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Posts Tagged ‘Afghanistan’

NY Times Reporter Ordered to Leave Afghanistan

Mohammad Ishaq Aloko, the attorney general of Afghanistan, is not pleased with New York Times reporter Matthew Rosenberg. Aloko ordered Rosenberg out of Afghanistan and banned him from returning to country after Rosenberg’s article about its elections ran in yesterday’s Times.

Rosenberg’s piece made the case that high-ranking Afghan government officials were essentially considering forming a coup. That didn’t sit well with Aloko, who claimed Rosenberg’s work was an “article that is considered divisive and contrary to the national interest, security and stability of Afghanistan.”

“The Attorney General decided that Matthew Rosenberg should leave the country within the next 24 hours and he will not be allowed to re-enter the country,” continued the letter.

Despite Aloko’s demands, Rosenberg reamins unfazed:

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Morning Media Newsfeed: AP Journalists Shot | Schultz’s Legal Woes | Blade Sues U.S. Gov’t

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AP Photographer Killed, Reporter Wounded in Afghanistan (The Associated Press)
An Afghan police commander opened fire Friday on two Associated Press journalists, killing Pulitzer Prize-winning photographer Anja Niedringhaus and wounding veteran correspondent Kathy Gannon — the first known case of a security insider attacking journalists in Afghanistan. FishbowlNY Niedringhaus and Gannon were covering the nation’s election when a policeman opened fire on their vehicle. Niedringhaus was killed instantly and Gannon was shot twice and later underwent surgery. Politico / Dylan Byers on Media Niedringhaus and Gannon were traveling in a convoy of election workers delivering ballots from the center of Khost city to the outskirts, in Tani district, protected by the Afghan National Army and Afghan police. As they were sitting in the car waiting for the convoy to move, a unit commander named Naqibullah walked up to the car, yelled “Allahu Akbar” — God is Great — and opened fire on them in the back seat with his AK-47. He then surrendered to the other police and was arrested. BBC News The attack came as Afghanistan intensified security ahead of presidential elections on Saturday, in response to threats of violence by the Taliban. The new president will succeed Hamid Karzai, who has been in power since the 2001 fall of the Taliban but is constitutionally barred from seeking a third consecutive term. The run-up to this historic election had already been the bloodiest, and fears of electoral fraud are pronounced. NYT Niedringhaus, a German citizen who was based in Geneva, first came to Afghanistan after joining the AP in 2002, and she quickly formed a partnership with Gannon. They were among a band of female photographers and correspondents who persevered through many years of conflict in Iraq as well as in Afghanistan. In the process, they helped redefine traditional notions of war reporting. Even as they covered the battlefield, they also focused attention on the human impact of conflicts known for their random, unpredictable violence against civilians.

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AP Photographer Killed, Reporter Wounded in Afghanistan

APLogoAn attack in Eastern Afghanistan on Associated Press journalists left one dead and one wounded, but in stable in condition. Anja Niedringhaus, a photographer for the Associated Press, and Kathy Gannon, most recently an Afghanistan correspondent, were covering the nation’s election when a policeman opened fire on their vehicle. Niedringhaus was killed instantly and Gannon was shot twice and later underwent surgery.

According to the AP, the pair were part of a convoy delivering ballots to areas outside Khost city. When the convoy stopped in what was described as a “heavily guarded district,” a unit commander who was part of the security team protecting the convoy, walked up to the vehicle carrying Niedringhaus and Gannon and fired at the backseat. He then surrendered to the other police.

“Anja and Kathy together have spent years in Afghanistan covering the conflict and the people there,” said the AP’s executive editor, Kathleen Carroll, in a statement. ”Anja was a vibrant, dynamic journalist well-loved for her insightful photographs, her warm heart and joy for life. We are heartbroken at her loss.”

Morning Media Newsfeed: Ferns Plugs Obamacare | Sweeney Steps Down | Reporter Dies in Uganda

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White House: Obama’s Between Two Ferns Cameo Driving Traffic to HealthCare.gov (The Washington Post / Post Politics)
The White House said in a tweet early Tuesday afternoon that President Obama’s appearance on the Funny or Die Web series Between Two Ferns With Zach Galifianakis has made that website the top referrer to HealthCare.gov. Politico As of 1 p.m. ET Tuesday, the website had racked up more than 19,000 referral visits from Obama’s Between Two Ferns video, which was posted around 7 a.m., Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services spokesman Aaron Albright said. But those who clicked through from the video to HealthCare.gov represent just a small percentage of those who watched the video. Around 1 p.m., the video had drawn about 3 million views through Funny or Die’s video player. By 6 p.m., the total was around 7 million. Reuters In the video, Obama got the chance to urge the youth of America to get health insurance, but not until he’d been subjected to questions like “What is it like to be the last black president?” and “What should be done about North Ikea?” Youth participation is crucial to the success of the program, but U.S. government data released on Tuesday showed that while the number of people enrolled in private insurance under Obamacare reached 4.2 million by March 1, the proportion of adults aged 18-34 remained unchanged from January at 25 percent of total enrollment in private Obamacare plans. Variety At Tuesday’s briefing, White House press secretary Jay Carney was grilled by the White House press corps on whether the video demeaned the dignity of the office. “I think we made the right call here,” Carney said. “I think what it says is gone are the days when your broadcasts can reach everybody we need to reach.” He noted that Between Two Ferns videos average 6 million views, and that he expected the Obama interview would exceed that. He declined to say exactly which parts of the interview were scripted and which ones were not. THR During Obama’s six-and-a-half-minute back-and-forth with Galifianakis, the president played the role of a stern, sometimes irritated straight man as the comedian deadpanned a series of questions that were alternately outrageous and inane. “This is a perfect example of a great partnership with Funny or Die stepping up in a big way,” said Between Two Ferns producer Eric Ortner. “The site has a very robust traffic base of young men and women who are on the edge of the cultural zeitgeist.” PRNewser Will the people who hate the president’s health care law see this clip and change their minds? Of course not. The point, really, is that this appearance was far more valuable than any Sunday morning show discussion could be, no matter what Obama’s opponents think. We all know that the key to successful communication is to deliver the message to the right audience in the best possible format, which for young people is not Sunday morning on NBC with David Gregory.

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Bill O’Reilly Books Get Burned in Afghanistan


A few days ago, a U.S. soldier stationed in Afghanistan posted these photos to his Tumblr account, along with an explanation:

Some jerk sent us two boxes of this awful book (SPOILER ALERT: George Washington – Patriot; George Soros – Pinhead) instead of anything soldiers at a remote outpost in Afghanistan might need, like, say, food or soap. Just burned the whole lot of them on my Commander’s orders.

The post quickly went viral, and the soldier, who does not blog under his real name, felt the need to respond to some of the reactions. He clarified that while he understood the issues surrounding the burning of books, these were torched for practical reasons. At his remote location there is no way to return the books, and extra space is at a minimum. All unwanted items are disposed of, mostly by burning.

He added, “I won’t say I didn’t take pleasure in removing a few copies of this bigoted twerp’s writings from circulation, but the reason for doing so was military necessity.”

If you’d like to send the troops things they actually need, you can do so via Operation Shoebox.

Al Roker, Matt Lauer Head To Afghanistan

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This morning, as we were watching the “Today” show, we learned that anchor Matt Lauer and weatherman Al Roker were headed to Afghanistan and would be reporting from there tomorrow and Wednesday. Roker’s tweet from earlier today confirms that he’s en route to the Middle East.

Report our colleagues at TVNewser:

“The live coverage comes as more details are revealed about the U.S. troop increase to the country, including the 1,500 Marines from Camp Lejeune who will ship out later this month. Lauer and Roker will have the latest reporting from the war zone, spending time on the ground — and in the air — with the troops.”

The trip will also have a seasonal focus: before leaving for his trip, Lauer said their reporting would focus on the troops who would be spending the holidays in the war zone.