PNS Daily Newscast - April 8, 2020 

COVID-19 prompts a car insurance break for some drivers. Also, a push for postal banking, and for grocery workers to be treated as first responders.

2020Talks - April 8, 2020 

Wisconsin held its primary yesterday in the midst of the COVID-19 epidemic. But a shortage of poll workers led to just five polling stations in Milwaukee instead of the usual 180.

MA Aid Group Working to Get Afghan Refugees Back Home

June 25, 2007

A local aid group is trying to help Afghan refugees return home safely. A new United Nations report shows the number of refugees worldwide is increasing for the first time in five years, to over 10 million, and over a fifth of them are from Afghanistan. George Devendorf, founding director of the Global Emergency Operations team from Mercy Corps reports that they're working with leaders from NATO, the U.S., and the UN to try and make Afghanistan a decent place to return home to. He says substantial work is being done on the government level, but it takes a while for that to be felt in the country's poorest rural areas.

“You don't find communities feeling the impact, the direct impact, of that nation-building effort through increased access to basic services like health, education and economic opportunities, so there's a real lag time there.”

Earlier this month the House approved an aid package for Afghanistan worth $6.4 billion over three years.

Devendorf was in Afghanistan a few weeks ago. He asked people there whether the U.S. led intervention in 2003 has been harmful or beneficial to the region.

“They see peaks and valleys in terms of security conditions and economic conditions, but what they all refer to is the fact that at least now they're having discussions about relative changes in peace and prosperity.”

Devendorf says during the decades of civil war, those discussions didn't take place at all.

The U.N. report is online at

Kevin Clay/Eric Mack, Public News Service - MA