو هېوادونو د کلني لېست د خپرولو پرمهال ويلي چې تېر کال د افغانستان ١٨ ولايتونه له کوکنارو پاک شول، چې د بل کال په پرتله پنځه زيات شوي دي
بوش گل اغا شېرزى په ځانگړي ډول وستايۀ
امريکا ننگرهار ولايت په لس ميليون ډالرو ونازاوۀ

US general faces new Afghan challenge -- BBC

Gen David Petraeus is winging his way from Iraq to Central Command (Centcom), where he will oversee US military operations throughout the Middle East, Afghanistan and Pakistan.

Killings of Afghan civilians sharply up, U.N. says

GENEVA, Sept 16 (Reuters) - Nearly 1,500 Afghan civilians were killed in the first eight months of this year, many in attacks on schools, medical clinics, bazaars and other crowded areas, the United Nations said on Tuesday.
Killings of Afghan civilians sharply up, U.N. says - Yahoo! News

Afghanistan's kidnapping industry -- BBC

Six or seven men wearing military-style uniforms approached businessman Mohammed Easa and then pistol-whipped him. Mr Easa's kidnap is not an isolated incident - on average a businessman is kidnapped at least once a week in Afghanistan.

UN chief blasts 'cowardly' Afghan attacks

UNITED NATIONS (AFP) - UN chief Ban Ki-Moon blasted as "unacceptable and cowardly" the suicide attack on a UN convoy that killed three people, his spokesman said.
UN chief blasts "cowardly" Afghan attacks World News

Afghan gov't reviews preparation for strategic talks with U.S.

String of Deadly Metrolink Accidents in California, Corona and Chatsworth

anncg8 said...
"300 years from it's next scheduled stop.." ? WOW!

On a more serious note... I have been driving across railroad tracks when the gate just dropped on my car. Luckily the train that cued the gate was stopped or I would have been trapped on the tracks with an oncoming train! There was no warning; no lights, no bells, no slowly lowered gate, just a karate chop to my car. No one is safe! (I am sure this is why buses stop and listen before they proceed.) Be Careful peeps!
September 13, 2008 1:02 PM
String of Deadly Metrolink Accidents in California, Corona and Chatsworth
Click here: Metrolink train and car colide in Corona, one dead - Topix
Driver dies when Metrolink train hits car in Corona

Train Disaster: Metrolink train and car colide in Corona, one dead

A Metrolink train collided with a car apparently trying to cross the tracks in Corona late this afternoon, killing the driver and injuring one person aboard the commuter train, authorities said.
Read All 10 Comments
Metrolink train and car colide in Corona, one dead - A Metrolink train collided with a car in Corona, killing the driver.

String of Deadly Metrolink Accidents in California, Corona and Chatsworth
Click here: TRANS Second Metrolink accident in Corona, CA yesterday - TimeBomb 2000

Monday, September 15, 2008

AFGHANISTAN: IRC reviews option to resume activities

KABUL, 15 September 2008 (IRIN) - The International Rescue Committee (IRC) says it is still "reviewing and analysing" the security situation before deciding whether to resume activities in Afghanistan.

Braving Afghanistan's dangerous roads -- BBC

"I can guarantee your security among our fighters," the Taleban commander I met told me.
"But I can't protect you if the foreigners know you're here."

The Taleban commander listed the nationalities fighting in his area - Pakistanis, Arabs, Chechens, Iranians, even British. Yes, he said, two British Muslim converts.

In pictures
Afghan children talk about school struggles

Afghanistan Is in Its Worst Shape Since 2001, European Diplomat

Afghanistan Is in Its Worst Shape Since 2001, European Diplomat ...

Afghanistan frees young son of al-Qaida suspect

Dow Drops More Than 500 Points on Financial Turmoil

As Stocks Plunge, Treasury Secretary Promises Vigilance
Bush: Economy Strong Enough to Handle Meltdown
Q&A Transcript: Making Sense of the Turmoil

اجلاس مشترک افغانستان آمریکا برگزار می شود -- BBC

اجلاس مشترک افغانستان آمریکا برگزار می شود
افغانستان؛ هفت سال بعد از یازدهم سپتامبر
نشریات کابل: ۲۵ سنبله
تغییر استراتژی آمریکا در مبارزه با تروریسم

یازدهم سپتامبر و طالبان
'ما از طرح حمله یازدهم سپتامبر آگاه نبودیم'

طالبان: از ایران اسلحه می گیریم -- BBC

یک گزارشگر بی بی سی به شواهدی دست یافته که نشان می دهد گروه هایی در داخل ایران، از طریق مرز مشترک خود با افغانستان، به شورشیان طالبان اسلحه می فرستند
این سلاح ها، برای حمله به نیروهای آمریکایی و سربازان ناتو به کار می رود که ایران، منتقد حضور آنها در کنار مرزهای خود است
انتقاد آمریکا از 'سیاست مبهم' ایران در افغانستان

Iran 'sending weapons to Taleban' -- BBC

Elements in the Iranian state are sending weapons across the border to the Taleban in Afghanistan, a BBC investigation has uncovered.

Petraeus: more than troops needed in Afghanistan

BAGHDAD - U.S. Gen. David Petraeus said Sunday that experience in Iraq shows it will take political and economic progress as well as military action to tackle increased violence in Afghanistan.

"You don't kill or capture your way out of an industrial strength insurgency," he told The Associated Press in a telephone interview.
ABC News: Petraeus: More Than Troops Needed in Afghanistan

Afghanistan Is in Its Worst Shape Since 2001, European Diplomat Says

GENEVA — One of the most experienced Western envoys in Afghanistan said Sunday that conditions there had become the worst since 2001. He urged a concerted American and foreign response, even before a new American administration took office, to avoid “a very hot winter for all of us.”

“We thought we had found a miracle man,” Mr. Vendrell said, alluding to Mr. Karzai without naming him.
“Miracle men do not exist. Too much responsibility without power was invested in this person,” he said.

Peace Corps Online: Peace Corps Afghanistan

The Peace Corps In Afghanistan
Peace Corps Library
History of the Peace Corps

Sarah Chayes writes: Afghans don't support insurgency 16 Aug

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Bush to welcome Karzai September 26

WASHINGTON (AFP) - US President George W. Bush will host President Hamid Karzai of Afghanistan September 26 for talks on the war amid tensions with Pakistan over cross-border violence, the White House said Friday.

Bush "looks forward to discussing with President Karzai the state of the international community's efforts to improve security, governance, and reconstruction in Afghanistan," spokeswoman Dana Perino said in a statement.
President Bush to Welcome President Hamid Karzai of Afghanistan

UN: Five Countries Responsible for All Executions of Juvenile Offenders Since 2005 (Human Rights Watch)

In the 20-page report, “The Last Holdouts: Ending the Juvenile Death Penalty in Iran, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Pakistan, and Yemen,” Human Rights Watch

White House Criticizes Woodward Book Anew

The White House yesterday launched a formal attack on a new book that criticizes President Bush's handling of the Iraq war, arguing that author Bob Woodward's opinions are not supported by his own reporting.

An Afghan 'October surprise'? - Los Angeles Times

New technology used in Iraq and Afghanistan to hunt down and kill terrorists may inject itself into the presidential race.

FBI Outlines Plan to Expand Agents' Tactics; Hill Hearings Set -- washingtonpost

Community activists and the American Civil Liberties Union, which attended yesterday's briefing, question how a subject's race, ethnicity or religious orientation might become part of attracting FBI interest.

FBI Seeks to Loosen Restrictions -- WSJ

WASHINGTON -- Civil-rights groups and congressional critics have raised concerns about the proposed rules, charging that they open the way to potential civil-liberties violations.
New rules would give FBI more freedom in US operations,
Terror Plan Would Give FBI More Power New York Times
Washington Post - ABC News - Kansas City Star - Reuters

Hurricane Ike slams into populous Texas coast

Video: Ike Makes Landfall on Texas Coast AssociatedPress
Hurricane Ike: Storm marches inward USA Today

'Another US strike' hits Pakistan -- BBC

Missiles hit two buildings near Miranshah, the main town in the North Waziristan region on the Afghan border.

Palin Speculates About Obama and Clinton

WASILLA, Alaska -- Gov. Sarah Palin said Friday that she thinks Sen. Barack Obama probably regrets not picking Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton as his running mate.

Many Versions of 'Bush Doctrine'
Transcript: A Matter of Doctrine
Candidate Profile: Sarah Palin

Biden Releases His Tax Returns

Sen. Joseph R. Biden Jr., the Democratic vice presidential nominee, released 10 years of tax returns yesterday, attempting to put fresh pressure on his Republican counterpart to release her tax records.

Afghans arrested over disputed air strike deaths

Palin Tested On National Security By ABC's Gibson

Editorial: Gov. Palin’s Worldview
Op-Ed Columnist: She’s Not Ready

John McCain's Vice Presidential Candidate Talks With Charles Gibson in Exclusive Interview

WATCH: EXCLUSIVE Interview with Gov. Sarah Palin
WATCH: Gov. Sarah Palin: The Full Interview
Palin Says She's Ready to Be Vice President

Friday, September 12, 2008

Does killing Afghan civilians keep us safe? LATimes

Western airstrikes target terrorists, but innocents are caught in the crossfire.

This week, as we remember the nearly 3,000 American citizens who died in the rubble of the World Trade Center and the Pentagon or in a remote field in Pennsylvania on Sept. 11, 2001, we also should think about the civilians who are still dying in Afghanistan.

After all, American civilians are not the only innocents to have suffered the results of the horrific Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.
Bush Said to Give Orders Allowing Raids in Pakistan -
Bush said to give orders allowing raids in Pakistan ...

'Hidden Treasures' Closes in Washington After Succesful Four-Month Stay

When the exhibit "Afghanistan: Hidden Treasures of the National Museum, Kabul" opened to the public at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. on May 25, 2008, its 228 pieces and the story they told dazzled the visitors that came to view them. The New York Times called the exhibit "revelatory and heart-rending," while the Washington Diplomat noted that it expressed a "rousing tale of intrigue, discovery and courage in the face of extreme adversity."

Seven Years On, Terrorism Still Threatens Afghanistan

On September 11, 2001, the world woke up to a tragic day that has been recorded in recent history as a consequence of neglecting failing or failed states during the 1990s. The loss of more than 3,000 American lives was not just an isolated event that we sadly witnessed on the morning of 9/11 but the culmination of many such tragic events which had been unfolding before our watching eyes thousands of miles away from American shores in Afghanistan.

It is now an established fact by all accounts that had the United States and its allies helped rebuild Afghanistan after the withdrawal of the Soviet forces from the country in 1989 and the ensuing fall of the Afghan regime in 1992, the country would not have become a no man's land -- a hotbed for global extremism and terrorism -- in the following years. However, soon after Afghans effectively delivered the last knock-out blow to the falling "Evil Empire," the United States and its Cold War allies achieved their strategic objective in Afghanistan and quit the country, leaving its impoverished people to pick up the pieces on their own.

M. Ashraf Haidari,

Thursday, September 11, 2008

World: Failing Wheat Crop Causes Afghan Food Crisis

Morning Edition, September 11, 2008 · In Afghanistan, a lingering drought has led to the smallest wheat harvest in the country in years. Officials say the shortfall is nearly 1.7 million tons. Compounding the dilemma is a global spike in food prices.

Millions of Afghans are now in danger of going hungry, and the international community is responding to the crisis.

The U.S. recently donated 50,000 tons of wheat, but experts warn this kind of crisis will happen again unless the Afghan government and international donors start paying more attention to the country's farmers.
Civilian Casualties Stir Angst In Afghanistan

Dollar Rises to One-Year High Against Euro on Global Outlook

Sept. 11 (Bloomberg) -- The dollar rose to a one-year high against the euro on signs global growth is slowing, and the yen strengthened on speculation investors will sell higher-yielding assets funded by loans in Japan.
Dollar holds near one-year high vs. euro MarketWatch
Wall Street Journal

Bill Clinton says he'll do 'whatever I'm asked' for Obama

Obama and Bill Clinton Do Lunch Washington Post

Pentagon Memorial Dedicated on 7th Anniversary of Attacks

McCain, Obama Mark Anniversary at Ground Zero
Statements by McCain and Obama on 9/11 anniversary

Afghans say life no better after invasion

Seven years on, Afghanistan again 'war on terror' frontline ...
Afghans say life no better after invasion - Yahoo! News UK

Afghanistan's pain after 9/11 is civilian casualties: Karzai ...

The 43-page report, “‘Troops in Contact’: Airstrikes and Civilian Deaths in Afghanistan,”

Call for new Afghan strategy

The US and its allies are "running out of time" to turn round the situation in Afghanistan and need a new comprehensive strategy to deal with the conflict, the head of the US military warned yesterday.
Karzai backs U.S. strategy on militants in Pakistan ...
Karzai opposes long-term presence of foreign troops Reuters
Karzai opposes long-term presence of foreign troops - MSN News ...

Graft undermines support for Karzai

Billions of dollars in U.S., other foreign aid goes unaccounted for in Afghanistan

Afghans say life no better after invasion

SPIN BOLDAK, Afghanistan: "After the 9/11 attacks, when the U.S. and her allies overthrew the Taliban government, the U.S. promised the Afghan nation stability, safety and jobs," Haji Allah Dad, a 60-year-old trader in the southern town of Spin Boldak, said.

"But they have done nothing for us. They drop bombs on the civilian population and have killed thousands of Afghans in the last seven years, while the Taliban get stronger day by day."

"They (foreign forces) are not the enemy of the Taliban, they are the enemy of the Afghan people. The U.S. army calls us al Qaeda and kills us but we don't know what al-Qaeda is."

"But now security has become worse and people are escaping Afghanistan. If the insecurity continues, people will turn against the U.S. like they did against the Taliban."
Afghans say life no better after invasion - swissinfo

Seven years on, Afghanistan again 'war on terror' frontline

KABUL (AFP) - Seven years after the attacks on the World Trade Centre, Afghanistan is again the frontline of the US-led "war on terror" with extremist unrest intensifying and a new focus on Pakistan's tribal areas.

Human Rights Watch said in a report released Monday that the number of Afghan civilians killed by air strikes had tripled between 2006 and 2007, from 116 to 321.

Corruption fed by drug trafficking -- Afghanistan produces more than 90 percent of the world's opium -- is rampant, and aid promised by the international community has not always been been delivered.

According to a report by the British charity Oxfam, for every 100 dollars the international community spends on maintaining the military in Afghanistan, it spends only seven on aid.

INTERVIEW-Afghans won't tolerate more civilian deaths in raids ...
Afghans hail Bush's move to send more troops Reuters

Foreign Affairs - The Next President - Richard Holbrooke

The next president will inherit leadership of a nation that is still the most powerful in the world -- a nation rich with the continued promise of its dynamic and increasingly diverse population, a nation that could, and must, again inspire, mobilize, and lead the world. At the same time, the next president will inherit a more difficult opening-day set of international problems than any of his predecessors have since at least the end of World War II. In such circumstances, his core challenge will be nothing less than to re-create a sense of national purpose and strength, after a period of drift, decline, and disastrous mistakes.
1 2 3 4 5 6 next page »

Listen to this essay on

9/11 Fund: Once Was Enough -- By Kenneth R. Feinberg

Over the next 33 months, the fund paid out more than $7 billion to 5,560 people; the average award for a death claim was just over $2 million, and the average award for a physical injury claim was more than $400,000. (Sadly, there were few injury claims resulting from the attacks; people either escaped from the World Trade Center towers or the Pentagon, or they didn't.) Never before in American history has there been an example of such taxpayer generosity.

Afghans Incensed by Air Attack on Village
The 43-page report, “‘Troops in Contact’: Airstrikes and Civilian Deaths in Afghanistan,”

Top Military Officer Urges Major Change in Afghanistan Strategy

"I am not convinced that we're winning it in Afghanistan," Adm. Michael Mullen, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told the House Armed Services Committee yesterday. But, he added, "I'm convinced we can."
Terrorism Fades as Issue in 2008 Campaign:

Afghans Incensed by Air Attack on Village

An American air strike in western Afghanistan leaves many locals feeling that all civilians are branded as terrorists.

“Americans think that all Afghans are terrorists, and they send rockets and missiles against us,” said Gulbuddin, a resident of Azizabad. “I myself buried more than 50 women and children. Are all of them terrorists?”
Pentagon admits Afghan strategy not succeeding
Bush to mark Sept. 11 with moment of silence

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Afghanistan: Civilian Deaths From Airstrikes (Human Rights Watch

Airstrikes Cause Public Backlash, Undermine Protection Efforts,
The 43-page report, “‘Troops in Contact’: Airstrikes and Civilian Deaths in Afghanistan,”

Ex-envoy attacks Afghan strategy -- BBC

The West has no coherent strategy for victory in Afghanistan, according to the former EU envoy Francesc Vendrell.

"They don't want to see any changes because they still hope to present Afghanistan as a success story," Mr Vendrell said.

Mr Vendrell, a veteran Spanish diplomat, left the EU post in Afghanistan at the end of August.
Twenty-year war

Zardari vows to fight militants -- BBC

Mr Zardari paid tribute to his late wife, saying: "I accept the presidency of Pakistan in the name of... Benazir Bhutto. I accept this in her name and in the name of all the martyrs of democracy."

With Mr Karzai at his side, Mr Zardari said: "Pakistan intends to work with you, along with you."
Profile: Asif Ali Zardari

Obama: Bush's Afghanistan, Iraq plan isn't enough

RIVERSIDE, Ohio -- Barack Obama said President Bush isn't acting quickly or forcefully enough to get more U.S. forces into Afghanistan and out of Iraq.

Obama said if elected in November, he will remove troops from Iraq in a measured but methodical way and send more into Afghanistan. He recently proposed sending two brigades, or about more 7,000 troops, into Afghanistan, while withdrawing one or two brigades a month from Iraq.
Bush to Effectively Shift Small Number of Troops From Iraq to Afghanistan: Troop Levels in Iraq Will Still Be Slightly Higher...

U.S. Team to Reinvestigate Deadly Strike In Afghanistan

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan, Sept. 8 -- The U.S. Central Command will send a senior team, headed by a general and including a legal affairs officer, to reinvestigate a U.S. air attack last month that U.N. and Afghan officials say killed 90 civilians, amid mounting public outrage in Afghanistan and evidence that conflicts with the military's initial version of events.

The 43-page report, “‘Troops in Contact’: Airstrikes and Civilian Deaths in Afghanistan,”, Human Rights Watch

US and NATO airstrikes in Afghanistan, Human Rights Watch

Bush to Effectively Shift Small Number of Troops From Iraq to Afghanistan

In a speech announcing the changes this morning, Bush praised progress in Iraq while acknowledging that "huge challenges in Afghanistan remain."

"For all the good work we have done in that country, it is clear we must do even more," Bush said at the National Defense University in Washington. "As we learned in Iraq, the best way to restore the confidence of the people is to restore basic security -- and that requires more troops."
U.S. to Reinvestigate Deadly Strike in Afghanistan
Afghans ready to open graves to prove civil deaths

Afghanistan: Civilian Deaths From Airstrikes (Human Rights Watch, 8-9-2008)

(New York, September 8, 2008) – Civilian deaths in Afghanistan from US and NATO airstrikes nearly tripled from 2006 to 2007, with recent deadly airstrikes exacerbating the problem and fuelling a public backlash, Human Rights Watch said in a new report released today. The report also condemns the Taliban’s use of “human shields” in violation of the laws of war.

‘Troops in Contact’: Airstrikes and Civilian Deaths in Afghanistan

US and NATO airstrikes in Afghanistan

Sunday, September 07, 2008

Quake rattles Afghanistan, no casualties

MAZAR-I-SHARIF, Afghanistan (Reuters) - An earthquake measuring 5.6 hit Afghanistan's Hindu Kush region on Saturday, but caused no casualties, a provincial official said.

Saturday, September 06, 2008

US commander sees a 'slow win' in Afghanistan

WASHINGTON - U.S.-led forces are achieving a "slow win" in Afghanistan, but the less-than-decisive approach must be accelerated soon, a key American commander there said Friday.

AP IMPACT: Afghans fed up with government, US

"This is our land. We are afraid to send our sons out the door for fear the American troops will pick them up," says Mohammed, who was chosen by the others to represent them. "Daily we have headaches from the troops. We are fed up. Our government is weak and corrupt and the American soldiers have learned nothing."

"It certainly is a mess. Security is the worst that it has been for years. Corruption is out of control. It impacts every single Afghan," says Doug Wankel, a burly 62-year-old American who coordinated Washington's anti-drug policy in Afghanistan from 2004 until 2007 and is now back as a security consultant. "What people have to understand is that what ordinary Afghans think really does matter."

Afghan provincial governor dies in car crash

KABUL (AFP) - The newly appointed governor of Afghanistan's rugged mountain province of Nuristan was killed when the car he was travelling in plunged into a river en route to Kabul, his deputy said Saturday.

Nuristan, one of 34 provinces in Afghanistan, is in the Hindu Kush mountains on the border with Pakistan.
Afghan provincial governor dies in car crash - Yahoo! News

NATO, Afghans to coordinate to avoid civilian deaths ...

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - NATO and Afghanistan agreed on Thursday they needed to coordinate more closely to avoid civilian casualties in operations against militants, an alliance spokesman said.

Editorial - Caught in the Cross-Fire - Editorial

Civilians in Afghanistan are paying a deadly price in the war against the Taliban and Al Qaeda. America is fast losing the battle for hearts and minds, and unless the Pentagon comes up with a better strategy, the United States and its allies may well lose the war.

According to Human Rights Watch, at least 540 Afghan civilians died in fighting related to the conflict in the first seven months of this year.
Right at the Edge - Special Report

Plan Would Shift Forces From Iraq to Afghanistan

WASHINGTON — The United States would carry out a modest shift of American forces from Iraq to Afghanistan by early next year under a confidential recommendation to President Bush by the Pentagon’s top civilian and military leaders, according to Bush administration officials.

Bhutto's widower wins presidency -- BBC

Asif Ali Zardari, the widower of former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto, has won a sweeping victory in Pakistan's presidential election.

US envoy denies 'unauthorized contacts' with Pakistan's Zardari

UNITED NATIONS (AFP) - The US ambassador to the United Nations on Wednesday slammed as "patently false" press reports that he had "unauthorized" contacts with Asif Ali Zardari, the Pakistani presidential contender and widower of slain Benazir Bhutto.

Zalmay Khalilzad spoke to reporters here to refute a New York Times story last week alleging that senior US administration officials were puzzled and angry over Khalilzad's frequent contacts with Zardari.

The New York Times last week quoted a senior US official as saying that Khalilzad had spoken with Zardari by phone "several times a week for the past month until he was confronted about the unauthorized contacts."

"I am an American ... I have no plan to become a candidate (for the Afghan presidency)," he noted. "When I leave here I will work in the private sector."
U.S. envoy's talks with Pakistan questioned -
U.S. Envoy Cites 'Fog of War' in Afghan Tolls -
Zalmay Khalilzad News - The New York Times

Top Afghan anti-drugs judge murdered in Kabul

KABUL (AFP) - A top judge in Afghanistan's counternarcotics court, working to bring to justice key players in the world's biggest opium-producing country, was gunned down in Kabul Thursday, his office said.
BBC NEWS World South Asia Afghan anti-drugs judge is killed
Slain Afghan judge had received death threats International ...

Thursday, September 04, 2008

John McCain’s Acceptance Speech

Stand up, stand up, stand up and fight. Nothing is inevitable here. We're Americans, and we never give up. We never quit. We never hide from history. We make history.

Thank you, and God bless you, and God bless America.
Text: McCain's Speech

Obama says GOP ignores pocketbook issues

YORK, PA. -- As John McCain prepared to accept the Republican nomination Thursday, Barack Obama intensified his criticism of the GOP, accusing the party of ignoring the economic hardships of working Americans at its convention.
Palin Assails Critics and Electrifies Party New York Times

NATO, Afghans to coordinate to avoid civilian deaths

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - NATO and Afghanistan agreed on Thursday they needed to coordinate more closely to avoid civilian casualties in operations against militants, an alliance spokesman said.

More than 500 civilians have been killed during operations by foreign and Afghan forces against the militants so far this year, according to the Afghan government and some aid groups, fuelling public anger and causing a rift with foreign forces.

Afghan leader vows punishment for deadly US raid

KABUL, Afghanistan -- The Afghan president said a deadly raid on a village by American and Afghan commandos has put new strain on relations with the United States and promised Thursday to punish those responsible.
Karzai promises punishment for Afghan civil casualties