NEWS ROUNDUP: January 24

Afghanistan is the bad war, Iraq the good, says White House co-ordinator
Iraq may turn out to be America’s “good war” while Afghanistan goes “bad”, the Bush Administration official responsible for co-ordinating efforts in Baghdad has told The Times.

Death sentence for Afghan student
An Afghan court in northern Afghanistan sentenced a journalism student to death for blasphemy for distributing an article from the Internet that was considered an insult to the Prophet Muhammad, the judge in charge of the court said Wednesday.

10 die in mistaken Afghan firefight
At least nine Afghan police officers and a civilian were killed early Thursday in a firefight between American forces and the officers in the province of Ghazni just south of the capital, according to local officials.

Supporters at home and abroad backing away from Musharraf
As critical elections in Pakistan approach, President Pervez Musharraf is increasingly losing support from major constituencies, including his traditional military base, amid growing questions in both Pakistan and the United States about his ability to govern.

Canadian military has quit turning detainees over to Afghans
The Canadian military secretly stopped transferring prisoners to Afghanistan’s government in November after Canadian monitors found evidence that they were being abused and tortured.

Most reformists appear purged from Iran ballot
When voters go to the polls on March 14 to select members of Parliament, they may be able to choose only between conservative candidates and other conservative candidates, leaders of Iran’s main reform party said Wednesday.

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