Senior Correspondent, Kabul
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Sep 10, 2011

From policing 9/11 to studying Dari in Afghanistan

BAMIYAN, Afghanistan (Reuters) – Staff sergeant Luis Badillo prefers to leave his NATO base for weekend dinners, and head instead to local cafes where he can share jokes with Afghan colleagues in their native language.

Since arriving three months ago in beautiful but impoverished central Baimyan province, the 33-year-old New Yorker has stunned his Afghan and U.S. work mates by taking up Dari, one of the country’s two main languages.

Sep 10, 2011

From policing 9/11 to studying in Afghanistan

BAMIYAN, Afghanistan, Sept 10 (Reuters) – Staff sergeant
Luis Badillo prefers to leave his NATO base for weekend dinners,
and head instead to local cafes where he can share jokes with
Afghan colleagues in their native language.

Since arriving three months ago in beautiful but
impoverished central Baimyan province, the 33-year-old New
Yorker has stunned his Afghan and U.S. work mates by taking up
Dari, one of the country’s two main languages.

Aug 29, 2011

Afghan Taliban say want to develop mining sector

KABUL, Aug 29 (Reuters) – The leader of the Afghan Taliban
said his group wants to boost the country’s mining and energy
sectors once it regains strength after the NATO-led force
fighting them pulls out in 2014.

Interest in economic stability and investment in mining
marks a new approach for the resurgent Islamist group, ousted
from power by U.S.-backed Afghan forces in 2001.

Aug 29, 2011

NATO races to secure violent, porous Afghanistan-Pakistan border

SPIN BOLDAK, Afghanistan (Reuters) – Alim Mohammad surveys the stretch of land he has guarded for the last four years, squinting under the sunlight from a cliff overlooking what the United States calls the most dangerous place in the world.

The Afghanistan-Pakistan border is porous, long and teems with illegal activity, from the Taliban insurgents who hop back and forth to the enormous amounts of weapons, explosives and narcotics that are smuggled across it.

Aug 25, 2011

NATO beefs up fight against “rogue” Afghan threat

KABUL (Reuters) – NATO and Afghan officials are stepping up efforts to battle the insider threat in their war against insurgents, which has seen an increase in attacks by local security forces against their foreign partners, a U.S. navy expert said Thursday.

The Taliban have managed to recruit Afghan security forces and pay bribes for uniforms to impersonate them, said Navy Commander Derek Reveron.

Aug 23, 2011

Afghanistan fights population growth with birth control

KABUL, Aug 23 (Reuters) – The Afghan government is trying to
curb a booming population by promoting birth control but such
efforts have been met with caution from aid groups and
opposition from Islamic scholars.

The Ministry of Health warns Afghanistan’s population of 30
million will double in as many years, stunting opportunities for
economic growth in one of the world’s poorest countries.

Aug 22, 2011

Daunted Afghans find refuge in former foe Russia

MOSCOW (Reuters) – Signs in Dari decorate the creaky lifts of a Moscow hotel heaving with Afghan merchants and schoolchildren who have found refuge in a former foe.

Although still haunted by the decade-long war in which 15,000 Soviet troops were killed, Russia has renewed interest in Afghanistan, quietly allowing the local Afghan community to thrive as a gesture of goodwill.

Jul 26, 2011

Russia’s love affair with dill more than a sprinkle

By Anna Andrianova and Amie Ferris-Rotman

MOSCOW, July 26 (Reuters Life!) – Sprinkled on almost every
dish, grown by old ladies in their homes and boiled to combat
sweating: the herb dill is a matter of Russian national pride.

Pungent and strong-tasting, the Russian love for the spindly
herb appears to know no bounds, bewildering foreigners who are
not used to such heavy use.

Jul 9, 2011
via FaithWorld

Top Kremlin aide says Putin is God’s gift to Russia

Photo

(Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin lights a candle as he attends an Orthodox Christmas service in the XIX century church of the Protecting Veil of the Mother of God in Turginovo village, about 160 km. (100 miles) northwest of Moscow January 7, 2011/Alexander Zemlianichenko )

Prime Minister Vladimir Putin was sent to Russia by God to help his country during one of its most turbulent times, the Kremlin’s chief political strategist said on Friday in rare public remarks. “I honestly believe that Putin is a person who was sent to Russia by fate and by the Lord at a difficult time for Russia,” Vladislav Surkov, a staunch Putin supporter and one of Russia’s most powerful men, was quoted by Interfax news agency as telling state-run Chechen TV.

Jul 7, 2011
via Afghan Journal

Cold War flashbacks as Americans rebuild Soviet tunnel in Afghanistan

Photo

Under blazing June sunshine in the Hindu Kush mountains, U.S., Russian and Afghan officials gathered by the entrance of the Salang tunnel, arguably the most important stretch of highway in Afghanistan, linking the country’s south with its north.

They had come to celebrate emergency repair works carried out by the U.S. government on the 2.6 km (1.6 miles) of concrete passageway that the Soviets built in 1962. Constantly congested and leaking, the tunnel is on the brink of collapse.

    • About Amie

      "Based in Kabul, Amie reports on the NATO-led war in Afghanistan. She was previously based in Moscow, where she reported across the former Soviet Union for almost five years, covering energy, politics and lifestyle stories. For over two years there, she focused on the Islamist insurgency in Russia's Muslim North Caucasus. She has also reported in Greece and Britain."
      Hometown:
      London
      Joined Reuters:
      September 2006
      Languages:
      English, Russian, Italian
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