Eleven candidates are trying to replace Hamid Karzai in the April 5 election. Ten are Pashtuns, the dominant ethnic group. Candidates are already holding rallies, debating and wooing the support of tribal leaders. Here's a rundown of the top contenders.
The housing bubble in Afghanistan was created by the influx of international organizations and their thousands of workers over the last 12 years. As countries pull out of Afghanistan, rent prices are tumbling, vacancies are soaring and sales have flatlined.
U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Samantha Power used Twitter to tweet her Russian counterpart after he made snarky comments about her meeting with members of the Russian protest group Pussy Riot. It's the latest high-profile incident of diplomats engaging each other using less than 140 characters. Renee Montagne talks with Alec Ross, former senior adviser for innovation to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, about diplomatic protocol in the era of social media.
The World Cup soccer extravaganza being held in Brazil opens in June. And the U.S. team faces a number of challenges. It will face some of the world's best teams and will be doing this in the middle of the Amazon.
The anniversary comes at a time when Iran's new president appears to be trying to reduce tensions over the country's nuclear program, and seeking closer ties with the West. Renee Montagne talks to Thomas Erdbrink, the Tehran bureau chief for The New York Times, about the celebrations in Iran.
Steve Inskeep talks to former Iranian diplomat Seyed Hossein Mousavian on the 35th anniversary of the Iranian Revolution. Mousavian was Iran's ambassador to Germany and a nuclear negotiator until Iran charged him with spying. He fled to the U.S. and recently made his first trip back to Iran in five years.
NBC says its coverage of the Winter Olympics has drawn more than 100 million viewers over its first weekend. That indicates lots of interest in the games, which will fill 1,539 hours of coverage across NBC's broadcast network, cable channels and online. We have some suggestions for watching the Sochi Olympics — from the regular network broadcast to cable to the Internet.
The two teams will meet Wednesday in an early round game, but they have an intense rivalry that has often turned to heated clashes on the ice. The players are neither embarrassed nor proud of the fighting, but, yes, it could happen again.
As political sparring has gotten increasingly nasty in Israel, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has found himself caught in the crossfire for his role in the peace talks. State Department spokesperson Jen Psaki points to this criticism as a sign that Israeli and Palestinian sides are getting down to the painful details. Neither side wants to be labeled as the one to end negotiations, but outsiders are nevertheless striving to exert diplomatic and financial pressure in order to ensure talks continue. Some say that this pressure alone may get a framework for peace signed.
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