Rebuilding Afghanistan requires reform of key ministries UN envoy says

Mr. Brahimi, in an address delivered in Kabul on Saturday, cited the importance of reforming the ministries of defence and the interior as well as Afghan intelligence operations. “The beginning of this reform is going to help the implementation of DDR [disarmament, demobilization and reintegration] in the coming weeks and months and all these activities are going to restore, I hope, the security that the people of Afghanistan really long for and the security that they do not have yet,” he said at the official opening of the central office of Afghanistan’s New Beginnings Programme in the capital.A spokesman for Mr. Brahimi today said Kunduz would be the site of the first DDR, followed by Gardez and Bamyan. “In each location 1,000 combatants will be disarmed in the pilot phase,” Manoel de Almeida e Silva said. The New Beginnings Programme was set up by the Afghan Transitional Administration to implement the DDR process.In another development, Mr. de Almeida e Silva reported today that a blast has damaged a building operated by a non-governmental organization (NGO) for the UN. “Yesterday morning at about 5: 00 a.m. an explosion made by what appears to be an improvised explosive device left a large whole on the eastern wall of a warehouse run by the German Technical cooperation (GTZ) in the northern section of Jalalabad City,” he said. The cause of the explosion, which left no casualties, remains unknown, but local authorities are investigating. read more

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Microsoft leads the Dow Jones industrial average higher CBS Outdoor jumps in

by The Associated Press Posted Mar 28, 2014 2:14 pm MDT Microsoft leads the Dow Jones industrial average higher; CBS Outdoor jumps in market debut AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email NEW YORK, N.Y. – Stocks are ending broadly higher as traders were encouraged by an increase in consumer spending last month.Microsoft helped technology companies recover from a week of losses. The biotech sector took another tumble, and the maker of “Candy Crush Saga” fell for the third straight day after its market debut.The Standard & Poor’s 500 index rose eight points, or 0.5 per cent, to close at 1,857 Friday.The Dow Jones industrial average rose 58 points, or 0.4 per cent, to 16,323 and the Nasdaq composite rose four points, or 0.1 per cent, to 4,155.CBS Outdoor rose 5 per cent on its first day of trading. The billboard company is splitting off from CBS.Bond prices fell. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note rose to 2.72 per cent. read more

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