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Afghan President Ashraf Ghani leaves country

Afghanistan President Ashraf Ghani Sunday has left the country, GNN reported quoting Afghan media.

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Afghan President Ashraf Ghani leaves country
Afghan President Ashraf Ghani leaves country

Earlier, Afghanistan President Ashraf Ghani had resigned from his post.

According to other outlets, the Taliban strongman Mullah Ghani Baradar will take charge of Afghanistan president at the palace in Kabul.

It came after President Ghani delivered a sombre, short public address to the Afghan people on Saturday praising the security forces— saying his focus was on preventing further instability, violence and displacement of my people.

However, there had been speculation that the Afghan President would announce his resignation.

According to other outlets, the Taliban strongman Mullah Ghani Baradar will take charge of Afghanistan president at the palace in Kabul.

It came after President Ghani delivered a sombre, short public address to the Afghan people on Saturday praising the security forces— saying his focus was on preventing further instability, violence and displacement of my people.

However, there had been speculation that Afghan President would announce his resignation.

Afghan media reported that shortly after his pre-recorded message to the nation, President Ghani held a consultative meeting with political and jihadi leaders who supported his notion for preventing further instability in the country.

Earlier in the day, the Taliban seized large parts of Afghanistan and started entering the outskirts Kabul.

The capital city was the last major city to be held by government forces, after all the provincial capitals fell to the Taliban offensive.

The Taliban started an offensive nearly two weeks ago, capturing a number of key towns, cities and border posts.

Today’s strike on Kabul comes as international forces prepare to evacuate their diplomats amid the worsening security situation.

Reportedly, the Taliban pledged not to take Afghan capital "by force".

 

"No one's life, property and dignity will be harmed and the lives of the citizens of Kabul will not be at risk," they said in a statement.

Fateh Farooq

Fateh Farooq is a senior editor at GNN, known for writing top quality content which garner very high readerships and has been covering every field of journalism, including politics, media, sports and scholarly articles. Fateh Farooq is nothing less than a Veteran Editor and has been writing for GNN for the past 11 months.

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School sealed in Bani Gala after reported coronavirus cases

Not only the students but some teachers too had tested positive for the coronavirus, prompting the authorities to seal the school

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School sealed in Bani Gala after reported coronavirus cases

Islamabad: Another school in Islamabad’s Bani Gala area was sealed on Friday after reported cases of the coronavirus.

According to reports, not only the students but some teachers too had tested positive for the coronavirus, prompting the authorities to seal the school.

It is pertinent to mention here that 17 educational institutions have been sealed in Islamabad ever since their reopening following drop in the cases of the pandemic.

A day ealriler, following to spike in coroanviurs cases, two more educational institutions had been sealed following the detection of Covid-19 cases in the Islamabad.

According to the reports, overall 20 cases had been reported in a private university’s Islamabad campus and three Corona cases in a private school’s Soan Garden branch.

In a letter to the deputy commissioner, the district health officer (DHO) Islamabad issued directives to seal the two educational institutions.

Directions have been issued to seal the educational institution till further orders besides initiating a contact tracing and testing.

On the other hand, the National Command and Operations Center (NCOC) has decided to close educational institutions with COVID-19 high positivity for one week.

According to the reports, COVID testing in education institutes was carried out in major Omicron hit cities to ascertain disease spread among students and ensure accurate disease mapping.

Data suggests a strong correlation between vaccination levels and infection rate in various cities. In this regard, the NCOC decided that aggressive testing in education institutes will be conducted for next two weeks especially in high disease prevalence cities. 

Following to the COVID-19 cases, education institutions or specific classes with high positivity will be closed for one week. “Provincial Administration in consultation with District Health, Education Authorities and School Administrations to set a threshold of cases for deciding such closures,” it added.  

The NCOC further decided that the federating units to carry out special vaccination drives in schools to ensure 100 per cent vaccination of students over 12 years of age.

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EU re-establishing ‘minimal presence’ in Kabul

Embassy is being opened after five months

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EU re-establishing ‘minimal presence’ in Kabul

The European Union on Thursday announced it had begun re-establishing a “minimal presence” in Kabul to facilitate the delivery of humanitarian aid in Afghanistan.

“Our minimal presence in Kabul must not in any way be seen as recognition” of the Taliban government there,” EU foreign affairs spokesman Peter Stano said in a statement. 

“This has also been clearly communicated to the de facto authorities,” he added.

Afghanistan is in the grip of a humanitarian disaster, worsened by the Taliban takeover in August that prompted Western countries to freeze international aid and access to billions of dollars worth of assets held abroad.

The country was almost entirely dependent on foreign aid under the previous US-backed government, but jobs have dried up and most civil servants haven’t been paid for months.

No country has yet recognised the Taliban, with most watching to see how the hardline Islamists -– notorious for human rights abuses during their first stint in power -– restrict freedoms.

Shortly before Stano made his comments, an Afghan foreign ministry spokesman said on Twitter that the EU was reopening “an embassy” with “a permanent presence in Kabul” for the first time in five months. 

Stano said in the statement “the EU has started to re-establish a minimal presence of international EU Delegation staff to facilitate the delivery of humanitarian aid and monitor the humanitarian situation”.

The international community is waiting to see how the Taliban Islamic fundamentalists intend to govern Afghanistan, after having largely trampled on human rights during their first stint in power between 1996 and 2001. 

While the Taliban claim to have modernised, women are still largely excluded from public employment and secondary schools for girls remain largely closed.

Several countries, including China. Russia, Turkey, the United Arab Emirates and Iran have kept their embassies in Kabul open since the Taliban victory last year, but have not formally recognised their government.

Western diplomats began to evacuate their personnel in the first half of 2021, when American troops began operations to withdraw permanently from Afghanistan. 

The withdrawal culminated at the end of August with the chaotic evacuation of 120,000 people following the Taliban’s lightning conquest of the country.

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124 snakes found with dead body in US home

Pythons, rattlesnakes, cobras and black mambas were among the snakes found inside the home

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124 snakes found with dead body in US home

In a horrible discovery, the dead body of a man – surrounded by at least 124 snakes – was found inside a house in Maryland, United States. 

The Independent reported that the incident took place in Charles Countyof Maryland. The snakes, some of which were identified to be venomous, were kept inside cages when police reached the man’s home at around 6pm on Wednesday, the Charles County sheriff’s office said.

Police said that the man had kept the snakes, some of which were venomous, inside a cage in his house. 

One of the deceased man's neighbours, after not seeing him for a day, had gone to check in on him. 

The neighbour told the police that he peeped into the house through a window after no one answered the door and saw the man, 49, lying on the floor unconscious. 

He then decided to call 911 for help. When emergency services arrived and examined the man, he was found to be dead.

Police added that the cause of death is yet to be determined, adding that "no obvious signs of foul play have been found so far."

“Inside the house, more than 100 venomous and non-venomous snakes of different varieties were discovered in tanks situated on racks,” the Charles County Sheriff’s Office said, per the report.

The man had kept different types of snakes in his house, including pythons, rattlesnakes, cobras and black mambas, police said, adding that animal control officials were examining the snakes.

The chief animal control officer of the county told police that they had "not encountered an incident like this in more than 30 years of experience."

“Charles County Animal Control is coordinating rescue efforts relating to the reptiles with assistance from reptile experts from North Carolina and Virginia,” the police said.

It should be noted that Maryland's law prohibits people from keeping snakes as pets.

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