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Thai Protester Killed as Election Tensions Rise

Bangkok - A Thai protester was killed and four wounded on Saturday, an emergency official said, when an unidentified gunman opened fire on demonstrators whose efforts to topple Prime Minister YingluckShinawatra have flared into violence in recent days. The shooting came 48 hours after clashes between police and the protesters, who are determined to disrupt a snap February 2 election called by Yingluck, outs ...

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MPs Say Security Worse, Worried About Elections

Kabul- Lawmakers on Saturday spoke out about security conditions around the country, which they said were deteriorating, and suggested drastic steps need to be taken to address the trend if there is any hope for the elections. Security is well-known as one of the critical pieces of the puzzle for the upcoming Presidential and Provincial Council elections, which come the same year as the NATO coalition withd ...

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MPs Suggest Alternative Path to BSA

Kabul- Based on the International Treaties and Conventions Law, President Hamid Karzai could in fact authorize another government official to sign the Bilateral Security Agreement (BSA) with the U.S., which would ensure some foreign troops remain in Afghanistan after 2014. A number member of the Lower House of Parliament have submitted options for how to go about signing the BSA, which remains unfinalized a ...

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Boy Trained by Haqqani Claims he Was Raped

Kabul- the National Directorate of Security (NDS) claimed in a statement this week that based on investigations it was discovered that Haqqani Network leaders often sexually abuse the young boys they recruit into their training programs. Samiullah, now 16 years old and a resident of SeyahGerd District of Parwan province, was supposed to kill the Khost Governor in a suicide attack, but was arrested by securi ...

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The Urgency of Promoting Harmony among Citizens

With the worsening ethnic fissures in Afghanistan, promoting national harmony among Afghan ethnic groups is exactly what the country needs the most. In recent weeks, tensions have been boiling on social networking websites over controversial remarks made at a private TV channel. The tensions finally spilled over the streets on Saturday with hundreds taking part in a demonstration near the Afghan Parliament. ...

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Young Woman Found Hanged in Jawzjan

SHIBERGHAN - The body of a young woman has been found in the Muradyan district of northern Jawzjan province, where 24 females were killed in 2013, officials said on Tuesday. Crime branch chief, Cap. Abdul Latif, quoted the victim’s father as saying his daughter was feeling tired and unwilling to weave carpets -- a job she did 14 hours a day. Suffering from a mental problem, Ordi (18) reportedly hanged herse ...

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MazarMunicipality Income up by 40pc

MAZAR-I-SHARIF - The municipality department in Mazar-i-Sharif, the capital of northern Balkh province, on Tuesday announced a 40 percent increase in its revenue and acknowledged its failure to utilise its development budget during the ongoing fiscal year. Speaking at the municipality’s annual consultative and accountability gathering, Mayor Mohammad YunusMuqim said the department’s revenue stood at 300 mil ...

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Russia to Host Talks on Eliminating Syria Chemical Arsenal

Moscow- Russia will host international talks on Friday on the elimination of Syria's chemical weapons, Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said.  The meeting in Moscow will draw together experts from Russia, the United States, Syria, the United Nations and the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), Ryabkov told Voice of Russia radio on Tuesday. Syria agreed to abandon its chemical w ...

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Russia Says Preparing to Lift Lithuanian Dairy Ban: RIA

Moscow - Russia is preparing to lift a suspension it imposed on the import of Lithuanian dairy products in October, Russian news agency RIA reported on Tuesday. The head of Russian's consumer protection agency indicated that Russia and Lithuania had resolved differences in talks. "As of today, based on the results of the meeting, documents allowing for the delivery of (dairy) products are being drafted, sta ...

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South Sudan Rebel Leader Sets out Conditions for Talks

  Khartoum - U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon sought urgently on Monday to nearly double the size of the U.N. peacekeeping force in South Sudan, while rebel leader RiekMachar and President SalvaKiir both indicated they were ready to talk to try to end a deepening conflict that has killed hundreds of people. A government official, however, said South Sudan would not meet Machar's demand that detained ...

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NSA Leaks: Snowden Declares ‘Mission Accomplished’

Washington - Former National Security Agency (NSA) contractor Edward Snowden, who leaked details of US electronic surveillance programmes, says he's achieved his aim. "In terms of personal satisfaction, the mission's already accomplished," he told the Washington Post. "I already won," said Mr Snowden, whose extensive leaks have caused a reassessment of US surveillance policy. The 30-year-old was interviewed ...

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China to Ease One-Child Policy Early Next Year

Beijing- Changes to China's strict one-child policy, which will allow more parents to have a second child, will begin to roll out early next year, state media said. The policy change is expected to go into force in some areas of China in the first quarter of 2014, Yang Wenzhuang, a director at the National Health and Family Planning Commission, told the official Xinhua news agency. Beijing said last month i ...

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Car Bomb Kills 13 at Egyptian Police Compound

Cairo - A car bomb tore through a police compound in Egypt's Nile Delta on Tuesday, killing 13 people and wounding more than 130, security officials said, in one of the deadliest attacks since the army deposed Islamist President Mohamed Mursi in July. The army-backed government vowed to fight "black terrorism", saying the blast an hour after midnight in the city of Mansoura north of Cairo would not derail a ...

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Nigeria Says 70 Killed In Battle with Islamist Group

Abuja - Nigeria's military said on Tuesday it had killed at least 50 Islamist rebels fleeing towards Cameroon in a battle in which 15 of its own soldiers and five civilians also died. Nigerian forces have stepped up an offensive in the volatile northeast in the past few days, after Boko Haram fighters armed with grenade launchers and anti-aircraft guns attacked an army barracks in the town of Bama on Friday ...

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Thai Protesters Vow to Hound PM, Cling to Promise to Thwart Poll

Bangkok - Thai anti-government protesters abandoned efforts to block candidates from signing up for a February election on Tuesday but vowed to hound Prime Minister YingluckShinawatra and thwart a poll she is expected to win. The protesters want Thailand's fragile democracy to be suspended, fearing the February 2 election would only entrench the power of Yingluck's billionaire family, which is hugely popula ...

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ShariahEnforcement to Curb Militancy: Sayyaf

KABUL - Presidential contender AbdurRabRassoulSayyaf, blaming the government for what he called inconsistent policies to control terrorism and ensure economic growth, says he will work out effective policies to tackle challenges. In a wide-ranging, exclusive interview with Pajhwok Afghan News, the presidential hopeful suggested implementation of the Sharia law in the country would prevent militants from per ...

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Ghazanfar Group Oil Refinery Restarts Operation

KABUL - The Ghazanfar Group is resuming operations, after closing for four months over accusations the company lacked enough capacity to refine oil. In a Dec. 18 decision, the Council of Ministers allowed the Ghazanfar Group to resume its operation, following accusations from the Association of Oil Importers that led the Afghan government to ban its operation. The AOI has strongly protested the re-opening o ...

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Senate Upholds Decree on Reserved Seat for Minority

KABUL - The MeshranoJirga, or upper house of parliament, on Tuesday upheld a presidential decree reserving a parliament seat for the Hindu and Sikh minority. On Dec. 14, the Wolesi Jirga rejected the legislative decree President Hamid Karzai had signed in early September in line with Article 79 of the constitution and the electoral law. The article says: “During the recess of the House of Representatives, t ...

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Opinion Polls and the Elections

As Afghanistan is moving towards its very first practice of peaceful power transfer in its history, there are watchful eyes in the media and civil organizations monitoring the election process. A recent poll conducted jointly by TOLOnews and ATR casts a glimpse on what the people are going to decide for the future of the country in the forthcoming April’s presidential elections. According to the polls, ther ...

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Syrian Helicopter Bomb Raids Kill 42 in Aleppo: Monitors

Damascus - At least 42 people, including children, were killed on Sunday when Syrian army helicopters dropped improvised "barrel bombs" in the northern province of Aleppo, a monitoring group said.The British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said separate air raids hit several districts in Aleppo, but the biggest toll was in Hanano, east of the city. At least six children were among the dead. "They ...

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