CNN's Paula Hancocks, on the ground in Afghanistan, describes the sense of eeriness on the streets of Kandahar. "You know there's danger on the street," she says, "You have a sense that there is something out there ... but you don't know where this danger is exactly."
She also talks about the differences between Kabul and Kandahar, the sense of fear on the streets in Kandahar and what it's like for women now in the southern province.
KABUL, Afghanistan — Watching a drug addict going cold turkey in a rehabilitation center is hard. When that drug addict is 3 years old, it is heartbreaking.
But this is the shocking reality for some children in Afghanistan — an addiction that is passed on through birth and breastfeeding, or becoming dependent from second-hand smoke, often from their parents. FULL POST
KUSHKAK, Nangarhar — Friends and family in the Kushkak village of Afghanistan's Nangarhar province pray for those who died.
Nine people were killed in a joint NATO-Afghan operation on May 13. The family says they were innocent civilians and it is a case of mistaken identity. The U.S. military does not agree. FULL POST
It’s being billed as the biggest military offensive of this eight and a half year war and it could be just weeks away.
The U.S. military is beefing up its troop numbers in and around the city of Kandahar, the spiritual heartland of the Taliban. At the same time the Taliban is moving into the heart of the city. No one knows how many fighters have blended into the crowds in this southern Afghan city but violence has definitely increased in recent weeks.
KANDAHAR, Afghanistan — It takes guts to be a policeman in Kandahar. You're a prime target for the Taliban, the local population has little trust in you and until recently you were ill-trained and ill-equipped.
All of the above may have changed only slightly but police commanders say things are at least moving in the right direction.
Mohammad Shafiq Afzali is police commissioner in charge of six provinces. Little surprise, he rarely finds time to leave Kandahar. He acknowledges the support of the locals is lacking but insists it's changing as the image of the police is improving.
"Before police were getting $40 to $50 a month, now they're getting around $250. When anyone's financial problems are solved they no longer want to do dishonest things," he says. FULL POST
Kabul, Afghanistan — Zablon Simintov is always guaranteed the best seat in his local synagogue here, but the privilege comes with a downside: he's the last Jew in Afghanistan.
The country's 800-year-old Jewish community - an estimated 40,000 strong at its peak - is now a party of one. FULL POST