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Nov 6, 2015

Afghanistan turns to India for military helicopters, likely to rile Pakistan

KABUL/NEW DELHI (Reuters) – Afghanistan is poised to acquire four attack helicopters from India to help it fight a growing Taliban insurgency, a small but significant deal marking a shift in Kabul’s search for allies that is likely to anger Pakistan.

Soon after he took over, Afghan President Ashraf Ghani held off military assistance from India while he courted Pakistan’s political and military leadership to end years of mutual hostility and steer the Taliban, many of who live in Pakistan, toward negotiations.

Oct 18, 2015

Afghan TV stations face Taliban threat after Kunduz

KABUL (Reuters) – Already forced to operate in one of the world’s most hostile environments for journalists, Afghan television stations are now being openly targeted by Islamist insurgents in a widening insurgency that threatens cities across the country.

The Taliban’s brief capture of the northern city of Kunduz last month, the first time in 14 years of fighting it had taken a provincial center, underlined how far its military strength has grown since NATO forces ended combat operations last year.

Oct 18, 2015

Afghan TV stations face Taliban threat after Kunduz

KABUL, Oct 18 (Reuters) – Already forced to operate in one
of the world’s most hostile environments for journalists, Afghan
television stations are now being openly targeted by Islamist
insurgents in a widening insurgency that threatens cities across
the country.

The Taliban’s brief capture of the northern city of Kunduz
last month, the first time in 14 years of fighting it had taken
a provincial centre, underlined how far its military strength
has grown since NATO forces ended combat operations last year.

Oct 16, 2015

Taliban defiant over delay to U.S. troop reduction in Afghanistan

KABUL (Reuters) – The Taliban on Friday brushed aside a U.S. decision to delay withdrawing troops from Afghanistan, saying it would do nothing to save an “unwinnable war” and promising to step up its campaign against the Western-backed government in Kabul.

President Barack Obama’s decision to drop plans for a radical reduction in U.S. forces next year was greeted with relief by the administration in Kabul, which had feared being abandoned by its most powerful ally.

Oct 8, 2015

Aid group MSF to review work in Afghanistan after air strike

KABUL (Reuters) – Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) will review its operations in Afghanistan following last weekend’s deadly U.S. air strike on a hospital in the city of Kunduz, officials from the international aid group said on Thursday.

At least 22 patients and MSF staff were killed on Saturday when a U.S. aircraft attacked the hospital during fighting between Afghan government troops and Taliban forces. However, the death toll is likely to rise with nine patients and 24 staff unaccounted for and at least 24 bodies reported to be left in the abandoned hospital.

Aug 4, 2015

New Taliban leader moves fast to heal rifts in Afghan insurgency

PESHAWAR, Pakistan/KABUL (Reuters) – If the first public comments from the Afghan Taliban’s newly appointed leader are anything to go by, Akhtar Mohammad Mansour recognizes how fractured the militant movement has become and that humility and consensus may be his best way forward.

Mansour, who was deputy to the late Taliban founder Mullah Mohammad Omar, is widely seen as close to neighboring Pakistan’s powerful military intelligence, which helped create the Taliban in the 1990s and has maintained links ever since.

Aug 4, 2015

New Taliban leader moves fast to heal rifts in Afghan insurgency

PESHAWAR, Pakistan/KABUL (Reuters) – If the first public comments from the Afghan Taliban’s newly appointed leader are anything to go by, Akhtar Mohammad Mansour recognises how fractured the militant movement has become and that humility and consensus may be his best way forward.

Mansour, who was deputy to the late Taliban founder Mullah Mohammad Omar, is widely seen as close to neighbouring Pakistan’s powerful military intelligence, which helped create the Taliban in the 1990s and has maintained links ever since.

Jul 12, 2015

Greece’s Tsipras set to expel Syriza rebels as bailout votes loom

BRUSSELS/ATHENS (Reuters) – Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras is set to begin a bruising week by clearing out party rebels opposed to an austerity package that will have to go through parliament within days, people close to the government say.

With Greece’s future in the euro zone in the balance and European partners demanding immediate action to rebuild broken trust and prove his commitment to reform, the 40-year-old leftist prime minister cannot afford to wait.

Jul 11, 2015

Euro lenders to pass bailout judgment as Greece backs reforms

BRUSSELS/ATHENS, July 11 (Reuters) – Greek Prime Minister
Alexis Tsipras won backing from lawmakers on Saturday for
painful reforms but it remained unclear it would be enough to
secure a bailout from German and other euro zone ministers
meeting in Brussels.

In parliament overnight, Tsipras had to rely on opposition
votes from the right after some of his leftist allies opposed
spending cuts, tax rises and other measures he proposed in order
to unlock 54 billion euros in three-year credit and save Greece
from a bankruptcy that would force it out of the euro zone.

Jun 18, 2015

Greece’s EU future in doubt if talks fail, central bank warns

ATHENS (Reuters) – Greece’s leftist government faced a barrage of warnings on Wednesday that it risked being forced out of the euro zone and left without support if it failed to strike a swift aid-for-reforms deal with its creditors.

The Bank of Greece said the country’s future in the European Union itself could also be at risk without a deal, underlining the extent to which officials who once refused any suggestion of “Grexit” are now openly discussing the prospect.