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Ministers barred from exercising executive powers

A presidential decree issued on Wednesday directed all incumbent ministers and provincial governors to perform duties as acting officials, barring them from exercising executive powers. President Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai also ordered the ministers, governors and heads of independent departments to perform in acting capacity until the new Cabinet was introduced. Ahmadzai was sworn-in as new president on Tuesday ...

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President Orders Kabul Bank Case Reopening

President Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai on Wednesday issued a decree, directing relevant state institutions to immediately address the Kabul bank issue and restitute its assets. The new decree is enforceable at once in accordance with Article 64 of the constitution. A statement from the Cabinet Secretariat said the presidential orders were aimed to recover the bank’s loans and stolen funds. Once the country’s large ...

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7 Killed, 21 Wounded In Kabul Suicide Attacks

At least seven security personnel were killed and more than 20 others wounded in two separate suicide attacks in Kabul on Wednesday, a day after the signing of a security pact with the United States. Brig. Gen. Humayun Aini, in charge of the police helpline, told Pajhwok Afghan News seven Afghan National Army (ANA) soldiers were killed and 15 others wounded when one bomber targeted their bus in Karta-i-Char ...

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A Significant Step Forward

Only a day after taking over power from former president Hamid Karzai, the new government signed the bilateral security agreement (BSA) with the US as well as the status of forces (SOFA) with NATO. The security pact with the United States was signed by Hanif Atmar, the newly-appointed national advisor to President Ahmadzai and James Cunningham, US ambassador to Afghanistan. President Karzai refused to sign ...

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EU upholds tough sanctions on Russia

The EU has said it will uphold tough sanctions on Russia until a ceasefire agreement between pro-Russia separatists in eastern Ukraine and Kiev is fully implemented. EU spokeswoman Maja Kojicancic said on Tuesday that member states had agreed there had been "encouraging developments" in "some aspects" of the peace deal signed earlier this month in Minsk, Belarus. But she said that "relevant parts of the sam ...

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UN raises alert over neglected Ebola orphans

The number of orphans who have lost at least one parent to an Ebola virus is expected to double in West Africa, the UN children's fund has said, intensifying a childcare problem as extended family members shun offsprings of Ebola victims. Ebola outbreak has claimed more than 3,000 lives in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone, leaving at least 3,700 children in the hands of relatives who are too frightened to t ...

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ISIL under heavy assault by Kurds in Iraq

Kurdish peshmerga forces backed by US-led air attacks have pushed into territory held by ISIL in Iraq, recapturing several towns and villages that had recently fallen to the group. The peshmerga began their assault on early on Tuesday in the village of Basheer, which ISIL captured in June and has used as a base for operations against Kirkuk, a key oil town 15km to the north. A senior peshmerga source told t ...

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BSA signed; Ahmadzai assuages concerns

Kabul and Washington signed a long-delayed security pact on Tuesday allowing the presence of a residual American force of 9,500 personnel to remain in Afghanistan beyond 2014. Also on Tuesday, the new national unity government signed a status of forces agreement (SOFA) with NATO, whose combat mission in the country is scheduled to end this year. National Security Advisor Hanif Atmar signed the vital securit ...

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NATO airstrike in Khost leaves 4 dead

A district development council head was killed in a militant attack in southeastern Paktia province while four people -- believed to be civilians -- lost their lives in a NATO drone strike in southern Khost on Tuesday. Paktia police chief, Brig. Gen. Mohammad Zaman told Pajhwok Afghan News the development council head for Syed Karam district Mirza Mohammad was shot dead by militants in the morning. He said ...

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US reaffirms respect for Afghan sovereignty

The United States reaffirmed its abiding respect for Afghanistan’s sovereignty on Tuesday, saying the Bilateral Security Agreement (BSA) would help consolidate their partnership. Speaking at the BSA ratification ceremony in Kabul, Ambassador James B. Cunningham said the US was eager to work with President Ashraf Ghani, Chief Executive Officer Abdullah, and the new Afghan government. “Our relationship with A ...

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Zakhilwal named economic advisor

President Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai has appointed former finance minister Hazrat Omar Zakhilwal as acting finance minister and his advisor on economic affairs, the Cabinet Secretariat said on Tuesday. Previously, the new president had appointed his former competitor in the presidential election, Dr. Abdullah Abdullah, as Chief Executive Officer. Abdullah’s running mates Eng. Mohammad Khan and Mohammad Mohaqiq w ...

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The Resurgence of the Militants

As the statesmen and government officials are preoccupied with the ongoing electoral controversies and the unity government politics, Taliban militants are mounting heavy assault on Ajristan district of Ghani province killing allegedly more than one hundred people and burning down homes of ordinary people. According to the reports, the militants have executed more than dozen people including women and child ...

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Karzai links progress to global support

Afghanistan's in political, economic and social progress over the past 13 years would have been impossible without consistent support from the international community, President Hamid Karzai said on Saturday. At a meeting with members of the diplomatic corps at the Presidential Palace in Kabul, the outgoing leader said consistent aid from the global community and its presence in Afghanistan would long be re ...

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Climbers trapped as Japan volcano erupts

A volcano in central Japan has erupted, catching mountain climbers by surprise and injuring at least 40 people who were stranded in areas that rescue workers had been unable to reach. Sohei Hanamura, a crisis management official in Nagano prefecture, said on Saturday that another seven people were missing in the dramatic incident. Police, fire and military rescue workers were trying to approach the 3,067-me ...

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Egyptian court postpones Mubarak verdict

An Egyptian court has postponed the verdict in the retrial of deposed president Hosni Mubarak on charges of corruption and killing of hundreds of protesters during the 2011 uprising that toppled him. The court on Saturday said the ruling for the 86-year-old Mubarak, who ruled Egypt for three decades, was postponed until November 29 due to the large amount of evidence. The verdicts for seven of his former po ...

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Yemen’s warring sides pledge to disarm

Yemen's Houthi Shia rebels have signed a final part of a peace deal with the government, days after taking control of much of the capital Sanaa. The deal signed on Saturday is an extension of the UN-brokered agreement signed earlier on Monday and is expected to put an end to weeks of ongoing violence. Under the latest agreement, the rebels must stop all acts of violence. Al Jazeera's Mohamed Vall, reporting ...

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Graft lands top Indian official in jail

An Indian court has sentenced the top elected official of the southern state of Tamil Nadu to four years in prison for corruption in a case that was filed 18 years ago. The judge held Chief Minister Jayalalithaa Jayaram "guilty of amassing wealth disproportionate to known sources of her income," prosecutor G Bhavani Singh told reporters outside the court earlier on Saturday. She was sentenced to four years ...

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ISIL pushes into Syrian town despite US raids

Fighters from the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) have continued to advance into the Kurdish-dominated town of Ain al-Arab in Syria, despite the US-led air campaign against the self-declared jihadist group. More than 15,000 residents have fled the northern Syrian town as ISIL fighters pushed deeper, fighting fierce battles with Kurdish armed groups on Saturday. Ain al-Arab, which the Kurds call  ...

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150 houses being built for landslide victims

A project has been launched to construct 150 houses for families who lost their homes in the massive landslide in the Argo district of southeastern Badakhshan province, an official said on Saturday. The affected families continue to live in tents without basic amenities despite an inpouring of aid from foreign organisations. At least 400 people had died in the landslide on May 2. Abdul Azim told Pajhwok Afg ...

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Ghani renews pledge to eradicate corruption

On Saturday, President-elect Dr. Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai, who is due to take over the presidency later this week, reaffirmed his resolve to pursue a results-oriented peace process with the Taliban. Addressing his supporters, who include members of the Junbish-i-Milli Islami Afghanistan led by his deputy Gen. Abdur Rashid Dostum, Ghani linked security to lasting peace in the country. President-elect Ghani adde ...

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