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62 Cases of Violence against Journalists Recorded

KABUL -The Afghanistan Journalists Center (AFJC) on Sunday said it had registered 62 cases of violence against reporters over the past eight months across the country. In a statement, AFJC said the increasing violence against journalists raised serious concerns about their safety and the press freedom at a time when the presidential elections were approaching and international troops preparing to leave. The ...

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Kabul Sets Conditions for Talks via Taliban Doha Office

KABUL -The Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Sunday said Afghanistan was ready to hold peace talks with the Taliban trough their political office in Qatar if they met some Afghan government’s conditions. The ministry spokesman Janan Musazai told a press conference in Kabul the government was ready to start peace negotiations if the Taliban accepted its two main conditions. “The first condition is that the (Tal ...

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Karzai Orders Probe into Prisoners’ Situation

KABUL -President Hamid Karzai through a decree has ordered the creation of a committee for thoroughly investigating the situation of prisoners in the country’s jails. A statement issued from the Presidential Palace Administrative Affairs and the Cabinet Secretariat said the the Constitution Oversight Commission had been authorised to create the commitee for assessing the conditions in prisons and the situat ...

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Delay in the Approval of Investment Law Hampers Afghan Economy

The Ministry of Mines (MoM) have expressed concerns over the delay in the approval of the Investment Laws that is yet to be studied by the Parliament. Spokesperson to MoM, Rafi Rafiq Sediqi, said the Investment Laws have not been prioritized by the Parliament. “The New Law on Mines is the only way to woo foreign investors to Afghanistan. The investment is held up due to delay in the approval of this law,” s ...

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Saudi Diplomat Kidnapped in Yemen Asks Family to Stage Protests

Abu Dhabi - A Saudi diplomat held hostage in Yemen for 18 months has urged his family to organize demonstrations asking the government to meet al Qaeda demands to free detained women and Muslim clerics as the best way to get him freed from captivity. He made the appeal in a recording posted online late on Sunday, the fourth such statement by Abdullah al-Khalidi since militants seized the Saudi vice consul i ...

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Norway’s Opposition Set for Sweeping Election Victory

Oslo - Norway's center-right opposition, pledging privatization, tax cuts and smaller government, was set for a sweeping election win on Monday but faces difficult coalition talks since a populist anti-immigration party will hold the balance of power. Norway has enjoyed rare economic success, thanks to its flourishing offshore oil sector boosting per capita GDP to $100,000. But growth is slowing and voters ...

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Mubarak’s Last PM Backs Army’s Sisi for Egyptian President

Cairo - Former Egyptian Prime Minister Ahmed Shafiq says he will back army chief General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi for president, adding to speculation that the man who led the overthrow of President Mohamed Mursi could become head of state. Shafiq, a former air force commander who came second in last year's presidential election, said he would not run if Sisi stood in the election expected next year. The commen ...

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Russia, Syria Urge U.S. Not to Launch Military Strikes

Moscow - Russia and Syria urged the United States on Monday to focus on convening a peace conference to end more than two years of conflict instead of taking military action against Damascus. After talks between the countries' foreign ministers in Moscow, Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Moualem suggested a chemical attack which Washington blames on President Bashar al-Assad was a pretext to encourage milit ...

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Kerry: Syrian Handover of All Chemical Arms Could Prevent Attack

London - U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said on Monday Syrian President Bashar al-Assad could avoid a military strike by turning over all his chemical weapons within a week but immediately made clear he was sure that would never happen. When asked by a reporter whether there was anything Assad's government could do or offer to stop any attack, Kerry said: "Sure, he could turn over every single bit of hi ...

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U.N. Nuclear Chief Says ‘Urgent’ for Iran to Address Concerns

Vienna - The U.N. nuclear chief told Iran on Monday it was "essential and urgent" for it to address concerns about suspected atomic bomb research, signaling his hope that the new government in Tehran will stop stonewalling his inspectors. Yukiya Amano was addressing a session of the U.N. agency's 35-nation board, the first since relative moderate Hassan Rouhani took office as Iranian president in early Augu ...

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Polls Can’t Solve All Problems: Wali Massoud

KABUL -Former jihadi commander Ahmad Shah Massoud’s brother Ahmad Wali Massoud on Monday said only elections could not resolve all problems and challenges facing the nation. Speaking on the occasion of marking the 12th death anniversary of Massoud, he said the upcoming elections should be aimed at steering the country out of crises not competing for power. He hoped Afghan leaders, politicians and scholars w ...

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Pakistan Militants Prepare For Ethnic-Based War in Afghanistan after NATO Withdrawal

KABUL - Militants in Pakistan's most populous province are said to be training for what they expect will be an ethnic-based civil war in neighboring Afghanistan after foreign forces withdraw in 16 months, according to analysts and a senior militant. In the past two years the number of Punjab-based militants deploying to regions bordering on Afghanistan has tripled and is now in the thousands, says analyst M ...

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Afghans in Iran Face Imminent Expulsion: HRW

KABUL - Iranian authorities were on Monday asked by an influential human rights organization to shelve plans of expelling hundreds of thousands of Afghans after they had their visas expired on Sept 6. The New York-based Human Rights Watch said no Afghan refugee should be expelled until a system fairly considering and challenging their asylum claims was in place to deport them. The deadline passed without an ...

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Pakistan Releases More Taliban Members

In response to Afghan government’s demands for Islamabad cooperation with the Afghan peace efforts, Pakistan announced release of seven Taliban members from Pakistani jails on Saturday. The latest release of Taliban senior members from Pakistani jails is taking place after a recent Karzai’s visit to Islamabad, where he urged Pakistani leaders to help with the peace negotiations with the Afghan insurgent gro ...

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NFP Leader Praises Mujahidin, Calls for Election Mobilization

Kabul - At a gathering organised by the Elders Council of the 17th district of Kabul in honour of "Martyr Week," Ahmad Zia Massood, the leader of the National Front Party (NFP), praised the mujahidin leaders in attendance and called on them to come together ahead of next spring's election. The event held in Kabul was to commemorate the memory of Ahmad Shah Massood, the mujahidin leader who was killed by the ...

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Bombers Strike Restaurant in Somali Capital, at Least 15 Killed

Mogadishu - A car bomb and suspected suicide bomber struck a restaurant in the Somali capital Mogadishu on Saturday, killing at least 15 people, police said.  It was not immediately clear who carried out the attack on the popular Village Restaurant, owned by Somali businessman Ahmed Jama, who had returned to his home country from London to set up business against the advice of friends.  But suspicion will l ...

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Two Men Arrested Over Buckingham Palace Break-In

London - British police have arrested two men after a break-in at Buckingham Palace this week, one of the most serious security breaches at Queen Elizabeth's London residence in about 30 years. A police spokesman said one man was found in the palace in an area that is open to the public at about 10.30 p.m. on Monday. He had scaled a fence to gain entry to the palace grounds. He was arrested for burglary, tr ...

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Voters in Maldives Elect Leader after Protests and Violence

Male - Voters in the Maldives thronged polling stations on Saturday to chose a new leader 20 months after their first democratically elected president was ousted, causing months of sporadic violence and uncertainty. Mohamed Nasheed, forced from power in February 2012 in what his supporters say was a coup, hopes to return to office and end a period of unrest that has tarnished the Indian Ocean archipelago's ...

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Nigerian Army Says Kills 50 Boko Haram Islamists

Maiduguri - The Nigerian army said on Saturday it had tracked down and killed 50 members of Boko Haram, days after the Islamist sect was blamed for killing 20 villagers in raids in its northeastern stronghold. "Troops pursued the terrorists to their camps and with air support about 50 terrorists were killed in a shoot-out," army spokesman Sagir Musa told reporters in Borno state capital Maiduguri. "The vill ...

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Islamist Rebels Say They Killed Syria’s Hama Governor

Dubai - The Islamist militant group the Nusra Front has claimed responsibility for the assassination of the governor of Syria's Hama province last month, according to the U.S.-based SITE intelligence monitoring group. The Nusra Front, a Sunni Muslim group linked to al Qaeda, has emerged as one of the most effective organizations fighting to topple Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. Syrian state television la ...

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