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WORLD
December 19, 2009 | By Laura King
Afghan President Hamid Karzai is poised to unveil a new Cabinet that retains a number of respected ministers with the West's stamp of approval but also at least one notorious former warlord, aides disclosed Friday. Karzai's ministerial lineup, which could be announced as soon as today, is being closely watched by the United States and its Western allies as an indicator of whether he is serious about cracking down, as promised, on rampant corruption in his government. Corruption is many Afghans' chief grievance against their leaders, pervading nearly all aspects of daily life.
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WORLD
April 11, 2014 | By Paul Richter and Ramin Mostaghim
WASHINGTON - The White House will block Iran's choice of United Nations ambassador from entering the United States, officials said Friday, stoking new tension between Tehran and Washington as they approach a critical moment in negotiations over Iran's disputed nuclear program. Facing overwhelming bipartisan pressure from Congress, White House officials said Hamid Aboutalebi would not be granted a U.S. visa. The choice of the veteran diplomat set off an outcry in Washington because of his membership in the radical student group that stormed the U.S. Embassy in Tehran and held U.S. diplomats hostage during Iran's 1979 revolution.
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WORLD
January 17, 2010 | By Alex Rodriguez
The Afghan parliament Saturday once again rejected the majority of President Hamid Karzai's choices for his Cabinet, a rebuke likely to unnerve an international community that desperately wants the Afghan leader to forge ahead with reform plans. The rejection of 10 of the 17 nominees means that Karzai will have to go back to parliament a third time to gain approval for his Cabinet choices, and raises questions about his political strength. After he presented his initial slate of 24 nominees Jan. 2, lawmakers rejected 17 of them.
OPINION
April 9, 2014 | By The Times editorial board
The United States is irked that Iran has chosen as its representative to the United Nations a diplomat who apparently was involved with a student group that seized the U.S. Embassy in Tehran in 1979. The embassy takeover, a violation of international law that led to the 444-day captivity of 52 American hostages, contributed to hostility between the two countries that only recently has begun to abate. But the Obama administration is making a mistake in publicly labeling as "not viable" the posting to the U.N. of Hamid Aboutalebi, an experienced diplomat aligned with Iran's reformist President Hassan Rouhani.
WORLD
February 21, 2010 | By Laura King
Afghan President Hamid Karzai on Saturday made an emotional appeal for coalition troops to strive to prevent civilian deaths as a major offensive in the south by U.S., British and Afghan troops entered its second week. The president's remarks, in a speech to Afghan lawmakers, came as Western military officials announced that troops involved in the fighting for the Taliban stronghold of Marja had shot and killed an Afghan man a day earlier, mistakenly believing he was menacing a patrol with a makeshift bomb.
WORLD
January 10, 2010 | By Laura King
President Hamid Karzai snubbed two prominent warlord figures in a new Cabinet lineup unveiled Saturday but unexpectedly offered a ministerial spot to the leader of a party linked to a Pakistan-based insurgent commander. The list of 16 Cabinet nominees also includes three women, one of them a prominent activist chosen as minister of women's affairs. Karzai had been sharply criticized when his previous lineup had only one woman. The Afghan parliament on Jan. 2 rejected 17 of the 23 prospective ministers that Karzai initially put forth, including former militia commander Ismail Khan and three nominees associated with another former commander, Rashid Dostum.
WORLD
December 3, 2009 | By Laura King
President Hamid Karzai on Wednesday pledged to "spare no effort" to help implement the revamped American war strategy, the latest test for an Afghan leader struggling to shake off the effects of a fraud-tainted election and counter widespread disillusionment among his own people. But Karzai did not directly respond to the latest U.S. demands that he root out corruption in his government. The Taliban, meanwhile, scoffed at the notion that the American troop increase announced Tuesday by President Obama, coupled with an intensive effort to train and build up the Afghan army and police, would pose a serious challenge to the insurgency.
TRAVEL
December 29, 2012 | Los Angeles Times
Two friends and I just returned from an amazing 14-day tour of Morocco. It was a pleasure to leave details to knowledgeable, in-country experts and brothers Hamid and Youssef of Morocco Expert Tours. Although the value of a wonderful adventure is immeasurable, I saw a similar itinerary this month for group travel at several thousand dollars more than the $2,400 we paid for our trip. Morocco Expert Tours also does day trips and custom itineraries. Morocco Expert Tours; http://www.moroccoexpertours.com Fusako Takeda Fountain Valley
WORLD
February 14, 2010
During a visit to the Tehran military courthouse one day last fall, Hossein and Hamid spotted the doctor. Memories from their five days at Kahrizak prison came flooding back. Prisoners seeking help were handed a few aspirin and told to go away. When they asked for bandages, the doctor struck some lightly with a club. One inmate had been beaten so badly on his feet that his toes were swollen and infected and he couldn't walk properly. He arranged for an appointment with the doctor, who told him, "Get lost before I beat you up," according to Hossein, who said he didn't even bother asking for help for his own injuries.
WORLD
April 4, 2010 | Times Staff And Wire Reports
The speaker of Afghanistan's lower house of parliament, Younis Qanooni, on Saturday denounced a speech by President Hamid Karzai in which the Afghan leader blamed the West for last summer's fraud-ridden election. The parliament has been embroiled in a heated dispute with Karzai over conditions for parliamentary elections, sparring with him over his authority to appoint members of a fraud-auditing panel for the vote scheduled in September. In trying to downplay Karzai's angry speech Thursday, his aides contended that it was misconstrued.
OPINION
February 9, 2014 | By Sarah Chayes
If anyone is surprised that with each passing day Afghan President Hamid Karzai seems to veer more sharply away from the U.S. and toward the Taliban, it might be time to remember some history. Karzai himself was once asked to become a high-ranking member of the Taliban government. His every word and deed of late seems designed to appeal to the Taliban leadership and its backers in Pakistan, and to fracture the partnership between Afghanistan and the American people. In one recent display, he held a news conference for Afghan villagers who claimed U.S. bombing had killed a dozen neighbors on Jan. 15. They identified mourners in a photograph purportedly taken at a funeral the next day, Jan. 16. But it turned out the photo was from four years back.
WORLD
December 19, 2013 | By Christi Parsons
WASHINGTON - President Obama is prepared to extend a Dec. 31 deadline in a concession to Afghan President Hamid Karzai aimed at getting him to approve a security agreement that would permit U.S. forces to stay in Afghanistan past 2014, aides say. The White House has warned for months that all U.S. forces will be withdrawn unless a deal is reached, and top advisors to Obama are increasingly comfortable with that prospect. At least two senior officials say the so-called zero option is strategically viable and politically acceptable, although it still isn't the preferred outcome.
OPINION
December 3, 2013 | By Sarah Chayes
He's done it again. Afghan President Hamid Karzai has startled and dismayed the world. After an arduous diplomatic process to define the terms of a future international presence in Afghanistan, he balked at the last second, like a white-eyed horse in front of a jump. Karzai was on board when the language of the Security and Defense Cooperation Agreement with U.S. negotiators was finalized on Nov. 19. Less than a week later, a gathering of Afghan elders, officials and community leaders (known as a loya jirga )
WORLD
November 26, 2013 | By David S. Cloud and David Zucchino
WASHINGTON - U.S. officials seeking to close a deal by year's end on the future of American troops in Afghanistan are exploring ways to bypass the country's mercurial president, Hamid Karzai, who negotiated the agreement but now refuses to sign it. Frustrated by Karzai's abrupt declaration that he won't ink the deal before Afghan elections in April, the Obama administration has begun pushing for Foreign Minister Zarar Ahmad Osmani or another top...
WORLD
November 24, 2013 | By David Zucchino
KABUL, Afghanistan - In a face-to-face rebuke to Afghan President Hamid Karzai, a grand council of Afghan dignitaries voted Sunday to recommend approval of a proposed 10-year security accord with the United States by the end of the year, agreeing to an American-imposed deadline. The white-bearded chairman of the advisory council, or loya jirga , told Karzai that he miscalculated by threatening a signing delay until spring. Chairman Sibghatullah Mojaddedi lectured Karzai, warning that if he delays signing, "I'll resign and leave the country.
WORLD
November 21, 2013 | By David Zucchino
KABUL, Afghanistan - He expressed outrage, sarcasm and black humor. He cast himself as a lonely voice defending his country's pride and sovereignty against American arrogance. After a frantic week of last-minute negotiations, Afghan President Hamid Karzai delivered a tepid endorsement Thursday of a proposed 10-year security pact with the United States in a rambling speech to an Afghan tribal gathering. But he then surprised attendees - and the world - by saying Afghanistan might not sign the accord until next spring.
WORLD
December 20, 2009 | By Laura King
The Cabinet nominees announced by President Hamid Karzai on Saturday underscore the competing demands the Afghan leader confronts as he embarks on a troubled second term in office. Karzai, inaugurated last month after a fraud-tainted election, is trying to simultaneously placate restive Western backers, woo his disillusioned public and pacify powerful warlords who have helped keep him in power. The Cabinet list, leaked by presidential aides a day before being presented to lawmakers Saturday, retained some well-regarded ministers in posts considered crucial to rebuilding Afghanistan and fighting the Taliban.
WORLD
June 20, 2013 | By Hashmat Baktash and Mark Magnier, Los Angeles Times
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.
WORLD
June 19, 2013 | By Hashmat Baktash, Mark Magnier and Kathleen Hennessey, Los Angeles Times
KABUL, Afghanistan - Afghanistan's president abruptly canceled ongoing security negotiations with the U.S., with his office charging Wednesday that the Obama administration had said one thing and done another while arranging peace talks with the insurgent Taliban movement. President Obama quickly rejected the criticism, saying, "We had anticipated that at the outset there were going to be some areas of friction, to put it mildly, in getting this thing off the ground. " President Hamid Karzai's reputation in Washington as a mercurial U.S. ally was further reinforced by his administration's decision, which came a day before U.S. officials were scheduled to begin direct negotiations with the Taliban.
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