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WORLD
December 10, 2006 | From Times Wire Reports
The top U.S. anti-drug official said Afghan poppies would be sprayed with herbicide to combat an opium trade that produced a record heroin haul this year. The Afghan government has not publicly said it will spray, but John Walters, the director of the U.S. Office of National Drug Control Policy, said President Hamid Karzai and other officials had agreed to ground spraying.
ARTICLES BY DATE
WORLD
November 13, 2013 | By David Zucchino
KABUL, Afghanistan - In a harsh indictment of the Western-funded drug eradication effort in Afghanistan, the United Nations on Wednesday reported a rise of nearly 50% in the 2013 opium harvest, with land used for cultivation reaching an all-time high. The annual survey underscored the growing threat of the narcotic in the world's largest opium-producing nation. The unchecked spread of opium cultivation has triggered widespread corruption, political instability and enormous profits for the Taliban insurgency, which controls Afghanistan's primary poppy-growing provinces.
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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 4, 1993
Thousand Oaks Councilman Alex Fiore was quoted stating that "they're just smoking opium," when he referred to the ongoing recall effort ("Fiore Recall Leaders Say Signatures Valid," July 27). The "they" in that statement was directed toward me. I have never smoked, not even cigarettes, and no malicious attempt by Alex Fiore to slander my good name will work. To dismiss the effort of citizens with such arrogance and such cavalier language reflects poorly on any elected officials.
WORLD
November 13, 2013 | By David Zucchino
KABUL, Afghanistan - In a harsh indictment of the Western-funded drug eradication effort in Afghanistan, the United Nations on Wednesday reported an increase of nearly 50% in the 2013 opium harvest, with land used for cultivation reaching an all-time high. The annual survey underscored the growing threat in the world's largest opium-producing nation. The unchecked spread of opium cultivation has brought widespread corruption, political instability and enormous profits for the Taliban insurgency, which controls Afghanistan's primary poppy-growing provinces.
WORLD
April 26, 2007 | From Times Wire Reports
The North Atlantic Treaty Organization said it had withdrawn a radio message telling Afghan farmers that its troops would not destroy their opium fields, following complaints that the alliance appeared to condone the illicit crop. The advertisement was paid for by the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force and aired on radio stations in Helmand province, the world's largest opium-producing area.
NEWS
April 23, 1992
Two Glendale men who allegedly received more than a kilo of opium through the mail pleaded not guilty Friday to felony drug charges, including transporting, possessing and conspiracy to sell opium. Armen Djavanpour, 45, and Edward Babaian, 29, were arrested April 15 by local police who watched the men pick up a package of opium from a Glendale apartment and drive to another house where they opened the box, Deputy Dist. Atty. Michael O'Gara said.
WORLD
March 9, 2006 | From Times Wire Reports
Counter-narcotics agents in Afghanistan began plowing up poppy fields in the world's largest source for the illicit drug industry. The eradication campaign, funded by the U.S. and Britain, comes two days after the Afghan government and the United Nations warned that they expected cultivation of opium poppies to increase this year. Heavily armed police and soldiers guarded the operation, after Taliban rebels threatened to defend the poppy farms.
NEWS
April 22, 1985 | Associated Press
Six Chinese have been executed in the last year for smuggling opium into Yunnan province from the Golden Triangle, where Burma, Laos and northern Thailand meet, according to death posters in the Chinese provincial capital of Kunming. The Peking government contends that it ended drug abuse in China by 1952, but local officials--acknowledging that opium is still used in Yunnan--blamed opium smuggling on outsiders.
NEWS
December 21, 2001 | Associated Press
Myanmar is once again the world's top opium producer because of a sharp drop in production of the drug in Afghanistan, according to the latest U.S. government survey. Myanmar overtook Afghanistan, which had been the No. 1 opium producer for the last three years, despite having its smallest opium harvest since the mid-1980s this year, the survey showed. Opium is used to make heroin.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 8, 1997 | THAO HUA
Authorities have arrested a La Habra man who allegedly received 1.6 pounds of opium compressed inside a photo album mailed from Iran. Earlier this month, drug-sniffing dogs in Los Angeles alerted U.S. customs agents to a brown paper package addressed to a Brea post office box, Brea Police Det. Stewart McCarroll said. After finding the opium, police resealed the package and waited for someone to claim it at the post office, McCarroll said.
WORLD
November 21, 2012 | By Emily Alpert
More Afghan land is being used to grow opium poppies than a year ago, the United Nations drug agency said in a new report released Tuesday that underscores the challenges in combating the illicit crop. It marks the second year that opium cultivation has expanded in Afghanistan, according to the U.N., bringing it close to levels last seen four years ago. Though the Afghan government stepped up eradication efforts, more than doubling the area it tackled, the area devoted to cultivating opium poppies grew by nearly a fifth, spanning 154,000 hectares, or about 380,542 acres.
WORLD
November 12, 2012 | By Ned Parker, Los Angeles Times
KABUL, Afghanistan - Raza Gul trudges the half-mile to work through a maze of brick and mud homes, sewage streams and toddlers running naked. She's two months pregnant, and her lower back aches as she steps over ditches and eyes speeding cars. Her sister-in-law, a frail woman, shadows her. They say little. The slight wind chills Gul and she thinks about the cost of wood to heat her home and keep her four children warm. She is certain that her husband is already prowling their neighborhood hillside, hunting his first hit of opium for the day. She knows he'll walk to one of the local dealers, then sit alone in their crumbling house, roll his stash in foil and smoke.
WORLD
October 30, 2010 | By Sergei L. Loiko, Los Angeles Times
U.S. and Afghan forces working with Russian agents destroyed millions of dollars' worth of drugs at several heroin and opium production facilities in Afghanistan during an unprecedented joint operation, officials said Friday. The raid in Nangarhar province stopped a huge drug production base in the mountains near the Pakistani border, Viktor Ivanov, head of Russia's Federal Drug Control Service, said at a news conference in Moscow. Officials said about 70 men, including U.S. and Afghan troops and four Russian drug control agents, took over the facilities Thursday.
WORLD
October 1, 2010 | By Laura King, Los Angeles Times
Opium production in Afghanistan this year plunged by nearly half from 2009 levels, the United Nations said in a report Thursday. But the steep drop was attributed to a fungus that wreaked havoc on the poppy crop, not to Western anti-narcotics efforts. The scarcity dramatically drove up prices so much that officials fear poppy cultivation will prove an irresistible option in the coming year for farmers whom authorities are trying to entice to grow legal crops. And despite the blight, the premium prices probably put about as much drug money into the insurgency's coffers as previously.
OPINION
April 18, 2010 | Doyle McManus
Our V-22 Osprey tilt-rotor aircraft touched down next to a field of bright pink opium poppies in Afghanistan's Helmand province, and soon we were hiking across a wheat field, over a muddy irrigation ditch and into the center of Marja, a village U.S. Marines and the Afghan army wrested from the Taliban in February. The operation that ousted the Taliban from Marja was a kind of pilot project for the coming offensive in next-door Kandahar province, and its successes and shortcomings are important for U.S. military commanders to understand.
WORLD
April 1, 2010 | By Laura King
Assailants set off a bomb Wednesday in a village bazaar in troubled Helmand province, killing 13 people and wounding almost four dozen, provincial officials said. The bomb, which police said was hidden on a bicycle, targeted farmers who had gathered to receive Western-provided vegetable seeds under a program meant to encourage them to grow crops other than opium poppies. Taliban militants were suspected in the attack. The bomber struck in the district of Nahr-e-Sarraj, not far from the scene of a major offensive in February by thousands of U.S. Marines and British and Afghan troops to retake the town of Marja.
WORLD
February 9, 2004 | From Times Wire Reports
Opium output hit a record high in Afghanistan in 2003, with another increase expected this year in the war-torn country that does not have any other real exports, the U.N. Office on Drugs and Crime has found. The U.N. said the output of 3,600 tons was up 6% over 2002 and could be worth $2.3 billion. That compares with Afghanistan's official exports of $40 million to Pakistan. The U.N. said surveys of farmers show a further increase is likely this year.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 5, 2003 | From Staff and Wire Reports
Narcotics officers say a field of 40,000 opium poppy plants found on a remote hillside above North Fork was an isolated case. State agents found the acre-plus field in Madera County in June after a hiker stumbled on the patch deep in the forest. Three men dressed in military-style fatigues ran from the field, but no arrests have been made. "It was a surprise to see something like this on that scale," state narcotics agent Dave Dresson said. "We just haven't encountered gardens like that."
OPINION
November 2, 2009 | Moyara Ruehsen, Moyara Ruehsen is a professor at the Monterey Institute's Graduate School of International Policy & Management in Monterey, Calif.
There is concern that our continued efforts in Afghanistan are being undermined by widespread corruption within the administration of President Hamid Karzai. What few people are talking about is the opium cultivation and heroin production that is fueling this corruption. But should we do anything about it? Can we do anything about it? Not really. Controlling opium production is a Sisyphean task -- hopelessly futile. Trying to eradicate the crop creates perverse incentives that actually lead to increased production, as NATO allies learned in the years following the ouster of the Taliban in 2001.
WORLD
August 13, 2009 | Associated Press
U.S. Marines battled Taliban fighters for control of a strategic southern town in a new operation to cut militant supply lines and allow Afghan residents to vote in next week's presidential election. Insurgents appeared to dig in for a fight, firing volleys of rocket-propelled grenades, mortar rounds and missiles from the back of a truck at the Marines, who were surprised at the intense resistance. By sunset, Marines had made little progress into Dahaneh beyond the gains of the initial predawn assault Wednesday.
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