September 29th, 2010
08:12 AM ET

CNN poll: Growing pessimism in U.S. over Afghanistan war

Nearly six in 10 Americans continue to oppose the war in Afghanistan amid a growing pessimism about the situation the United States faces in that country, according to a new national poll.

A CNN/Opinion Research Corporation survey released Wednesday indicates that 44 percent of the public believes things are going well for the United States in Afghanistan, down from 55 percent in March. FULL POST

Filed under: Decision: Afghanistan
September 29th, 2010
07:54 AM ET
September 29th, 2010
07:52 AM ET

Army may have known in February about Afghan murder

The Army may have known months ago about serious misconduct - including the apparently unprovoked murder of a civilian - by members of a platoon in Afghanistan but failed to act on it before at least one other murder occurred.

In an interrogation tape obtained by CNN, Spc. Adam Winfield, 21, tells an Army investigator in May that he told his father in February that he feared for his life after hearing that others within his platoon had murdered an Afghan civilian. He feared that his comrades - members of the 5th Stryker Brigade - were hunting for other victims, he said. FULL POST

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Filed under: Civilian deaths • Soldier tapes
September 28th, 2010
05:14 PM ET
September 28th, 2010
11:28 AM ET

Thousands in Pakistan protest scientist's prison sentence

Hundreds of thousands protested in Karachi and Hyderabad Tuesday against the 86-year prison sentence for a Pakistani scientist convicted of attempting to kill Americans in Afghanistan.

The rallies were organized by the Muttahida Quami Movement, a Pakistani political party, in response to last week's sentencing of Aafia Siddiqui, who was convicted by a jury in February in the United States on seven charges, including attempted murder and armed assault on U.S. officers.

"I appeal to the U.S. government and their people to release Aafia Siddiqui with honor and dignity to get the praises of millions of people," MQM's leader, Altaf Hussain, said during a live address by telephone from his self-exile in London, England.

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Filed under: Pakistan
September 28th, 2010
11:22 AM ET
Karzai breaks down in tears at event
September 28th, 2010
10:27 AM ET

Karzai breaks down in tears at event

It was supposed to be a day celebrating Afghan achievements in education. Instead, Afghanistan's embattled president broke down crying at an official gathering commemorating International Literacy Day.

In his emotional speech, Hamid Karzai lamented the estimated 10 million Afghans who are illiterate and repeated an appeal to Taliban militants to lay down their arms and expressed fear that his son might one day be forced to flee his country.

"I have pain in my heart," Karzai said, his voice breaking and his eyes red with tears.

"I'm afraid that my son, my own son will become a refugee one day. Please, I don't want my son and your son to be a foreign citizen. I want him to grow up here ...I want him to serve his nation," Karzai said, addressing an auditorium full of teachers, government ministers, foreign ambassadors and Girl Scouts gathered to celebrate the event.

After wiping his face with a handkerchief, Karzai urged Afghans to do more to educate their children. Several bearded men in the audience brushed away tears as the Afghan leader concluded his speech. FULL POST

September 28th, 2010
10:21 AM ET

Women, warlords on peace council for Taliban talks

Former warlords, village elders and women are among the members of an Afghan peace council designed to spearhead "serious, substantive dialogue" efforts with the Taliban opposition.

The Afghan government Tuesday announced the members of the High Peace Council that will spearhead reconciliation efforts. FULL POST

After nearly a century, a modern Afghan railroad is under construction
September 27th, 2010
10:59 AM ET

After nearly a century, a modern Afghan railroad is under construction

Afghan visitors pose for photos and pretend to sell each other passenger tickets next to a rusty little locomotive in a shattered corner of the Afghan capital.

Built in Germany in 1923, this little engine is all that is left of King Amanullah Khan's effort to modernize Afghanistan by constructing a 7 kilometer-long railroad in downtown Kabul in the 1920s. The locomotive is now a curiosity at the Kabul Museum, standing below the ruins of the former king's battle-scarred palace.

For 24-year old Abil Ahmad, it is the first time he has seen a train in Afghanistan.

"It's a very sad symbol," says the university student. "Unfortunately we don't have a train today."

In fact, the first modern railroad in Afghanistan in nearly a century is nearing completion in the north of the country.

September 27th, 2010
10:57 AM ET

Tapes describe U.S. servicemen killing for sport in Afghanistan

From Drew Griffin, CNN Correspondent

Tapes obtained by CNN of interrogations of a group of U.S. servicemen charged with the unprovoked killings of Afghan civilians describe gruesome scenes of cold-blooded murder carried out under the influence of illegal drugs.

The following is a partial transcript of those tapes, between a military investigator and Cpl. Jeremy Morlock, one of the five U.S. soldier charged with the premeditated murder of three Afghan civilians.

"So we met this guy by his compound, so Gibbs walked him out, set him in place, was like standing here," said Morlock, detailing how, on patrol earlier this year and under the command of his sergeant, Calvin R. Gibbs, he and others took an Afghan man from his home, stood him up and killed him.

"So, he was fully cooperating?" the military investigator asks on the tapes.

"Yeah," Morlock responds. FULL POST