Peace, Order And Good Government.
Sayed Hamed Noori Is Dead: Noori, a news presenter in government RTA TV and member of Afghan Journalists Association, was killed by unknown gunmen on Sunday night in Kabul. Afghan security officials have yet to comment on the incident. Scores of journalists have been killed in Afghanistan in recent years.
Afghan Vice-President Marshal Mohammad Qasim Famim Is Alive: Speaking from Germany, Qasim Fahim told Tolonews on the phone that he is completely well and will be back to Kabul next week. "I am completely healthy. I request the Afghan people not to trust news published by irresponsible websites," said Mr Fahim.
Militants continue to return to Germany: They're coming from camps on the Afghan-Pakistan border, including a hard core with combat experience in Afghanistan, said Jeorg Ziercke, head of the BKA Federal Crime Office. But curbs on storing telecoms data were hurting efforts to track suspects, he said.
More than 400 Islamists are living in Germany, some of whom had trained in the camps, Ziercke told Tagespiegel newspaper. "Since the beginning of 2009 we have registered an increase in travel and attempted travel from members of violence-prone Islamist circles. In Germany we now classify 131 as potential instigators. These are people we assume could perpetrate politically motivated criminal acts of a considerable magnitude.We even have concrete proof 70 individuals completed paramilitary training in terror camps. Forty people have combat experience from battles in Afghanistan."
Taliban threats, shuttered polling centers and warnings of widespread fraud are clouding hopes for Afghanistan's September 18 parliamentary election, a key test of an already fragile democracy. With the poll less than two weeks away, the U.N.-backed Electoral Complaints Commission said it has already received 1,503 complaints, ranging from public resources being given to preferred candidates to interference by government officials.
"Things are getting worse. Many (politicians) are just after making themselves rich and working for their own interests," said Azizullah, a 32-year-old Kabul civil servant. "I do not want to vote, because I have lost my trust in the government, parliament and election under the current situation," he said.
The deadliest have targeted minority Shiite Muslims. A suicide bombing killed at least 43 Shiite Muslims at a procession in the southwestern city of Quetta on Friday. Two days earlier, a triple suicide attack killed 35 people at a Shiite ceremony in the eastern city of Lahore.
Afghanistan's Taliban said on Sunday they would disrupt elections this month and warned Afghans to boycott the vote, the first explicit threat against this year's poll. The threat came just a day after Afghan President Hamid Karzai said he would soon announce members of a peace council to pursue talks with the Taliban, another step in his plan for reconciliation with the insurgents.
Of Course A Compromise Is Possible. Instead Of Boiling You Alive We Will Just Stone You To Death: Maulavi Mohammad Ayaz Tarnak, a conservative Kabul-based Islamic cleric, sees grounds for a grand compromise between the Karzai administration and the Taliban on what constitutes Shari'a and how best to implement it. Tarnak is a leader of the Afghan Ulema Council, which recently called on Kabul to implement Islamic Hudood, a strict Islamic criminal code that the Taliban often confuse with Shari'a. Hudood punishments including the amputations of limbs for theft, stoning to death for adultery, and lashes for alcohol consumption.
Tarnak acknowledges that Western and liberal Afghan expectations "are as far apart as heaven and Earth" from what the conservative Afghan clerics want. A compromise, he says, essentially entails Kabul agreeing to implement Hudood if the Taliban agree to participate in the current political system.
Because I Spent It All In Dubai Already: Struggling to contain an escalating crisis at Kabul Bank, Afghan authorities have barred the sale of Kabul properties held by the bank's principal owners, but the freeze excludes President Hamid Karzai's brother, Kabul Bank's third largest shareholder, who says he does not own property in the Afghan capital. "I don't have a single house or parcel of land in my name in Afghanistan," said Mahmoud Karzai, who holds a stake in an Afghan cement factory. He is involved in a Kandahar property development, but when in Kabul he stays in a rented property. He spends much of his time in Dubai, where he lives in a luxury villa purchased for $5.5 million with Kabul Bank funds. His principal asset, he said, is a house in Maryland, which he rents out.
"Most of the contracts were awarded for these banks during the presidential election campaign and contracts after contracts were awarded to the private banks, and the purposes were known, and that time nobody had thought about the consequences of this because there was an immediate interest," said Dr Abdullah, Afghanistan's de-facto opposition leader. The banks that supported Karzai's campaign won the contracts to pay the salaries of police, the ministry of education and other ministries, he said.
Slick Willie Sutton had the reputation of a gentleman; in fact, people present at his robberies stated he was quite polite. One victim said witnessing one of Sutton's robberies was like being at the movies, except the usher had a gun. When asked why he robbed banks, Sutton simply replied, "Because that's where the money is."