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NATO prepares new chapter in ties with Afghanistan

Anders Fogh Rasmussen, the NATO Secretary General has said that the alliance will be writing a new chapter in its relationship with Afghanistan, as its combat mission draws to a close. “We have planned a new mission to train, advise, and assist the Afghan forces from next year and it will be launched once we have the legal arrangements in place,” said Rasmussen in a pre-summit press conference in Brussels. ...

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Iran convicts Ahmadinejad’s vice president

Mohammad Reza Rahimi, Iran's first vice president under former president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, has been sentenced to prison and fined. "I cannot reveal the details because the sentence is not final, but it includes a term of imprisonment and a fine," Gholamhossein Mohseni-Ejeie, the second-ranking member of Iran's judiciary, told the AFP news agency on Monday. Iranian media previously reported that Rahimi, 6 ...

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Israel seizes 400 hectares of West Bank land

The United States has urged Israel to reverse its decision to seize nearly 400 hectares of land in the occupied West Bank, a move anti-settlement activists termed the largest land grab in 30 years. Israel announced the massive land appropriation on Sunday in the Etzion settlement bloc near Bethlehem just days after Gaza ceasefire. A Palestinian official said the latest land grab by Israel would cause only m ...

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Russia urges ‘immediate ceasefire’ in Ukraine

Russia's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has said the talks on Ukraine crisis taking place in the Belarusian capital, Minsk, should seek an immediate ceasefire in the conflict. The statement came on Monday ahead of the Ukraine "contact group" talks that includes representatives from Russia, Ukraine, the Vienna-based OSCE security and rights organisation and separatist rebels in eastern Ukraine. Lavrov said t ...

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Libyan militia storm US embassy in Tripoli

The United States embassy compound in the Libyan capital Tripoli has been raided by militiamen, but no Americans were present as the embassy was evacuated more than a month ago. The attack on Sunday comes as fighting between rival militias rages in Tripoli and Benghazi, the scond city in the east. Even though the US suspended its mission in Tripoli for the second time in three years in July, the US Secretar ...

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Afghan Social Media Summit Returns to Kabul

Second Annual Afghan Social Media Summit (#ASMS2014) expands to three days, and will be bigger and better than ever. Speaker nominations and participant registration officially opened today for the Second Annual Afghan Social Media Summit (#ASMS2014), to be held October 19-21st in Kabul. ASMS2014 follows on the success of Paiwand, Afghanistan’s First Annual Social Media Summit, which was held Sept. 21-22, 2 ...

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Ata Mohammad Noor calls for widespread anti-fraud movements

Ata Mohammad Mohammad Noor has called on his supporters to prepare for widespread anti-fraud movements as the Afghan election was once again taken towards an impasse after Dr. Abdullah’s camp warned to withdraw from talks and boycott the audit process. Noor is an influential political leader and the current governor of northern Balkh province of Afghanistan, who is a close ally of Dr. Abdullah in presidenti ...

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Afghan Army Claims Lives of 41 Taliban Militants in Joint Operations

At least 41 Taliban militants including their local commanders were killed following joint military operations by Afghan national security forces in the past 24 hours. "Afghan National Police conducted several anti-terrorism joint operations with Afghan National Army and NDS to clear some of the areas from terrorists," the Ministry of Interior said in a statement, Khaama Press reported. "The operations were ...

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DUTCH TO SEND 100 TROOPS TO AFGHANISTAN IN 2015

HE HAGUE, Netherlands - The Dutch government says it plans to send 100 troops to northern Afghanistan as part of a NATO mission due to start in 2015, when the alliance's combat mission in the war-weary nation ends. The Dutch Foreign Ministry said in a statement Monday the Dutch contingent would be made up of trainers, medical personnel, transport and security staff and a logistics unit. It will be based in ...

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Lack of Weapons Could Jeopardize Country: ANSF

On Monday, a number of Afghan military experts stated that the Afghan National Security Forces' (ANSF) lack of heavy weaponry and air support could put the country's future at jeopardy. "The lack of equipment’s and logistic support could undermine the abilities of the ANSF," political analyst Jawed Kohistani said. "It is difficult to win the war against insurgency without access to heavy weaponry." Adding t ...

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The Evolving Election Impasse

In a crucial week for Afghanistan when Afghans are awaiting presidential election results, the two candidates are pushing the process further into deadlock. It seems that as the vote audit inches towards the final stages, the two sides tend to take extreme positions over the process. Abdullah’s camp announced it would withdraw from the vote audit and political talks on election altogether if their legitimat ...

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Abdullah’s team sets deadline for conditions, warns to boycott audit process

The electoral team of Dr. Abdullah Abdullah has once again warned to boycott the ballots audit and invalidation process, if their demands are not met by the election commission. Syed Fazel Sancharaki, spokesman for Dr. Abdullah, told reporters on Monday that they will entirely boycott the audit and invalidation process if their demands and conditions were not met by tomorrow. Sancharaki further added that t ...

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Malaysians show strong patriotism for 57th National Day celebrations

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysians from all walks of life recovered from the twin tragedies of Malaysia Airlines (MAS) flight MH17 and MH370 when they demonstrated strong patriotic spirit to celebrate the 57th anniversary of the country's independence at the Merdeka Square. Together they united with more than 14,000 people joining the parade in a show of love for the country at the square where the Union Jack was tak ...

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China insists on right to choose candidates for Hong Kong leader

HONG KONG: China insisted on Sunday (Aug 31) that candidates for Hong Kong's next leader must be screened in advance, triggering tears and fury in the city, where democracy activists vowed to press ahead with a planned takeover of the financial district. The standing committee of the National People's Congress (NPC), China's parliament, decided that the city's next chief executive will be elected by popular ...

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Afghanistan’s Economy on the Verge of Collapse

By Florance Ebrahimi Power vacuum looms for Afghanistan as UN delays date for result of presidential elections to mid-September despite Karzai’s plans to leave office next week. Afghan President Hamid Karzai, who came to power after the U.S.-led invasion that toppled the Taliban in 2001, has set Tuesday as the deadline for a new president to take office, but a clear winner has yet to emerge after two rounds ...

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The Trans-Afghan Pipeline Initiative: No Pipe Dream

By: Marc Grossman NEW HAVEN: An avalanche of bad news has engulfed the world – murder in the skies over Ukraine, renewed war between Israel and Hamas, and a terrorist resurgence in Iraq. Amid the global chaos, one positive development got little attention – a development that could help advance peace between India and Pakistan, improve chances for reconciliation in Afghanistan, undermine energy blackmail by ...

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IEC: 83.4% of the Afghan presidential election ballots audited

The Independent Election Commission (IEC) announced Saturday that 83.4 percent of votes from the runoff election have been audited since the beginning of the audit and recount process. IEC spokesman, Noor Mohammad Noor, told reporters that the audit teams have managed to audit 19,047 ballot boxes out of 22,821 boxes so far. Noor further added that the commission is expecting to take decision regarding ballo ...

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High gas price irks Kabul residents

Kabul residents have blamed the government for the rising prices of gas , which is currently sold at 140-150AFN per kilo in the market, compared to only 50 AFN per kilo a few months ago. The steep rise in prices for gas is linked to the scarcity of gas in the market. Residents wait in the queue for hours at a government store to purchase gas. “I came here about 5:30am and now it is 12:30pm but I cannot find ...

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17 killed as Taliban launch attacks across Afghanistan

Jalalabad: Taliban suicide bombs hit an office of the Afghan intelligence agency in an eastern city on Saturday, killing six people, and insurgents shot dead another 11 in the west, in an upsurge of violence as foreign combat troops prepare to withdraw from the country. Seven militants were also killed during several hours of heavy fighting with Afghan security forces at the Jalalabad headquarters of the Na ...

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23 Killed in Tanker Crash In Herat

A van slammed into a fuel tanker in western Afghanistan on Sunday, killing 23 people in the horrific accident. The crash happened on Sunday morning on the main highway between the city of Herat and the Iranian border, said Raouf Ahmadi, a spokesman for the provincial police chief in western Herat province. He added that four people were injured in the accident. Authorities do not know what caused the accide ...

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