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Mysterious disease grips Afghan poppy crops, farmers blame US

Afghan farmers claim US, British troops spraying chemicals on world’s largest opium supply As the pink poppy fields of southern Afghanistan yield their sticky harvest, opium production in the country that supplies the world with heroin is set to fall, farmers and officials say. That’s good news for the fight…

Doubting GOP senator slams ‘baseless’ attack he fell asleep during hearing

If the claim that a senator fell asleep during an intelligence hearing wasn’t spread to deflect his criticism of the Justice Department’s eagerness to link the Pakistan Taliban to the failed NYC bomb plot, there’s no doubt that the original report isn’t being spread to do just that now. A…

State Dept: US ‘satisfied’ with Pakistan’s cooperation on terror probe

The United States said Monday it was satisfied with Pakistan’s cooperation in the probe of a bomb attempt in New York’s Times Square, seeking to clarify strong words from US leaders. “We’re very satisfied by the cooperation we’re getting on this particular investigation thus far,” State Department spokesman Philip Crowley…

Watchdog names 40 ‘predators of the press’

PARIS (AFP) – Media watchdog Reporters Without Borders named Monday the world’s 40 worst “predators of the press” including politicians, religious leaders and militias to mark World Press Freedom Day. “They are powerful, dangerous, violent and above the law,” the Paris-based watchdog RSF said. “These predators of press freedom have…

Claim: Taliban involved in NYC bomb scare; No evidence of larger plot

UPDATED 5:21 p.m. EST: Police say failed NYC car bomber may be white male in his 40s, allegedly caught on tape UPDATED 2:58 p.m. EST: Pakistan denies claim Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano told ABC’s Jake Tapper this morning that authorities had not found any evidence that the…

NATO troops raid Afghan MP’s home, kill relative

NATO troops raided the home of a prominent Afghan lawmaker, killing a relative, police and the MP said Thursday, as the French military admitted accidentally killing civilians. NATO’s International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) confirmed an overnight operation in eastern Nangarhar province’s Surkh Rod district and said troops killed an “individual”…

80 Afghan schoolgirls fall ill; poison feared

Powered by Mochila Dozens of Afghan schoolgirls have fallen ill in recent days after reporting a strange odor in their classrooms in northern Afghanistan, prompting an investigation into whether they were targeted by militants who oppose education for girls or victims of mass hysteria. Either way, the reports from three…

Germany admits troops killed six Afghan soldiers

BERLIN — Germany’s Defence Minister Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg admitted Sunday that German troops mistakenly killed six Afghan soldiers at the weekend, and expressed condolences for the deaths. The German troops were en route to reinforce others under attack and had opened fire on a civilian vehicle that had ignored warnings…

Obama makes surprise first Kabul visit since ordering surge

KABUL (AFP) – US President Barack Obama landed in Afghanistan Sunday for a surprise first visit to the country since ordering a huge surge of 30,000 troops in a bid to end the bloody eight-year war. Obama’s trip, shrouded in secrecy for security reasons, opened with talks with President Hamid…

Massive early morning explosion rocks Afghan capital

A huge explosion shook Kabul early Friday and scattered gunfire broke out as ambulances rushed to the scene and loudspeaker announcements told bleary-eyed residents to stay indoors. There was no confirmation of the cause of the blast, which comes after gunmen on January 18 stormed the commercial heart of the…

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