There were 410,000 first-time claims for unemployment insurance last week, down 41,000 from the level of the week before — when the number of applications soared because of the lingering effects of Superstorm Sandy.
Afghan officials welcomed the release of Taliban prisoners by Pakistan in an attempt to jump-start a shaky peace process with the militant group. But many Afghans are wondering about the timing and the motive. They say mistrust born of decades of duplicity won't vanish with a few declarations or small gestures.
Secretary-General of the Afghan High Peace Council Mohammad Stanekzai was part of the delegation that recently traveled to Pakistan to discuss how the countries can cooperate and bring the Taliban to the negotiating table.
There has been a small but potentially important breakthrough in the faltering Afghan peace process. In what is considered a good-faith gesture, Pakistan last week released at least nine Afghan Taliban prisoners. The move is seen as part of an emerging new strategy by Pakistan as it eyes the looming drawdown of U.S. and Western troops in Afghanistan.