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Afghanistan Govt Collapses , President Flees As Taliban Take Over

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Taliban Won't Announce New Government Until U.S. Withdraws Troops

Roads out of the Afghan capital have been choked with traffic as people fearful of a Taliban takeover try to flee.

The Taliban are on the brink of victory in Afghanistan, after their fighters entered the capital Kabul and seized the presidential palace.

The government has collapsed, with President Ashraf Ghani fleeing abroad.

Kabul descended into chaos, as local residents and foreign nationals tried to escape.

For many Afghans it was a terrifying day that marked the return of Taliban rule almost 20 years after they were ousted by a US-led coalition.

At the airport, an eyewitness told the BBC staff had abandoned their desks and people were running to planes.

Kabul was the last major city in Afghanistan to hold out against the Taliban offensive, which began months ago but has accelerated in the space of days.

The group were able to seize control now that foreign troops have all but withdrawn.

US President Joe Biden has defended the withdrawal of American troops, saying he could not justify an “endless American presence in the middle of another country’s civil conflict”.

READ ALSO: Madagascar President Sacks All Ministers For Poor Performance

The Taliban ordered their fighters to enter Kabul on Sunday, after earlier holding them back at the outskirts of the city.

The Taliban said the militants were going in to prevent chaos and looting after security forces left parts of Kabul.

 

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IMF Wants El Salvador To Stop Use Of Bitcoin

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IMF Wants El Salvador To Stop Use Of Bitcoin

Warning of “large risks,” the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has asked El Salvador to rethink its stance on using Bitcoin as its legal tender.

In its “Article IV Consultation with El Salvador” released on Tuesday, the IMF “urged the authorities to narrow the scope of the Bitcoin law by removing bitcoin’s legal tender status.”

“Since September 2021, the government has adopted Bitcoin as legal tender. The adoption of a cryptocurrency as legal tender, however, entails large risks for financial and market integrity, financial stability, and consumer protection. It also can create contingent liabilities,” the statement said.

The call by the Washington-based financial body came as the cryptocurrency market dropped in value for its fifth week, erasing over $1 trillion and wider volatility on Wall Street.

Last September, El Salvador became the first country in the world to embrace digital money, allowing consumers to use it in all transactions. The Latin American country planned to build the world’s first “Bitcoin City“, funded initially by bitcoin-backed bonds.

President Nayib Bukele sought a $1.3 billion IMF loan, but this has been delayed due to the volatility at the crypto market.

Mr Bukele had disclosed that there would be no property, income or municipal taxes and that the city would have zero-carbon emissions.

READ ALSO: El Salvador Becomes First Country To Adopt Bitcoin For Use As Legal Tender

He explained that the project would attract investors, adding that the city would have residential areas, malls, restaurants and a port, and sustainable public transport.

In its statement, the IMF also warned that at current debt spending levels, El Salvador’s public debt could rise to about 96 per cent of GDP in 2026, calling it an “unsustainable path.”

 

 

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81-year-old Nancy Pelosi Declares Bid To Return To US Congress

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81-year-old Nancy Pelosi Declares Bid To Return To US Congress

The 81- year-old Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi is not ready to quit politics yet.

Pelosi has just declared another run for congress in the November 2022 election.
Her announcement Tuesday night ended months of speculation over whether she would be retiring.

The California Democrat revealed her plan in a video posted on Facebook, in which she said that “much more needs to be done to improve people’s lives.”

“Our democracy is at risk because of the assaults on the truth, the assault on the US Capitol and the state-by-state assault on voting rights,” she said in the video.

READ ALSO: House Sets Impeachment Vote to Charge Trump With Incitement

“This election is crucial. Nothing less is at stake than our democracy. But as we say, we don’t agonise, we organise and that is why I am running for reelection to Congress and respectfully seek your support. I’d be greatly honoured by it and grateful for it. Thank you so much.”

Nancy Pelosi was first elected to Congress in 1987 and has been the top House Democrat since 2003.

In 2007, she became the first woman to hold the speaker’s gavel.

After Democrats were beaten in the 2010 midterm elections, Pelosi spent eight years as the minority leader before becoming speaker again in 2019.

 

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Over 120 Roman Catholic Priests, Others Admit Being Homosexuals In Germany

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Over 120 Roman Catholic Priests, Others Admit Being Homosexuals In Germany

A gay crisis is brewing in the Catholic church as no fewer than 120 priests and employees of the Christian body within a community in Germany have decided to come out as homosexuals.

They also launched a campaign demanding an end to institutional discrimination against LGBTQ people.

The priests and church employees took to the streets on Monday after allegedly facing constant discrimination, and also called for better protection of LGBTQ rights and an end to institutional discrimination against queer people.

READ ALSO: Spain To Lagalise Euthanasia As Catholics Protest

The protesters, including former and current priests, teachers, church administrators and volunteers, who identified themselves as gay and queer, asked the church to take into account their demands and do away with “outdated statements of church doctrine when it comes to sexuality and gender.”

They also published a seven-point demands on social media under an initiative called “OutInChurch.”

The demands range from queer people saying they should be able to live without fear and have access to all kinds of activities and occupations in the church without discrimination.

They demanded that their “sexual orientation must never be considered a breach of loyalty or reason for dismissal from their occupation.”

They also asked the church to revise its statements on sexuality based on “theological and human-scientific findings.”

The group also put down demands that the church takes accountability for their discrimination against people of the community throughout history, calling on the bishop to take responsibility on behalf of the church.

 

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