June 3rd, 2010
01:15 PM ET

Australian case sparks look at drug use among troops

Illegal drugs may have been the cause of an Australian soldier's illness last week, according to the Australian Department of Defense. The military said Thursday it had launched an investigation, including drug testing for others in the soldier's unit.

“As the investigation is ongoing, no findings are yet available, however, a bottle of pills and, separately, white powder – thought to be an opiate – were found in the soldier’s room,” Air Chief Marshal Angus Houston, chief of the Australian Defense Force, said in a prepared statement.

The soldier, in his third deployment to Afghanistan, was found unconscious in his room at Tarin Kowt in southern Afghanistan last Friday. He remains in serious condition at a military hospital in Germany. FULL POST

Filed under: Drug trade • Troops
June 3rd, 2010
09:16 AM ET

Jirga continues despite Taliban attack

Undeterred by an attack on their gathering a day earlier, hundreds of Afghan tribal and religious leaders were meeting again on Thursday with Western diplomats and the country's lawmakers as they debate how best to negotiate with the Taliban.

The peace gathering, or jirga, was rattled Wednesday when a rocket whistled in within minutes of President Hamid Karzai's opening remarks to 1,600 delegates.

Filed under: Peace jirga
June 3rd, 2010
09:00 AM ET

Watch the jirga attack unfold

Within minutes of President Hamid Karzai addressing the 1,600 delegates at the peace jirga he called to deabte how best to negotiate with the Taliban, a rocket whistled in. More explosions followed. One of the rockets landed by a wall just a few hundred meters from the flimsy peace jirga tents. Gun battles erupted a few miles away in Kabul. FULL POST