WBEZ | Afghanistan http://www.wbez.org/tags/afghanistan Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Next year could mark the end of Polio http://www.wbez.org/news/next-year-could-mark-end-polio-113510 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/8190819087_6d2f748ac8_b.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Polio is on its last legs.</p><p>The disease that once paralyzed hundreds of thousands of kids a year around the globe just a few dozen cases this year. &quot;We are aiming to halt all transmission of wild&nbsp;polio virus&nbsp;next year,&quot; says Peter Crowley, the head of UNICEF&#39;s global efforts against polio.</p><p>If polio is stopped, it will be only the second human disease to be eliminated. Smallpox was the first &mdash; the last case was in 1977.</p><div id="res451945746"><div id="responsive-embed-map-polio-cases-20150930"><p data-pym-src="http://apps.npr.org/dailygraphics/graphics/map-polio-cases-20150930/child.html">&nbsp;</p></div><p>&nbsp;</p><p>There&#39;s reason to be optimistic that this gigantic feat of public health is within humanity&#39;s grasp. The World Health Organization says polio transmission has stopped for the first time ever in Africa. Last month, Africa&#39;s last bastion of polio &mdash; Nigeria &mdash; celebrated going an entire year without recording any new cases.</p><div id="con451996199" previewtitle="Polio"><p><strong>The Last Days Of Polio In Africa</strong></p><p>The red dots on the map below show how cases continued to pop up over a wide belt in the middle of the continent from 2010 until 2014.</p><div id="res451942471"><div><div style="text-align: center;"><img alt="Polio cases worldwide" src="http://www.npr.org/assets/img/2015/10/26/AFR_Polio_Case_Map.gif" style="height: 438px; width: 620px;" /></div><div><p style="text-align: center;"><span style="font-size:9px;"><em>Credit: Gates Foundation</em></span></p></div></div></div></div><p>&quot;This is a really major step forward in the effort to eradicate polio from the world,&quot; says Kate O&#39;Brien, a professor at the Bloomberg School of Public Health at Johns Hopkins. O&#39;Brien also works with the World Health Organization as an adviser on global immunization policy. She calls ending polio in Nigeria &quot;absolutely massive&quot; in the overall eradication effort.</p><p>With Nigeria off the list of countries where the virus is self-sustaining, there are now just two nations in the world where transmission has never been fully stopped: Afghanistan and Pakistan. Of the 51 cases of wild polio detected globally so far this year, all of them have been in those two countries. (Note: The world map at the top of this post also includes cases of&nbsp;<a href="http://www.npr.org/sections/goatsandsoda/2015/09/10/434647957/how-did-polio-pop-up-in-two-polio-free-countries-ukraine-and-mali">vaccine-derived polio,</a>&nbsp;which are easier to control.)</p><p>The problem is that until polio is actually stopped in Afghanistan and Pakistan, the multibillion-dollar global effort against the virus is going to have to continue everywhere.</p><p>&quot;This is a virus that is fighting for its life,&quot; O&#39;Brien says. &quot;It is going to find people and places that are not vaccinated. It&#39;s going to find a way to move and it&#39;s going to find those places that are vulnerable.&quot; Kids will continue to be vaccinated everywhere around the world for at least 3 years after the last case to make sure that the virus doesn&#39;t stage a comeback.</p><p>Public health officials have been declaring that polio is on the verge of being wiped out ever since Jonas Salk and Albert Sabin came up with vaccines against it in the 1950s. At that point the world was tallying hundreds of thousands of cases each year. Now it&#39;s just a few dozen cases globally and polio&#39;s demise does appear closer than ever. The disease that in its heyday affected Theodore Roosevelt, Franklin Roosevelt, Olympian Wilma Rudolph and actors Mia Farrow and Donald Sutherland will be relegated to the history books.</p><p>&mdash; <a href="http://www.npr.org/sections/goatsandsoda/2015/10/26/451908297/next-year-could-mark-the-end-of-polio?ft=nprml&amp;f=451908297" target="_blank"><em>via NPR</em></a></p></div><p>&nbsp;</p></p> Mon, 26 Oct 2015 15:34:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/next-year-could-mark-end-polio-113510 Powerful quake hits Northern Afghanistan, shaking the region http://www.wbez.org/news/powerful-quake-hits-northern-afghanistan-shaking-region-113492 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/Pakistani federal employees gather outside their offices after a 7.5-magnitude earthquake in Islamabad on Monday.jpg" alt="" /><p><div id="res451886598" previewtitle="Pakistani federal employees gather outside their offices after a 7.5-magnitude earthquake in Islamabad on Monday."><div data-crop-type="" style="text-align: center;"><img alt="Pakistani federal employees gather outside their offices after a 7.5-magnitude earthquake in Islamabad on Monday." src="http://media.npr.org/assets/img/2015/10/26/gettyimages-494300430_custom-af14038c339250216a75cb1bcf2b80983b72b0a4-s400-c85.jpg" style="height: 259px; width: 500px;" title="Pakistani federal employees gather outside their offices after a 7.5-magnitude earthquake in Islamabad on Monday. (Farooq Naeem/AFP/Getty Images)" /></div><div><p>An earthquake with a magnitude of 7.5 hit northeast Afghanistan on Monday, the&nbsp;<a href="http://earthquake.usgs.gov/earthquakes/eventpage/us10003re5#general_summary">U.S. Geological Survey reports</a>. Dozens of people are said to have been killed.</p></div></div><p>The Associated Press reports:</p><blockquote><div><p><em>&quot;Abdul Latif Khan, a senior official at the Provincial Disaster Management Authority, says Monday&#39;s earthquake killed 46 people in the northwestern Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province. Another official, Mussarrat Khan, says 16 people died in tribal regions near the border with Afghanistan. Officials say more than 400 people were wounded.</em></p><p><em>&quot;Another Pakistani died when a roof collapsed in an eastern city. Thirteen people died in Afghanistan and three people died in the disputed Kashmir region claimed by India and Pakistan.&quot;</em></p></div></blockquote><p>Reports of tremors have come in from neighboring Pakistan, Tajikistan and India, geophysicist Amy Vaughan of USGS tells NPR&#39;s Newscast desk.</p><p>People were evacuated from buildings in the capitals of Pakistan, India and Afghanistan,&nbsp;<a href="http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-34636269">the BBC says</a>, with &quot;communications disrupted in many areas.&quot;</p><p>Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi&nbsp;<a href="https://twitter.com/narendramodi/status/658582987722719232">tweeted</a>&nbsp;that he had called for an assessment.</p><div id="res451886354">Farooq Naeem/AFP/Getty Images</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div><blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p dir="ltr" lang="en">I have asked for an urgent assessment and we stand ready for assistance where required, including Afghanistan &amp; Pakistan.</p>&mdash; Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) <a href="https://twitter.com/narendramodi/status/658582987722719232">October 26, 2015</a></blockquote><script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script></div><p>Vaughan says the region is &quot;very seismically active,&quot; noting that this is where the Eurasian and Indian plates converge. Landslides are also a threat.</p><p>NPR&#39;s Philip Reeves reports that Monday&#39;s quake hit nearly a decade after a temblor that killed tens of thousands of people in the region:</p><blockquote><div><p><em>&quot;South Asians haven&#39;t forgotten the earthquake 10 years ago in the Himalayan Mountains in which more than 70,000 people &mdash; many of them Pakistanis &mdash; were killed, and many more were made homeless. That quake had a magnitude of 7.6.&quot;</em></p></div></blockquote><p>&mdash;<a href="http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2015/10/26/451885968/powerful-quake-hits-northern-afghanistan-shaking-the-region?ft=nprml&amp;f=451885968" target="_blank"><em> via NPR</em></a></p></p> Mon, 26 Oct 2015 09:44:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/powerful-quake-hits-northern-afghanistan-shaking-region-113492 This generation of military families faces the prospect of 20 years of deployments http://www.wbez.org/programs/takeaway/2015-10-20/generation-military-families-faces-prospect-20-years-deployments-113421 <p><p><img alt="" src="http://cdn1.pri.org/sites/default/files/styles/story_main/public/story/images/mil-families.jpg?itok=c0ETzYt7" style="height: 349px; width: 620px;" title="Friends and family watch as paratroopers with the 1st Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division, return home from Afghanistan at Pope Army Airfield in Fort Bragg, North Carolina November 5, 2014. (Chris Keane/Reuters)" /></p><div><p>Mason&nbsp;Bontrager&nbsp;joined the military right before 9/11. Since then, he has deployed five times &mdash; twice to Iraq and three times to Afghanistan.</p><p dir="ltr">With President Barack Obama recently announcing that he would suspend the drawdown of troops from the US, that means he may deploy once again.</p></div><p dir="ltr">His wife,&nbsp;Amy, says her family is part of a new generation of military families facing unprecedented circumstances. For many young military couples like the Bontragers, their entire marriage has come with the threat of war, and there appears to be no end in sight.</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;We&rsquo;re definitely facing this reality of what it looks like to raise children in this lifestyle,&rdquo; she says. &ldquo;We could be the first generation that&rsquo;s going to experience 20 years of deployment. What that&rsquo;s like to raise a family &mdash; we have nothing to compare it to. We&rsquo;re learning as we go, but we also rely heavily on the support of our country so that we can continue to serve this mission.&rdquo;</p><p dir="ltr">And that&rsquo;s just a hard reality of America&rsquo;s longest war: After more than a decade, servicemembers are being called to battle &mdash; again and again and again.</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;Deployments are challenging and it&rsquo;s hard, and each time he goes there are uncertainties,&rdquo; Amy says. &ldquo;We have to accept that mission because that&rsquo;s the mission that&rsquo;s been given to us by our commander-in-chief. This is new to millennials. In 2001, did we think we&rsquo;d still be at war? That probably wasn&rsquo;t even a thought. But this is our reality. We realize that the mission is much greater than us, and we stand ready to serve. That&rsquo;s what it means to be in the military today.&rdquo;</p><p dir="ltr">Over the course of nearly 10 years of marriage, the Bontragers have lived in five different locations. Though her husband has completed five tours of duty, he&rsquo;s not ready to quit &mdash; Amy says her husband is part of a group that feels it is their obligation to put in an end to the conflict, because they were the ones fighting in the beginning.</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;That&rsquo;s a conversation that happens in a lot of homes, and day-to-day it changes &mdash; do you stay in or do you get out?&rdquo; she says. &ldquo;But it goes back to that commitment, and you realize that, for some of these guys, they feel they&rsquo;re called to do this and this is what they&rsquo;re built for and they&rsquo;re trained for. It&rsquo;s hard &mdash; you look at these children and think this is a very different lifestyle that they are being brought up in when compared to other children in our country. But then you realize that it&rsquo;s something that&rsquo;s much greater than us.&rdquo;</p><p dir="ltr"><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/bluestar.JPG" style="height: 194px; width: 310px; margin-left: 10px; margin-right: 10px; float: right;" title="(Via BlueStarFam.org)" />Amy, who has a master&rsquo;s degree in philanthropy, has had to change jobs to meet the needs of her family. Now she&rsquo;s the program manager with<a href="https://www.bluestarfam.org/"> Blue Star Families</a>, an organization formed in April 2009 by a group of military spouses. The group works &ldquo;to create a platform where military family members can join with civilian communities and leaders to address the challenges of military life,&rdquo;&nbsp;<a href="http://bluestarfam.org/about">according to</a>&nbsp;a statement on the Blue Star website.</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;I&rsquo;m really excited that I&rsquo;ve been able to give back through the organization that I work with,&rdquo; Amy says. &ldquo;There&rsquo;s a lot of work to be done, and we do have support, but we&rsquo;re going to continue to need that support.&rdquo;</p><p dir="ltr">&mdash;<a href="http://www.pri.org/stories/2015-10-20/generation-military-families-faces-prospects-20-years-deployments"><em> via The Takeaway</em></a></p></p> Tue, 20 Oct 2015 10:07:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/programs/takeaway/2015-10-20/generation-military-families-faces-prospect-20-years-deployments-113421 The Taliban had a hit list of working women when they took over Kunduz http://www.wbez.org/programs/world/2015-10-16/taliban-had-hit-list-working-women-when-they-took-over-kunduz-113377 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/RTR3HR63.jpg" alt="" /><p><p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" src="http://cdn1.pri.org/sites/default/files/styles/story_main/public/story/images/RTR3HR63.jpg?itok=gdpohv0x" style="border: 0px; vertical-align: bottom; max-width: 100%; height: 349px; color: rgb(51, 51, 60); font-family: 'Source Sans Pro', 'Helvetica Neue', Helvetica, Arial, 'Nimbus Sans L', sans-serif; font-size: 18px; line-height: 27px; width: 620px; background-color: rgb(255, 255, 255);" title="Women turned out for an election campaign event in Kunduz province, northern Afghanistan last year. (Ahmad Masood/Reuters)" typeof="foaf:Image" /></p><div><div><p>When the Taliban overran the city of Kunduz last month, their fighters pounded on doors, carrying long lists.&nbsp;&quot;They were looking for women who had any kind of job outside the house,&quot; says Manizha Naderi, director of&nbsp;<a href="http://www.womenforafghanwomen.org/" target="_blank">Women for Afghan Women</a>.</p><p>&quot;They actually had a hit list. They knew addresses. They knew that, at 7:30&nbsp;in the morning, a car was coming to pick the women up and take them to their offices,&quot; she says.&nbsp;</p></div><p>Naderi is based in Kabul, but her&nbsp;group runs a shelter for abused women in Kunduz. It also operates a family guidance center and a center for the children of women in the Kunduz prison. Naderi says the Taliban went to the home of one the caretakers of the group&#39;s facilities.&nbsp;</p><p>&quot;She was hiding in the basement. Her husband confronted the Taliban and said &#39;My wife is a housewife, she doesn&#39;t work outside of the house,&#39;&quot; Naderi says. &quot;They shot him in the head, point blank.&quot;&nbsp;</p><p>Most of Naderi&#39;s staff had fled the city by then. So when the Taliban broke down the doors of of the Kunduz women&#39;s shelter, they found no one there.&nbsp;That&#39;s when the insurgents destroyed the desks, stole the computers and cars &mdash;&nbsp;and then set fire to the building.&nbsp;</p><p>&quot;Every single educated woman, or even the uneducated women who had jobs outside of the house, had fled Kunduz,&quot; Naderi notes, so&nbsp;&quot;I guess they got angry that nobody was there.&quot;</p><p>The Taliban was especially intent on finding Dr. Hassina Sarwari, who has been the group&#39;s Kunduz director since 2010.&nbsp;</p><p>&quot;She was the very first people they came to look for,&quot; Naderi says. &quot;They invaded Kunduz at 2 am. At 9 am, they were already in her house.&quot;</p><p>But Sarwari had already escaped the city.</p><p>Even now that the Afghan army has control of Kunduz, Sarwari, who has&nbsp;two young girls, isn&#39;t sure it&#39;s wise to return. She&#39;s worried about a warning the Taliban has issued, declaring that Sarwari&nbsp;&quot;would be hanged in the main circle in Kunduz city,&quot; if she sets foot there again. &nbsp;</p><p>But Naderi says some of the women who work for her group&nbsp;are willing to return to Kunduz.&nbsp;</p><p>&quot;We at Women for Afghan Women are definitely committed to going back and starting our shelters and our family guidance centers,&quot; she says. &quot;We will do that in due time.&quot;&nbsp;</p><p>Naderi was buoyed by news today that the White House plans to keep 5,500 US&nbsp;troops in Afghanistan at least until 2017.&nbsp;</p><p>&quot;This is what we wanted,&quot; she says. &quot;The Taliban now know that the US isn&#39;t going anywhere, that they have the Afghan security forces&#39; back. It will definitely make an impact.&quot;</p></div><p>&mdash;<a href="http://www.pri.org/stories/2015-10-15/taliban-had-hit-list-working-women-when-they-took-over-kunduz" target="_blank"><em> via PRI&#39;s The World</em></a></p></p> Fri, 16 Oct 2015 12:51:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/programs/world/2015-10-16/taliban-had-hit-list-working-women-when-they-took-over-kunduz-113377 Obama: U.S. will slow its military withdrawal from Afghanistan http://www.wbez.org/programs/here-and-now/2015-10-15/obama-us-will-slow-its-military-withdrawal-afghanistan-113356 <p><div class="image-insert-image " style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/President%20Barack%20Obama%2C%20accompanied%20by%2C%20from%20left%2C%20Joint%20Chiefs%20Chairman%20Gen.%20Joseph%20Dunford%2C%20Defense%20Secretary%20Ash%20Carter%20and%20Vice%20President%20Joe%20Biden%2C%20answers%20a%20questions%20from%20a%20member%20of%20the%20media%20about%20Afghanistan.jpg" style="height: 415px; width: 620px;" title="President Barack Obama, accompanied by, from left, Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Joseph Dunford, Defense Secretary Ash Carter and Vice President Joe Biden, answers a questions from a member of the media about Afghanistan, Thursday, Oct. 15, 2015, in the Roosevelt Room of the White House in Washington. (Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP)" /></div><div><p>President Barack Obama announced today that the United States will keep thousands of troops in Afghanistan through the end of his term in 2017.</p><p>The 9,800 troops currently in Afghanistan will remain there through most of 2016. By early 2017, that number will drop to 5,500.</p><p>Obama&rsquo;s original plan was to reduce the number of troops to 1,000 in Kabul by the start of 2017.</p><p>The announcement may indicate that Afghan security forces are not ready to defend themselves from the Taliban on their own. American troops will continue to train Afghan forces and search for al-Qaida fighters and ISIS militants.</p><p>NPR&rsquo;s&nbsp;<a href="https://twitter.com/tbowmannpr" target="_blank">Tom Bowman&nbsp;</a>joins&nbsp;<em>Here &amp; Now&rsquo;s</em> Robin Young to discuss Obama&rsquo;s decision.</p><p>&mdash; <a href="http://hereandnow.wbur.org/2015/10/15/obama-plan-troops-afghanistan" target="_blank"><em>via Here &amp; Now</em></a></p></div><p>&nbsp;</p></p> Thu, 15 Oct 2015 13:18:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/programs/here-and-now/2015-10-15/obama-us-will-slow-its-military-withdrawal-afghanistan-113356 Kunduz and the fight against the Taliban in Afghanistan http://www.wbez.org/programs/worldview/2015-10-05/kunduz-and-fight-against-taliban-afghanistan-113188 <p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/AP_495614235373.jpg" title="(Photo: Associated Press/Unattributed)" /></div><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/227053567&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_comments=true&amp;show_user=true&amp;show_reposts=false&amp;show_artwork=false" width="100%"></iframe></p><p style="margin: 0px 0px 18px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: 22px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51);"><span style="font-size: 22px; background-color: rgb(255, 244, 244);">Kunduz residents face uneasy choice between Taliban or corrupt officials</span></p><div style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: 22px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51);"><p>A hospital run by Doctors Without Borders, was bombed over the weekend in Afghanistan. In a press conference with reporters earlier today American General John Campbell suggested that American Special Forces personnel with the Afghan forces may have had a role in coordinating the strike. Doctors Without Borders said they are &quot;disgusted&quot; by the justifications for an &quot;abhorrent attack&quot;. We&#39;ll speak about the incident ,and how it fits in the larger context of the conflict with Sarah Chayes , a senior associate in the South Asia program at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.</p><p><strong>Guest:</strong>&nbsp;<em><span id="docs-internal-guid-15de2713-39a7-4c39-8b95-9696d5dedaaa">Sarah Chayes is a senior associate in the South Asia program at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. She&rsquo;s the author of </span><a href="http://www.thievesofstate.com/">Thieves of State: Why Corruption Threatens Global Security</a>. &nbsp;&nbsp;</em></p><div>&nbsp;</div></div><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/227053871&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_comments=true&amp;show_user=true&amp;show_reposts=false&amp;show_artwork=false" width="100%"></iframe></p><p style="margin: 0px 0px 18px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: 22px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51);"><span style="font-size: 22px; background-color: rgb(255, 244, 244);">The new Pearson Institute to inspire next generation of policy makers</span></p><div style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: 22px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51);"><p>The University of Chicago has created a new institute to address the rise of violent conflict around the world. The Pearson Institute, which will be housed at the Harris School of Public Policy, will focus on data driven research and look for new approaches to conflict resolution that will address the kinds of conflicts we see today- everything from the rise of groups like the Islamic State to sectarian violence. Daniel Diermeier, dean of the University of Chicago Harris School of Public Policy, joins us to discuss what the Institute hopes to accomplish.</p><p><strong>Guest:</strong>&nbsp;<em><span id="docs-internal-guid-15de2713-39a9-9fe9-8719-200d1e78c1f0"><a href="http://twitter.com/danieldiermeier">Daniel Diermeier</a> is the dean of the Harris School of Public Policy at the University of Chicago. </span></em></p><div>&nbsp;</div></div><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/227054167&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_comments=true&amp;show_user=true&amp;show_reposts=false&amp;show_artwork=false" width="100%"></iframe></p><p style="margin: 0px 0px 18px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: 22px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51);"><span style="font-size: 22px; background-color: rgb(255, 244, 244);">Sectarian violence returns to the Central African Republic</span></p><div style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: 22px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51);"><p>A motorcycle taxi driver&rsquo;s recent murder incited riots in the Central African Republic (CAR) capital. The man was rumored killed because he was Muslim. In response, Muslims attacked a Christian neighborhood, followed by reprisal attacks by Christian militia. The unrest has left dozens dead and will delay elections, slated for October 18th. The violence comes just as the country tries to heal from two years of sectarian and civil war that left thousands dead and millions in dire need of humanitarian aid. We&rsquo;ll get an update from Lewis Mudge, a researcher in Human Rights Watch&rsquo;s Africa Division.</p><p><strong>Guest:</strong><em>&nbsp;<span id="docs-internal-guid-15de2713-39ae-00cf-b1c0-bb4a91e6b23f"><a href="http://twitter.com/LewisMudge">Lewis Mudge</a> is a researcher in the Africa Division of <a href="http://twitter.com/hrw">Human Rights Watch</a>. He specializes on Central African Republic (CAR), Rwanda and Burundi.&nbsp;</span></em></p></div><p>&nbsp;</p></p> Mon, 05 Oct 2015 15:06:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/programs/worldview/2015-10-05/kunduz-and-fight-against-taliban-afghanistan-113188 Doctors Without Borders calls US bombing of its hospital a crime against humanity http://www.wbez.org/news/doctors-without-borders-calls-us-bombing-its-hospital-crime-against-humanity-113189 <p><p dir="ltr">The Pentagon changed its story today, and the humanitarian group demanded an independent international inquiry.</p><p dir="ltr">Doctors Without Borders is calling the incident a crime against humanity.</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;Under the rules of international humanitarian law, a hospital is a hospital and the people inside are patients &mdash; to target a medical facility in this way is a violation of that, whatever the circumstances,&rdquo; Vickie Hawkins, executive director of the UK branch of Doctors Without Borders, tells The Takeaway. &ldquo;The statements that have been coming out of the Afghan government in the past 24 hours would lead us to believe that there was some kind of intent behind the attack. We can only presume, on this basis, that that constitutes a war crime.&rdquo;&nbsp;</p><p dir="ltr">The US&nbsp;says&nbsp;the strike in Kunduz, which is under investigation, was issued after Afghan forces came under fire near the hospital and then called for help.</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;An airstrike was then called to eliminate the Taliban threat and several civilians were accidentally struck,&rdquo; &nbsp;the American commander in Afghanistan, Gen. John F. Campbell,&nbsp;<a href="http://www.defense.gov/Video?videoid=426645" target="_blank">said during a press briefing</a>&nbsp;Monday. &ldquo;This is different from the initial reports which indicated that US&nbsp;forces were threatened and that the airstrike was called on their behalf.&rdquo;</p><p dir="ltr">Though the aid group repeatedly said that there had been&nbsp;<a href="https://twitter.com/MSF/status/650757799119593476" target="_blank">no fighting around the hospital</a>, the building was hit over and over again, despite the fact that Doctors Without Borders sent the US&nbsp;military the precise GPS coordinates so the hospital could be avoided.</p><p>&ldquo;When the bombing started, we were indeed in contact with military representatives in both Kabul and in Washington, but the bombing continued for another half hour to 40 minutes after those initial calls were made,&rdquo; says Hawkins.</p><p dir="ltr" style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/Doctors%20react%20in%20an%20Afghan%20hospital%20hit%20by%20an%20airstrike%20Saturday%20in%20Kunduz%2C%20Afghanistan..jpeg" style="height: 304px; width: 540px; margin-left: 10px; margin-right: 10px;" title="Doctors react in an Afghan hospital hit by an airstrike Saturday in Kunduz, Afghanistan. (Doctors Without Borders handout, via Reuters)" /></p><p dir="ltr">The hospital is the only facility of its kind in the northeast region of Afghanistan, and Hawkins says the compound where it sits was &ldquo;precisely targeted,&rdquo; adding that the intensive care unit and the emergency room were hit the worst. For four years, Doctors Without Borders has been using this facility to provide free high level trauma care to civilians in the area.</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;For our medical staff, it was an absolutely terrifying experience,&rdquo; says Hawkins. &ldquo;The hospital itself had been very busy over the previous days [before the airstrike] &mdash; there&rsquo;s been an uptick in the conflict around Kunduz, and we&rsquo;ve had 400 patients over the last four days or so.&rdquo;</p><p dir="ltr">According to Doctors Without Borders, more than 22,000 patients received care at the hospital in 2014, and more than 5,900 surgeries were performed during the same time period. When the hospital was hit, medical workers were in midsts of caring for patients.</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;After the attack was over, we found one of our patients that was killed still on the operating table,&rdquo; says Hawkins. &ldquo;You can imagine for the medical staff that&rsquo;s going about their night&rsquo;s work, this is an absolutely a devastating experience for them.&rdquo;</p><p dir="ltr">The group is now planning to leave the area, something that could be devastating to civilians in the area &mdash; Hawkins describes the trauma center as a &ldquo;vital lifeline&rdquo; for the community.<br />&ldquo;A hospital should represent a place of sanctuary &mdash; it&rsquo;s where people come when they&rsquo;re at their most vulnerable,&rdquo; she says. &ldquo;Given the fact that the intensive care unit was targeted, we can presume that the most sick and vulnerable of our patients have been killed.&rdquo;</p><p dir="ltr">&mdash; <a href="http://www.pri.org/stories/2015-10-05/doctors-without-borders-calls-us-bombing-its-hospital-crime-against-humanity" target="_blank"><em>via The Takeaway</em></a></p></p> Mon, 05 Oct 2015 14:52:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/doctors-without-borders-calls-us-bombing-its-hospital-crime-against-humanity-113189 Worldview: Afghan president Ashraf Ghani speaks to Congress http://www.wbez.org/programs/worldview/2015-03-25/worldview-afghan-president-ashraf-ghani-speaks-congress-111767 <p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/AP219940207055.jpg" style="height: 448px; width: 620px;" title="Afghanistan's President Ashraf Ghani speaks before a joint meeting of Congress on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, March 25, 2015. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)" /></div><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/197665227&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_comments=true&amp;show_user=true&amp;show_reposts=false&amp;show_artwork=false" width="100%"></iframe><font color="#333333" face="Arial, sans-serif"><span style="font-size: 23.9999980926514px; line-height: 22px;">Afghan president Ashraf Ghani speaks to Congress</span></font></p><p><span id="docs-internal-guid-e03b6006-5292-89ab-e500-933828d110b7">Afghan President Ashraf Ghani is on a four day &nbsp;visit to the United States. This morning he spoke to Congress. Earlier this week he met with President Barack Obama, who announced the US will keep its current level of 9800 troops in Afghanistan through the end of the year, rather than reduce them. Meetings this week have been focused not only on security issues but also on corruption. President Ghani has said corruption hurts women, many of whom are the head of households in Afghanistan. While the Afghan president presides over diplomacy in the US, protests have taken place in Afghanistan, demanding justice for a woman beaten to death by a mob over false allegations she had burned a Quran. Manizha Naderi, </span>&nbsp;executive director of Women for Afghan Women, joins us to talk about the policy decisions being made this week and their impact on Afghan women.</p><p><strong>Guest:&nbsp;</strong><em><span id="docs-internal-guid-e03b6006-5293-065a-5d61-98c4fa55e8c3">Manizha Naderi </span>is the Executive Director of <a href="http://www.womenforafghanwomen.org/">Women for Afghan Women.</a></em></p><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/197665909&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_comments=true&amp;show_user=true&amp;show_reposts=false" width="100%"></iframe><span style="color: rgb(51, 51, 51); font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 23.9999980926514px; line-height: 22px;">The struggle of Parmigiano-Reggiano in modern day Italy</span></p><p>Food in Italy seems so blessed that even Pope Francis misses going out for pizza. But the country&rsquo;s acclaimed olive oil and Parmigiano-Reggiano are under threat by climate change, imitators and natural disasters. Joining us for a first-hand report from Umbria is Italian food author Elizabeth Minchilli, and in studio WBEZ food contributor Louisa Chu.</p><p><strong>Guests:&nbsp;</strong></p><p><em><a href="https://twitter.com/louisachu">Louisa Chu</a>&nbsp;is the co-host of the <a href="http://www.wbez.org/content/chewing-fat-podcast-louisa-chu-and-monica-eng">Chewing the Fat</a> podcast.</em></p><p><em><a href="https://twitter.com/eminchilli">Elizabeth Minchilli</a> is the author of &quot;Eating Rome: Living the Good Life in the Eternal City&quot; and many other books on Italy. She blogs at&nbsp;http://www.elizabethminchilliinrome.com/&nbsp;</em></p><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/197666302&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_comments=true&amp;show_user=true&amp;show_reposts=false&amp;show_artwork=false" width="100%"></iframe><font color="#333333" face="Arial, sans-serif"><span style="font-size: 23.9999980926514px; line-height: 22px;">Solo flamenco guitarist Juanito Pascual</span></font></p><p dir="ltr"><span id="docs-internal-guid-89bb2960-52b3-f4b3-a34f-810b79a1a768">This week on Global Notes, Alexandra Salomon and Tony Sarabia welcome flamenco-jazz artist Juanito Pascual. &nbsp;Pascual takes flamenco is many different directions- Indian and Baltic, jazz and funk- while still upholding the music&rsquo;s traditions. He&rsquo;s scaled back his line up for his latest release New Flamenco Trio which allows more of his virtuosity to shine through.&nbsp;</span></p><div><strong>Guests:&nbsp;</strong></div><div>&nbsp;</div><div><em><a href="https://twitter.com/wbezsarabia">Tony Sarabia</a> is the host of <a href="https://twitter.com/WBEZmorning">WBEZ Morning Shift</a>.</em></div><div>&nbsp;</div><div><em><a href="https://twitter.com/JuanitoPascual">Juanito Pascual</a> is a solo flamenco guitarist.&nbsp;</em></div></p> Wed, 25 Mar 2015 15:11:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/programs/worldview/2015-03-25/worldview-afghan-president-ashraf-ghani-speaks-congress-111767 Russia's economic dilemma http://www.wbez.org/programs/worldview/2014-12-08/russias-economic-dilemma-111200 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/AP24510104665.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Russia&#39;s oil production strategy and Western sanctions have led to a decline in the value of the Russian ruble. Jan Kalicki, a public policy scholar for the Kennan Institute at the Wilson Center, joins us to explain the problems the Russian economy is facing.</p><div class="storify"><iframe allowtransparency="true" frameborder="no" height="750" src="//storify.com/WBEZ/worldview-russia-s-economic-dilemma/embed?header=false&amp;border=false" width="100%"></iframe><script src="//storify.com/WBEZ/worldview-russia-s-economic-dilemma.js?header=false&border=false"></script><noscript>[<a href="//storify.com/WBEZ/worldview-russia-s-economic-dilemma" target="_blank">View the story "Worldview: Russia's economic dilemma" on Storify</a>]</noscript></div></p> Mon, 08 Dec 2014 11:01:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/programs/worldview/2014-12-08/russias-economic-dilemma-111200 Compromise in Afghanistan http://www.wbez.org/programs/worldview/2014-10-03/compromise-afghanistan-110889 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/AP924681251725.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>When Ashraf Ghani was declared the winner of the Afghan presidential elections, contender Abdullah Abdullah refused to accept the result. He said he believed the vote was rigged. After months of tension the two candidates agreed to a power sharing deal. We&#39;ll take a look at what happened.</p><div class="storify"><iframe allowtransparency="true" frameborder="no" height="750" src="//storify.com/WBEZ/worldview-compromise-in-afghanistan/embed?header=false&amp;border=false" width="100%"></iframe><script src="//storify.com/WBEZ/worldview-compromise-in-afghanistan.js?header=false&border=false"></script><noscript>[<a href="//storify.com/WBEZ/worldview-compromise-in-afghanistan" target="_blank">View the story "Worldview: Compromise in Afghanistan" on Storify</a>]</noscript></div></p> Fri, 03 Oct 2014 11:34:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/programs/worldview/2014-10-03/compromise-afghanistan-110889