Sean Carberry http://wgcu.org en Afghans Vote In Large Numbers Despite Risks http://wgcu.org/post/afghgans-vote-large-numbers-despite-risks After a campaign marred by violence, Afghans voted Saturday in presidential elections for what's to be the first ever democratic transfer of power. Results are not expected for some time. Sat, 05 Apr 2014 11:36:00 +0000 Sean Carberry 9012 at http://wgcu.org In A Former Afghan Hot Spot, The Taliban Are Subdued For Now http://wgcu.org/post/former-afghan-hotspot-taliban-are-subdued-now A convoy of hulking U.S. Army Stryker vehicles slowly makes its way through the main bazaar near the center of Panjwai district in southern Afghanistan. Kandahar province is the birthplace of the Taliban, and Panjwai district has seen some of the most brutal fighting of the Afghan war.<p>Some 90 NATO troops have been killed and more than 800 wounded in just this district.<p>But rather than having white-knuckled grips on their guns, U.S. soldiers are able to wave to the children in the streets. Mon, 31 Mar 2014 17:03:00 +0000 Sean Carberry 8831 at http://wgcu.org In A Former Afghan Hot Spot, The Taliban Are Subdued For Now Ruthless Warlord, Hero to Uzbeks, On Ballot In Afghan Elections http://wgcu.org/post/ruthless-warlord-hero-uzbeks-ballot-afghan-elections Transcript <p>RACHEL MARTIN, HOST: <p>This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Rachel Martin. Afghans head to the polls on April 5th to elect a successor to President Hamid Karzai. The run-up to the election has been violent. The capital city of Kabul has suffered several major attacks in recent days . On a hotel restaurant, an American aid organization and the election commission headquarters. We'll hear more about one of those attacks in a moment. But first, the political field in Afghanistan's elections reflects that country's stark ethnic divides. Sun, 30 Mar 2014 11:40:00 +0000 Sean Carberry 8800 at http://wgcu.org Taliban Attack On Election HQ Makes Good On Campaign Promise http://wgcu.org/post/taliban-attacks-election-hq-making-good-campaign-promise As officials from Afghanistan's Independent Election Commission were about to announce the closing of several polling stations due to insecurity on Saturday, the Taliban reinforced the message by launching an attack on the IEC headquarters in Kabul.<p>The militant group has been issuing statements for months, saying the April 5 vote for a successor to President Hamid Karzai is a Western-backed sham election and they will stop at nothing to disrupt it by attacking election workers and infrastructure. Sat, 29 Mar 2014 13:37:00 +0000 Sean Carberry 8782 at http://wgcu.org Taliban Attack On Election HQ Makes Good On Campaign Promise With Elections Days Away, Suicide Bombs Sow Fear In Kabul http://wgcu.org/post/elections-days-away-suicide-bombs-sow-fear-kabul Transcript <p>ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST: <p>Kabul is a city on edge as the Afghan presidential election approaches. Suicide bombers and gunmen attacked an election commission office yesterday. They killed several workers and police officers. In the April 5th election, eight men are now vying to succeed President Hamid Karzai. The field narrowed today after the grandson of the country's last king dropped out of the race. He was not expected to do well.<p>NPR's Sean Carberry joins us now from Kabul. And, Sean, you were covering yesterday's attack. Wed, 26 Mar 2014 20:56:00 +0000 Sean Carberry 8689 at http://wgcu.org Afghanistan's Election Heats Up — And So Do The Attacks http://wgcu.org/post/afghanistans-election-heats-and-so-do-attacks Afghanistan's election for a new president is less than two weeks away. That means the candidates are busy campaigning — and the Taliban are busy attacking.<p>The latest attack came Tuesday morning in Kabul when two suicide bombers detonated themselves outside one of the offices of the Independent Election Commission. Tue, 25 Mar 2014 15:35:00 +0000 Sean Carberry 8626 at http://wgcu.org Afghanistan's Election Heats Up — And So Do The Attacks As Afghan Tajiks Lay Leader To Rest, Eyes Turn To Political Future http://wgcu.org/post/afghan-tajiks-lay-leader-rest-eyes-turn-political-future Afghanistan has lost its first vice president, a warlord who fought beside the U.S. against the Taliban. Mohammed Qasim Fahim's death presents his Tajik brethren a tough choice in upcoming elections. Thu, 13 Mar 2014 20:28:00 +0000 Sean Carberry 8240 at http://wgcu.org Who's Going To Be Afghanistan's Next President? http://wgcu.org/post/whos-going-be-afghanistans-next-president The United States is winding down more than 12 years of military involvement in Afghanistan, and for most Americans, the country is rapidly fading into the background.<p>At the same time, Afghans are entering uncharted territory. President Hamid Karzai, who has led Afghanistan since shortly after the Taliban were ousted in 2001, is barred from running for a third term.<p>So Afghanistan is poised to do what it's never done before: change leaders through a democratic election.<p>Eleven candidates are trying to replace Karzai in the April 5 election. Ten are Pashtuns, the dominant ethnic group. Tue, 11 Feb 2014 13:53:00 +0000 Sean Carberry 7239 at http://wgcu.org Who's Going To Be Afghanistan's Next President? U.N.: Civilian Casualities Rise In Afghanistan http://wgcu.org/post/un-civilian-casualities-rise-afghanistan Transcript <p>SCOTT SIMON, HOST: <p>This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon. In Afghanistan, the United Nation has just released its annual survey of civilian casualties in the country, and the news is grim. NPR's Sean Carberry reports from Kabul.<p>SEAN CARBERRY, BYLINE: Last year at this time, there was a sense of optimism. Civilian casualties finally appeared to be declining. Sat, 08 Feb 2014 15:05:00 +0000 Sean Carberry 7166 at http://wgcu.org Beneath The Bunting, Afghan Shadow Campaign Kicks Off http://wgcu.org/post/beneath-bunting-afghan-shadow-campaign-kicks Transcript <p>MELISSA BLOCK, HOST: <p>The Taliban also figure prominently in upcoming elections next door in Afghanistan. That country is poised to make history this spring by holding an election to choose a successor to President Hamid Karzai. It would be Afghanistan's first ever democratic transition. The campaign officially began this week. Fri, 07 Feb 2014 21:50:00 +0000 Sean Carberry 7142 at http://wgcu.org An Afghan Success Story: Fewer Child Deaths http://wgcu.org/post/afghan-success-story-fewer-child-deaths One of the most dramatic changes in Afghanistan since the fall of the Taliban is the increase in average life expectancy from 45 to 62 years. Tue, 04 Feb 2014 09:38:00 +0000 Sean Carberry 6997 at http://wgcu.org An Afghan Success Story: Fewer Child Deaths Race Toward Afghan Election Starts, With Skepticism In The Lead http://wgcu.org/post/race-toward-afghan-election-starts-skepticism-lead With the campaign for Afghanistan's April 5 presidential election officially underway, three questions are commonly asked around Kabul: Do you think the presidential election will be held on April 5? Will the election be held at all this year? Who do you think will win?<p>Right now, 11 men are vying to succeed President Hamid Karzai, who is term-limited. If the election goes well, it would mark the first peaceful, democratic transfer of power in Afghanistan's history.<p><strong>The Issue Of Timing</strong><br /> Sun, 02 Feb 2014 18:05:00 +0000 Sean Carberry 6958 at http://wgcu.org Race Toward Afghan Election Starts, With Skepticism In The Lead Punctured Tires In Kabul Are The Work Of Police, Not Punks http://wgcu.org/post/punctured-tires-kabul-are-work-police-not-punks In Kabul, car theft isn't a big problem, but it is a big concern. Security officials fear that militants could use stolen vehicles as car bombs. So the police have turned to a rather controversial tactic to deter thieves.<p>On a recent evening, a guest left our office only to discover two of his car tires had been punctured. Moments later, my producer discovered two of his tires had been punctured. Mon, 20 Jan 2014 22:37:00 +0000 Sean Carberry 6520 at http://wgcu.org Punctured Tires In Kabul Are The Work Of Police, Not Punks Texas Man Becomes Unlikely CFO Of Ragged Kabul Orphanage http://wgcu.org/post/texas-man-becomes-unlikely-cfo-ragged-kabul-orphanage On Saturday afternoons, sometimes with a coworker or two, Siavash Rahbari drives up a rutted side street in Kabul to visit the Window of Hope orphanage.<p>In the living room, there are a dozen boys and two girls. Some are playing, while others lie around on mats on the floor, clearly suffering from a range of disabilities. Rahbari, a Texan who works at an NGO in Kabul, gives the children a cursory inspection.<p>"A lot of times, when people come and they hang out with the kids, they're kind of shocked about the whole situation," Rahbari says. "But, again, this is Afghanistan. Sat, 04 Jan 2014 17:53:00 +0000 Sean Carberry 6046 at http://wgcu.org Texas Man Becomes Unlikely CFO Of Ragged Kabul Orphanage Facing Big Changes, Anxious Afghans Hope For The Best In 2014 http://wgcu.org/post/facing-big-changes-anxious-afghans-hope-best-2014 To many Afghans, 2014 is more than a year — it's a sword of Damocles hanging over the fragile nation. It's the year the country will elect a successor to President Hamid Karzai and the U.S.-led military mission will end. Many fear that will open the door to chaos.<p>But on a chilly winter day in Kabul, it's still business as usual in the city center.<p>In a stationary market, you can still buy calendars for this year — the year 1392. Fri, 27 Dec 2013 08:25:00 +0000 Sean Carberry 5821 at http://wgcu.org Facing Big Changes, Anxious Afghans Hope For The Best In 2014 There And Back Again: One Afghan's Journey To Find Home http://wgcu.org/post/there-and-back-again-one-afghans-journey-find-home In 2000, Auliya Atrafi paid thousands of dollars and risked his life to escape Taliban-controlled Afghanistan. He spent 12 years in England getting educated and becoming a documentary filmmaker.<p>Last year, he gave up life in the West and returned home to southern Helmand province. Now, he's the father of twins and he's working in a rural government office while trying to readjust to life in a conservative society that he finds dysfunctional.<p>Atrafi grew up in a prominent communist family in the rural and undeveloped Nad Ali district of Helmand province. Wed, 04 Dec 2013 08:06:00 +0000 Sean Carberry 5122 at http://wgcu.org There And Back Again: One Afghan's Journey To Find Home Crashing An Afghan Wedding: No Toasts But Lots Of Cheesy Music http://wgcu.org/post/crashing-afghan-wedding-no-toasts-lots-cheesy-music Afghanistan may be one of the world's poorest countries, but weddings are still a big — and expensive — deal. On most weekends, Kabul's glitzy and somewhat garish wedding halls are packed with people celebrating nuptials.<p>One of them is the Uranos Palace complex. On the night I attended my first Afghan wedding, all three of its halls were overflowing. I was one of two foreigners in a room of about 200 men. Sat, 30 Nov 2013 10:38:00 +0000 Sean Carberry 5006 at http://wgcu.org Crashing An Afghan Wedding: No Toasts But Lots Of Cheesy Music Afghan Assembly Approves Security Plan, But Karzai Delays http://wgcu.org/post/afghan-assembly-approves-security-plan-karzai-delays A grand assembly of Afghan tribal elders and civil society leaders — <a href="http://www.npr.org/blogs/parallels/2013/11/21/246536898/everything-you-wanted-to-know-about-an-afghan-loya-jirga">the Loya Jirga</a> — resoundingly approved an agreement to allow 3,000-9,000 U.S. troops to stay in the country after the NATO mission ends next year.<p>However, it remains unclear when — or if — President Hamid Karzai will sign the agreement.<p>For three hours, the chairs of the Loya Jirga's 50 committees, representing 2,500 assembly delegates, read out their findings. Sun, 24 Nov 2013 13:23:00 +0000 Sean Carberry 4839 at http://wgcu.org Afghan Assembly Approves Security Plan, But Karzai Delays In Afghanistan, Tribal Elders Get A Say In Security Pact With U.S. http://wgcu.org/post/afghanistan-tribal-elders-get-say-security-pact-us In Afghanistan, a grand assembly of some 2,500 tribal elders, politicians and civil society elites are meeting to decide whether to approve a security agreement with the United States. Approval by the grand assembly, called a loya jirga, would be in addition to the OK of the Afghan government. But as U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has noted, the agreement can't go forward without the backing of the Afghan people. The security agreement would allow as many as 9,000 U.S. troops to remain in Afghanistan after the current NATO mission ends next year. Sat, 23 Nov 2013 22:40:00 +0000 Sean Carberry 4832 at http://wgcu.org How Will Afghan Forces Fare As NATO Troops Draw Down? http://wgcu.org/post/how-will-afghan-forces-fare-nato-troops-draw-down Shiite Muslims gathered in Kabul last week to celebrate Ashura, one of the holiest days on their religious calendar. Hundreds of shirtless men chanted and flogged themselves with chains tipped with knife-like shards of metal.<p>In the past, these public Shiite commemorations have become targets of the Taliban and other Islamist extremists. In 2011, a suicide bomber killed 56 Shiites marking Ashura. Tue, 19 Nov 2013 18:57:00 +0000 Sean Carberry 4692 at http://wgcu.org How Will Afghan Forces Fare As NATO Troops Draw Down?