With 18 candidates on the campaign trail, in less than a month more than ten million men and women will cast their votes in Afghanistan's first-ever presidential election. While the vote is seen as part of the nation-building process that President Bush has praised, many people, including Afghans, wonder whether the country is ready for this kind of test. How will the volatile security situation affect a process that has already been postponed once? With much of the country still run by warlords, will back-room deals decide the victor? What are the implications for the current interim President, who has been supported by the US? Guest host Sara Terry gets perspective from journalists in Kabul, an Afghan policy researcher, women's-rights advocates, experts in reconstruction and a spokesman for Afghan President Hamid Karzai.
- Making News: Payments for Settlers Who Leave the Gaza Strip?
Senior Israeli cabinet ministers today approved the payment of cash advances to Jewish settlers who will be forced to leave their homes under Ariel Sharon's plans to withdraw from the disputed Gaza Strip and part of the West Bank. The Jerusalem Post's Etgar Lefkovitz says the vote marks the government's first concrete step towards implementing the relocation plan that has drawn the wrath of opponents and death threats against the Prime Minister.
- Reporters Notebook: Politics Feeling Increasing Impact of Bloggers
If you think you've got a political accusation that will stick, you might want to think twice. 60 Minutes had barely aired its investigation of President Bush's National Guard record, before conservative bloggers attacked the report online, putting CBS on the defensive in less than 24 hours. Brian Montopoli of Columbia Journalism Review Campaign Desk, reports on the Internet's powerful use as a discrediting tool for activists.
Guest host Sara Terry
is an award-winning writer and photographer, who has written for the Christian Science Monitor, New York Times, Fast Company, Rolling Stone and the Boston Globe. Her photo-documentary project, Aftermath: Bosnia's Long Road to Peace
, will be published in September, 2005. Blogs mentioned in our 'Reporter's Notebook' section:
Jerusalem Post article on Israeli cabinet's approval to issue settler compensation
Afghanistan, Islamic Traditional State of
US Government on rebuilding Afghanistan
60 Minutes segment on President Bush's National Guard duty
Columbia Journalism Review's Blog Report
Kitty Kelly's The Family: The Real Story of the Bush Dynasty
Swift Boat Veterans for Truth