August 20, 2013 |
JOINT BASE LEWIS-McCHORD, Wash. - The 5-year-old boy was dwarfed by the witness stand and his voice barely registered on the microphone as he told a military jury of the nightmares he continues to have after an American soldier went on a rampage through his Afghan village, killing his father. "I'm always fearful," the boy, Khan, said through an interpreter. "What did I do wrong against Sgt. Bales that he shot my father?" On Tuesday, as the sentencing phase began in the court-martial of Army Staff Sgt. Robert Bales, prosecutors not only described in graphic detail the carnage of the early morning attack last year, but also set out to portray the lasting ramifications for the victims' families more than a year later.
August 14, 2013 |
The patience stone ( syngue sabour) of Persian mythology is a magical black stone that receives the problems of those who confide in it. According to myth, when the stone has absorbed all the pain and suffering of the person, it will shatter and free the individual from his or her woes. In writer-director Atiq Rahimi's new film, "The Patience Stone," which opens Friday, the legendary object takes the form of the comatose husband of a Muslim woman (Iranian actress Golshifteh Farahani)
August 6, 2013 |
KABUL, Afghanistan -- The reclusive leader of Afghanistan's Taliban said Tuesday that his militant group was willing to begin peace negotiations, even as he urged stepped-up attacks on foreign troops to force them out of the country. In a lengthy and wide-ranging email message, Mullah Mohammad Omar called on Afghans to boycott elections scheduled for early 2014 and urged Afghan police, soldiers and paramilitary personnel to turn their guns on foreign troops -- as well as Afghan government troops cooperating with U.S.-led coalition forces.
August 4, 2013 |
WASHINGTON - As the U.S. military presence dwindles in Afghanistan, officials are finalizing a $200-million plan to use smartphones, GPS-enabled cameras and satellite imagery to monitor relief projects that will continue in areas deemed too remote or unsafe for Americans to visit. The proposal underscores the rapidly diminishing American footprint in Afghanistan after nearly 12 years of war, and signals that more of the massive U.S. reconstruction effort there - long plagued by waste and weak oversight - will be monitored by Afghans, with U.S. officials forced to supervise from a distance.
August 2, 2013 |
MOORESVILLE, N.C. - The dark-haired girl wearing an "American Girl" T-shirt blended in with the other giggling girls flopped on their bellies and watching cartoons inside a darkened classroom. All that distinguished 11-year-old Farida was an eye patch she had decorated with purple glitter and a fancy "F" to cover her missing left eye. Four years ago, in Farida's remote village in southern Afghanistan, shrapnel from a buried Taliban bomb tore through the eye as she played outside her mud-walled home.
July 14, 2013 |
KABUL, Afghanistan - Zainab's baby was a pale, shrunken figure not much bigger than a man's hand. He lay on his back, crying softly, unable to suckle. He weighed barely 3 pounds at birth. He was now 7 days old, wheezing from a respiratory infection. This child of an impoverished Afghan mother almost certainly would have died if his family did not live near Afshar Hospital, where he lay in a fully equipped neonatal nursery, his pencil-thin left leg hooked to a fetal monitor. The new ward at Afshar, a hospital built and maintained by a nonprofit group based in Fresno, is just the second in Afghanistan to offer modern, high-quality neonatal care.
July 10, 2013 |
MAIDAN SHAHR, Afghanistan - Congress has appropriated $51 billion to build and sustain the Afghan army, but Lt. Col. Kohadamani Hamidullah can't get his Humvees repaired. "See all those Humvees?" he said inside his military base here in east-central Afghanistan, pointing to a ragged line of dusty Humvees. "Broken. Broken. Broken.... All broken. " The United States has supplied 46 Humvees for Hamidullah's battalion here in the rugged, snowcapped peaks of Wardak province in the last couple of years.
June 24, 2013 |
KABUL, Afghanistan-- In a brazen attack on the seat of Afghan government power, gunman struck near the palace in Kabul early Tuesday, reportedly exchanging fire with bodyguards of President Hamid Karzai. More than a dozen heavy explosions rocked the Shash Darak neighborhood of the capital, near the presidential palace, embassies and the headquarters of NATO's International Security Assistance Force about 6:30 a.m. Underlining the security challenges faced by the administration, the attack took place as journalists were attending a news conference hosted by Karzai at the palace.
June 20, 2013 |
KABUL, Afghanistan -- Peace negotiations between U.S. officials and Afghanistan's insurgent Taliban movement expected to begin Thursday apparently were delayed after the South Asian nation's leader lashed out about how the talks were unfolding. President Hamid Karzai 's office on Wednesday expressed concern that his administration could be sidelined in any talks that didn't include his government as he lashed out at Washington without elaboration for what it termed “contradictory” U.S. behavior toward Kabul.
June 20, 2013 |
KABUL, Afghanistan - Even as Afghan President Hamid Karzai this week canceled security negotiations with the Obama administration and suspended his involvement in the U.S. attempt to revive peace talks with the Taliban, the insurgents made some political moves as fleet-footed as some of their guerrilla tactics, analysts said. This comes as Afghanistan's neighbors rethink how their interests would be affected by a political reconciliation involving the Taliban, as much of a long shot as that seems.