Drug crisis ravages Myanmar’s Shan State

Myanmar is the second-biggest producer of opium in the world after Afghanistan and is now believed to be the largest source of methamphetamine. In Shan state, heroin and meth use here are rampant and the region lies at the epicentre of Myanmar’s drug crisis.

Russia marks 30 years since Soviet withdrawal from Afghanistan

Russian soldiers attend a wreath laying ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown soldier in Moscow to mark the 30th anniversary of the Soviet withdrawal from Afghanistan. IMAGES of the ceremony

Soviet-Afghanistan veterans march in Moscow for 30th anniversary

Russian veterans march in Moscow to mark the 30th anniversary of the Soviet withdrawal from Afghanistan. A ceremony is held in honour of the soldiers who fought in the Asian country. IMAGES of the march in Moscow

Today in History for February 15th

Highlights of this day in history: The U.S. battleship Maine explodes in Havana harbor, bringing America closer to war with Spain; The Soviet Union’s last troops leave Afghanistan; Astronomer Galileo and suffragist Susan B. Anthony born. (Feb. 15)

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Valentine’s Day in the Muslim world

In conservative Afghanistan, many people are unaware of or don’t mark Valentine’s Day, but youths in urban areas celebrate the day despite restrictions.

Unease over US exit in Afghan valley where Soviets were routed

Thirty years on, former mujahideen fighters recount the days of battling the Red Army in Afghanistan after the Soviet Union invaded the country in December 1979. The Soviets left the country for good on February 15, 1989 having suffered 15,000 losses — many in the unforgiving mountain passes of Panjshir.

Acting Pentagon chief Patrick Shanahan arrives in Afghanistan

Acting Pentagon chief Patrick Shanahan arrives in Afghanistan on an unannounced visit as the United States leads a push for peace talks with the Taliban.

Acting US Defense Secretary Shanahan in Afghanistan

Acting Defense Secretary Pat Shanahan made an unannounced visit to Afghanistan on Monday to meet with US commanders and Afghan leaders amid a push for peace with the Taliban. (Feb. 11)

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US envoy in Taliban talks seeks peace deal before July elections

Zalmay Khalilzad, the US Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation, says “it will be better for Afghanistan if we could get a peace agreement before the election, which is scheduled in July.” SOUNDBITE