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NPR

Taliban Plans To Set Up Political Office In Qatar

The Taliban announces it will soon open a political office in the Persian Gulf state of Qatar. The move could set the stage for negotiations on an end to the Afghan war. But the State Department reiterated that the process will only succeed if the Taliban renounces violence, severs ties with al-Qaida and abides by the Afghan constitution.
NPR

U.S. Military Tests Out Green Tech In Afghanistan

Saving money and lives, as well as improving national security, are the goals behind a U.S. military initiative to reduce its reliance on fossil fuels. At one outpost in remote Afghanistan, Marines are using solar power; the Navy is also experimenting with biofuels.
NPR

Petraeus Did Not Consider Quitting Over Afghan Drawdown, Author Says

An Associated Press report about Paula Broadwell's new book led with the "news" that Petraeus "almost resigned." But that was wrong. Friends encouraged him to do that, she says, but Petraeus did not consider it.
NPR

In Kabul, Banking On Luxury Accommodations

A five-star hotel in Afghanistan may seem a risky business proposition. But not to the Marriott chain, which is going to manage a six-story hotel under construction in Kabul. Part of the U.S. and NATO security bubble, it will likely draw foreign businesspeople hoping to sign reconstruction deals.
NPR

Revisiting Istalif, Famed For Pottery And Picnics

The mention of picnics brings back memories of a 2003 visit to that Afghan village — and the hopeful signs there that life could indeed be "normal" again in that war-torn country.
NPR

Ten Years Of Hanging On As An Afghan Potter

Abdul Wahkeel was the first potter in Istalif to rebuild his business after the Taliban fell. He has largely succeeded, but wonders whether his children will know the same prosperity and peace.

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