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Afghan Diary: The lives of four Afghans provide a lens on how America’s longest conflict has changed a nation – and the divisions and dangers that persist.

Afghan Diary: The lives of four Afghans provide a lens on how America’s longest conflict has changed a nation – and the divisions and dangers that persist.

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Good morning Tumblr, here is your daily dose of Good Reads, thanks to The Guardian, Al Jazeera and The Washington Post.

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Kabul raid shows Taliban’s strength, tests Afghan security coordination

While last night’s deadly suicide raid on Kabul’s InterContinental Hotel showcased Taliban capabilities, early details also indicate some success in the new model of having Afghan forces take more of a lead on security.

PHOTO: Smoke and flames rose from the Intercontinental Hotel during a battle between Afghan and NATO-led forces and suicide bombers and Taliban insurgents in Kabul last night. (REUTERS)

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From the Global News Blog - Afghans hope to make dusty Kabul bloom. Correspondent Amelia Newcomb shares a slice of life story from the streets of Kabul.

From the Global News Blog - Afghans hope to make dusty Kabul bloom. Correspondent Amelia Newcomb shares a slice of life story from the streets of Kabul.

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Tom A. Peter, The Christian Science Monitor

Muhammad Younus Nawandish (with bouquet) meets with locals after a bridge-opening ceremony in Kabul. Despite the daunting challenges he faces, he’s still one of the most popular politicians in Afghanistan.

Of all the fool’s errands in Afghanistan, being mayor of Kabul has to be near the top of most cynics’ lists. In the past eight years, the city’s population has mushroomed from 1.5 million to nearly 5 million without any formal planning, most of the roads are unpaved, and whatever limited services the city offers often seem to exist more in theory than in practice.

Read how Mayor Muhammad Younus Nawandish has become one of the most respected and arguably one of the most effective politicians in all of Afghanistan.

Tom A. Peter, The Christian Science Monitor

Muhammad Younus Nawandish (with bouquet) meets with locals after a bridge-opening ceremony in Kabul. Despite the daunting challenges he faces, he’s still one of the most popular politicians in Afghanistan.

Of all the fool’s errands in Afghanistan, being mayor of Kabul has to be near the top of most cynics’ lists. In the past eight years, the city’s population has mushroomed from 1.5 million to nearly 5 million without any formal planning, most of the roads are unpaved, and whatever limited services the city offers often seem to exist more in theory than in practice.

Read how Mayor Muhammad Younus Nawandish has become one of the most respected and arguably one of the most effective politicians in all of Afghanistan.