Dostum Officially Awarded Rank of Marshal in Jawzjan Sonil.haidari Wed, 07/15/2020 - 11:52 Author TOLOnews.com Afghanistan Abdul Rashid Dostum, the former vice president, has officially been awarded the rank of marshal at a ceremony held in Jawzjan province on Wednesday. On July 3, a decree of President Ghani promoting Dostum to marshal rank was leaked to the media. The decree was signed on June 10. The promotion is part of the political agreement signed between President Ghani and Abdullah Abdullah, head of the High Council for National Reconciliation, on May 17. Marshal Dostum, in his inauguration ceremony as the third marshal of Afghanistan, expressed his gratitude to the organizing committee and paid homage to those who sacrificed their lives for the freedom of the country.
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Brazil COVID-19 Cases Over 1.9 Million, Deaths 74,133 Sonil.haidari Wed, 07/15/2020 - 10:32 Author Reuters World Brazil recorded 41,857 new cases of the novel coronavirus in the past 24 hours and 1,300 additional deaths, the Health Ministry said on Tuesday. The nation has now registered 1,926,824 total confirmed cases of the virus and 74,133 deaths. Mexico’s Health Ministry on Tuesday reported 7,051 new confirmed coronavirus infections and 836 additional fatalities, bringing the total in the country to 311,486 cases and 36,327 deaths. The government has said the real number of infected people is likely significantly higher than the confirmed cases. China reported on Wednesday six new coronavirus cases in the mainland for July 14, up from three cases a day earlier, the health authority said. All of the new infections were imported cases, the National Health Commission said in a statement. There were no new deaths. China also reported four new asymptomatic patients, down from five a day earlier. As of July 14, mainland China had a total of 83,611 confirmed coronavirus cases, it said. China’s death toll from the coronavirus remained unchanged at 4,634. New Zealand must prepare for new coronavirus outbreaks as the pandemic spreads globally but will not drop its elimination strategy if community transmission was discovered, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said on Wednesday. Ardern said the epidemic was now “exploding” outside New Zealand and countries that had been models in the fight against COVID-19 had now experienced further community outbreaks. The government released a new framework on how it intended to fight the virus in the event of new cases, with elimination still the central strategy. “No system is 100% fool proof and around the world we are seeing even the most rigorous measures being tested by the virus,” she told reporters in Wellington. The South Pacific nation last reported a case of community transmission two-and-a-half months ago. It has recorded 22 deaths from nearly 1,200 confirmed cases as of Wednesday. New Zealand had vowed to eliminate, not merely contain, the virus, which meant stopping transmission for two weeks after the last known case was cleared. Officials in Australia’s most populous state of New South Wales said elimination is no longer possible there due to fresh outbreaks following the easing of lockdown restrictions.
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Taliban Violence Undermines Confidence in Peace : NATO Sonil.haidari Wed, 07/15/2020 - 10:19 Author TOLOnews.com Afghanistan The high level of violence in Afghanistan, driven by Taliban attacks, undermines confidence in the peace process, NATO said in a statement released on Tuesday. NATO called on all sides to rapidly start intra-Afghan talks, adding that NATO allies will continue to consult on its military presence to support the peace process. “An Afghan-owned and led peace process aimed at finding a political resolution that ends decades of conflict is the only way to deliver sustainable peace to the Afghan people and to ensure Afghanistan’s long-term security and stability,” it said, adding that “NATO and its partners are committed to contributing to an environment conducive to this outcome. We call on all sides to rapidly resolve the remaining issues still precluding the start of inclusive intra-Afghan negotiations.” The statement said that the current level of violence – driven especially by Taliban attacks against Afghan security forces, “remains unacceptably high, causing instability and undermining confidence in the peace process.” The statement also mentioned the 2018 and 2020 Eid al-Fitr ceasefires and the period of reduced violence leading up to the signing of the US-Taliban agreement. NATO mentioned in the statement that the military presence of the alliance and its partners in the Resolute Support Mission in Afghanistan “is conditions-based.” “We will continue to consult and, if conditions allow, to adjust our military presence to support the peace process, initiated by the US-Taliban agreement and the US-Afghanistan Joint Declaration. We urge the Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan and the Taliban to fulfill their commitments, including entering into intra-Afghan negotiations and ensuring terrorists never again find safe haven on Afghan soil,” read the statement. “Recent heinous attacks targeting civilians, including women, children, civil society members, religious figures, and health care workers throughout Afghanistan underscore the urgency of fulfilling these critical commitments,” it added. NATO reaffirms its longstanding commitment to Afghanistan, the Afghan people, and the Afghan security forces through the Resolute Support Mission. “We expect intra-Afghan negotiations to lead to an enduring and comprehensive peace agreement that puts an end to violence, safeguards the human rights of all Afghans, including women and children, upholds the rule of law, and ensures that Afghanistan never again serves as a safe haven for terrorists,” NATO said. “It is time for all parties to seize this moment for peace,” it added.
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TOLOnews 10pm News 14 July 2020 Youtube video URL https://www.youtube.com/v/jnXl8eCR1mQ Sonil.haidari Wed, 07/15/2020 - 09:06 News Hour A report by Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission (AIHRC) shows that 1,213 civilians were killed and 1,740 civilians were wounded in the first six months of this year, an 11% reduction from the same period in 2019. The reduction comes amid increasing peace efforts by the Afghan government and its allies, but critics say violence is still high--especially by the Taliban--which is a key element of the peace process. The Afghan security agencies data seen by TOLOnews shows that 2,685 civilians were killed or wounded in five months--from Jan. 21 to June 20--but the figures do not differentiate between those who lost their lives and those who were wounded. The data is from one month ahead of the Feb. 28 peace deal between the US and the Taliban and four months afterward. It shows that civilian casualties have increased after the signing of the peace deal compared to one month ahead of the agreement.
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Pentagon Confirms Troops Withdrawn from Five Bases in Afghanistan Sonil.haidari Wed, 07/15/2020 - 08:26 Author TOLOnews.com Afghanistan The US Pentagon chief spokesman Jonathan Hoffman said in a statement Tuesday that US troops have withdrawn from five military bases and reduced the size of its forces in Afghanistan as part of the agreement reached with the Taliban in February, The Hill reported. "US forces in Afghanistan remain in the mid-8,000s and five bases formerly occupied by US forces have been transferred to our Afghan partners,” said Hoffman. "We maintain the capabilities and authorities necessary to protect ourselves, our allies and partners, and US national interests," he said, adding that "We will continue to execute our counterterrorism mission while simultaneously supporting the 38-nation NATO Resolute Support Train, Advise, Assist mission and Afghan National Defense and Security Forces (ANDSF) as they work to secure peace in the country." On Tuesday, a US official in Kabul speaking on condition of anonymity, told TOLOnews that five bases were vacated by US troops in Afghanistan--in compliance with the US-Taliban peace agreement--in Helmand, Uruzgan, Paktika and Laghman provinces. US troops in the country have been reduced to 8,600, according to US reports. NATO has around 12,000 troops under the Resolute Support mission, which includes a portion of the 8,600 total US troops, according to the Resolute Support mission. The US continues “our counter terror fight against groups like ISIS (Daesh) and al-Qaeda while also providing training, funding and supplies to ANDSF through the NATO RS mission,” said a US forces spokesman in Afghanistan on Tuesday. The US-Taliban deal signed on February 28 in Doha has remained unimplemented in some parts of the agreement, such as a reduction in violence and intra-Afghan negotiations, which should have happened 135 days after the accord. The intra-Afghan talks have not begun and violence has not been reduced. Monday was the 136th day after the peace deal was signed. The agreement initially raised hopes among the Afghan people and political elites who believed it would lead the country towards negotiations. The Afghan government has blamed the Taliban for not implementing their commitments, saying the movements by the group should be scrutinized after the peace deal. The prisoner exchange between the Afghan government and the Taliban has been a halting and complicated process that has delayed the intra-Afghan negotiations. It should have happened 10 days after the peace deal, according to the agreement. According to the agreement, the Taliban has been asked to cut their ties with terrorist groups such as al-Qaeda, but a Pentagon report released earlier this month said al-Qaeda’s regional affiliate in Afghanistan maintains “close ties” to the Taliban and has an "enduring interest" in attacking US troops.
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135 of 637 Tests for COVID-19 Positive faridullah.sahil Tue, 07/14/2020 - 14:00 Author TOLOnews.com Health The Ministry of Public Health on Tuesday reported 135 new positive cases in the past 24 hours out of 637 tests. The ministry also reported 24 deaths due to COVID-19 over the last 24 hours. With this, the total known COVID-19 cases in the country reached 34,740, and the number of total known deaths reached 1,062. Kabul was on the top of the list with 51 new cases followed by Herat with 37 cases and Ghor with 16. The deaths were reported in Kabul (19), Khost (3), Takhar (1) and Nangarhar (1).
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