Sean Carberry en Afghans Vote In Large Numbers Despite Risks After a campaign marred by violence, Afghans voted Saturday in presidential elections for what's to be the first ever democratic transfer of power. Results are not expected for some time. Sat, 05 Apr 2014 11:52:00 +0000 Sean Carberry 38090 at Between Afghans And Political Milestone, Threat Of Violence Looms Transcript <p>MELISSA BLOCK, HOST: <p>To Afghanistan now, where tomorrow voters will choose a successor to President Hamid Karzai who was barred from running again. The election will mark the country's first democratic transition of power. The Taliban have been calling the election a Western-backed sham and have been waging a campaign of violence to disrupt the vote.<p>NPR's Sean Carberry joins us now from Kabul. And, Sean, today there's news that an Afghan policeman shot two AP journalists - one was killed, the other injured. Fri, 04 Apr 2014 20:17:00 +0000 Sean Carberry 38051 at A New Era? Afghan Presidential Hopefuls Court Women's Vote On International Women's Day last month, Afghan presidential candidate Ashraf Ghani held a rally in Kabul attended by several thousand women. While they were all wearing headscarves, there was not a full-length burqa to be seen in the crowd. Thu, 03 Apr 2014 20:02:00 +0000 Sean Carberry 37977 at A New Era? Afghan Presidential Hopefuls Court Women's Vote Suicide Bomber Targets Afghan Police In the Afghan capital Kabul, a suicide bomber wearing a police uniform walked up to a checkpoint outside the headquarters of the Interior Ministry and killed several members of the national police. Wed, 02 Apr 2014 16:56:00 +0000 Sean Carberry 37876 at Afghanistan's Next President Will Be ... Afghanistan's presidential election on Saturday will usher in a host of important changes: incumbent Hamid Karzai is stepping aside, it's not clear who will replace him, and the vote will mark the first time the country has ever swapped leaders at the ballot box.<p>Karzai won the two elections (2004 and 2009) held since the Taliban were ousted in 2001, but is barred by term limits from running again.<p>Eleven candidates initially entered the race to succeed him and three have since dropped out. Wed, 02 Apr 2014 15:58:00 +0000 Sean Carberry 37875 at Afghanistan's Next President Will Be ... In A Former Afghan Hot Spot, The Taliban Are Subdued For Now A convoy of hulking U.S. Army Stryker vehicles slowly makes its way through the main bazaar near the center of Panjwai district in southern Afghanistan. Kandahar province is the birthplace of the Taliban, and Panjwai district has seen some of the most brutal fighting of the Afghan war.<p>Some 90 NATO troops have been killed and more than 800 wounded in just this district.<p>But rather than having white-knuckled grips on their guns, U.S. soldiers are able to wave to the children in the streets. Mon, 31 Mar 2014 17:03:00 +0000 Sean Carberry 37722 at In A Former Afghan Hot Spot, The Taliban Are Subdued For Now Taliban Warn Afghan Voters Not To Go To The Polls Saturday While the candidates hold huge rallies, the Taliban have been staging suicide attacks. They've targeted election offices and civilian compounds in Kabul in an effort to derail Saturday's election. Mon, 31 Mar 2014 09:14:00 +0000 Sean Carberry 37698 at Ruthless Warlord, Hero to Uzbeks, On Ballot In Afghan Elections Transcript <p>RACHEL MARTIN, HOST: <p>This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Rachel Martin. Afghans head to the polls on April 5th to elect a successor to President Hamid Karzai. The run-up to the election has been violent. The capital city of Kabul has suffered several major attacks in recent days . On a hotel restaurant, an American aid organization and the election commission headquarters. We'll hear more about one of those attacks in a moment. But first, the political field in Afghanistan's elections reflects that country's stark ethnic divides. Sun, 30 Mar 2014 11:40:00 +0000 Sean Carberry 37669 at Taliban Attack On Election HQ Makes Good On Campaign Promise As officials from Afghanistan's Independent Election Commission were about to announce the closing of several polling stations due to insecurity on Saturday, the Taliban reinforced the message by launching an attack on the IEC headquarters in Kabul.<p>The militant group has been issuing statements for months, saying the April 5 vote for a successor to President Hamid Karzai is a Western-backed sham election and they will stop at nothing to disrupt it by attacking election workers and infrastructure. Sat, 29 Mar 2014 13:37:00 +0000 Sean Carberry 37633 at Taliban Attack On Election HQ Makes Good On Campaign Promise With Elections Days Away, Suicide Bombs Sow Fear In Kabul Transcript <p>ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST: <p>Kabul is a city on edge as the Afghan presidential election approaches. Suicide bombers and gunmen attacked an election commission office yesterday. They killed several workers and police officers. In the April 5th election, eight men are now vying to succeed President Hamid Karzai. The field narrowed today after the grandson of the country's last king dropped out of the race. He was not expected to do well.<p>NPR's Sean Carberry joins us now from Kabul. And, Sean, you were covering yesterday's attack. Wed, 26 Mar 2014 20:56:00 +0000 Sean Carberry 37442 at Afghanistan's Election Heats Up — And So Do The Attacks Afghanistan's election for a new president is less than two weeks away. That means the candidates are busy campaigning — and the Taliban are busy attacking.<p>The latest attack came Tuesday morning in Kabul when two suicide bombers detonated themselves outside one of the offices of the Independent Election Commission. Tue, 25 Mar 2014 15:35:00 +0000 Sean Carberry 37338 at Afghanistan's Election Heats Up — And So Do The Attacks For Afghans In Camps, A Harsh Life With No End In Sight The Nasaji Bagrami camp for internally displaced Afghans sits on the outskirts of Kabul, a vast expanse of crumbling mud structures with tarps and tent sheets for roofs. These structures look like ruins from hundreds of years ago, but they're actually only about 5 years old.<p>About 360 families live here in absolutely primitive conditions: Litter is strewn about, children wander around barefoot in the cold, barely clothed yet still smiling and playing with each other.<p>Niasbibi, who appears to be around 60, heads one of the families. Tue, 18 Mar 2014 15:31:00 +0000 Sean Carberry 36893 at For Afghans In Camps, A Harsh Life With No End In Sight As Afghan Tajiks Lay Leader To Rest, Eyes Turn To Political Future Afghanistan has lost its first vice president, a warlord who fought beside the U.S. against the Taliban. Mohammed Qasim Fahim's death presents his Tajik brethren a tough choice in upcoming elections. Thu, 13 Mar 2014 20:21:00 +0000 Sean Carberry 36604 at Who's Going To Be Afghanistan's Next President? The United States is winding down more than 12 years of military involvement in Afghanistan, and for most Americans, the country is rapidly fading into the background.<p>At the same time, Afghans are entering uncharted territory. President Hamid Karzai, who has led Afghanistan since shortly after the Taliban were ousted in 2001, is barred from running for a third term.<p>So Afghanistan is poised to do what it's never done before: change leaders through a democratic election.<p>Eleven candidates are trying to replace Karzai in the April 5 election. Ten are Pashtuns, the dominant ethnic group. Tue, 11 Feb 2014 13:53:00 +0000 Sean Carberry 34584 at Who's Going To Be Afghanistan's Next President? U.N.: Civilian Casualities Rise In Afghanistan Transcript <p>SCOTT SIMON, HOST: <p>This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon. In Afghanistan, the United Nation has just released its annual survey of civilian casualties in the country, and the news is grim. NPR's Sean Carberry reports from Kabul.<p>SEAN CARBERRY, BYLINE: Last year at this time, there was a sense of optimism. Civilian casualties finally appeared to be declining. Sat, 08 Feb 2014 14:45:00 +0000 Sean Carberry 34415 at An Afghan Success Story: Fewer Child Deaths One of the most dramatic changes in Afghanistan since the fall of the Taliban is the increase in average life expectancy from 45 to 62 years. Tue, 04 Feb 2014 08:48:00 +0000 Sean Carberry 34086 at An Afghan Success Story: Fewer Child Deaths Race Toward Afghan Election Starts, With Skepticism In The Lead With the campaign for Afghanistan's April 5 presidential election officially underway, three questions are commonly asked around Kabul: Do you think the presidential election will be held on April 5? Will the election be held at all this year? Who do you think will win?<p>Right now, 11 men are vying to succeed President Hamid Karzai, who is term-limited. If the election goes well, it would mark the first peaceful, democratic transfer of power in Afghanistan's history.<p><strong>The Issue Of Timing</strong><br /> Sun, 02 Feb 2014 18:05:00 +0000 Sean Carberry 34003 at Race Toward Afghan Election Starts, With Skepticism In The Lead Obama Barely Mentions Afghanistan During Speech Transcript <p>RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST: <p>A heart-rending moment came towards the end of President Obama's State of the Union Address last night, when he spoke of an Army Ranger who was grievously wounded in Afghanistan. Sergeant First Class Cory Remsburg was on his 10th combat tour when he was hit by a massive roadside bomb. He spent months in a coma and endured many surgeries, but was able to be in the audience between his father and First Lady Michele Obama for the president's speech.<p>There are about 37,000 American troops in Afghanistan now. Wed, 29 Jan 2014 12:48:00 +0000 Sean Carberry 33729 at Punctured Tires In Kabul Are The Work Of Police, Not Punks In Kabul, car theft isn't a big problem, but it is a big concern. Security officials fear that militants could use stolen vehicles as car bombs. So the police have turned to a rather controversial tactic to deter thieves.<p>On a recent evening, a guest left our office only to discover two of his car tires had been punctured. Moments later, my producer discovered two of his tires had been punctured. Mon, 20 Jan 2014 22:25:00 +0000 Sean Carberry 33166 at Punctured Tires In Kabul Are The Work Of Police, Not Punks Attack On Kabul Restaurant Prompts Security Review Non-governmental organizations and restaurants are raising security protocols in the Afghan capital Kabul after last week's attack on a popular Lebanese restaurant. Twenty-one people, mostly foreigners, were killed. Some members of the international community say they anticipate more violence as elections draw closer. Mon, 20 Jan 2014 10:19:00 +0000 Sean Carberry 33136 at Kabul Suicide Attack Kills 21 At Downtown Restaurant At least 21 people — most of them foreigners — died when the Taliban struck a restaurant popular with Westerners in downtown Kabul on Friday. Two of them were Americans. It appeared to be a well-coordinated attack. Sat, 18 Jan 2014 16:35:00 +0000 Sean Carberry 33067 at Mistrust And Miscommunication Stand In The Way Of Afghan Deal Transcript <p>AUDIE CORNISH, HOST: <p>The U.S. and Afghanistan are locked in a standoff over a security agreement that would allow U.S. troops to stay in Afghanistan beyond 2014. That's when the NATO mission there ends. Analysts say part of the reason the two countries can't close the deal is because they just don't understand each other.<p>NPR's Sean Carberry reports from Kabul.<p>SEAN CARBERRY, BYLINE: The debate over the draft security agreement continues to dominate the Afghan media. Afghan officials keep repeating in the press that the U.S. Tue, 14 Jan 2014 22:12:00 +0000 Sean Carberry 32784 at Will Afghan Polling Data Help Alleviate Election Fraud? The U.S. Embassy in Kabul has commissioned a series of polls to see who Afghans favor in the April election. But between security challenges and "social desirability" biases, it can be difficult to impossible to get a clear read of the Afghan people. Mon, 06 Jan 2014 11:42:00 +0000 Sean Carberry 32203 at Texas Man Becomes Unlikely CFO Of Ragged Kabul Orphanage On Saturday afternoons, sometimes with a coworker or two, Siavash Rahbari drives up a rutted side street in Kabul to visit the Window of Hope orphanage.<p>In the living room, there are a dozen boys and two girls. Some are playing, while others lie around on mats on the floor, clearly suffering from a range of disabilities. Rahbari, a Texan who works at an NGO in Kabul, gives the children a cursory inspection.<p>"A lot of times, when people come and they hang out with the kids, they're kind of shocked about the whole situation," Rahbari says. "But, again, this is Afghanistan. Sat, 04 Jan 2014 17:53:00 +0000 Sean Carberry 32148 at Texas Man Becomes Unlikely CFO Of Ragged Kabul Orphanage Facing Big Changes, Anxious Afghans Hope For The Best In 2014 To many Afghans, 2014 is more than a year — it's a sword of Damocles hanging over the fragile nation. It's the year the country will elect a successor to President Hamid Karzai and the U.S.-led military mission will end. Many fear that will open the door to chaos.<p>But on a chilly winter day in Kabul, it's still business as usual in the city center.<p>In a stationary market, you can still buy calendars for this year — the year 1392. Fri, 27 Dec 2013 08:25:00 +0000 Sean Carberry 31657 at Facing Big Changes, Anxious Afghans Hope For The Best In 2014 NATO Prepares To Leave Afghanistan, And No U.S. Security Deal Yet A look back and a look ahead as NATO prepares for the final year of its mission in Afghanistan. This year saw several major events as Afghan forces took responsibility for security and the U.S. and Afghanistan came close, but have so far failed to ink a security deal to keep U.S. forces in Afghanistan after the NATO mission ends next year. Wed, 25 Dec 2013 21:47:00 +0000 Sean Carberry 31592 at Major Gen. McConville Praises U.S. Forces in Afghanistan Transcript <p>DAVID GREENE, HOST: <p>Now for the 13th year in a row, U.S. troops are spending Christmas in Afghanistan. For the 7,500 of them based in the eastern part of the country, Major General James McConville is providing the closest thing to a visit from Santa.<p>NPR's Sean Carberry has been traveling with McConville - not by sleigh, but in the air.<p>(SOUNDBITE OF HELICOPTER ROTOR)<p>SEAN CARBERRY, BYLINE: There are no reindeer pulling General McConville's Black Hawk helicopter as he soars above snow-capped peaks and fertile valleys in eastern Afghanistan. Wed, 25 Dec 2013 09:55:00 +0000 Sean Carberry 31567 at There And Back Again: One Afghan's Journey To Find Home In 2000, Auliya Atrafi paid thousands of dollars and risked his life to escape Taliban-controlled Afghanistan. He spent 12 years in England getting educated and becoming a documentary filmmaker.<p>Last year, he gave up life in the West and returned home to southern Helmand province. Now, he's the father of twins and he's working in a rural government office while trying to readjust to life in a conservative society that he finds dysfunctional.<p>Atrafi grew up in a prominent communist family in the rural and undeveloped Nad Ali district of Helmand province. Wed, 04 Dec 2013 08:06:00 +0000 Sean Carberry 30179 at There And Back Again: One Afghan's Journey To Find Home Crashing An Afghan Wedding: No Toasts But Lots Of Cheesy Music Afghanistan may be one of the world's poorest countries, but weddings are still a big — and expensive — deal. On most weekends, Kabul's glitzy and somewhat garish wedding halls are packed with people celebrating nuptials.<p>One of them is the Uranos Palace complex. On the night I attended my first Afghan wedding, all three of its halls were overflowing. I was one of two foreigners in a room of about 200 men. Sat, 30 Nov 2013 10:38:00 +0000 Sean Carberry 29964 at Crashing An Afghan Wedding: No Toasts But Lots Of Cheesy Music Karzai Stalls On U.S. Troop Presence In Afghanistan Transcript <p>STEVE INSKEEP, HOST: <p>It's MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. I'm Steve Inskeep.<p>DAVID GREENE, HOST: <p>And I'm David Greene. Good morning.<p>In Afghanistan, people are still puzzling over the results of last weekend's grand assembly of tribal elders, known as the Loya Jirga. For months, Afghan President Hamid Karzai has said the gathering was needed to sign off on a security agreement that would allow thousands of U.S. troops to stay in the country after 2014. The elders approved the deal. Tue, 26 Nov 2013 10:14:00 +0000 Sean Carberry 29726 at