from FaithWorld:

U.S. pastor unbowed, vows new anti-Islam protest

By Reuters Staff
April 4, 2011

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(Pastor Terry Jones at his Dove World Outreach Center church in Gainesville, Florida, April 2, 2011/Phelan M. Ebenhack)

from Russell Boyce:

Asia – A Week in Pictures April 3, 2011

April 4, 2011

In case anyone is in any doubt about the volatile situation many of our staff and stringers work under in Afghanistan I want to recount what happened on Saturday. Ahmad Nadeem was covering a demonstration that was sparked by the actions of extremist Christian preacher Terry Jones, who, according to his website, supervised the burning of the Koran in front of about 50 people at a church in Florida. The mood at the demonstration changed very quickly as the crowd sought a focus for their anger. Ahmad, our stringer in Kandahar was targeted. He was beaten with sticks, his gear smashed and his hand broken. Then an armed man instructed the mob to kill him. Ahmad fled for his life escaping into a nearby house where he successfully hid from the mob. Earlier in the day a suicide attack also hit a NATO military base in the capital Kabul, the day after protesters overran a U.N. mission in the northern city of Mazar-i-Sharif and killed seven foreign staff in the deadliest attack on the U.N. in Afghanistan.

from FaithWorld:

Extreme fundamentalist U.S. pastor is focus of Muslim outrage – again

By Reuters Staff
April 2, 2011

kabul koran protest

(Afghans protest in Kabul on April 1, 2011 against the burning of the Koran by a U.S. pastor/Omar Sobhani )

from Afghan Journal:

Huge natural stone arch new Afghan treasure

March 31, 2011

photo courtesy of  Ayub Alavi/Wildlife Conservation Society

photo courtesy of Ayub Alavi/Wildlife Conservation Society

Afghanistan surprises most first-time visitors (including many on military transport planes) with stunning natural beauty -- there's little room in column inches taken up with war to describe snow-topped mountains, lush valleys, spring fields scattered with crocus and other pleasures of living here.

from Russell Boyce:

Asia – A Week in Pictures, March 27, 2011

March 28, 2011

Japan continues to dominate the file from Asia with new photograhers rotating in to cover the twists and turns of this complex and tragic  story.  In a country were the nation rarely buries its dead, the site of mass graves is quite a shocking scene to behold. Holes the length of football pitches are dug in the ground with mechanical digggers and divided into individual plots by the military and are then filled with the coffins of the victims of the tsunami. Family members come to weep and pray over the graves. Some are namless and marked only with DNA details, others bear the names of the victims. There is not enough power or fuel to cremate the thousands of bodies that are being recovered from the disaster zone. 

from Afghan Journal:

Happy New Year Mr President

March 22, 2011

AFGHANISTANU.S. President Barack Obama welcomed the Persian New Year (1390, which started on Monday) with a video message, as he has done every year of his presidency.

from Afghan Journal:

United States begins a new war, what happens to Afghanistan?

March 21, 2011

kunduz

The United States has said the scope of its military intervention in Libya is limited, but it nevertheless raises questions about what happens to the two other wars that it is waging, especially in Afghanistan. The last time Washington took the eye off the ball in Afghanistan was in 2003 when it launched the Iraq war and then got so bogged down there that a low level and sporadic Taliban resistance in southern Afghanistan grew into a full blown insurgency from which it is still trying to extricate itself.

from Pakistan: Now or Never?:

The “sound and fury” of U.S.-Pakistan ties

March 17, 2011

rayjmonddavisphotoWith the release of CIA contractor Raymond Davis, the United States and Pakistan have put behind them one of the more public rows of their up-and-down relationship.  It was probably not the worst row -- remember the furore over a raid by U.S. ground troops in Angor Adda in Waziristan in 2008, itself preceded  by a deluge of leaks to the U.S. media about the alleged duplicity of Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) agency in its dealings on Afghanistan.

from Pakistan: Now or Never?:

Keeping Raymond Davis and Lashkar-e-Taiba in perspective

March 15, 2011

tajmumbaiAccording to the New York Times, Raymond Davis, the CIA contractor arrested in Pakistan for shooting dead two Pakistanis in what he says was an act of self-defence, was working with a CIA team monitoring the Lashkar-e-Taiba militant group.

from Tales from the Trail:

Lugar warns U.S. against war in Libya

March 9, 2011

momarIn recent days  some U.S. senators have been urging President Obama to consider military intervention to help Libyan rebels fighting Moammar Gaddafi.