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24 Polling Centers of 414 Will Be Open on Elections Day: MoI

KABUL - Twenty four of 414 polling centers which were previously to be closed due to security threats will be open on election day, the Ministry of the Interior said on Sunday."Twenty four of 414 polling centers which was announced would likely remain closed on election days, will be open. The polling centers are in Ghour, Badakshan and Kapisa province," the ministry's spokesman, SediqSedddiqi, said. "The p ...

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Kyrgyzstan Backs Afghan-Led Peace Process: FM

KABUL - Afghanistan and Kyrgyzstan on Sunday signed three agreements on cooperation on diplomatic and political fronts and dealing with natural disasters. Speaking at a joint press conference with his Kyrgyz counterpart ErlanAbdyldaev, Foreign Minister Zarar Ahmad Usmani said a joint technical team would be created to enhance economic relations between the two countries. But he stopped short of going into d ...

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A Right Measure Taken by the ECC

In a rightly punitive action against candidates violating electoral rules, the Electoral Complaints Commission referred presidential candidate Daud Sultanzoi to the General Attorney Office and issued a 50,000 AFs fine against Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai, another presidential candidate. The ECC officials said Mr. Sultanzoy has threatened a private TV channel’s reporter, and thus, has been referred to the judicial ...

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Merkel, Hollandeto Discuss Possible European Communication Network That Avoids U.S.

Berlin - German Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Saturday she would talk to French President Francois Hollande about building up a European communication network to avoid emails and other data passing through the United States. Merkel, speaking on Saturday ahead of a visit to France, has been pushing for greater data protection in Europe following reports last year about mass surveillance in Germany and els ...

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Kurds Clash with Turkish Police at Protests for Rebel Leader’s Release

Ankara- Thousands of Kurds demonstrated in towns across south east Turkey on Saturday, some clashing violently with riot police as they called for the release of Kurdish rebel leader Abdullah Ocalan on the 15th anniversary of his capture. Ocalan, leader of the separatist Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), is viewed by nationalist Turks as responsible for the deaths of tens of thousands of people in the group's ...

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Russia Demands Access to Russian Drug Smuggler in U.S. Jail

Moscow- Russia has summoned an American embassy envoy, demanding diplomatic and medical access to a Russian drug smuggler imprisoned in the United States who Moscow says was tortured when arrested by the U.S. authorities in 2010. In a statement published late on Friday, the Russian Foreign Ministry said a Russian doctor should examine Konstantin Yaroshenko, a pilot serving a 20-year sentence for conspiracy ...

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French Minister Says CAR Operation to Last Longer Than Expected

Paris - France's military operation in the Central African Republic will last longer than initially planned because the situation in the country is worse than anticipated, French Defense Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said on Saturday."I think it will be longer than expected because the level of hatred and violence is more important than we had imagined," Le Drian told France Inter radio.  "A military operatio ...

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Obama Says Considering New Pressure on Syria’s Assad

Washington- President Barack Obama said on Friday he is considering new ways to pressure the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad as he pledged fresh U.S. assistance to Jordan's King Abdullah, whose country is reeling from the Syrian civil war. Obama and Abdullah held talks at the Sunnylands retreat, the estate of the late philanthropist Walter Annenberg, in a desert region of California. With the ...

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Brahimi Apologizes to Syrian People for Lack of Peace Progress

Damascus- International mediator LakhdarBrahimi apologized to the Syrian people on Saturday for the lack of progress at peace talks in Geneva after their second round ended with little more than an agreement to meet again. The Algerian-born diplomat said the agreement to evacuate people from the besieged city of Homs had raised hopes that had not been satisfied at the Geneva talks involving opposition group ...

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Turkish PM Tightens Grip on Judiciary in Parliament Vote

Ankara- Turkey's parliament approved a law boosting government control over the appointment of judges and prosecutors on Saturday, after a heated debate and a brawl that left one opposition lawmaker hospitalized. Dozens of MPs broke into fights during the tense 20-hour debate and insults flew across party lines. When an opposition deputy called Prime Minister TayyipErdogan a dictator, deputies from the lead ...

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Karzai Opens India-Funded University in Kandahar

KANDAHAR CITY - President Hamid Karzai on Saturday inaugurated the country’s first-ever agricultural university in southern Kandahar province. Indian Foreign Minister Salman Khurshid and a number of ministers and officials joined Karzai at the inauguration ceremony. Karzai said Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had pledged three years back during a visit to Afghanistan to build the university in the prov ...

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UN Promises to Be Sincere Afghan Partner

KABUL - United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs Jeffrey Feltman on Saturday promised the world body will continue to be Afghanistan’s close, reliable and sincere partner. Concluding a two-day visit to Afghanistan, he discussed different aspects of the UN support to Afghanistan and its people at the time of the elections, as the country is going through political and security transitions ...

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Ghani Fined For Failing to Return Govt. Vehicles

KABUL - The Independent Electoral Complaints Commission (IECC) on Saturday slapped a fine of 50,000 afghanis on presidential candidate Ashraf GhaniAhmadzai. Announcing results of its investigations into complaints against four runners, the watchdog chief said Ahmadzai had been accused of misusing government resources. IECC Chairman Abdul Sattar Sadat said the Presidential Palace’s Administrative Affairs Off ...

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White House Frustrated by Prisoners’ Release

WASHINGTON - Expressing disappointment over the release of dangerous prisoners, the White House on Friday urged the Afghan government to make every effort that those freed did not commit new acts of violence and terror. “We are disappointed … that the Afghan government has released detainees that we believe pose a continuing threat to coalition forces and to Afghans,” White House Press Secretary Jay Carney ...

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President Karzai’s Turkey Trip

President Hamid Karzai has paid a surprise visit to Turkey, where he is set to meet Turkish and Pakistani officials. According to the reports, a high-profile delegation is accompanying President Karzai in Turkey. The meeting that would be held among Afghan, Pakistani and Turkish officials in Ankara is seemingly aimed at exploring how to promote cooperation between Kabul and Islamabad over the shared securit ...

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Syrian Envoy Says Dangerous Chemical Arms to Go By March 1

Damascus- The most dangerous elements of President Bashar al-Assad's chemical weapons stockpile will be removed from Syria by March 1, the Syrian ambassador to Russia said on Tuesday, according to the Interfax news agency. Syria missed a December 31 deadline to remove its most poisonous chemical agents under a deal brokered by Russia and the United States to avert a threatened U.S.-led military strike again ...

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Russia Decries U.N. Draft on Syria Aid, Urges Resolution on ‘Terrorism’

Moscow- Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Tuesday a draft U.N. resolution on aid access in Syria was "detached from reality" and urged the West to refrain from what it called one-sided accusations against Damascus. Australia, Luxembourg and Jordan last week presented their draft resolution meant to increase aid to Syria to the five Security Council permanent members, including Russia. Moscow sw ...

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North and South Korea to Hold High-Level Meeting on Wednesday: South Korea

Seoul- Senior officials from North and South Korea will hold a rare meeting on Wednesday, the South announced, with discussions likely to focus on reunions of separated families and the South's annual joint military drills with the United States. The meeting, announced on Tuesday by Kim Eui-do, spokesman for the Unification Ministry, was arranged with unusual speed after the North proposed the talks in a me ...

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Syrian Foes Meet Face to Face in Geneva

Geneva- the Syrian government and the opposition met face to face on Tuesday and observed a minute of silence for people killed in the three year conflict after a first round of talks last month failed to make significant progress, delegates said. "I hope that the minute of silence will signal an improvement in the atmosphere this time," opposition delegate Ahmed Jakal told Reuters. He said that internation ...

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China Bristling, Spain Seeks to Limit Its Judges’ International Rights Powers

Beijing - Spain's parliament will debate a bill on Tuesday to limit the power of judges to pursue international human rights cases, a day after Spanish arrest orders were issued for former Chinese officials accused of genocide in Tibet.China protested against the orders, called on Spain to drop the issue and issued a veiled threat about ties between the two countries. Spanish law currently recognizes univer ...

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