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Taliban confirms taking part in upcoming Doha meeting on Afghanistan

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Taliban confirms taking part in upcoming Doha meeting on Afghanistan

Islamabad, June 16 (IANS/DPA) The Taliban government on Sunday officially announced its intention to send a delegation to the upcoming Doha meeting on the situation in Afghanistan.

Taliban Chief Spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid told TOLOnews that the group believes their participation in the Qatar talks will benefit Afghanistan when it comes to humanitarian aid and investment.

The UN-hosted meeting will be held on June 30 and July 1, to increase international engagement with the country as it faces a series of crises.

Since returning to power in 2021, the Taliban have rejected calls for the formation of an inclusive government and to ensure women’s rights to education and work.

As a result, no country has recognised the Taliban government.

The country’s banking reserves are frozen in the West, and senior Taliban leaders are on US wanted lists.

However, the UN Security Council eased travel restrictions for key Taliban leaders so they could perform the Hajj pilgrimage in Mecca.

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Last week the European Union announced a €150 million ($160 million) humanitarian aid package to the country.

The Taliban has been seeking more cooperation with the UN — while also rejecting the world body’s initiatives.

In December, the UN Security Council adopted a resolution asking the UN Secretary-General to appoint a special envoy for Afghanistan.

The Taliban has consistently been against having such a figure for the country.

In February, the Taliban refused to attend a similar UN meeting in Doha on account that Afghan activists had been invited.

–IANS/DPA

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25 bodies recovered, 34 missing from two buses hit by landslides in Nepal

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25 bodies recovered, 34 missing from two buses hit by landslides in Nepal

25 bodies recovered, 34 missing from two buses hit by landslides in Nepal

Kathmandu, July 22 (IANS) Twenty-five bodies of the passengers have been recovered while 37 others have remained missing since their buses were swept away into a river by landslides on July 12, a local official said on Monday.

The number of people traveling on the buses was first put at 65, but revised to 62 after verification.

“While three passengers managed to swim out of the river, the dead bodies of 25 have been recovered,” said Indradev Yadav, chief district officer of Chitwan, Xinhua news agency reported.

The whereabouts of the other people and the two buses are still unknown, Yadav told Xinhua, adding that Nepali security forces and a 12-member Indian team are continuing the search operation.

Around 130 people have been killed in rain-triggered incidents in Nepal since the monsoon season started on June 10, according to Nepal Police.

–IANS

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Indonesia's nature reserve welcomes new baby orangutan

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Indonesia's nature reserve welcomes new baby orangutan

Indonesia's nature reserve welcomes new baby orangutan

Jakarta, July 22 (IANS) Indonesia has welcomed a new baby Sumatran orangutan, born at Orangutan Reintroduction Center in Jantho Nature Reserve in the Aceh province.

“The yet-to-be-named female baby was born to Mama Wenda and is in good health,” head of the Aceh Natural Resources Conservation Agency, Ujang Wisnu Barata, said on Monday.

The baby orangutan is believed to be about two weeks old, Xinhua news agency reported.

Jantho Nature Reserve, home to a variety of wildlife, has seen its seventh orangutan birth since the reintroduction program began in 2011. ■

–IANS

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Vietnam's seaport capacity to reach 1.4 billion tonnes by 2030

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Vietnam's seaport capacity to reach 1.4 billion tonnes by 2030

Vietnam's seaport capacity to reach 1.4 billion tonnes by 2030

Hanoi, July 22 (IANS) Vietnam’s cargo output through seaports is expected to reach 1.2-1.4 billion tons by 2030, according to the country’s detailed planning of seaports, harbours and water areas towards 2050 submitted by the Ministry of Transport.

It is forecast that the number of domestic and international passengers passing through the seaports by 2030 will be 17 to 19 million, Vietnam News Agency reported Monday.

The investment capital need for the seaport system by 2030 will be about 351.5 billion Vietnamese dong (13.8 million US dollars), including 72.8 billion dong (2.8 million dollars) for public maritime infrastructure and 278.7 billion dong (11 million dollars) for ports, Xinhua news agency reported.

The country’s cargo output through seaports in the first five months of this year was estimated at over 346 million tonnes, increasing by 17 per cent year on year, said Vietnam Maritime Administration.

–IANS

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Heavy security in Uganda ahead of planned protest in Kampala

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Heavy security in Uganda ahead of planned protest in Kampala

Heavy security in Uganda ahead of planned protest in Kampala

Kampala, July 22 (IANS) Ugandan security agencies have had heavy deployment ahead of an anti-corruption protest in the capital city of Kampala, a police spokesperson said here Monday.

Luke Owoyesigire, deputy spokesperson of Kampala Metropolitan Police, told Xinhua by telephone that various security agencies had already deployed their personnel as a precautionary move.

“They (security officers) are already around. They will be around today, tomorrow, and throughout the week,” Owoyesigire said.

The spokesperson said different groups had engaged in continuous mobilization on social media calling upon people to join in the Tuesday march, which the police decided to stop, saying it would attract criminal activities.

“People have other intentions of destabilizing public peace,” Owoyesigire said, before confirming that a message had been sent out to various sector commanders to deploy in their areas, Xinhua news agency reported.

According to the police, mass occupation of streets would likely result in “significant traffic congestion, disruption of trade, and disturbances to public order.”

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The commanders were ordered to “utilise intelligence, be firm and professional.” They were also ordered to be vigilant, not to allow destruction of property or abuse to human lives.

The President of Uganda Yoweri Museveni, in a live televised address Saturday to the nation, accused the opposition of working with foreign elements to cause chaos in the country through riots, illegal demonstrations and inconsiderate processions.

“These people are unfair and inconsiderate, and they should check themselves, or we will have no alternative but to check them,” Museveni said.

–IANS

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Indonesia stresses commitment to local community involvement in developing SEZ

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Indonesia stresses commitment to local community involvement in developing SEZ

Indonesia stresses commitment to local community involvement in developing SEZ

Jakarta, July 22 (IANS) Indonesia’s state-owned company Indonesia Tourism Development Corporation (ITDC) on Monday emphasised its commitment to encouraging local community participation in developing the Mandalika special economic zone (SEZ) in Central Lombok Regency, West Nusa Tenggara province.

“Our main focus currently is to provide training and certification for local workers to enhance international competitiveness. Through this training, we believe the capabilities of the local community will improve, ultimately enabling them to enhance their welfare independently,” said ITDC President Director Ari Respati.

According to ITDC, its initiatives include a variety of training and community empowerment programs, such as foreign language training, mechanics training, developing an integrated farming system in buffer villages, mushroom cultivation, handicrafts, and marshals training, among others.

“It is hoped that in the development and management of the Mandalika special economic zone, we can prepare the community to welcome various international events, thereby improving the overall welfare of the surrounding community,” Respati added, Xinhua news agency reported.

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The Pertamina Mandalika International Circuit race will be held in the Mandalika area from September 27 to 29.

–IANS

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