Saturday, November 10, 2001
S u n d a y ,  N o v e m b e r  1 1,  2 0 0 1
Monday, November 12, 2001

North Alliance Targets Herat and Kabul

Sailors handling ordnance wait with two
500 pound laser guided bombs as an F-18
Hornet is catapulted off the aircraft carrier
USS Carl Vinson, 11/11/01

Excerpts from article describing the rapid advance of the Northern Alliance through a takeover of much of northern Afghanistan, presaging upcoming efforts to overtake Herat and the area surrounding Kabul.

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Opposition forces in Afghanistan are reported to have entered the key western city of Herat and to be preparing for a major push towards the capital Kabul. ... Meanwhile, a Northern Alliance commander told Reuters news agency that an offensive towards Kabul would be launched on Monday.

... "We hope the ground offensive will start this afternoon," he said, as American B-52 bombers pounded Taleban positions north of Kabul.

(click for BBC video from Kabul)

The Northern Alliance have already taken a large part of the north of the country following the capture of the key city of Mazar-e-Sharif. On Sunday the Alliance drove the Taleban out of the town of Taloqan, an economic centre. ...

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'Now the South Must Rise Up'

Excerpt from article detailing the scope of recent Northern Alliance victories:

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The Northern Alliance claimed sweeping victories across northern Afghanistan last night as the Taliban apparently abandoned stronghold after stronghold and headed south towards the capital Kabul.

Abdullah Abdullah, the alliance's foreign minister, said that the Western-backed forces had seized more than 40 per cent of the country in the 48 hours since the fall of Mazar-i-Sharif on Friday.

In Mazar there were reports of men queuing at barbers' shops to shave off the beards the Taliban had forced them to wear. Music formerly forbidden by the religious police was blaring from shops and some women had cast off their burqas, the reports said.

Last night forces were reported to be on the outskirts of the strategic western city of Herat and preparing to launch a final assault.

Western troops arrive by lorry
in northern Afghanistan

... Amid reports of Taliban forces fleeing and hundreds killed, Donald Rumsfeld, the American defence secretary, called on the Taliban heartland in the South to rise up. He said in Washington: "The Northern Alliance has had victories and now it is time for the southern tribes to get active."

... Gen Colin Powell, the secretary of state, said that America would now begin to "encourage" tribal leaders in the Pathan-dominated South. But he did not say how this would be done.

He said: "As we start to encourage those southern tribes, I think they might start deciding that there is a better life to be had by separating themselves from the Taliban and trying to help the Afghan people, rather than keep this repressive, evil regime in place that supports Osama bin Laden and al-Qa'eda."

... The alliance's leaders were buoyant after two days of military action following the fall of Mazar, which they said had brought them the control of cities and crossroads on three fronts and allowed them to "reach the gates" of Kabul. They claimed that the Taliban had lost their main fighting force. ...

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Best of CNN Videos (November 5 to November 10)

Pop-up windows for some of the best of recent CNN web videos (Note - CNN adds videos frequently - see their web sites for links to all of their video selections):

Alliance eager to take Kabul
(2:14) CNN's Matthew Chance reports Northern Alliance troops are eager to strike Kabul, buoyed by fall of Taliban stronghold Mazar-e Sharif (November 10)
War from a pilot's perspective
(3:16) Many U.S. bombing runs over Afghanistan originate from aircraft carriers. CNN's Frank Buckley reports on the war through a pilot's eyes. (November 9)
U.S. preparing for long fight
(2:08) U.S. Commander Gen. Tommy Franks defended his war plan. CNN's Jamie Mcintryre reports (November 9)
Cold weather and war
(1:56) The Pentagon says cold weather may deter many of the special forces that make targeting the Taliban easier. CNN's Jamie Mcintyre reports (November 7)
Concorde flies again
(2:00) CNN's Richard Quest rides along as the Concorde again takes flight (November 7)
U.S. wants to support Afghan troops
(2:24) The Pentagon is looking for new and better ways to provide support for anti-Taliban troops. CNN's Jamie Mcintyre reports (November 6)
N. Alliance continues offensive
(2:31) The Northern Alliance says its captured the districts of Zari and Okhupruk as well as the city of Kisindeh (November 6)
Rumsfeld visits India
(1:52) The U.S. Defense Secretary was in India where tensions over Kashmir could damage the anti-terror campaign. CNN's David Ensor reports (November 6)
Afghan veteran war stories
(2:20) CNN's Alessio Vinci spoke to two veterans of the Soviet-Afghan war and got their views of the current military operations over Afghanistan (November 6)
Northern Alliance stage exercise
(2:12) CNN's Matthew Chance watches Northern Alliance troops stage a live-fire drill to build experience and morale (November 5)

Female Beauty Like a Drug for Heterosexual Men

Excerpts from article describing the drug like positive response of heterosexual males to physically beautiful women:

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Brain scans show attraction hard-wired
in male brain.

... Researchers said the study, published this week in the journal Neuron, shows that feminine beauty affects a man’s brain at a very primal level, not on some higher, more intellectual plane.

“Beauty is working similar to a drug.”

... Researchers showed a group of heterosexual men in their mid-20s pictures of men and women of varying attractiveness, while measuring the brain’s responses through computer imaging.

The experiment used a series of 80 photographs of faces that fell into four standard categories: beautiful females, average females, beautiful males and average males.

The beautiful women were found to activate the same “reward circuits” as food and cocaine do.

The men had a negative reaction to pictures of good-looking males, suggesting they were threatened by them.

... “While we know that experience, learning and personal idiosyncrasies all have an impact on attraction between particular individuals, these results show that this basic reward response is deeply seated in human nature.”

... Scientists said the findings could have major implications for research into what motivates people. “We think of these things as a products of a very high level of thought ... and it may be very basic and fundamental.”

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