After 3 decades of war, Afghan radio offers chance to find the missing

Updated 15 July 2014

After 3 decades of war, Afghan radio offers chance to find the missing

KABUL, Afghanistan: The men and women have little in common, except they all seem to have vanished into thin air.
Some disappeared in the middle of a Taleban attack. Some fled Afghanistan and were never heard from again. Some went missing weeks ago; others have been gone more than two decades.
But twice a week, tearful relatives call out to them on a radio show that has come to serve as a disturbing window into modern Afghanistan: “In Search of the Missing.”
After three decades of war, an estimated 1 million Afghans are missing, a number that grows every day as the fight against the Taleban continues.
Their relatives know what it means to disappear here — the likelihood that people have landed in a mass grave or a prison or a smuggler’s safe house. But maybe, against the odds, their loved ones are waiting to be found.
For many Afghans, the 10-year-old radio program is their only hope. It has helped reunite more than a dozen families and provided closure to many more. In the process, it has become one of Afghanistan’s most popular programs.
The idea is simple. Anyone can call the program’s phone line and leave a 20-second message describing a missing person.
The message is then broadcast, with the hope that someone in the audience has seen him or her.
To listen to “In Search of the Missing” is to be bombarded by the tragedies plaguing this country.


AstraZeneca still waiting for FDA decision to resume US trial

Updated 24 September 2020

AstraZeneca still waiting for FDA decision to resume US trial

  • AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine was initially developed by the University of Oxford

FRANKFURT: AstraZeneca is still waiting for the go-ahead from the US drug regulator to restart the clinical trial of its potential COVID-19 vaccine in the United States, Chief Executive Pascal Soriot said on Thursday.
“We are the sponsor of the US study. We then provided all this information to the FDA (US Federal Drug Administration) and we are waiting to hear their decision,” Soriot told a virtual World Economic Forum discussion.
The US trial of AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine candidate, initially developed by the University of Oxford, remains on hold while regulators investigate an illness in one of the participants, even after a British study and other programs outside of the United States have resumed.
US Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar said on Wednesday the continued suspension showed the FDA took vaccine safety seriously.
A document posted online by Oxford university last week stated the illness in a British participant that triggered the pause on Sept. 6 may not have been associated with the vaccine.