Baztab News

Migrant children on Greek islands to be flown to Luxembourg

Migrant children on Greek islands to be flown to Luxembourg

2 Hour The Guardian The Guardian

Luxembourg to take in 11 minors after member states and Switzerland pledge to find homes for 1,600 Eleven children trapped on Greek islands will be flown to Luxembourg next week, the first of a European Union migrant relocation scheme that highlights the uncertain fate of thousands.The group will leave Chios and Lesbos for Luxembourg as part of an EU voluntary effort to help the most vulnerable quit Greece’s desperately overcrowded refugee and migrant island camps.We sent out a letter to all the member states and got zero response. We’ve been pushing very hard for a long time on this issue Continue reading...

Coronavirus threat prompts UN to redouble efforts to end long-term wars

Coronavirus threat prompts UN to redouble efforts to end long-term wars

03 Apr 2020 The Guardian The Guardian

António Guterres says 11 conflict-hit countries have responded to ceasefire callCoronavirus – latest updatesSee all our coronavirus coverageEleven countries locked in long-term conflicts have responded to a UN call for a worldwide ceasefire, the UN secretary general, António Guterres, said as he promised to pursue the drive in the weeks ahead.The United Nations is deeply concerned that in countries with already fragile health systems, the backdrop of war will make it near impossible to contain a coronavirus outbreak. Continue reading...

'No profit, no food': lockdown in Kabul prompts hunger fears

'No profit, no food': lockdown in Kabul prompts hunger fears

01 Apr 2020 The Guardian The Guardian

Residents of Afghanistan’s capital face stark choice between providing food for their families and limiting risk of coronavirusAfghanistan braces for coronavirus surge as migrants pour back from IranSee all our coronavirus coverageThe streets of Afghanistan’s capital, Kabul, were packed on Friday; a hectic bustling in the markets and shops, pious whispers ringing from prayer gatherings at the mosques, the skies full of kites that children were flying.But on Saturday the city of around six million people went into lockdown to stop the spread of coronavirus in one of the poorest and most war-torn countries in the world. Continue reading...

Afghanistan braces for coronavirus surge as migrants pour back from Iran

Afghanistan braces for coronavirus surge as migrants pour back from Iran

01 Apr 2020 The Guardian The Guardian

Returnees flood across the border after lockdown leads to loss of jobs, amid warnings that influx threatens health catastropheCoronavirus – latest updatesSee all our coronavirus coverageMore than 130,000 Afghans have fled the coronavirus outbreak convulsing Iran to return home to Afghanistan amid fears they are bringing new infections with them to the conflict-ridden and impoverished country.The huge spike in Afghans crossing the porous border from Iran, in one of the biggest cross-border movements of the pandemic, has led to mounting fears in the humanitarian community over the potential impact of new infections carried from Iran, one of the countries worst affected by the virus. Related: 'We're not ready': coronavirus looms over the fragile Afghan health system Continue reading...

Ex-Royal Marine took his life at embassy in Kabul, inquest hears

Ex-Royal Marine took his life at embassy in Kabul, inquest hears

31 Mar 2020 The Guardian The Guardian

Stuart McBrearty, 39, spoke of ‘horrific experiences’ during service, coroner told A former Royal Marine who suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) shot himself while working as a security officer in Afghanistan, an inquest has heard.Stuart McBrearty, 39, from Aldershot, Hampshire, was found dead in the shower of his accommodation at the Canadian embassy in Kabul on 17 October last year.In the UK and Ireland, Samaritans can be contacted on 116 123 or email [email protected] or [email protected] In the US, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is 1-800-273-8255. In Australia, the crisis support service Lifeline is 13 11 14. Other international helplines can be found at www.befrienders.org. Continue reading...

'We're not ready': coronavirus looms over the fragile Afghan health system

'We're not ready': coronavirus looms over the fragile Afghan health system

30 Mar 2020 The Guardian The Guardian

As Western NGOs remove staff and the US strips support, an influx of Afghans from Iran could add pressure on an already depleted medical systemCoronavirus – latest updatesSee all our coronavirus coverageIn the Guzargah reception centre for returnees and repatriates in Herat, Afghanistan, 17-year-old Yunos rests on a thin mattress in a small, empty room.The previous night fatigued him. He spent it sleeping rough in the desert along with thousands of other Afghans, awaiting the opening of the Iran-Afghanistan border. The frigid desert air froze him to the bone and hunger disturbed his sleep. Related: Coronavirus in a war zone: Afghanistan braces for outbreak after first case Continue reading...

Taliban refuses to talk to Afghan government's negotiating team

Taliban refuses to talk to Afghan government's negotiating team

28 Mar 2020 The Guardian The Guardian

The militant group’s refusal represents a setback for US-brokered peace talksThe Taliban refused to begin talks with the Afghan government’s new negotiating team on Saturday, in a setback to the US-brokered peace process for one of the world’s longest-running conflicts. Related: US to cut $1bn of Afghanistan aid over failure to agree unity government Related: Pompeo to meet Taliban in Doha in effort to revive peace talks Continue reading...

Spanish coronavirus deaths slow as world nears 500,000 cases

Spanish coronavirus deaths slow as world nears 500,000 cases

26 Mar 2020 The Guardian The Guardian

Daily death toll in Spain falls for first time in a week, while Russia shuts bars and restaurantsCoronavirus – latest updatesSee all our coronavirus coverageThe rate of coronavirus deaths in Spain has slowed for the first time in a week, and the United States has passed the largest stimulus package in its history, as the global number of confirmed coronavirus cases approached half a million.Spain recorded 655 deaths in the past 24 hours, bringing the total there to 4,089, the health ministry said on Thursday. The number of confirmed cases in Spain stood at 56,188.The World Health Organization is recommending that people take simple precautions to reduce exposure to and transmission of the coronavirus, for which there is no specific cure or vaccine.Afghanistan reported five new cases in last 24 hours, bringing the total to 84, including four members of Nato forces and two foreign diplomats.The UK government said Prince Charles did not get preferential treatment by getting a coronavirus test before many NHS workers.Iran’s health ministry said the country’s death toll from the virus had increased by 157 in the last 24 hours to 2,234, according to the semi-official Fars news agency.Lebanon, which has recorded 333 cases of coronavirus and six deaths, is to extend a countrywide lockdown by two weeks, until 12 April, Reuters reported. Continue reading...

Afghanistan: dozens killed in attack on Kabul Sikh temple

Afghanistan: dozens killed in attack on Kabul Sikh temple

25 Mar 2020 The Guardian The Guardian

Isis gunmen held hostages for hours while Afghan special forces tried to end siegeA gunman and suicide bombers has killed at least 25 worshippers, including women and children, and injured many others in an early morning attack on a Sikh Gurdwara in the heart of Kabul.The ordeal lasted hours as the gunmen held hostages on Wednesday while Afghan special forces and international troops tried to end the siege in a complex that is home to many families, as well as a place of worship. Related: US to cut $1bn of Afghanistan aid over failure to agree unity government Continue reading...

US to cut $1bn of Afghanistan aid over failure to agree unity government

US to cut $1bn of Afghanistan aid over failure to agree unity government

23 Mar 2020 The Guardian The Guardian

Mike Pompeo suggests funding could be restored if President Ashraf Ghani and political rival Abdullah Abdullah reach dealThe US has said it will cut its aid to Afghanistan by $1bn, blaming the failure of President Ashraf Ghani and his main political rival, Abdullah Abdullah, to agree on a unity government for talks with the Taliban.A further $1bn could be cut in 2021, the US secretary of state, Mike Pompeo, said after a surprise visit to Kabul on Monday failed to persuade the two men to make a deal. Pompeo suggested the aid could be restored if they changed their minds. Related: Pompeo to meet Taliban in Doha in effort to revive peace talks Continue reading...

Pompeo arrives in Kabul to try to revive flagging Afghan peace talks

Pompeo arrives in Kabul to try to revive flagging Afghan peace talks

23 Mar 2020 The Guardian The Guardian

Attempt to save stalled Afghanistan peace process comes as most world leaders have curtailed travel due to coronavirus Coronavirus – latest updatesSee all our coronavirus coverageThe US secretary of state, Mike Pompeo, has arrived in Kabul on an urgent visit to try to move forward a US peace deal signed with the Taliban last month, a trip that comes despite the coronavirus pandemic, at a time when world leaders and statesmen are curtailing official travel.Since the signing of the deal, the peace process has stalled amid political turmoil in Afghanistan, with the country’s leaders squabbling over who was elected president.Come down from my office only to find that Susan and Nick have almost finished without me! pic.twitter.com/UIqVfZMjAD Continue reading...

The Guardian view on the global virus threat: don’t abandon the poor | Editorial

The Guardian view on the global virus threat: don’t abandon the poor | Editorial

17 Mar 2020 The Guardian The Guardian

As societies seal themselves off and turn inwards, we must not forget to look beyond our bordersThere is only one thing as alarming as the steadily rising tally of cases of coronavirus around the world: the low numbers reported in places that it could devastate. They may have less interaction with the worst-hit nations than more developed countries. But it may also be that the countries most at risk are least equipped to monitor its spread. Afghanistan, which has reported 22 cases, has only one hospital which can diagnose the disease, and Covid-19 is ravaging neighbouring Iran. Syria has insisted it is free of the virus, though its five neighbours have all reported cases; there is suspicion that the regime is suppressing bad news.Coronavirus threatens us all. But poorer countries will suffer more than richer ones. Inevitably people are more susceptible when they are malnourished or already in poor health. Infections spread fast in cramped conditions. Health services which are already failing to meet basic needs will quickly be overwhelmed. “Wash your hands” is great advice, but of limited use to the two-fifths of the world’s population who lack access to soap and clean water at home. Unicef says one in six healthcare sites have no functional toilets or hand-washing facilities where patients are treated. Continue reading...

Afghanistan peace talks stall over planned prisoner exchange

Afghanistan peace talks stall over planned prisoner exchange

11 Mar 2020 The Guardian The Guardian

US agreement with Taliban was intended to help Afghans real deal on political futureAfghanistan’s political chaos has deepened with disputes over presidential election results and a planned prisoner exchange delaying peace talks with the Taliban even as the US starts its troop withdrawal.A US agreement with the Taliban signed last month on the departure of American forces was meant to set the stage for Afghans to reach a deal on their country’s political future after decades of civil war but those talks, expected to begin this week in Oslo, have been postponed indefinitely. Continue reading...

US commander says Taliban are not keeping 'their part of the bargain'

US commander says Taliban are not keeping 'their part of the bargain'

10 Mar 2020 The Guardian The Guardian

Marine Gen Frank McKenzie gave evidence to Congress on Tuesday, hours after US forces began pulling out of AfghanistanThe US commander for the Middle East and Afghanistan has said the Taliban are not keeping “their part of the bargain” from the deal signed with the US earlier this month, saying the insurgents were continuing to launch attacks.Marine Gen Frank McKenzie was giving evidence to Congress on Tuesday, hours after US forces began pulling out of Afghanistan as agreed in the 29 February deal, and as talks between Taliban and government representatives were due to begin. Related: Blasts in Afghanistan as presidential rivals hold oath ceremonies Continue reading...

Blasts in Afghanistan as presidential rivals hold oath ceremonies

Blasts in Afghanistan as presidential rivals hold oath ceremonies

09 Mar 2020 The Guardian The Guardian

Ashraf Ghani and Abdullah Abdullah both inaugurated amid dispute over electionBlasts have been reported in Kabul as Afghanistan’s two leading presidential candidates held separate swearing-in ceremonies after both claimed to have won last year’s elections.The incumbent Ashraf Ghani took his oath of office at the country’s presidential palace in Kabul in a ceremony on Monday attended by foreign diplomats including the US special envoy Zalmay Khalilzad. Continue reading...

Dozens killed in attack on political rally in Kabul

Dozens killed in attack on political rally in Kabul

06 Mar 2020 The Guardian The Guardian

Assault highlights insecurity in Afghan capital in run-up to scheduled US withdrawalAt least 27 people have been killed in an attack on a political rally in Kabul in the deadliest assault in Afghanistan since the US signed a withdrawal deal with the Taliban.The attack highlights the glaring lack of security in the heavily fortified Afghan capital 14 months ahead of a scheduled withdrawal of all foreign forces under an agreement signed on 29 February by the US and Taliban. Continue reading...

Senior ICC judges authorise Afghanistan war crimes inquiry

Senior ICC judges authorise Afghanistan war crimes inquiry

05 Mar 2020 The Guardian The Guardian

Decision overturns earlier rejection of request to examine actions of US soldiersSenior judges at the international criminal court have authorised an investigation into alleged war crimes and crimes against humanity in Afghanistan, overturning an earlier rejection of the inquiry.The ruling by the ICC’s appeals chamber is likely to infuriate the Trump administration, which has condemned the request from the court’s chief prosecutor, Fatou Bensouda, to examine the actions of US soldiers in Afghanistan. Continue reading...

Trump reportedly tells Taliban official ‘you are a tough people’ amid peace deal row

Trump reportedly tells Taliban official ‘you are a tough people’ amid peace deal row

03 Mar 2020 The Guardian The Guardian

Call with official whom Trump mistakenly called ‘leader of the Taliban’, is first direct exchange between a US president and insurgent leadership since 2001Donald Trump has spoken by telephone to a senior Taliban official at a time when a row over prisoner exchanges and a fresh outbreak of violence jeopardised a historic US-Taliban peace agreement signed on Saturday.The conversation between Trump and the head of the Taliban’s political office, Abdul Ghani Baradar, was the first direct exchange between a US president and the insurgent leadership since the US military intervention in Afghanistan began in 2001. Related: Afghanistan: bomb attack kills three as Taliban ends partial truce Continue reading...