This video is called Afghanistan children.
From AFP news agency:
Afghans protest over rocketing food prices
Wed Apr 23, 1:25 AM
JALALABAD, Afghanistan – About 400 people demonstrated in eastern Afghanistan against skyrocketing food prices, witnesses said, in the country’s first protest at food costs rising worldwide.
The demonstrators blocked a key road linking the eastern town of Jalalabad to the capital Kabul and demanded the government step in to control prices at food markets.
“We can’t afford to buy food. We want the government to control the prices,” said one demonstrator, Rais Khan.
Poverty in Afghanistan: here.
The Afghan government plans to investigate whether the United States used depleted uranium during its invasion of Afghanistan in 2001 and if it might be linked to malformed babies born afterwards: here.
Financial speculators reap profits from global hunger: here.
Agricultural corporations boast huge profits in midst of food crisis: here.
Multinationals make billions in profit out of growing global food crisis: here.
Benin is one of several West African states gripped by soaring food prices: here.
Kenyan food price protest: here.
What a waste: Britain throws away £10bn of food every year: here.
TAPI gas pipeline project to begin in 2010
http://www.chinaview.cn 2008-04-24 21:34:17
ISLAMABAD, April 24 (Xinhua) — Oil ministers from Turkmenistan, Afghanistan, Pakistan and India (TAPI) signed a draft framework on Thursday, agreeing to start construction work of the TAPI gas pipeline project in 2010.
The project cost has risen to 7.6 billion U.S. dollars from originally estimated 3.3 billion dollars in 2004, the official Associated Press of Pakistan (APP) said.
After two-day talks in the Pakistan’s capital, the ministers from the four nations told a joint press conference that the construction work on the delayed TAPI pipeline project will be inaugurated in 2010.
The talks on Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan gas pipeline project have been underway since 2002. In 2006 India was invited as an observer to the project, funded by the Asian Development Bank.
This is the first time that India is participating in talks on the pipeline as a full-fledged member.
The price increase was due to sharp increase in price of steel, increase in construction cost and increase in the cost of compressor stations, said Khwaja Asif, Pakistani Minister for Petroleum and Natural Resources.
Despite the significant increase in project cost estimates, the project is still considered as economically and financially viable, the APP quoted Asif as saying.
The 7.6-billion-U.S. dollar pipeline project starts from Turkmenistan’s Dauletabad field through Herat and Kandahar in Afghanistan to Multan in Pakistan, and finally extends up to Pakistan-India border. …
Posted : Thu, 24 Apr 2008 13:40:04 GMT
Author : DPA
Berlin – Germany’s foreign intelligence service came under pressure Thursday following revelations it had monitored the e-mail correspondence of a German journalist reporting on Afghanistan for Der Spiegel news magazine. Ernst Uhrlau, the president of the Federal Intelligence Service (BND), responded to questions from members of the Parliamentary Control Committee (PKG) in closed session.
Following the session, PKG Chairman Thomas Oppermann was highly critical of the service, saying relations between the PKG and the BND were at a low point.
Over the weekend, Uhrlau informed the journalist, Susanne Koelbl, who has long reported on the region for the well-known weekly, that she had been monitored during the course of 2006.
The BND had in particular monitored Koelbl’s contact with an Afghan politician.
Television journalist Ulrich Tilger, a former employee of national public broadcaster ZDF, said Thursday he had been informed by a German diplomat that he too had been monitored.
The diplomat told him: “You have to understand, that you are being bugged. That is the way things are in Afghanistan,” Tilger said in interviews.
Tilger was at the time investigating the abduction of German engineer Rudolf Blechschmidt, who was freed in October 2007 after spending more than two months in captivity in the central province of Maidan Wardak.
Der Spiegel said it was considering legal action on the grounds of Germany’s stringent laws governing freedom of the press.
And the chairman of the Association of German Journalists (DJV), Michael Konken, accused the intelligence services of “developing a James Bond mentality.”
Opposition members of parliament said the issue was not so much Uhrlau’s position, rather concern that the intelligence services were running out of control as a result of concerns on international terrorism.
Max Stadler of the liberal FDP said the BND was in danger of becoming a “state within the state.”
Afghans escape poverty via cheap U.S. labour
Wed, 07 May 2008 09:51:58
By Luke Baker
KHOST, Afghanistan (Reuters) – Said Mohammed spends eight hours a day six days a week cementing walls with his bare hands, earning just $3 a day. He could barely be happier.
“This is a very good job, very good,” he says, beaming and eager to explain everything about it in his garbled, rapid-fire English apparently learnt from American TV shows.
“I come here from just nearby, spend eight hours, break for prayer, home at four. On Fridays I have day off. It’s very good. I support myself, seven brothers and two sisters,” he rattles off, slapping down dollops of cement as he talks.
Mohammed, 20, is one of several hundred Afghans employed at a U.S. military base in eastern Afghanistan, doing everything from digging holes to carrying furniture, building new barracks, cleaning toilets and filling sandbags.
While content, he is also a little jealous of some of the others working nearby who earn $8-10 a day doing similar jobs. They are employed by KBR, a U.S. firm with vast reconstruction and supply contracts in both Afghanistan and Iraq.
According to Mohammed, to get hired by KBR you have to know the man who finds the workers for the U.S. company. If you do not know him — a local from Khost — you get stuck on $3 an hour.
“Maybe soon I’ll get a new job with the Americans,” he says, looking over at the nearby work site, where 10-15 Afghans in traditional clothes with turbans on their heads — wearing dark sunglasses supplied by the Americans — are labouring in the heat under the watchful eye of a Western KBR contractor.
While the working conditions are grim — the hours are long, they are under constant watch sometimes by armed U.S. soldiers, and they have to march everywhere in single file with a “guard” behind — Mohammed and the others are in the lucky minority.
In Khost, unemployment is estimated by local officials to be running at somewhere between 80 and 90 percent — it’s hard to tell exactly because no one registers as jobless and many people manage to find informal work from time to time.
In the past, the lack of jobs and the frustrations that brings for young men eager to earn a wage and eventually marry, has been exploited by the Taliban to win recruits. Now, when they see men working and suspect it is for the Americans, the Taliban are quick to threaten, intimidate or kill.
“I can’t tell anyone what I do,” says Saif, a translator on the base who asked that only part of his name be used.
“Just recently, one man who worked here had his head cut off by the Taliban,” he says, estimating that in the three years he has worked for the Americans, around four dozen Afghans working on U.S. bases near the city of Khost have been killed.
The labourers though are more than happy to take the risk for the sake of a small but regular wage. Most have extended families to support and are struggling because of rising food and energy costs.
In the past six months, the price of a 50 kg (110 lb) bag of rice in the Khost market has risen from 1,100 afghanis (around $22) to 2,000 afghanis, locals say. Wheat has risen from 1,500 for a 100 kg bag to 3,500-4,000. Diesel prices have doubled.
“It’s hard for people to survive,” says Saif, who supports 18 members of his family on earnings of around $1,200 a month.
“The high prices and the lack of work, they are both things that force people to join the Taliban,” he argues, believing that many people ally themselves with the militants not for any political reason but for criminal gain.
Those that do not have work and do not side with the Taliban tend to blame their problems on the government, which they see as corrupt and inefficient. Perhaps as a consequence, local governors are keen for the Americans to launch more reconstruction projects — like new roads — to provide jobs.
“The expectations from the people are very high,” says Abdul Jabbar Naeemi, the governor of Maidan Wardak, a province near Kabul. “What I want are more development projects so that we can give the people some jobs. That’s what they want.”
(Editing by Alex Richardson)
Faced with a global food crisis, Congress has a major opportunity to provide desperately needed funding to help those facing increased hunger due to high food prices.
Congress is in final negotiations on the farm bill right now and this legislation could help address the crisis. Currently farmers making $1 million a year receive support from the farm bill, but the poor affected by the food crisis do not. Does that sound right to you?
Tell Congress to shift funds from wasteful subsides for wealthy farmers and help address the unprecedented challenge of skyrocketing food prices.
By shifting funds in the Farm Bill from wasteful agricultural subsidies for industrial sized farms to food aid for children and others facing hunger, Congress can help head off a global humanitarian disaster. Wealthy farmers don’t need support from the government, but poor people who cannot afford food for their families do. Tell Congress to do the right thing.
Even a small cut in subsidies to wealthy farmers could provide funds to help millions who are being pushed further into poverty by the food crisis. Food prices in some countries have gone up 80% in the last three years. Poor people around the world cannot wait any longer.
Please tell Congress to urgently address the food crisis today.
Thank you for your support,
Oxfam America Advocacy Fund
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