World

12:53pm

Wed March 14, 2012
The Two-Way

Zimbabwe Is Short On Cash, Can't Afford Two Elections This Year

Zimbabwe's finance minister warns there's a difficult choice ahead - government coffers are low on cash and there's not enough money to pay for both a vote on a new constitution and a presidential election this year.

Profits from the country's diamond mines plunged this year; finance minister Tendai Biti says the government was promised $600 million in sales but has gotten about $19 million, notes AP.

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11:19am

Wed March 14, 2012
Afghanistan

For Afghans, Two Outrages, Two Different Reactions

The Afghan response to Sunday's shooting deaths of 16 Afghan civilians has been limited compared with the recent outrage over the burning of Qurans. In one of the few protests, demonstrators chanted anti-U.S. slogans in the eastern city of Jalalabad on Tuesday.
Rahmat Gul AP

After U.S. troops inadvertently burned Qurans in Afghanistan last month, Afghans staged nationwide riots that left 40 dead and hundreds injured in unrest that lasted days.

In the days since 16 Afghan civilians were shot dead on Sunday, apparently by a lone U.S. soldier, the Afghan reaction has been relatively restrained so far.

Why such different responses? It can seem especially confounding to Americans, who consider the shooting a far graver offense than the Quran burnings.

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10:43am

Wed March 14, 2012
The Two-Way

Vehicle Explodes On Airfield In Afghanistan, Where Panetta Landed

Originally published on Wed March 14, 2012 2:31 pm

U.S. Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta, center, is greeted by Col. John Shafer, left, with RTC 6 Wednesday at Foward Operating Base Shukvani, Afghanistan. As Panetta was landing at another base, an Afghan drove a truck onto the airfield until it crashed and exploded.
Scott Olson Getty Images

The Pentagon says an Afghan drove a stolen truck onto the airfield of a British base in southern Afghanistan at high speeds until it crashed into a ditch and exploded into flames.

The incident at Camp Bastion happened around the same time that U.S. Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta landed in the country.

"At no point was the Secretary or anyone on the aircraft in any danger from this incident," the International Security Assistance Force said in a statement.

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9:36am

Wed March 14, 2012
Middle East

Aid Group's Role In Syria Pushes Limits

Originally published on Wed March 14, 2012 11:07 am

Campaigners from the international advocacy group Avaaz protest Russian arms sales to the Syrian government during a demonstration in front of the Russian Embassy in Berlin on Nov. 2.
Michael Sohn AP

A year into the Syrian uprising, with the world community reluctant to intervene, one international group has taken a direct and risky role in Syria — even taking part in the high-profile rescue of Western journalists from the besieged city of Homs.

Avaaz, a global online pressure group based in New York, has given crucial support to the uprising and the Syrian activist networks that aim to topple the regime of President Bashar Assad.

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7:37am

Wed March 14, 2012
The Challenges Of A Nuclear Iran

The Debate Over Bombing Nuclear Facilities In Iran

Originally published on Wed March 14, 2012 10:31 am

This Aug. 13, 2004, satellite image provided by DigitalGlobe and the Institute for Science and International Security shows the military complex at Parchin, Iran, about 19 miles southeast of Tehran.
Anonymous AP

Iran said Tuesday that it is unwilling to allow international nuclear inspectors to have complete access to a restricted military complex, called Parchin, which is near the capital Tehran. There are concerns that the complex may contain a facility designed to test explosives meant to trigger a nuclear chain reaction.

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