Friday, October 31, 2008

Pentagon chief: Afghan war strategy lacking

Petraeus takes over at U.S. Central Command

Auditor cites Afghanistan rebuilding challenges
A Warning, a Blast, a Fight to Save an Afghan Life

Thursday, October 30, 2008

McCain and Obama Advisers Briefed on Deteriorating Afghan War

WASHINGTON — Two weeks ago, senior Bush administration officials gathered in secret with Afghanistan experts from NATO and the United Nations at an exclusive Washington club a few blocks from the White House. The group was there to deliver a grim message: the situation in Afghanistan is getting worse.

Their audience: advisers from the presidential campaigns of John McCain and Barack Obama.

McCain and Obama Advisers Briefed on Deteriorating Afghan War
McCain and Obama advisers briefed on deteriorating Afghan war ... iht

What next in Afghanistan? -- Daniel Korski

The news coming out of Afghanistan has gone from bad to worse. Now General Sir Michael Rose, ex-SAS chief and the former commander of UN forces during the Bosnian War, believes NATO forces in Afghanistan have "reached their limit". Though he believes the insurgency can be held back by the international military campaign, NATO needs, in the ex-soldier’s view, to help form Afghan tribal militias to aid western forces and the Afghan army.

"By winning the support of the Pashtun tribes who live on both sides of the border and by developing a sympathetic understanding of their complex tribal systems, it should be possible to achieve security in the key eastern and southern areas of Afghanistan," he says.

Are Stocks the Bargain You Think?

Some of the country’s most famous investors, including Warren Buffett and John Bogle, have started to make the case that it’s time to dive back into the stock market.
Extolling the Value of the Long View

Mortgage Plan May Aid Many and Irk Others

For Incomes Below $100,000, a Better Tax Break in Obama’s Plan

The analyses were conducted independently by the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center, a joint venture of the Urban Institute and the Brookings Institution, and Deloitte, the accounting giant, at the request of The New York Times.
Case Studies of Tax Proposals
The Presidential Candidates on Taxing and Spending

Obama infomercial tops network prime-time ratings Reuters
Infomercial for Obama Is Big Success in Ratings New York Times

Blast rocks Afghan ministry

KABUL, Afghanistan: A suspected Taliban suicide bomber shot his way into the Ministry of Information and Culture in central Kabul on Thursday, then blew himself up, leaving at least two others dead and severely damaging a kindergarten in the building, officials and witnesses said.
Two Killed by Bomber at Ministry in Kabul

Suicide attack at Afghan ministry -- BBC

The attack took place at the information and culture ministry and ambulances have been carrying wounded people from the scene.

Afghanistan Tests Waters for Overture to Taliban

KABUL, Afghanistan — The Afghan government and its allies in the region have begun approaching the Taliban and other insurgent groups with new intensity to test the possibilities for eventual peace talks, Western diplomats and Afghan officials here say. - What next in Afghanistan?

McCain Embraces a G.O.P. Theme: No More Taxes

MIAMI — In these waning days of Senator John McCain’s quest for the White House, he has returned in his speeches to a time-honored Republican attack line against Democrats: the evils of taxes.
Analyzing McCain’s Speech
Palin Suggests She's a National Political Figure

Obama Repeats a Campaign Staple: Time for Change

SUNRISE, Fla. — As he races across the country in the climax of a marathon campaign, Senator Barack Obama has honed a final message calling on America to “turn the page” on an era of “greed and irresponsibility,” tapping into populist sentiment while reassuring voters that he is no radical.
Analyzing Obama’s Speech

Obama and McCain Make Their Cases in the South

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Afghanistan and the War on Terror | PBS

MP3: New York Times foreign correspondent John Burns, who recently returned from reporting in the country, describes the latest developments.

Television Review - 'Frontline - The War Briefing’ - Loudest Sound ...
Preview: 'Frontline: The War Briefing’

FRONTLINE: the war briefing: interviews | PBS

Get insight into the primary foreign policy challenges confronting the next president.
Click here: FRONTLINE: the war briefing: interviews PBS
Click here: FRONTLINE: the war briefing: analysis: the karzai question PBS

FRONTLINE: the war briefing | PBS

Get insight into the primary foreign policy challenges confronting the next president.
Click here: FRONTLINE: the war briefing PBS
Click here: FRONTLINE: the war briefing: analysis: the karzai question PBS
Click here: FRONTLINE: the war briefing: readings & links PBS

Click here:

Karzai admits failure in securing Afghanistan

KABUL (AFP) – President Hamid Karzai said Wednesday violence had surged in Afghanistan, admitting his government's internationally backed efforts to secure the country had failed.

"When we came, life was good, but now it's not," Karzai said. "We are still a nation deeply in pain and misery."
Karzai admits failure in securing Afghanistan

McCain, Obama Offer Two Paths To Save Economy, October 29, 2008 · Republican John McCain and Democrat Barack Obama both have plans to improve the U.S. economy, but they propose accomplishing that in very different ways.
Full Coverage: Election 2008

Some Republicans Lukewarm On A McCain Victory

Powerful quake shakes Pakistan, 170 dead

6.4-magnitude temblor leaves 15,000 homeless in border region

Afghan women decry Taleban talks -- BBC

Representatives of women from across Afghanistan have called on President Hamid Karzai not to undermine their position by talking to the Taleban.

The Minister for Women's Affairs, Hasan Bano Ghazanfar, said that women were against "any political compromises" that did not take into consideration their constitutional values and human rights.
No role for Taliban chief in Afghan talks: Pentagon Reuters
No role for Taliban chief in Afghan talks: Pentagon - Yahoo! News

Laura Bush's Bully Pulpit -- Kathleen Parker

WASHINGTON -- Women, not men, will save the world.

First lady Laura Bush didn't say those precise words, but her remarks Monday to a small gathering of biographers, historians and journalists implied as much.

If she's right, America's first lady will have played a significant role in that evolution. Women's gains around the world, in places like Kabul and Riyadh, are occurring in no small part because of Laura Bush's quietly feminist maneuvering as wife of the U.S. president.

ReliefWeb » Document » Afghanistan: Increasing hardship and ...

Dow jumps nearly 900 points despite glum economic news

Blue Chips Jump 889.35 Points Wall Street Journal
Wall Street scores 2nd-best day ever on rate-cut hopes Reuters

Hardships Past Haunt Europe’s Search for Financial Safety

“I haven’t forgotten history,” says Gert Heinz, a tax adviser in Munich. “If you depend on paper money you can lose everything. We’ve learned that the hard way after two world wars.”

In America, wealth and retirement savings are much more tied up in the stock market, with a majority of people owning at least a modest stake. By contrast, only 13 percent of German households and 24 percent of French ones own shares, according to 2006 figures compiled by the European Savings Institute.
Leaders of Europe and Asia Call for Joint Economic Action

Making America safe for the world

A specter is haunting the world, a specter of a dangerously growing gap between the United States presidential candidates' promises to make America safer on one hand, and an increasingly poorer, more unstable and more dangerous world on the other.

In a globalized world, it is almost impossible, certainly inconceivable, and perhaps even dangerous for the United States to achieve its own security while much of the rest of the world is in chaos. The next president of the United States, therefore, will have to narrow, if not close, this security-insecurity gap, not just for the sake of others, but for the US's own interests.
Asia Times Online :: Middle East News, Iraq, Iran current affairs
NATO's Afghan mission needs more troops: general - International ...

Economy and Unemployment Big Issues at Afghan-American Chamber of Commerce's Fourth Annual Business Matchmaking Conference in Washington D.C.

More Afghans gloomy over country's future - survey

KABUL (Reuters) - More Afghans are negative about their country's future compared with two years ago, with poor security the main factor behind the growing pessimism, a survey by U.S.-based think-tank said on Tuesday.
US considering talks with Taliban: report - Yahoo! News

Consumers Feel the Next Crisis: Credit Cards

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Scores dead after Pakistan quake -- BBC

A earthquake of magnitude 6.4 has hit Balochistan province in south-western Pakistan, with at least 100 people reported dead.

Afghanistan: Increasing hardship and limited support for growing displaced population

Hundreds of thousands of people in Afghanistan have been internally displaced by armed conflict, ethnic tensions or human rights violations, natural disasters such as drought, or secondary dis-placement in the case of refugees and deportees who have returned from neighbouring countries.
UNHCR Refworld Afghanistan: Increasing hardship and limited ...

Foreign Affairs, From Great Game to Grand Bargain -- Ending Chaos in Afghanistan and Pakistan

The Great Game can no longer be treated as a sporting event for distant spectators. It is time to agree on some new rules.

Afghanistan has been at war for three decades -- a period longer than the one that started with World War I and ended with the Normandy landings on D-day in World War II -- and now that war is spreading to Pakistan and beyond.
From Great Game to Grand Bargain

'America Remains Number One'

'America Remains Number One'

Financial Crisis Exposes German Leader's Weaknesses

The financial crisis and the threat of recession are revealing German Chancellor Angela Merkel's weaknesses and could contribute to a dramatic change in her party's prospects in next year's election. The Social Democrats, sensing an opportunity, are already planning their attack.
Financial Crisis Exposes German Leader's Weaknesses

Why No One Protested against Germany's Biggest Mosque -- SPIEGEL

Kabul was a fun city for foreigners; is it becoming the new Baghdad?

Until about three years ago Kabul was an exotic and exciting posting for an ambitious young aid worker or a diplomat; if you were sensible it was safe enough to meet Afghans, go to parties and restaurants, and shop in the bazaars.

Learning English in Afghan badlands -- BBC

There are no American B-52s bombing the caves of Tora Bora, and poppy fields have been replaced by maize and wheat in this remote district of Nangarhar province.

But one thing I didn't anticipate is that students here would be taking English and computer classes.
Remote hope
US claims Afghan opium progress

Nato's Afghan forces 'hit limit' -- BBC

Coalition forces in Afghanistan have "now reached their limit", according to General Sir Michael Rose, former commander of UN forces in Bosnia.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Ceding the Center -- DAVID BROOKS

There are two major political parties in America, but there are at least three major political tendencies. The first is orthodox liberalism, a belief in using government to maximize equality. The second is free-market conservatism, the belief in limiting government to maximize freedom.

But there is a third tendency, which floats between. It is for using limited but energetic government to enhance social mobility.
David Brooks: Ceding the Center

Pakistani, Afghan elders to meet to ponder violence

U.S. Takes to Air to Hit Militants Inside Pakistan

US special forces launch rare attack inside Syria

Foreign Policy for the Future American President

TO: The president-electRE: Foreign policy -- You will take office two decades after the end of the cold war. What some dubbed the unipolar moment is history. Economic, political and military power is held by many hands, not all of which belong to states, not all of which are benign. This does not mean the United States is weak. To the contrary, this country is still the single most powerful entity in the world.
Click here: Foreign Policy for the Future American President Newsweek Politics: Campaign 2008

Michael Bloomberg's Advice to the Next President

The stock market has plummeted. The credit markets are frozen. Unemployment is rising. Housing foreclosures are skyrocketing. Consumer spending is weakening. Manufacturers are cutting production. A global recession is in the offing. Welcome to the White House, 44. You're sure you wanted the job, right?
Click here: Michael Bloomberg's Advice to the Next President Newsweek Politics: Campaign 2008

The Revolutionary

Robert Gates: Next President Faces 'More Dangerous' World

Gates: I entered the CIA 42 years ago, and I think that the world is as complex and in a real way more dangerous than at any time since then.

همايون شاه اصفي خوشى شو -- BBC

له نوموړي سره په کابل کې د يوه خصوصي بانک د مرستيال تښتول شوى زوى هم ژغورل شوى دى .
همايون شاه اصفي خوشى شو
ناپېژاندو همايون شاه اصفي وتښتاوۀ

Kidnapped Afghan politician found in well - Yahoo! News

Sunday, October 26, 2008

'US strike' kills Taleban leader -- BBC

A suspected US missile strike has killed 20 people, including a top Taleban commander, in north-west Pakistan, witnesses and officials say.
Australia probes Afghan 'deaths'
Meeting to discuss Afghan border

Jolie returns from Afghanistan visit

Speaking after her return, Jolie, 33, says, "The courage, resilience and quiet dignity of returnee families rebuilding their lives against the kind of adversity few of us can imagine shows the human spirit at its best."

Once A Sign Of Hope, Afghan Highway Becomes A Taliban Hunting Ground

Following its reconstruction in 2003, the Kabul-to-Kandahar highway was seen as a logistical lifeline that would bring hope and promise for Afghanistan's future.

Afghans who use the road warn that it has become exceedingly treacherous, with Taliban and other armed gangs frequently kidnapping and killing travelers between the capital and the southern city of Kandahar.
Washington Times - Afghan police: 2 foreigners shot to death in Kabul
2 Foreigners Killed in Afghan Capital -

U.S. training Pakistani forces to fight Taliban

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan - U.S. special forces have begun teaching a Pakistani paramilitary unit how to fight the Taliban and al-Qaida, hoping to strengthen a key front-line force as violence surges on both sides of the border with Afghanistan.
US training Pakistani forces to fight Taliban
US training Pakistani forces to fight Taliban - Yahoo! News

Spending Stalls and Businesses Slash U.S. Jobs

In just the last two weeks, the list of companies announcing their intention to cut workers has read like a Who’s Who of corporate America: Merck, Yahoo, General Electric, Xerox, Pratt & Whitney, Goldman Sachs, Whirlpool, Bank of America, Alcoa, Coca-Cola, the Detroit automakers and nearly all the airlines.

Desperately Seeking Seriousness -- PAUL KRUGMAN

Maybe the polls and the conventional wisdom are all wrong, and John McCain will pull off a stunning upset. But right now the election looks like a blue sweep: a solid victory, maybe even a landslide, for Barack Obama; large Democratic gains in the Senate, possibly even enough to produce a filibuster-proof majority; and big Democratic gains in the House, too.
Candidates Face Off Over Economic Plans

Analysis: Afghanistan's untapped energy riches

According to the U.S. government's Energy Information Administration, while Afghanistan's estimated oil reserves are relatively modest, "with perhaps up to 100 million barrels," the country's natural gas reserves are far more substantial. As northern Afghanistan is a "southward extension of Central Asia's highly prolific, natural gas-prone Amu Darya Basin," Afghanistan "has proven, probable and possible natural gas reserves of about 5 trillion cubic feet."
France 24 Killings increase Westerners' fears in Afghan capital ...

Pakistani, Afghan elders to meet to ponder violence

ISLAMABAD (Reuters) - Pakistani and Afghan political and ethnic Pashtun tribal leaders meet in Islamabad on Monday to try to agree on ways to tackle rising militant violence including the possibility of opening talks with the Taliban.
David Ignatius - Tea With the Taliban? -

New Israeli Elections Expected in Early 2009

JERUSALEM, Oct. 26 -- Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni on Sunday gave up trying to form a coalition government, paving the way for new elections in early 2009.

Strong quake shakes Afghanistan

Mountainous Afghanistan is an earthquake prone country.
Pakistan rejects 'America's war' on extremists

Financial Meltdown Worsens Food Crisis -- (As Global Prices Soar, More People Go Hungry)

Oxfam, the Britain-based aid group, estimates that economic chaos this year has pulled the incomes of an additional 119 million people below the poverty line. Richer countries from the United States to the Persian Gulf are busy helping themselves and have been slow to lend a hand.

Amid Economic Crisis, Middle East Financial Hubs Faring Well

Americans Seeking Employment May Find More Obstacles Than Their Counterparts

But Have We Learned Enough?

LIKE most economists, those at the International Monetary Fund are lowering their growth forecasts. The financial turmoil gripping Wall Street will probably spill over onto every other street in America. Most likely, current job losses are only the tip of an ugly iceberg.

Democrats See Risk and Reward if Party Sweeps

Republicans, for their part, are warning voters about unchecked one-party government and urging them to deny Democrats unfettered control.
Obama Ties McCain to Republican Philosophy
Obama, Forever Sizing Up
McCain, Flexible Aggression

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Gunmen Kill Two Foreigners, One Afghan In Kabul

KABUL (Reuters) - Unknown gunmen shot dead two foreigners and an Afghan in the heart of the capital Kabul on Saturday, police officials said.

Official Or Not, Consumers Sense A Recession

There are plenty of complicated things about recessions, but consumers don't need any declaration or stamp of approval from economists to know when the economy has soured. They can feel it.
Globalization Fueled Downturn; Will It Aid Recovery?
Recession Fears Drive Stocks Down Globally

Editorial: Barack Obama for President

Letters: Reaction to the Obama Endorsement
Building a White House Team Before the

Thinking About Obama, David Brooks

A World in Crisis Means A Chance for Greatness --Robert B. Zoellick

Aspiring U.S. politicians dream of being FDR, but rarely do the times and the person converge. The next president will have the chance to be a 21st-century FDR.

For either Barack Obama or John McCain, the first duty will be to restore confidence. Hundreds of billions of dollars have been allotted to fix the financial breakdown. But fears have gripped the country. The new president needs not only a bold program but also the resolution to reassure.
If Entire Countries Go Broke, We'll Go With Them
McCain Blasts Rival On Stump in Colorado:

Around the World, the Signs Of Slowdown Spiral Outward

Pessimism about the global economy deepened yesterday as fresh evidence of a worldwide slowdown showed up in feeble corporate profit reports from Asia, sinking commodities prices, and a scramble by emerging economies to prop up their sagging currencies and avert credit defaults.
If Entire Countries Go Broke, We'll Go With Them -

Friday, October 24, 2008

Bush Reserved as E.U. Leaders Assert Power in Crisis

In France, President Nicolas Sarkozy has loudly proclaimed the need to increase regulation and oversight of financial markets, vowing on Thursday to "refound the global financial system" as part of "an intellectual and moral revolution."
Recession Fears Drive Down Global Markets
Bailout Expanded
View All Items in This Story

More U.S. troops to Afghanistan?

Washington - Washington policymakers and others are increasingly recognizing that we need to return our attention to Afghanistan and the threat of Al Qaeda. While the administration has pursued a misguided war in Iraq, the Taliban has regrouped in Afghanistan, Al Qaeda has established a stronghold across the border in Pakistan, and Al Qaeda affiliates have gained strength around the world.
Imran Khan warns against US 'surge' in Afghanistan - Yahoo! News

Angelina Jolie ends Afghan visit with call for more returnee support

KABUL, Afghanistan, October 24 (UNHCR) – The UN refugee agency's Goodwill Ambassador Angelina Jolie has concluded her first visit to Afghanistan, where she saw both the successes and the difficulties of return and reintegration. She saw first hand the country's difficult humanitarian circumstances and called for more international support to meet critical needs during the coming winter.
Reuters AlertNet - Angelina Jolie appeals for more Afghan returnee ...

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Stocks end mixed as investors search for bargains

The 'Unthinkable' in Afghanistan --

When the U.S.-backed Northern Alliance drove the Taliban from Kabul in late 2001, the idea of talking with the Taliban was unthinkable. Victory would be non-negotiable, then-Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld declared a month into the campaign. But seven years later, reports have emerged of talks under Saudi auspices (NYT) between representatives of President Hamid Karzai's embattled government and the Taliban and other rivals (The Independent).
The 'Unthinkable' in Afghanistan

Greenspan Concedes Error on Regulation

WASHINGTON — For years, a Congressional hearing with Alan Greenspan was a marquee event. Lawmakers doted on him as an economic sage.

Greenspan Says He Was Wrong On Regulation
Government May Start Guaranteeing Mortgages
IMF Considers New Fund for Countries Hit by Crisis
Treasury to Invest in More Banks

Palin denies accepting $150K in designer clothes

ORMOND BEACH, FLA. (AP) - Sarah Palin is blaming gender bias for the controversy over $150,000 worth of designer clothes, hairstyling and accessories the Republican Party provided for her, a newspaper reported Thursday.

"It's kind of painful to be criticized for something when all the facts are not out there and are not reported," Palin said.
PHOTOS: Sarah Palin's Pricey Wardrobe

ANALYSIS: Economy trumps McCain fear card
McCain, RNC had about $84 million as of Oct. 15

Are Mentally Unstable Troops Redeployed? -- ABCnews

Stretched Thin, Army Puts Some Vulnerable Soldiers Back on the Frontlines --- More than 600,000 Americans have served multiple tours in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Mentally Unstable Soldiers Redeployed to Iraq
Woodruff Reports: Soldier's Iraq Tour Extended, Then an IED Hits

Obama favours U.S. troop surge in Afghanistan

WASHINGTON — “We're confronting an urgent crisis in Afghanistan,” Mr. Obama, the Democratic contender and now clear front-runner to replace George W. Bush, said Wednesday.

“It's time to heed the call … for more troops. That's why I'd send at least two or three additional brigades to Afghanistan,” he said in his most hawkish promise to date.
Secret American hostage in Afghanistan freed -

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

France to host regional Afghan meeting by year-end

PARIS (Reuters) - France will host an informal meeting between Afghanistan and its neighbors before year's end in hopes of stabilizing the violence-wracked country, the French foreign ministry said on Tuesday.
France to host regional Afghan meeting by year-end - International ...
France to host regional Afghan meeting by year-end - Yahoo! News

Tom Blackwell in Afghanistan: The bubble has burst

Hope is not lost in Kabul, or Afghanistan. In fact, people remain remarkably hopeful. But they appear deeply depressed about the current reality, and for good reason it would seem.
Tom Blackwell in Afghanistan: One country, two worlds

Pakistan Will Give Arms to Tribal Militias

Pakistan plans to arm tens of thousands of anti-Taliban tribal fighters in its western border region in hopes -- shared by the U.S. military -- that the nascent militias can replicate the tribal "Awakening" movement that proved decisive in the battle against al-Qaeda in Iraq.

Faith Matters: Muslim Republicans And The GOP

Many Muslims before casting their votes see which American President is likely to kill fewer Muslims or wage fewer wars against Muslim countries. You have to compare one leader with the other to make the better choice. There is no such thing as the right choice.

Hillary Designer: Palin Spending Strange

(CBS) -- The McCain campaign responded to the Palin wardrobe spending with the following statement, “With all of the important issues facing the country right now, it’s remarkable that we are spending time talking about pantsuits and blouses. It was always the intent that the clothing go to a charitable purpose after the campaign,” said spokesperson Tracey Schmitt.
McCain hits Obama on taxes in N.H., Ohio

$150000 Wardrobe for Palin May Alter Tailor-Made Image -- New York Times
Expensive Wardrobe Goes Against McCain-Palin Story Line Washington Post
ABC News -- Palin's clothes may clash with image

Stimulus debate: Cash vs. infrastructure

Afghans to Karzai: You failed us. -- Mark Sappenfield

Perceived as ineffective and corrupt, the Afghan president faces an uphill battle to reelection.
Afghans to Karzai: You failed us.

College-Educated Immigrants Struggle to Find Work

One out of every five college-educated immigrants in the United States is either unemployed or working in an unskilled job such as a dishwasher, fast food restaurant cashier or security guard, depriving the U.S. economy of the full potential of more than 1.3 million foreign-born workers, according to a study released today.

"This shows that immigrant brain waste is a reality -- that the challenge of integration is not restricted to unskilled workers, who have been the focus until now, and that a very high share of highly skilled immigrants are not progressing rapidly in the economy," said researcher Michael Fix, who co-authored the study with Jeanne Batalova.
College-Educated Immigrants Struggle to Find Work

Wachovia Posts Largest-Ever Loss for a Bank

Wachovia posted a $23.9 billion quarterly loss, as its portfolio of loans deteriorated and deposits fled the bank, laying bare the serious financial straits the company was in before Wells Fargo announced it would buy it this month.

The loss is the largest ever for a bank and, coming on top of $10 billion of losses earlier this year, wipes out nearly all the profits the firm has earned since the merger of two banks formed modern Wachovia in 2001.
Paulson Regrets Mistakes on Economy
U.S. Stocks Plummet in Final Hour of Trading

Stocks Dive as Crisis Erodes Earnings; Dow Drops 5.7%

The bloodletting began early after a batch of weak earnings from some of the nation’s largest industrial giants. Boeing, Merck, and Wachovia — major businesses across a range of industries — all reported poor earnings for last quarter and warned about a bleaker outlook for the remainder of the year.
Wachovia Reports $23.9 Billion Loss for Third Quarter
A.I.G. to Suspend Millions in Executive Payouts

Air strike kills Afghan soldiers -- BBC

Nine Afghan soldiers have been killed and four others hurt in an air strike by international forces in the eastern part of the country, officials say.
Afghan rethink

Foreigners on alert after aid worker shot in Kabul

KABUL (AFP) — The Afghan government urged foreign nationals and aid workers on Tuesday to limit their movements and be vigilant after a British South African was gunned down in the capital Kabul.
Foreigners warned after aid worker shot in Kabul - Yahoo! News
9 Afghan soldiers die in airstrike, officials say

RNC Has Spent Over $150,000 On Palin's Clothes: Report

RNC Has Spent Over $150,000 On Palin's Clothes: Report -- huffingtonpost
Expensive Wardrobe Goes Against McCain-Palin Story Line

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Group's Study Finds Income Gap Widening -- WSJ

Economic inequality is growing in the world's richest countries, according to a 30-nation report released Tuesday.

The U.S. has the highest inequality and poverty rates in the OECD after Mexico and Turkey, and the gap has increased rapidly since 2000, the report said. France saw inequalities fall as poorer workers are better paid.

Wealthy households are not only widening the gap with the poor, but in countries such as the U.S., Canada and Germany they are leaving middle-income earners farther behind.

Poverty gap growing in many countries United Press International
UK's income gap among highest: report Radio Australia Bloomberg - AHN - BBC News

Will next US president rethink Afghanistan? BBC

Ravaged by war and in the grip of a terrible drought, the people of Afghanistan are in desperate need of foreign help.

Currently nearly $100m a day is being spent on the war, yet since 2001 just $7m a day has been spent on Afghans themselves, according to the Agency Co-ordinating Body for Afghan Relief, an umbrella organisation representing 100 aid agencies working in Afghanistan.

From 2001 to 2004 Ashraf Ghani was finance minister overseeing efforts to reconstruct Afghanistan. He says his country's current predicament is a product of a lack of investment, compounded by corruption and inefficiency. So Mr Ghani believes the US needs a new strategy.

"You need to win the people over if you want to break the back of an insurgency. That approach is yet to be embraced and practically applied in Afghanistan," he said.

"So what would you say to the next US president?" I asked him.

"I would say Mr President if we win the people, we will win this conflict. "If we focus on the wrong objective, body count, number of insurgents who are killed, bombardment, kinetic action, it is not going to be the answer," he said.
Afghan rethink

Here comes stimulus - question is how

Momentum is building for a new program to boost economy. But Democrats and Republicans have very different ideas on how to do it.

'Hidden Treasures' Exhibit Travels to San Francisco

After a succesful run in Washington, D.C. that drew 215,000 visitors, the exhibit "Afghanistan: Hidden Treasures of the National Museum, Kabul" will be opening at the Asian Art Museum in San Francisco, California on October 24. The exhibit features 228 stunning artifacts dating back almost 4,000 years that tell of Afghanistan's diverse history and its brave people.

YouTube - Fareed Zakaria interviews Hamid Karzai

Bernanke Urges Economic Stimulus From Congress

Bernanke is concerned that the U.S. economy is poised to be weak for "some time," and unless it gets some sort of shot in the arm to inoculate it against the current financial crisis, the slowdown will be brutal.
Despite Cash Injection, Banks Cautious On Lending

FDIC Chairwoman Suddenly A Star
FDIC Chief Calls For Help For Homeowners

An Old Afghanistan Hand Offers Lessons of the Past

KABUL, Afghanistan — It is one of a flow of disarming asides that Russia’s ambassador to Kabul deploys while warning of the grim prospects that he says will doom the American enterprise in Afghanistan if the United States fails to learn from mistakes made during the Soviet occupation of the 1980s.

More Alzheimer’s Risk Factors for Hispanics, Studies Suggest

Bernanke breathes life into another stimulus bill

WASHINGTON: With a timely endorsement from Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke, there is new life to the idea of Congress returning to Washington next month to pass a second round of measures aimed at stimulating the U.S. economy.

Robert Gates: To succeed in Afghanistan will require much more than just guns

The long reach of violent extremism – emanating from failed and failing states, from ungoverned spaces – brought America and our allies to Afghanistan. That country has become the laboratory for what I have been talking about for the past year – how to apply and fully integrate the full range of instruments of national power and international co-operation to protect our vital interests.
Joint Chiefs Chairman Is Gloomy on Afghanistan

Monday, October 20, 2008

Brzezinski: West Must Avoid Russia's Mistakes in Afghanistan -- DW

Zbigniew Brzezinski was instrumental in arming the Afghan mujahedeen against the Soviet Union. In an interview with DW, the former US security advisor talks about how the West can avoid the mistakes of the Russians.
Brzezinski: West Must Avoid Russia's Mistakes in Afghanistan ...
German Parliament Approves Extra Troops for Afghanistan Germany ...

AFGHANISTAN: WFP urges development of new nutritional foods

KABUL, 16 October 2008 (IRIN) - New kinds of nutritional food, preferably made from local produce, should be developed to reduce malnutrition among young children, the UN World Food Programme (WFP) said in Kabul on World Food Day.
Chains or drugs: treatment for Afghanistan's mentally ill - Yahoo ...

Chains or drugs: treatment for Afghanistan's mentally ill

JALALABAD, Afghanistan (AFP) – The mentally ill in Afghanistan, a country destroyed by three decades of conflict, have been counted at about two million, according to the World Health Organisation.
AFP: Chains or drugs: treatment for Afghanistan's mentally ill

Subject: Is The War Really In Afghanistan As Obama Repeatedly Insists?

FACTBOX-Security developments in Afghanistan, Oct 20

Former Afghan Presidential Candidate Kidnapped In Kabul

KABUL (AFP)--Unknown assailants kidnapped a one-time Afghan presidential candidate and a relative of the late king near his home in the capital Kabul, police said Monday, in the latest in a spate of abductions.

Asifi, aged in his 60s, was a brother-in-law of former King Mohammed Zahir Shah who died last year. Zahir Shah was overthrown in a 1973 coup.

Gunmen kidnap former Afghan presidential candidate - Yahoo! India News

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Next President Faces Growing Crisis In Afghanistan

When a new administration takes over in January, it will inherit the challenging and overlapping problems of Afghanistan and Pakistan, two countries that are critical to U.S. national security.

It wasn't that long ago — just over a year or so — that the conflict in Afghanistan was considered "the forgotten war." The White House and the Pentagon were focused on Iraq. While things started to stabilize there, the situation in Afghanistan steadily deteriorated:

Next President Faces Growing Crisis In Afghanistan

Bush Agrees To Host Global Crisis Summit

The global financial crisis is getting a global financial summit. President Bush said yesterday a meeting of world leaders would be held in the United States soon after the presidential election.
U.S. May Face European Anger At Global Summit

Afghanistan stability 'not mission impossible': Miliband

LONDON (AFP) — British Foreign Secretary David Miliband denied on Sunday that the international community was failing in its mission in Afghanistan.
Afghanistan stability 'not mission impossible': Miliband - Yahoo! News

McCain casts himself as middle-class guardian

Evoking "Joe the Plumber" near his hometown in this pivotal state, Republican John McCain on Sunday cast himself as the guardian of middle-class workers and small-business owners who fuel the economy.

Powell Blasts Negative Campaigning, Backs Obama

He also expressed concern about the direction of his party, and he passionately criticized his fellow Republicans for what they've been saying about Obama — for example, that he's a Muslim.
"Well, the correct answer is, 'He's not a Muslim, he's a Christian — he's always been a Christian.' But the really right answer is, 'What if he is? Is there something wrong with being a Muslim in this country?'
"The answer's no, that's not America. ... Yet I have heard senior members of my own party drop the suggestion he's a Muslim and he might be associated with terrorists. This is not the way we should be doing it in America," Powell said.

Powell Blasts Negative Campaigning, Backs Obama
Powell Endorses Obama, Criticizes GOP's Tone

Powell Endorses Obama, Reflecting Fractures in GOP -- WSJ

Experts Fear Financial Crisis Will Hurt World's Poor

There is growing concern among development experts that the world's poorest people could be hit hard by the global financial crisis. Wealthy countries are likely to cut back on aid, and slower growth in rich nations could then lead to a downward spiral in economies in the developing world.
Soaring World Food Prices

Winter hardship in Afghanistan -- BBC

A harsh winter is in store for the people of Afghanistan where many are affected by poverty and drought, reports Damian Grammaticas from the Saighan Valley.

Former Secretary of State Powell Backs Obama

On “Meet the Press,” Colin L. Powell called Barack Obama a “transformational figure” and said that John McCain’s campaign had gone “too far” in its tactics.
The Lede: Powell on Muslims and the Campaign
Donation Record as Colin Powell Endorses Obama

Former secretary of state Colin Powell backs Obama Reuters
Powell Endorses Obama Washington Post

Powell endorses Obama for president

WASHINGTON - Stressing that Obama was a lifelong Christian, Powell denounced Republican tactics that he said were insulting not only to to Obama but also to Muslims.

“The really right answer is what if he is?” Powell said, praising the contributions of millions of Muslim citizens to American society.
First Read: Obama's reaction
Colin Powell endorses Obama

It's official: Colin Powell endorses Barack Obama

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Afghanistan Relatively Unscathed by World Financial Crisis

In Kabul, there are no panicky shouts from floor traders. There is no stock exchange, nor any organized commodities market. The ideal place to measure the economic pulse of one of the world's poorest countries is on the banks of the dried-up Kabul River.
US Presidential Campaign Enters Final Phase

Diabetes aspirin use questioned -- BBC

Aspirin should not routinely be used to prevent heart attacks in people with diabetes, Scottish research suggests.

Solving the problems of Afghanistan | No time to go wobbly

Solving the problems of Afghanistan No time to go wobbly The ...

Barack Obama for President -- washingtonpost

THE NOMINATING process this year produced two unusually talented and qualified presidential candidates. There are few public figures we have respected more over the years than Sen. John McCain. Yet it is without ambivalence that we endorse Sen. Barack Obama for president.
Barack Obama for President

Swiss National Bank Takes $60B in Troubled UBS Assets

Swiss authorities moved to stabilize their storied banking system today, agreeing to take $60 billion in troubled assets off the books of financial giant UBS and put them into a special government-backed fund, in a deal financed at least initially by the U.S. Federal Reserve.
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How Deeply is the U.S. involved in the Afghan Drug Trade? -- huffingtonpost

McCain and Palin Are Playing With Fire -- By Khaled Hosseini

I prefer to discuss politics through my novels, but I am truly dismayed these days. Twice last week alone, speakers at McCain-Palin rallies have referred to Sen. Barack Obama, with unveiled scorn, as Barack Hussein Obama.

John McCain and Gov. Sarah Palin, that Obama's middle name makes him someone to distrust -- and, judging by some of the crowd reactions at these rallies, someone to persecute or even kill. As a secular Muslim, I too was offended.

What I find most unconscionable is the refusal of the McCain-Palin tandem to publicly condemn the cries of "traitor," "liar," "terrorist" and (worst of all) "kill him!" that could be heard at recent rallies. McCain is perfectly capable of telling hecklers off. But not once did he or his running mate bother to admonish the people yelling these obscene -- and potentially dangerous -- words.
McCain and Palin Are Playing With Fire

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Petraeus Mounts Strategy Review -- Team to Focus On Afghanistan, Wider Region

Gen. David H. Petraeus has launched a major reassessment of U.S. strategy for Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iran, Iraq and the surrounding region, while warning that the lack of development and the spiraling violence in Afghanistan will probably make it "the longest campaign of the long war."

NATO Modifies Airstrike Policy In Afghanistan

As McCain Presses Attack, Obama Stresses The Economy

In final debate, John McCain aggressively criticizes Barack Obama while Obama seeks to direct the conversation to "solving the big problems here in America."
Michael D. Shear and Robert Barnes
Watch the Full Debate
Tax Plans Campaign Tone

ANALYSIS: Aggressive Underdog vs. Cool Counterpuncher
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McCain and Palin Are Playing With Fire -

As U.S. Gains in Iraq, Rebels Go to Afghanistan

McCain Presses Obama in Final Debate

Lively Exchanges on Policy and Character

Video Transcript
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Wrapping Up the Final Debate
Transcript: Third Presidential Debate

On Afghan-Pakistan Border, Security Worsens

All Things Considered, October 13, 2008 · It has been a record-breaking year in Afghanistan, and few of those records are good — there are more bombings, more battles and more deaths than at any time since 2001.

Debate Over Pakistan's Role In Afghan Violence

Candidates Spar Over Policies, Negative Campaign

Obama, McCain To Sit Down For Final Debate
Listen: McCain and Obama Meet In Final Debate
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McCain, Obama Clash Over Economic Crisis

Editorial - Downward Spiral - NYTimes

After years of denial and negligence, President Bush and his aides are finally waking up to the desperate mess they’ve made in Afghanistan. They have little choice, since the alarms are coming from all corners.

In a rare moment of agreement, America’s 16 intelligence agencies are warning that Afghanistan is on a dangerous “downward spiral.” Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, is publicly predicting that next year will be an even “tougher year.”
U.S. Study Is Said to Warn of Crisis in Afghanistan
U.S. Urgently Reviews Policy On Afghanistan

Click here: Joint Chiefs Chairman Is Gloomy on Afghanistan - NYTimes

Stocks Plunge on Economic Gloom

Wall Street looked beyond the government’s bailout plan on Wednesday and saw more signs that the economy was in for a slowdown.
Bernanke Says Bailout Will Need Time to Work

Paul Krugman Is Awarded Nobel in Economics --WSJ

Princeton Scholar and New York Times Columnist Known for Criticism of Bush Is Honored for His Analysis of Trade Patterns
Real Time Economics: Krugman's Work
Krugman interview on New Yorks Times's Economix blog

Recession Fears Send Stocks Plummeting Before Close

Wall Street staged another massive sell-off today as recession fears gripped the market and Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke confirmed that an economic recovery will take time.
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سرمحقق دوکتور عبدالطیف جلالی، داشمند،ژورنالیست ،نویسنده وسیاستمدار افغان دیروز چشم ازجهان پوشید

افغان پوه ، ژورنالسيت ، ليکوال او سياستوال سرڅيړونکي ډاکتر عبدالطيف جلالي پرون په حق ورسيد

پروفیسور داکتر عبداسلام جلالی برادر مرحومی به آژانس باخترگفت: دوکتورعبدالطیف جلالی به اثرمریضی که عاید حالش شده بود، به عمر هشتاد ویک سالگی دیروز دردیارغربت جان برجان آفرین سپرده است.دوکتور عبدالطیف جلالی بیشترین دوران زنده گی اش را درراه خدمت گزاری به جامعه فرهنگی ،روشن فكری افغانستان صرف نموده است.مرحومی علاوه از کار درعرصه های مختلف مطبوعاتی کشور، زمانی عضو لوی جرگه اضطراری ومدت زمانی را نیز بحیث استاد درپوهنځی ادبیات وعلوم بشری پوهنتون کابل، ایفای وظیفه نموده است.دوکتور جلالی، زمانی نيز عضو اکادمی علوم افغانستان بوده وبیشترین دوران زنده گی پربارش را بحیث نطاق
،مبصرسیاسی در رادیو تلویزیون افغانستان ودرین اواخر رادیو آزادی سپری نموده است

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.
Listen to this essay on

Foreign Affairs - Millions Uprooted - António Guterres

The twenty-first century will be characterized by the mass movement of people being pushed and pulled within and beyond their borders by conflict, calamity, or opportunity. War and human rights violations are already scattering millions across the world in search of safety. Globalization, with its attributes of economic expansion, unresolved poverty, and enduring insecurity, is prompting many people to leave their homes in search of better lives.

People moving between countries and continents, voluntarily or involuntarily, especially in the absence of legal permits, face detention, harassment, and discrimination, as well as the risk of transfer to remote and dangerous locations.
Click here: Foreign Affairs - Millions Uprooted - António Guterres

اشرف غني: افغان حکومت سم کاري پلان نه لري -- BBC

اشرف غني: افغان حکومت سم کاري پلان نه لري
ښاغلي احمدزي د امنيت په ټينگښت او له ترهگرۍ سره مبارزه کې د افغان حکومت هڅې ناکامې وبللې.
د ښاغلي اشرف غني احمدزي په باور افغان حکومت د خلکو ملاتړ له لاسه ورکړى او د مخته تلو پرځاى شاته روان دى
نشریات کابل: ۲۳ میزان
تردید در پیروزی در جنگ افغانستان؟
'بالاترین سطح' خشونتها در افغانستان
په افغانستان کې،
د ښوونځيو لپاره د نوي ښوونيز نصاب جوړول

Afghan violence 'worst in years' -- BBC

Attacks on troops, civilians and aid workers in Afghanistan are at their highest level for six years, according to the UN special envoy there.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

U.N. Envoy Warns of More Taliban Attacks

UNITED NATIONS, Oct. 14 -- The top U.N. representative for Afghanistan warned Tuesday that Taliban insurgents in the country are likely to step up attacks in coming weeks, before the onset of winter, but he also praised the government's progress in curtailing opium cultivation and said the country is not doomed to failure.
When Afghanistan Stopped Drug Traffickers
Official: Afghanistan suffering from Iraqi gains
Canada's Conservative Party wins re-election

Book Review - 'The Wasted Vigil,' by Nadeem Aslam - Review ...

U.S. Investing In Banks To Free Up Lending

Bush Remarks On Banking Rescue Plan
U.S. Treasury To Buy Stakes In Nine Banks


Jalali and Ghani possible contenders for 2009 election

Former Interior Minister, Ali Jalali, and Finance Minister, Ashraf Ghani, are the two major possible contenders against Hamid Karzai, in the next year's presidential elections, a Congressional report has said.

Both Jalali and Ghani - former Cabinet colleagues of Karzai who left his administration due to difference -- are two formidable candidates against the Afghan President, said the 75-page report of Afghan Security by the Congressional Research Service prepared for US lawmakers
YouTube - Ashraf Ghani: What Afghanistan REALLY needs ...

Monday, October 13, 2008

10 ways to protect your money now -- The Wall Street Journal

Here are 10 things you can do amid the current financial panic:

Dow soars 936 in a rally for the ages

The blue chip index has its largest one-day point and percentage gains since 1933

US STOCKS-Wall St soars 11 pct on bank rescue, Morgan deal

Global efforts to stabilize banks calm markets * Morgan Stanley jumps after news of stake purchase * DJ Wilshire 5000 gains $1.2 trillion in value * Dow up 11.1 pct, S&P up 11.6 pct, Nasdaq up 11.8 percent

Sunday, October 12, 2008

U.S. crafts new Afghan strategy involving militias

WASHINGTON -- Confronting the prospect of failure after seven years in Afghanistan, the U.S. military is crafting a new strategy that probably will expand the power and reach of tribal militias while relying less on the increasingly troubled central government.

McCain and Palin Are Playing With Fire -

Afghan president offers Taliban a role in governing country

Britain has been encouraging the Kabul government to talk to its Taliban enemies for more than two years and the Americans are thought to be coming round to the idea of a deal which would end the costly war in Afghanistan.

تېر څلورکلنه دوره او د ولسمشر کړې ژمنې -- BBC

څلور کاله پخوا حامد کرزى په افغانستان کې د لومړىو ټولټاکنو په پايله کې د ولسمشر په توگه وټاکل شو
د ولسمشر حامد کرزي،
د واکمنۍ تېرې څلور کلنې دورې ته يوه کتنه

تغییرات گسترده در کابینه کرزی

نظر سفیر بریتانیا؟
تایمز: نیاز به یک دیکتاتور در کابل

White House Overhauling Rescue Plan

WASHINGTON — As international leaders gathered here on Saturday to grapple with the global financial crisis, the Bush administration embarked on an overhaul of its own strategy for rescuing the foundering financial system.

Those With Sense of History May Find It’s Time to Invest

Some investors say that the sell-off has gone too far and that stocks could rally if a downturn is not severe.Video: Driven by Impulse

Those With Sense of History May Find It’s Time to Invest
Your Money: Switching to Cash May Feel Safe, but Risks Remain

Retirement Wreck -- Are 401(k)s Still Viable for Saving?

For many Americans, 401(k) plans were supposed to be their own little golden parachutes into retirement. Now, it seems, those parachutes may not open in time.
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UNHCR - Pavarotti Tribute Concert on Sunday

Under the patronage of HRH Princess Haya Bint al Hussein of Jordan, a UN Messenger of Peace, the concert at the renowned archeological site at Petra will generate funds for projects in Afghanistan by UNHCR and the UN World Food Programme (WFP) as well as to the Petra National Trust.
UNHCR News Pavarotti Memorial Concert of musical stars to help Afghan refugees

Gates proposes Afghan troop hike for 2009 elections

ON BOARD US MILITARY AIRCRAFT (AFP) - US Defense Secretary Robert Gates said Friday he has urged NATO allies to temporarily increase force levels in Afghanistan next year to protect the 2009 presidential elections.

Bush: U.S. Will Continue to Act to Resolve Crisis

WASHINGTON -- "The United States government is acting, we will continue to act to resolve this crisis and restore stability to our markets," Mr. Bush said. "The federal government has a comprehensive strategy and the tools necessary to address the challenges in our economy.

"Fellow citizens, we can solve this crisis, and we will," he said.
Bush: U.S. to Act to Mitigate Crisis
G-7: Need for Urgent Action on Crisis

Global Action Needed, Says World Bank

WASHINGTON -- Leaders of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank called for swift, coordinated action on the global financial crisis.

World Bank President Robert Zoellick said in a separate briefing that the Group of Seven major economic powers need to take steps to combat the financial turmoil and to help poor countries deal with their problems.
World's Financial Leaders Vow to Unite
Democrats Discuss New Stimulus Bill
Bush: U.S. to Act to Mitigate Crisis

World leaders vow to battle economic crisis

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- World leaders, warning of a global economic downturn, pledged Saturday to work together to find solutions to what is unfolding as the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression.

U.S. President George W. Bush and finance officials from the Group of Seven, Group of 20 and the International Monetary Fund -- gathering in the nation's capital -- vowed vigilance in helping economies around the world on the road to recovery.

IMF chief hails 'first' global coordination on financial crisis AFP
IMF Speeds Access to Funds as Emerging Markets Buckle (Update1) Bloomberg
New York Times - Wall Street Journal - MarketWatch - Reuters

Afghan president reshuffles cabinet

KABUL, Oct 11 (Reuters) - Afghan President Hamid Karzai reshuffled his cabinet on Saturday, moving the education minister to take over the Interior Ministry which administers the police force and which has been criticised for corruption.
Afghan president reshuffles cabinet - International Herald Tribune
Afghan President, Pressured, Reshuffles Cabinet -

Friday, October 10, 2008

IFC signs agreement with the First Microfinance Bank of Afghanistan

( - Kabul, Afghanistan, October 8, 2008—IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, signed an agreement with the First Microfinance Bank of Afghanistan to help strengthen the bank’s capacity to introduce a product line that will address the housing needs of low- and middle-income Afghanis.
IFC signs agreement with the First Microfinance Bank of Afghanistan

AFGHANISTAN: Ministry warns of severe food shortage

KABUL, 9 October 2008 (IRIN) - Afghanistan faces a deficit of two million tonnes of staple food - primarily wheat flour and rice - to feed millions of vulnerable people in the coming six months, the Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Livestock (MAIL) has said.

World Leaders Vow Concerted Action

Finance Officials Promise 'All Necessary Steps'; U.S. Stocks Flail to Worst Weekly Decline
G7 Finance Leaders Vow Action

UPDATE: Wachovia Lost Deposits As Citi Fought Wells Bid
Financial Times

Rich Nations Pushing for Coordination in Rescue

WASHINGTON — In the five-point plan, issued after finance ministers met at the Treasury Department, the Group of 7 countries broadly endorsed the idea of taking ownership positions in banks — a strategy first adopted by Britain and now emerging as a major part of the rescue effort in the United States.
A Bit of ‘I Told You So’ Outside World Bank Talks
CNBC Video: Paulson Discusses G-7 Crisis Plan

Fear Drives Wild Trading Ahead Of G-7 Meeting

Some Consumers See Credit Cards Canceled
When Will The Market Bottom Out?

Thirty Years' War in Afghanistan

The Nation -- Following on the heels of recent reports from British military and diplomatic circles that the war in Afghanistan can't be won, a new report from Tony Cordesman at the Center for Strategic and International Studies lay out in excruciatingly painful terms how bad the situation is. Cordesman, who is both a principled, hardline conservative and a true scholar and military expert, is probably the most prolific thinktank analyst in all of Washington. His analyses are all must-reads.

30-Year War in Afghanistan

Danger Ahead for the Most Dangerous Place in the World

Here's an alarming thought: Pakistan is in even scarier shape than most of the so-called experts are willing to admit.
Mullen sees Afghanistan worsening into next year
NATO agrees on Afghan drug role for military

Wall St. Caps One of Its Worst Weeks Mixed

A late-day rebound today could not stave off investor fears of a global recession that pushed Wall Street to one of its worst weekly performances.
Transcript: Making Sense of the Global Financial Crisis
The End Of American Capitalism?

Regulators OK Wells Fargo Takeover Of Wachovia
Ultimate retirement guide

Transcript: Bush Remarks on the Global Economy

Over the past few days we have witnessed a startling drop in the stock market, much of it driven by uncertainty and fear. This has been a deeply unsettling period for the American people. Many of our citizens have serious concerns about their retirement accounts, their investments and their economic well-being.

Here's what the American people need to know: that the United States government is acting; we will continue to act to resolve this crisis and restore stability to our markets.
Scene Transcript

Bush Says Markets Must Remain Calm Despite Challenges

Bush Says Markets Must Remain Calm Despite Challenges

President Bush today urged financial markets and the broader American public to remain calm in the face of the global financial meltdown, saying that "we'll get through this together."
Treasury Dept. Plan Would Let Government Buy Stakes in Banks
Wall St. Caps One of Its Worst Weeks Mixed
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Asian, European Stocks Plummet

Blue Chips Slide 678.91 Points, or 7.3% -- WSJ

The stock plunge on Thursday began after an early-morning rally, which morphed into a broad-based selloff that picked up speed as the closing bell approached.

Report: Taliban Gaining Strength In Afghanistan

"For the first time in many years, the intelligence agencies of the U.S. government have come together and have said in the most comprehensive way that the U.S. and allies and Afghan government are in danger of 'losing' Afghanistan, essentially," says Eric Schmitt, who covers terrorism and national security for the Times.

Afghan War May Cost Canada $15.7 Billion

Thursday, October 09, 2008

U.S. Allegedly Listened In on Calls of Americans Abroad

The chairman of the Senate intelligence committee is looking into allegations that a U.S. spy agency improperly eavesdropped on the phone calls of hundreds of Americans overseas, including aid workers and U.S. military personnel talking to their spouses at home.

Panel to Study Military Eavesdropping New York Times
CNN - The Miami Herald - ABC News
US intelligence monitored calls of some Americans

Joint Chiefs Chairman Is Gloomy on Afghanistan

U.S. Study Is Said to Warn of Crisis in Afghanistan

Afternoon Turns Dark as Stocks Plunge

In the busiest day in New York Stock Exchange history, panicky investors dumped stocks en masse. Almost no corner of the market was spared, with 1,754 stocks falling and just 87 rising on the Big Board.
Nations Weigh Global Action to Crisis
Wells Fargo Wins the War for Wachovia
Iceland Is Likely to Turn to the I.M.F.

Winning the battle, losing the faith

U.S. Wants NATO to Target Afghan Heroin Trade

BUDAPEST, Hungary -- "I don't think anyone in the alliance is interested in eradicating crops or doing things that involve individual farmers, but if we have the opportunity to go after drug lords and drug laboratories and try and interrupt this flow of cash to the Taliban, that seems to me like a legitimate security endeavor," Mr. Gates told reporters. "And that will be the position that I take to them."
NATO battles to agree new steps against Afghan drug trade
Nations balk at US anti-drug plan for Afghanistan - AP

Op-Ed Contributors - Afghans Are Losing Their Trust in Their
Winning the Battle, Losing the Faith

U.S. Military Chief Gives Grim View of Afghanistan

WASHINGTON -- With security and economic conditions in Afghanistan already in dire straits, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff said Thursday that the situation there would probably only worsen next year.
U.S. Study Is Said to Warn of Crisis in Afghanistan
Europe Asked to Send Afghanistan More Troops

Times Topics: Afghanistan

Treasury Dept. Plan Would Let Government Buy Stakes in Banks

The Bush administration is nearing completion of a plan that would allow the government to inject cash into banks in exchange for ownership stakes in a bid to shore up the ailing financial system, according to officials and sources who have been in direct contact with the Treasury.
Administration Is Considering Cash Injections Into Banks

Drop in Wall Street bonuses may hit 50 percent drop

U.S. Study Is Said to Warn of Crisis in Afghanistan

In Tuesday’s presidential debate, Mr. Obama said he told Mr. Karzai during a visit to Afghanistan in July that the Afghan leader had “to do better by your people in order for us to gain the popular support that’s necessary.”

“We have to have a government that is responsive to the Afghan people, and frankly it’s just not responsive right now,” Mr. Obama said.
U.S. Urgently Reviews Policy On Afghanistan
U.S. Study Is Said to Warn of Crisis in Afghanistan

Gates Seeks European Troops for Afghanistan

AIG Spa Trip Fuels Fury on Hill

For some people at AIG, the insurance giant rescued last month with an $85 billion federal bailout, the good times keep rolling.
U.S. Extends $38 Billion In New Loans to AIG
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Wednesday, October 08, 2008

U.S. Urgently Reviews Policy On Afghanistan

The White House has launched an urgent review of Afghanistan policy, fast-tracked for completion in the next several weeks, amid growing concern that the administration lacks a comprehensive strategy for the foundering war there and as intelligence officials warn of a rapidly worsening situation on the ground.

Lt. Gen. Douglas E. Lute, President Bush's senior adviser for Iraq and Afghanistan, has told Pentagon, intelligence and State Department officials to return to the basic questions: What are our objectives in Afghanistan? What can we hope to achieve? What are our resources? What is our allies' role? What do we know about the enemy? How likely is it that weak Afghan and Pakistani governments will rise to the occasion?
U.S. Urgently Reviews Policy On Afghanistan -
U.S. Study Is Said to Warn of Crisis in Afghanistan

U.S. Study Is Said to Warn of Crisis in Afghanistan

WASHINGTON — A draft report by American intelligence agencies concludes that Afghanistan is in a “downward spiral” and casts serious doubt on the ability of the Afghan government to stem the rise in the Taliban’s influence there, according to American officials familiar with the document.

Inside the government, reports issued by the Central Intelligence Agency for more than two years have chronicled the worsening violence and rampant corruption inside Afghanistan, and some in the agency say they believe that it has taken the White House too long to respond to the warnings.

Henry A. Crumpton, a career C.I.A. officer who last year stepped down as the State Department’s top counterterrorism official, attributed some of Afghanistan’s problems to a “lack of leadership” both at the White House and in European capitals where commitments to rebuild Afghanistan after 2001 have never been met.

Mr. Crumpton, who was in charge of the C.I.A. teams that entered Afghanistan after the 9/11 attacks but who said he had not seen the draft report, said that Afghanistan was “bad and getting worse” and that officials in Washington were just beginning to wake up to the problem.

“It’s taken them a long time to realize it, but now they know it’s pretty grim,” he said.
U.S. Study Is Said to Warn of Crisis in Afghanistan -
U.S. study is said to warn of crisis in Afghanistan ... Iht
U.S. study to warn of crisis in Afghanistan: report ... reuters

AIG Gets More Government Bailout Cash

Only one day after it was revealed that AIG had sprung for a $440,000 spa vacation shortly after getting an $84 billion government-loan bailout comes this report: The government is loaning AIG another $38 billion.

Fed joins counterparts around the world by cutting interest rates, but stocks drop again

Central banks in England, China, Canada, Sweden and Switzerland and the European Central Bank also cut rates after a series of high-stakes phone calls over several days between Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke and his counterparts.

Fidelity, Vanguard to seek money fund guarantees

BOSTON (AP) - Fidelity Investments and Vanguard Group Inc., two heavyweights in the money-market mutual fund industry, said Tuesday they will apply to participate in a temporary federal guarantee program to prop up the $3.4 trillion money-market fund industry.

انتقاد وزیر سابق افغان از 'ضعف مدیریت' -- BBC

اشرف غنی احمدزی، وزیر پیشین مالیه و از فعالان سیاسی افغانستان گفته است که دولت این کشور حمایت مردمی را از دست داده و به جای اینکه در هفت سال گذشته به پیش برود، به عقب برگشته است

آقای احمدزی فعالیت های دولت افغانستان در عرصه امینت و مبارزه با تروریسم را ناکام خوانده و بر این باور است که دولت در این
عرصه از امکاناتی که از سوی جامعه جهانی در اختیارش گذاشته شد نتوانسته استفاده کند

او می گوید: "شش میلیارد دالر برای پلیس ما تنها از سوی ایالات متحد آمریکا مصرف شده است. یک واحد پلیس ما آماده نیست، تعداد افراد پلیس خود را نمی دانیم، معاش افراد پلیس به وقت تادیه نمی شود، فساد اداری در بین پلیس، از نگاه مردم به اوج (رسیده) است."
انتقاد وزیر سابق افغان از 'ضعف مدیریت'
اشرف غني : افغان حکومت سم کاري پلان نه لري

Karzai's brother 'met ex-Taleban' -- BBC

Last month the king of Saudi Arabia played host to an extraordinary cast of political players during a religious meal.

The BBC understands that Afghan President Hamid Karzai's older brother, Qayum Karzai, was in attendance, as well as former Taleban leaders. Also present was the former Pakistani prime minister Nawaz Sharif.