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French FM to Visit Cuba in Sign of Warming EU Ties

Paris - France's foreign minister said on Wednesday he would soon travel to Cuba, the first such visit in 30 years and a sign of the quickening pace of improving ties between the European Union and Havana. Cuba this month accepted a proposal by the EU to open negotiations on a new political accord, saying it was willing to talk about human rights as part of discussions that would end what it considers a one ...

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IEC: Riggings Will Undermine ANSF Capability

Kabul- Head of the Independent Election Commission (IEC) Ahmad Yousaf Nuristani on Wednesday expressed apprehensions over possible electoral fraud enabled by security threats, saying that this will also undermine the effectiveness of the Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF). Nursitani called on security institutions to clarify which areas they can maintain security in to ensure the safety of polling booth ...

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Blood Drive Launched for ANSF

KABUL - A blood donation drive to help the wounded of the Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF) recover from their injuries was launched this week by a political activist group named Harakat-e-Afghanistan 1400. On the first day of the campaign, at least 80 people voluntarily donated blood with the help of medical professionals overseeing the entire process. All stores of blood drawn from the initiative are ...

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116 Provincial Council Runners Disqualified

KABUL - The Independent Electoral Complaints Commission (IECC) on Wednesday announced removing another 116 individuals from the final list of provincial council candidate. IECC Secretary Nadir Mohseni told a press conference in Kabul the runners had been disqualified because they did not meet age and academic requirements under the election law. He added the scrutiny of candidates’ documents, ages and compl ...

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US Has Spent $53b Funding Afghan Forces

KABUL - The United States has spent around $53 billion funding the Afghan security forces, in addition to providing the Afghan National Army (ANA) with 160 aircrafts, a coalition spokesman said on Wednesday. Col. Jane E Crichton, ISAF director of public affairs, told Pajhwok Afghan News during an exclusive interview that the US had given the Afghan forces the latest military gear over the past few years. He ...

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Qanuni’s Succession as Vice President

President Hamid Karzai introduced Mohammad Younus Qanuni, a former speaker of the parliament, as successor of late former Vice President Qasim Fahim who passed away recently. According to the reports, Qanuni’s succession as the Vice President has been decided after extensive deliberations and negotiations between Karzai and Mujahedin and political figures, particularly members of Jamiat-e Islami to which Mr ...

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German Court Confirms Euro Zone Bailout Scheme is Legal

Berlin - Germany's Constitutional Court upheld the legality of the euro zone's bailout fund on Tuesday, affirming a preliminary ruling back during the debt crisis in 2012 that gave a green light to the European Stability Mechanism (ESM). The court reiterated that the 700 billion euro ($975 billion) fund did not violate the rights of Germany's Bundestag, or lower house of parliament, to decide budgetary matt ...

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Defiant Putin Signs Treaty Making Crimea Part of Russia

Moscow - Russian President Vladimir Putin, defying Ukrainian protests and Western sanctions, on Tuesday signed a treaty making Crimea part Russia but said he did not plan to seize any other regions of Ukraine. In a fiercely patriotic address to a joint session of the Russian parliament in the Kremlin, punctuated by standing ovations, cheering and tears, Putin lambasted the West for what he called hypocrisy. ...

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Plane Search Spans Asia, But Investigation Shows Little Progress

Kuala Lumpur - An international land and sea search for a missing Malaysian jetliner is covering an area the size of Australia, authorities said on Tuesday, but police and intelligence agencies have yet to establish a clear motive to explain its disappearance. Investigators are convinced that someone with deep knowledge of the Boeing 777-200ER and commercial navigation diverted Malaysia Airlines Flight MH37 ...

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Faizi Endorses Ghani’s View on Durand Line

KABUL - Any decision on the status of the Durand Line, the de facto border between Afghanistan and Pakistan, should be taken by the people, presidential spokesman Aimal Faizi said on Tuesday. A day earlier, presidential runner Dr. Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai had said: “Peoples, not governments, are to take a decision on the Durand Line. It is hoped people will be enable to make the decision.” Faizi tended to endo ...

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17 Killed, 48 Injured in Faryab Suicide Attack

MAIMANA - Seventeen people were killed and 48 others wounded when an explosives-laden vehicle was detonated in the middle of a crowd in the capital of northern Faryab province on Tuesday. The blast took place at around 8: 50am close to the Misara Square in front of the Energy and Water Department, eyewitnesses told Pajhwok Afghan News. The explosives were planted in a rickshaw whose driver failed to force h ...

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A Night with Buddha

Bamyan- ‘A night with Buddha’ is the title of an Art-Cultural festival, for first time was launched voluntarily by the group called ‘Yadawaran’ on March 11, 2013, on 12th anniversary of Buddha destruction, the program was consist of different parts like academic meeting about Buddha, film festival, photo festival, theater performance, poem and music gathering, painting exhibition, Khoshnawisi (Dari art of w ...

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Karzai Nominates Qanuni for Replacement of Marshal Fahim

KABUL - President Hamid Karzai has nominated former house speaker Younus Qanuni as his first VP to replace Marshal Mohammad Qasim Fahim, who died of a heart attack this month, spokesman Aimal Faizi said on Tuesday. Mr Qanuni needs parliamentary approval to become Afghanistan's first Vice President for the remaining several weeks of the Karzai government. The decision was made after a meeting with Jehadi lea ...

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Concerns of Election Rigging

As the election date is approaching, there are increasing concerns about a possible rigging of the election as many of the polling stations remain insecure and out of assured control of the observers and the electoral bodies. Recently, some of the presidential candidates, particularly those from the opposition, have warned about attempts for electoral frauds which could potentially harm the democratic pract ...

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U.S. Forces Seize Tanker Carrying Oil from Libya Rebel Port

Tripoli - U.S. Special Forces have seized a tanker that fled with a cargo of oil from a Libyan port, the U.S. Department of Defense said on Monday, halting an attempt by rebels to sell petroleum on the global market. Libyan rebels demanding a greater share of oil wealth managed to load crude onto the ship, which escaped Libya's navy, embarrassing the government and prompting parliament to sack the prime min ...

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Crimea Asks to Join Russia after Soviet-Style Vote

Kiev - Crimea formally applied to join Russia on Monday after its leaders declared a Soviet-style 97-percent result in favor of seceding from Ukraine in a referendum condemned as illegal by Kiev and the West that will trigger immediate sanctions. European Union foreign ministers met in Brussels to decide on visa bans and asset freezes against Russian and Crimean officials held responsible for Moscow's milit ...

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EU to Adopt Russia Sanctions as Crimea Crisis Deepens

Brussels - European Union foreign ministers will agree sanctions on around 20 people in Russia and Crimea on Monday, ministers and officials said, with the possibility of adding further names to the list when EU leaders meet later in the week. Those targeted in the first phase will include politicians responsible for calling for and organizing Sunday's referendum in Crimea, when 97 percent of voters decided ...

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26 Females Freed From Kabul Prison

KABUL - Twenty-six female inmates were released from the Badam Bagh prison of Kabul on Monday, an official said. Jail terms of several others were reduced. Attorney General Office (AGO) representative Aziz Ahmad Sarbaz told a news conference in Kabul the inmates had been freed and granted remission in accordance with the 145th presidential decree. Jail terms of 102 women and children were curtailed. Current ...

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MPs Fail to Elect 1st Deputy Speaker, Secretary

KABUL - The Wolesi Jirga -- or lower house of parliament -- on Monday again failed to elect its first deputy speaker and secretary, adjourning the voting to Tuesday. A day earlier, lawmakers Mohammad Saleh Saljoqi was elected as the lower house second deputy speaker and Irfanullah Irfan as secretary. But three candidates for the first deputy speaker -- Gul Badshah Majeedi from Paktia province, Ghulam Hussai ...

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Kabul Residents Angry Over Flooding Roads

KABUL - A number of Kabul residents blamed the government for not building proper drainage systems in the capital after heavy rains flooded roads throughout the city over the course of the past three days. Given all of the build-up and progress seen in Kabul over the past 13 years, many residents are disappointed with how inadequate basic infrastructure like street drainage is in the capital. "Compared to t ...

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