Karzai lashes out at U.S.
KABUL, Afghanistan -- With the United States weighing a complete withdrawal from Afghanistan at the end of next year, President Hamid Karzai offered a stinging critique of the U.S.-led campaign, saying coalition forces had inflicted needless suffering on Afghans.
The focus of the war, Mr. Karzai said in an interview with the BBC on Tuesday, should have been insurgent training camps and safe havens across the border in Pakistan, not "in Afghan villages, causing harm to Afghan people."
Mr. Karzai's latest comments came at a crucial juncture: The NATO coalition's mission concludes at the end of 2014, and negotiations to keep U.S. forces in Afghanistan beyond that point are stalled, according to Afghan and U.S. officials.
More inspectors to Syria
WASHINGTON -- A second team of international inspectors will be deployed to Syria as the closely watched effort to disarm President Bashar Assad's chemical weapons gathers steam, officials said Tuesday.
The Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, which monitors the worldwide ban on such weapons, said the move reflected progress since the first team of about 20 inspectors reached Syria last week.
Over the weekend, Syrian officials under OPCW supervision began destroying some of their toxic stockpiles with a goal of dismantling or disabling by Nov. 1 all of its chemical production facilities and equipment used to mix the toxic gases and load them into munitions.
MOSCOW -- For the first time since the collapse of the Soviet Union, a Russian court Tuesday ordered an opposition activist to be sent to a mental institution for compulsory treatment.
Mikhail Kosenko, 38, who spent more than a year in preliminary detention on charges of taking part in a violent demonstration, was ordered by the Zamoskvoretsky district court of Moscow to undergo mental treatment at a prison-like mental institution for an undefined period.
Mr. Kosenko, one of a group of 28 opposition activists facing similar charges, was arrested shortly after an opposition rally near the Kremlin on May 6, 2012, the day before Vladimir Putin was inaugurated for his third term as president.
Ban on scarves eased
ANKARA, Turkey -- The Turkish government decreed Tuesday an end to a 90-year-old ban on wearing Islamic head scarves and veils in civil service jobs, threatening to rekindle the secular vs. religious showdown that ignited weeks of unrest in late spring.
The ban, imposed at the dawn of modern Turkey's statehood, was intended to separate religious practices from government operations and will remain in effect for law enforcement officers, judges, prosecutors and military personnel.
Anyone interfering with what he termed a woman's right to cover herself in public will face a prison term of up to three years, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said at a news conference.
Also in the world ...
Striking workers shut off electricity and cellphone service to a large swath of the southern Indian state of Andhra Pradesh on Tuesday, as hundreds of thousands of government employees protested a decision to divide the state into two parts. ... Doctors removed a blood clot pressuring the right side of Argentine President Cristina Fernandez's brain Tuesday, relieving pressure that had been giving her headaches and numbness. Their report said she was doing well, that there were no complications and that she would remain hospitalized for now.
First Published October 8, 2013 8:00 PM