Monday, November 12, 2001
T u e s d a y ,  N o v e m b e r  1 3,  2 0 0 1
Wednesday, November 14, 2001

Liberation of Kabul Poses Challenge for UN

Excerpts from article describing the UN plans to become involved in the transition of power in Kabul:

Northern Alliance fighters atop a Russian
made T-62 tank enter Kabul, 11/13/01

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The United Nations rushed to fill the political vacuum in Afghanistan yesterday, announcing that a conference of Afghan groups would be called in the coming days to create a provisional government and dispatching senior officials to Kabul to oversee the humanitarian effort.

... "Afghanistan presents the United Nations with one of its greatest challenges. That challenge is now perhaps at its most urgent stage," said the UN secretary-general, Kofi Annan.

The UN has accelerated its attempt to promote a "home grown" Afghan political solution with as little visible foreign involvement as possible.

Afghans listen to news, 11/13/01

... Last night, Northern Alliance leaders in Kabul accepted the need for a peace conference and a multi-ethnic government. The alliance's foreign minister, Abdullah Abdullah, said: "We invite all Afghan groups at this stage to come to Kabul . . . Taliban excluded."

Colin Powell, the US secretary of state, made clear in an interview with the New York Times that he opposed the deployment of American forces, saying it could be better to have Muslim countries rather "than one of the big-power nations coming in to do it".

He named Turkey, Bangladesh and Indonesia as possible contributors. Although Turkey said yesterday it would send peacekeepers, officials have said privately that they did not want an exclusively Muslim force.

Britain moved to break the log jam by signalling its readiness to lead the security effort, at least in the first stage. Jack Straw, the Foreign Secretary, said troops should be drawn from a "coalition of the willing".He dismissed an all-Afghan force as an unrealistic prospect for the foreseeable future. ...


Video of Bamiyan after tortures, murders,
and destruction of Buddhas by the Taleban

Kandahar Airport 'Captured by Pathans'

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Afghan royalists claimed last night that the Taliban's retreat was fanning the flames of revolt in the movement's ethnic heartlands.

Hamid Karzai, a tribal leader who has returned from exile to agitate against the Taliban, said from Afghanistan yesterday that his force of tribal fighters had secured the airport at Kandahar.

... The extremist Islamic movement may be finished as a government but its demise will not be complete until it collapses in its southern heartland and eastern military strongholds. ...

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Fight to Death in Kunduz

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Thousands of Northern Alliance troops marched yesterday against the last pocket of Taliban forces in northern Afghanistan for a fight to the death with several thousand foreign and Arab soldiers of the routed fundamentalist regime surrounded in the city of Kunduz.

A human tide of opposition fighters poured out of the freshly captured city of Taloqan, euphoric at their recent wave of victories across the north of Afghanistan.

But the day did not go entirely according to plan. Twelve soldiers and one commander were killed, Northern Alliance commanders said.

There was also at least one panicked retreat by alliance forces, after they came under Taliban fire on the outskirts of Kunduz.

The afternoon saw a fresh wave of troops sent to the front. There were lorries piled high with armed men.

Soldiers crammed into captured Taliban pick-up trucks and ordinary estate cars. Others rode to the front in tractors or in horse-drawn traps, their steeds decked out with silk flowers, woollen pom-poms and jingling bells.

Northern Alliance moving towards
Kunduz on requisitioned traps, 11/13/01

But above all, they walked, in an endless procession of men, marching down the wide river valley which leads from Taloqan to Kunduz, against the backdrop of the snow-capped Farkhar mountains.

Advance of the Alliance as of 11/13/01

... The alliance took Taloqan on Sunday, after a brief, but hard battle. They freed the city from 14 months of Taliban rule which local people described as an occupation by foreign zealots, rather than a government. ...


Females Have Smaller but Denser Brains

Excerpts from article describing the nature of the differences in female and male brains:

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Women's brains are more tightly packed with cells in the area that controls mental processes such as judgment, personality, planning and working memory, researchers have discovered.

A team from McMaster University, Ontario, Canada, found that women have up to 15% more brain cell density in the frontal lobe, which controls so-called higher mental processes.

... Dr Tonmoy Sharma, a consultant psychiatrist at Stonehouse Hospital, Dartford, UK, said the greater density of cells did not mean that women could out-perform men.

He told BBC News Online: "Women have smaller brains, but there is no difference in the mental performance of men and women. "The greater density of cells could be one way by which nature ensures that women can perform adequately.

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Loose Tail May Have Brought Down Airbus

Excerpts from article describing a rattle detected prior to the crash of Flight 587 in New York.

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Investigators looking for the cause of the latest disaster to hit New York City, the plane crash that killed at least 262 people, have switched their focus to the aircraft's tail, aviation sources said early today.

Evidence from the first of American Airlines flight 587's black-box recorders turned attention away from earlier speculation about mechanical failure in one or more engines, or the notion that birds might have been sucked into the machinery.

Instead, it is thought now that the pilots' mentions of rattles, caught on the cockpit voice tape, might have been unwitting references to a loosening of the bolts fixing the vertical stabiliser to the tail. ...

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Victoria's Secret Fashion Show

Article describing the upcoming Victoria's Secret Fashion Show, to be broadcast on ABC TV 11/15/01, Thursday night, 9/8 central, followed by a couple of links to this year's and last year's shows:

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The world's most stunning models hit the runway in the most anticipated lingerie show ever, The Victoria's Secret Fashion Show.

The first-ever network broadcast of this annual event will feature such fashion luminaries as Tyra Banks, Gisele Bundchen, Heidi Klum, Rhea Durham, Bridget Hall and Daniela Pestova.

Taped live from New York City's Bryant Park on November 13, the special will also feature operatic sensation Andrea Bocelli opening the show with a performance from his new album entitled "Cieli Di Toscana."

The special will showcase red carpet interviews, model profiles and behind-the-scenes 'making-of' segments that epitomize the style, glamour and seductiveness of the event.

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Thousands of Nukes to 'Die' in a Welcome Way

Excerpts from article describing nuclear arms reductions in the planning stages via meetings between Bush and Putin:

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President Bush announced yesterday that the United States would destroy about 5,000 nuclear warheads over the next decade.

Standing beside President Putin in the East Room of the White House, Mr Bush said he believed that a level of between 1,700 and 2,200 missiles was "fully consistent with American security". That would amount to a cut of around two thirds in the US nuclear arsenal.

Mr Putin, on his first visit to America, said through an interpreter that Russia would "try to respond in kind", although he did not specify any figures. "We intend to dismantle conclusively the vestiges of the Cold War."

... The two countries are currently enjoying the warmest era in relations since the Second World War. Russia has offered enormous help to the US campaign in Afghanistan, bringing warm words of praise from Washington. Differences remain, however, between the two leaders.

.... "President Bush deemed it appropriate not only to tour me, to guide me through the premises of this house where he lives, we saw almost every picture hanging on the walls of this great building," said Mr Putin. ...

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