Wednesday, February 28, 2018

UN mission welcomes Afghan Government’s proposal for peace talks with Taliban

The United Nations mission in Afghanistan on Wednesday welcomed the Government’s renewed call for unconditional peace talks with the Taliban and expressed strong support for its vision for peace.

The Government presented the proposal at an international conference aimed at creating a platform for peace talks.

“The UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) welcomes the Afghan Government’s renewed call for unconditional peace talks with the Taliban and the outlining of a framework for peace, presented at the Kabul Process II conference in the Afghan capital today,” said a UNAMA press release.

The Mission “strongly supports the vision for peace through intra-Afghan dialogue and urges all parties involved to engage at the earliest time,” the release said.

UNAMA commended the stated preparedness of Afghan authorities to discuss all issues as part of a peace process, including such key aspects as the constitution and the lifting of sanctions against persons and entities, as well as the release of prisoners. - Read More

UN mission welcomes Afghan Government’s proposal for peace talks with Taliban

Impact of Afghanistan’s fourth consecutive year of war on civilians 'far too high' – UN report

In Geneva, UN chief urges new push to free world from nuclear weapons

Warning that nuclear weapons pose catastrophic risks to human life and the environment, United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres on Monday called on the international community to make a reinvigorated push to rid the world of such weapons.

“Countries persist in the mistaken idea that nuclear weapons make the world safer,” said the Secretary-General, addressing the UN Conference on Disarmament, in Geneva, Switzerland, on Monday.

“At the global level, we must work together towards forging a new momentum on eliminating nuclear weapons,” he urged.

Outlining a new initiative to give greater impetus and direction to the global disarmament agenda, Mr. Guterres said the world must respond to the dangers of the over-accumulation and proliferation of weapons, and reinforce the need to integrate disarmament into the UN efforts on preventive diplomacy and peacemaking.

Side-by-side, a focus is needed on the impact of conventional weapons on civilians as well as on the link between disarmament and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, in particular the resources lost to excessive military spending – resources that could have been used to spur development activities. - Read More

In Geneva, UN chief urges new push to free world from nuclear weapons

President Ghani’s Remarks At The Second Conference Of Kabul Process — Kabul

Your presence here is a visible reminder that we are an international community united not only by shared threats, but shared interests and shared opportunities. We stand determined to overcome those threats, expand our shared interests and grasp those opportunities.

The threat of our times is the Fifth Wave of Political Violence and Terrorism. The enemies we face are Transnational Terrorist Networks and Transnational Criminal Organizations. The threat is not only clear and present, but unfortunately increasing and without boundaries.

We, the international community, have analyzed the scale and scope of the threat, and we have drafted numerous UN resolutions and agreements to address the threat, but we have yet to develop a full consensus on taking coordinated action among states to counter this threat. We must have consensus on how to implement the UN strategy to counter global terrorism; we must develop a system to classify international terrorist networks and organizations; and we must develop criteria for dealing with states who rely on terrorist networks as instruments of foreign policy.

Today, I will devote my remarks to articulating a perspective, the vision might be to grant the world to own the future and overcome the recent past through an agenda of hope, peace and cooperation.


Thank you.
In this age of virtual connectivity, it is easy to forget the centrality of Afghanistan’s locations in shaping global history.  One of the great scholars on Central Asia, Dr. Frederick Starr, is one of many who has written on the topic.  I would like to share some facts here as a reminder, not because we have nostalgia for the past, but because it allows us to see the possibilities of the future:

  1. Afghanistan and Central Asia have the unique distinction that “all the great civilizations on the Eurasian landmass are accessible from Central Asia, and those same civilizations are accessible to one another by land only through Central Asia.”
  2. Insulated and protected by a natural barrier on the north-east and north, it has been Afghanistan “that has ever held the landward gates of the Indian subcontinent, allowing the flow of artists, merchants, pilgrims, scholars and soldiers of fortune from the north and west eastwards.”
  3. Over 2,500 years of history and archeology show that we functioned not merely as a crossroad of civilizations but, indeed, as a cross-road civilization. The Asian roundabout, where ideas, people, and goods have freely flown and interacted, is another way to describe our place in history, as well as our future potential.
Contrary to the caricature of the land of “endless conflict”, our history is one of long periods of peace and prosperity, punctuated by foreign invasions and subsequent rebuilding.  Both in the 19th and 20th centuries, our lives were ruptured by unwarranted and sudden imperial invasions.  We earned our right as a nation at the crucible of history through immense sacrifice.

We are a people united by cross-cutting ties.  Our identities are situational, ranging from the village and neighborhood to the national level.  Our unity is rooted in our strong sense of equality and deep and abiding belief in justice and fair play.  Every Afghan, regardless of the name group to which he or she belongs, feels equal to another.   We will stand patiently in a line for hours but if one person is shifted to the front, we raise our voices to demand an explanation.  This sense of equality is rooted in our past, as every major city and name group has served as a capital of an empire or leaders of empires or states in the past.  Our sense of justice is derived from our Islamic faith, culture and civilization.  As a 99.9% Muslim country, our faith has always united us in the face of the adversities and allowed us to overcome the seemingly impossible.

I spent my childhood and youth in an environment of peace and security.

During that time, a single unarmed constable had the authority to summon all the elders of a village to the district headquarter; the King’s estates and farms were open to the public and he walked around with a single armed guard;  President Dawood drove himself, followed by a single vehicle at a distance of two kilometers. - Read More

Trump asks Congress for broad bill on guns, schools after shooting

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump on Wednesday urged a diverse group of lawmakers - some who want more gun restrictions, others averse to gun control - to come up with comprehensive legislation to prevent school shootings following the nation’s most recent massacre.

Trump has been cautiously considering changes for gun laws, pressured by a wave of student activism after 17 people were shot to death at a high school in Parkland, Florida, on Feb. 14.

The Republican president, endorsed by the powerful gun lobby National Rifle Association in his 2016 campaign, has been wary of angering voters who oppose any curbs on gun ownership, particularly ahead of the November elections in which his party’s control of Congress will be at stake.

But on Wednesday, at the start of the fourth free-flowing gun policy discussion he has had in a week, Trump pushed Congress to go big on the bill. He said he told NRA officials, “It’s time. We’ve got to stop this nonsense. It’s time.” - Read More

Trump asks Congress for broad bill on guns, schools after shooting

Afghanistan's Ghani offers talks with Taliban 'without preconditions'

KABUL (Reuters) - Afghan President Ashraf Ghani offered recognition of the Taliban as a legitimate political group on Wednesday as part of a proposed political process that he said could lead to talks aimed at ending more than 16 years of war.

The offer, made at the start of an international conference aimed at creating a platform for peace talks, adds to a series of signals from both the Western-backed government and the Taliban suggesting a greater willingness to consider dialogue.

Ghani proposed a ceasefire and a release of prisoners as part of a range of options including new elections, involving the militants, and a constitutional review as part of a pact with the Taliban to end a conflict that last year alone killed or wounded more than 10,000 Afghan civilians.

“We are making this offer without preconditions in order to lead to a peace agreement,” Ghani said in opening remarks to the conference attended by officials from around 25 countries involved in the so-called Kabul Process.

“The Taliban are expected to give input to the peace-making process, the goal of which is to draw the Taliban, as an organisation, to peace talks,” he said, adding that he would not “pre-judge” any group seeking peace.

The comments, a month after a suicide attack in central Kabul killed around 100 people, represented a change in tone for Ghani, who has regularly called the Taliban “terrorists” and “rebels” although he has also offered to talk with parts of the movement that accepted peace.

The United Nations mission in Afghanistan welcomed the offer and said it “strongly supports the vision for peace through intra-Afghan dialogue”. 

The Taliban, fighting to restore Islamic rule after their 2001 defeat by U.S.-led troops, have offered to begin talks with the United States but have so far refused direct talks with Kabul. It was unclear whether they would be prepared to shift their stance, despite growing international pressure.- Read More

Afghanistan's Ghani offers talks with Taliban 'without preconditions'

Afghanistan hosts talks on peace platform after Taliban offer to U.S.

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

An Open Letter to the Taliban | The New Yorker


Your February 14, 2018, open letter to the American people asked us to “evaluate the future of American forces in light of the prevailing realities” in Afghanistan. I can answer only for myself, as an academic and former American diplomat who has been trying to understand Afghanistan’s realities for thirty-five years. Many Afghans claim that any answer should go not to you but to the Pakistani generals and intelligence operatives who shelter your movement. I disagree. I have interacted with you directly and indirectly since January, 1997, when I chaired a meeting at Columbia University with a delegation you sent to New York to ask for Afghanistan’s seat at the United Nations. I have concluded that your opponents underestimate your independence and abilities. But you may also underestimate theirs.

On Wednesday, the Afghan government will host a second meeting of the Kabul Conference, an effort to begin peace talks, which will be attended by twenty-three countries. The United Nations announced earlier this month that ten thousand Afghan civilians were killed or wounded in Afghanistan in 2017, two-thirds of them in anti-government attacks.

You highlight the civilian casualties inflicted by U.S. air power, the shame of Guantánamo, and the losses suffered by American soldiers and their families. I would cite the thousands of Afghan civilian casualties inflicted by your attacks and suicide bombings. The International Criminal Court opened an investigation into war crimes in Afghanistan last fall. In less than three months, Afghans submitted accounts of 1.17 million atrocities. I prefer to respond here to your appeal for dialogue.

Few would disagree with your call “to solve the Afghan issue through peaceful dialogues,” if they thought it were possible. On January 29th, after your organization used a car bomb disguised as an ambulance to kill nearly a hundred people in Kabul, President Trump did say, “I don’t think we’re prepared to talk right now.” That was an impulse, not a strategy. As you yourself observed on Monday, “the United States has kept the doors of dialogue open for the Taliban.”

The flaw in your call for dialogue is that it is addressed only to Americans, not your fellow Afghans. You accuse Afghans opposing you of “committing treason against our nation,” but the government of Afghanistan, corrupt and divided as it may be, is recognized by every nation in the world—not just Washington and its allies. Your dialogue with the U.S. government cannot replace dialogue with that government and the millions of other Afghans who fear your attacks and your return. Trying to exclude them repeats the mistake the U.S. made by excluding you.

The list of missed opportunities for peace in Afghanistan since 2001 is long. On December 6, 2001, your leaders signed an agreement with Hamid Karzai, who had just been named the chairman of Afghanistan’s interim administration at talks convened by the United Nations in Bonn. You agreed to a truce and handed over the four provinces you still controlled to Karzai’s government. In return, you did not ask for government positions—just an amnesty that would allow you to live in dignity. - Read More 

An Open Letter to the Taliban | The New Yorker

Top US official on quiet Pakistan visit to improve ties - Dawn

ISLAMABAD: A senior United States National Security Council official has been quietly visiting the federal capital amid reports that both sides are giving ‘behind-the-scenes’ efforts aimed at fixing the strains in ties more chances to avoid a complete breakdown of the increasingly dysfunctional relationship.

“FS (Ms Tehmina Janjua) meets Ms Lisa Curtis, the Senior Director for South and Central Asia at the NSC of US, at Mofa (ministry of foreign affairs) this morning,” Foreign Office spokesman Dr Mohammad Faisal tweeted on Monday.

However, no further details of the meeting were provided in the tweet.

According to APP, Ms Curtis later called on Interior Minister Ahsan Iqbal but what was conveyed by the US official during the meeting was not made public either.

Lisa Curtis holds talks with interior minister and foreign secretary

The FO spokesman had previously said at the weekly briefing that “Pakistan and the US are trying to find common ground in their bilateral relations, which is happening outside public glare”. - Read More

Top US official on quiet Pakistan visit to improve ties - Dawn

America Will Never Win the War in Afghanistan - Ali Wyne

According to an in-depth investigation conducted by BBC News reporters in late 2017, the Taliban fully control four percent of Afghanistan’s districts and “have an active and open physical presence” in 66 percent of the remaining ones. They found that roughly half of the Afghan people “are living in areas that are either controlled by the Taliban or where the Taliban are openly present and regularly mount attacks.”

These findings should give pause to observers who believe that the United States is, or will presently be, poised to turn the tide in Afghanistan enduringly. There are currently fourteen thousand U.S. troops stationed there, up from 8,500 when President Trump took office, and the Army is recommending that the president authorize the deployment of an additional one thousand troops. For much of 2011, by comparison, there were nearly one hundred thousand U.S. troops in Afghanistan. While that earlier surge did reduce the Taliban’s control and extend that of the Afghan government, neither trend lasted. It is difficult to see how the present force would be able to accomplish what one nearly seven times as large could not; it would be unlikely to have more than marginal impact, and even then for only as long as the deployment was sustained.

The United States has now been at war in Afghanistan for over sixteen years, at a cost of over $1 trillion; Atlantic Senior Editor Krishnadev Calamur noted last month that the Taliban “now controls . . . more territory than at any point since the U.S.-led invasion”; and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime reported this past November that both the level of opium production and the area under opium poppy cultivation in Afghanistan reached record highs in 2017.

Such realities invite a rigorous interrogation of the rationales for America’s continued involvement there. Steve Coll, dean of Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism and author of a new book on U.S. efforts to counter terrorism in South Asia, observes that policymakers have yet to answer essential questions, such as “Why is the United States in Afghanistan? What interests justify its sacrifices? How will the war end?” Instead, it would appear that the United States has accepted, or perhaps resigned itself to, a kind of circular logic, one whose power will only grow with time: the longer that U.S. forces remain in Afghanistan, the more self-evident it should be that the United States has vital national interests there. - Read More

America Will Never Win the War in Afghanistan | The National Interest

Monday, February 26, 2018

Norway to spend $13 million to upgrade 'doomsday' Arctic seed vault

OSLO (Reuters) - Norway plans to spend 100 million Norwegian crowns ($13 million) to upgrade a doomsday seed vault on an Arctic island built 10 years ago to protect the world’s food supplies, the government said on Friday.

The Svalbard Global Seed Vault is meant as a natural deep freeze to back up the world’s gene banks in case of disasters ranging from nuclear war to global warming. It has about 900,000 seed samples.

The revamp would cover “construction of a new, concrete-built access tunnel, as well as a service building to house emergency power and refrigerating units and other electrical equipment that emits heat through the tunnel,” the Agriculture Ministry said in a statement.

An unexpected thaw of permafrost meant some water flowed into the entrance of the tunnel to the vault in late 2016. A decade ago, Norway said that it had cost $9 million to build the facility.- Read More

Norway to spend $13 million to upgrade 'doomsday' Arctic seed vault

What You Need To Know About Russia Memo Mania: Minority Report Edition

After nearly a month of pronouncements, melodrama, headlines and strife, Round One of memo mania is finally complete.

House Intelligence Committee Republicans went first with their Feb. 2 salvo that alleged "biased" FBI and Justice Department officials had abused their surveillance powers by withholding information from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court.

Then, on Saturday, committee Democrats released a rebuttal giving their perspective on the story — or at least part of it.

One privilege enjoyed by intelligence committee chairman Devin Nunes, R-Calif., is that his majority on the panel, and the presence of allies in the executive branch, meant he could arrange for his memo to be released swiftly and in full.

The minority response by ranking member Adam Schiff took weeks and was partly redacted, with large sections blacked out to conceal secret information.

Even though the countermemo is incomplete, it includes several points of interest that advance the never-ending story of the Russia imbroglio. - Read More

What You Need To Know About Russia Memo Mania: Minority Report Edition

An Anarchist Explains How Hackers Could Cause Global Chaos

Artists and criminals are often the first to push the boundaries of technology. Barrett Brown is a criminal who has actually helped inspire art — the TV show Mr. Robot. Its protagonist is a hacktivist — a hacker who breaks into computer systems to promote a cause.

Brown served time for being part of Anonymous, a group that hacked a private security firm to reveal secrets. He is now out and living in a halfway house in Dallas.

He had spent years in a prison cell thinking about what he might do when he got out. And he says he is ready to change, so next time he gets involved in hacking a corporation he is able to inflict maximum damage.

"Certainly, I haven't gotten any less militant in the course of having these things done to me," Brown says.

Since most hacktivists operate in the shadows, Brown offers the best look at these cyber-revolutionaries and their motivations.

The 36-year-old Brown was born in Dallas. His father was a wealthy real estate investor, until he was investigated by the FBI for fraud. Brown's father was never charged, but the family lost all its money and his parents divorced.

"It was something that I'm sure instilled in me the idea that there was a degree of arbitrary power out there that could come down at any time and disrupt your life, as it did to me when I was a child," Brown says. - Read More, NPR

An Anarchist Explains How Hackers Could Cause Global Chaos

Bollywood star Sridevi Kapoor 'drowned in hotel bath' - BBC

Superstar Bollywood actress Sridevi Kapoor died of accidental drowning, a Dubai post-mortem report has said.

The 54-year-old actress, known simply as Sridevi, drowned in her hotel apartment's bathtub following loss of consciousness, it says.

It had earlier been reported that she died of cardiac arrest on Saturday while at a family wedding in Dubai.

Bollywood stars, sporting giants and leading politicians have reacted with shock to her death.

The media arm of the Dubai government said the post-mortem analysis had been completed and the cause of death ascertained.

The case has been passed to the Dubai Public Prosecution for what officials said were "regular legal procedures". - Read More

Afghan Taliban renew call for dialogue with U.S. to end war

KABUL (Reuters) - The Taliban urged the United States on Monday to begin talks to end almost 17 years of war in Afghanistan, adding to a series of signals that suggest a greater willingness to explore options for dialogue.

In its statement, two days before the start of a meeting of regional leaders in Kabul to discuss ways of ending the war, the movement said it wanted a peaceful resolution.

“The Political Office of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan calls on American officials to talk directly to the Political Office of Islamic Emirate regarding a peaceful solution to the Afghan quandary,” it said.

“It would help in finding a solution if America accepts the legitimate demands of the Afghan people and [puts] forward its own concerns and requests for discussion to the Islamic Emirate through a peaceful channel,” it said.

The statement referred to reported comments by Alice Wells, the Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary in the U.S. State Department’s Bureau of South and Central Asian Affairs, that the “door is open” for talks with the Taliban.

Less than two weeks ago, the Taliban issued a statement saying they preferred to “solve the Afghan issue through peaceful dialogue”.

The United States last year stepped up its military assistance to Afghanistan, notably through a sharp increase in air strikes, with the aim of breaking a stalemate with the insurgents and forcing them to the negotiating table. 

While the U.S. military says the strategy has hit the Taliban hard, they still control or contest much of the country. They also claimed responsibility for two major attacks in Kabul last month that killed or wounded hundreds of civilians and shook public confidence in the Western-backed government of President Ashraf Ghani.- Read More

Afghan Taliban renew call for dialogue with U.S. to end war

Sunday, February 25, 2018

California Democrats Decline To Endorse Another Term For Sen. Dianne Feinstein

version of this story was originally posted by member station KQED.

Before U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein could finish her speech at the California Democratic Party convention Saturday, the music began playing to indicate she had used her allotted time.

She kept talking. The music got louder. "I guess my time is up," Feinstein conceded as what sounded like a 1940s movie score continued playing.

Without missing a beat, supporters of her opponent, state Sen. Kevin de León echoed her statement in a chant: "Your time is up! Your time is up!" — a not-so-subtle reference to Feinstein's 25 years in the U.S. Senate.

It was a sign of things to come. The grass-roots Democratic activists gathered at the party's annual convention in San Diego this weekend implicitly rebuked the state's senior U.S. senator by denying her the party's endorsement for her re-election bid.

Feinstein finished far behind de León, the top Democrat in the state Senate. De León received 54 percent of delegates' votes to just 37 percent for Feinstein. It takes 60 percent to receive an endorsement.

While the lack of an endorsement certainly won't keep Feinstein off the ballot, it's a sign that grass-roots Democrats are eager to supplant leaders who are seen as too moderate and willing to compromise.

Democratic Party activists have never really been Feinstein's people. In 1990, when she was running for governor, she came to the party convention and expressed her support for the death penalty, eliciting boos from the liberal crowd. She lost the party endorsement to John Van de Kamp but got the nomination anyway, ultimately losing the November election to Pete Wilson. - More, NPR

California Democrats Decline To Endorse Another Term For Sen ...

Saturday, February 24, 2018

Pakistan could evict, rather than kill, militants: U.S. official

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Pakistan need not kill or capture militants such as members of the Haqqani network that use its territory to launch attacks in Afghanistan but could push them across the border instead, a senior U.S. official said on Friday.

Evicting the militants would put them at risk of attack from Afghan and U.S. forces trying to keep Afghanistan from becoming a launching pad for strikes on the West more than 16 years after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on New York and Washington.

The United States is pressuring Pakistan to cease providing sanctuary - which it denies giving - to Islamist militants unleashing chaos in neighboring Afghanistan. 

On Jan. 4, Washington said it would suspend some security aid to Islamabad to get it to end support for the Afghan Taliban and the allied Haqqani network whose attacks in Afghanistan have killed U.S., Afghan and other forces.- Read More

Pakistan could evict, rather than kill, militants: U.S. official

Threats to pull ICE out of California beyond irresponsible - The Hill

Take that, California. On Thursday, President Trump said that he was so frustrated with the state’s “lousy management job” on immigration that he was thinking about pulling federal immigration agents from the state. “If we ever pulled our ICE out, if we ever said, ‘Hey, let California alone, let them figure it out for themselves,’ in two months they’d be begging for us to come back,” the president said during a meeting with state and local officials about school shootings. “They would be begging. And you know what? I’m thinking about doing it.”

If we are to take Trump seriously, his comments were appalling and irresponsible. If he were being flip, his comments were childish and mean-spirited. Either way, his threat reveals his ignorance both about our government and the law

Trump is angry with California because, last year Gov. Jerry Brown signed the California Values Act into law, which limits state and local law enforcement from cooperating with federal immigration authorities. It does not preclude ICE agents from doing their jobs in California; it simply lets local police concentrate on protecting their communities and leaves immigration enforcement to the feds.

California is home to more than two million undocumented immigrants, the largest such population in the country.  - Read More

Threats to pull ICE out of California beyond irresponsible

Tea, Honey And Lemon: Does This Classic Trifecta Actually Help A Sore Throat?

"I have to say, when I have patients that are sick, I often ask them to sip hot tea," says Dr. Edward Damrose, chief of laryngology at Stanford Health Care. "But I'm not sure that it's the tea itself that has the beneficial property, or that the warm water cuts through the phlegm and makes patients feel good."

To figure out whether the classic tea drink alleviates a sore throat, it helps to know what causes a sore throat in the first place. As Damrose explains, the throat is divided into two parts: a pharynx and a larynx, and both can be infected at the same time or separately. We use our pharynx when we swallow food or liquid. Bacterial or viral infections can cause the pharynx to swell and lead to a sore throat.

When we speak, on the other hand, we use our larynx, the part of the throat that contains our vocal cords. Viral infections make it more difficult for the vocal cords to vibrate, causing us to lose our voices.

How exactly this happens is something of a mystery. "We have a lot of ideas but not a definite answer," says Dr. Jennifer Long, assistant professor of head and neck surgery at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. One theory suggests that white blood cells storm the vocal cords, causing them to swell and preventing vibration. Another theory is that viruses injure the surface of the vocal cords, making it difficult to vibrate. "For being a common problem, it's surprising how little we know," Long says.

On top of this uncertainty, there's not a lot of good research on whether tea or honey can help a sore throat or lost voice, according to Dr. Maya Sardesai, an associate professor of otolaryngology and surgery at the University of Washington School of Medicine. High-quality health studies typically use placebos, but that's difficult in this case, Sardesai explains. Most people can tell whether they're drinking tea and honey, so creating placebos for study participants is challenging.

These difficulties aside, all three doctors are willing to speculate about whether tea, honey and lemon help a sore throat and voice loss.

Let's start with tea. Because liquids and food go down our pharynx, not our larynx, Damrose points out that any beverage is unlikely to have a direct effect on our vocal cords. But tea could still help a sore throat that results from a swelled pharynx. Research has shown green tea has anti-inflammatory properties, which could help decrease a sore throat's swelling. Perhaps more importantly, according to Damrose, when people drink a liquid like tea, the act of sipping and swallowing prevents irritating coughing. Warm liquid can also help remove throat phlegm. Long and Sardesai recommend teas with low caffeine, because caffeine may lead to greater acid production and irritate the throat further.

As for honey, "it's really very speculative" whether honey helps throat pain, according to Long. Honey might be a natural anti-coughing agent, but so far research is inconclusive. On the other hand, none of the doctors suggest that honey might harm the throat.

That's not the case for lemon. "I actually worry about too much lemon because it's so acidic, and acids can be irritating" to the throat, says Long. Sardesai agrees, though she notes that "lemon does have vitamin C, and vitamin C is thought to be helpful early in some infections." Damrose notes another plus: Lemon has antibacterial properties, which could fight off bacterial sore throat. - More, NPR

Tea, Honey And Lemon: Does This Classic Trifecta Actually Help A Sore Throat?