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UN Asks Taliban Leaders Not To Intimidate Aid Workers

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UN Asks Taliban Leaders Not To Intimidate Aid Workers

Deborah Lyons, the head of the United Nations envoy has met Afghanistan’s new interior minister who was for years one of the world’s most wanted Islamist militants.

On Thursday, Lyons, head of the UN mission in Afghanistan met Sirajuddin Haqqani to fashion ways for the country to head off soaring humanitarian crisis.

Suhail Shaheen, a Taliban spokesman, disclosed this in a statement on Twitter.

“(Haqqani) stressed that UN personnel can conduct their work without any hurdle and deliver vital aid to the Afghan people,” he said.
Afghanistan was already facing chronic poverty and drought but the situation has deteriorated since the Taliban took over last month.

The plight of the Afghan people has been aggravated with the disruption of aid, with the departure of tens of thousands of people including government and aid workers chiefly instigating the collapse of much economic activity.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres told an international aid conference this week that Afghans were facing “perhaps their most perilous hour”.

The UN mission in Afghanistan said that in the Wednesday meeting Lyons had stressed the “absolute necessity for all UN and humanitarian personnel in Afghanistan to be able to work without intimidation or obstruction to deliver vital aid and conduct work for Afghan people”.

The Taliban repeatedly targeted the United Nations during the two-decades-long U.S.-led military mission in Afghanistan that ended last month with the rout of the Western-backed government by the Taliban.

READ ALSO: Voters’ Bid To Recall Californian Governor Over COVID-19 Fails

In one of the bloodiest incidents, Taliban militants killed five members of UN foreign staff in an attack on a guest-house in Kabul in 2009.

More recently, gunmen attacked a UN compound in the city of Herat in July with rocket-propelled grenades killing a guard, while protesters in the northern city of Mazar-i-Sharif in 2011 killed seven UN members of staff.

The Haqqani network, a faction within the Taliban and for years based on the border with Pakistan, was held responsible for some of the worst militant attacks in Afghanistan during the Taliban insurgency.

The United States designated the group a terrorist organisation in 2012.

Mr Haqqani, head of the eponymous network founded by his father, is one of the FBI’s most wanted men with a reward of $10 million for information leading to his arrest.

U.S. officials and members of the old U.S.-backed Afghan government for years said the Haqqani network maintained ties with al Qaeda.

The Taliban have promised not to let Afghanistan be used for militant attacks on other countries.

(Reuters/NAN)

 

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Anti-apartheid Icon Desmond Tutu Is Not Dead

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Anti-apartheid Icon Desmond Tutu Dies At 90

South African Archbishop Desmond Tutu is not  dead.

This is contrary to earlier reports that the  cleric passed away at the age of 90 today, October 20, 2021.

Tutu’s death  was reportedly earlier announced by the Bishop of Johannesburg, Stephen Moreo, via his official Twitter handle on Wednesday.

Moreo’s account stated, “ATTENTION. The Anglican Diocese of Johannesburg receives now the sad news of the death of our dearest Archbishop Desmond Tutu.

READ ALSO: Fully Vaccinated Colin Powell Dies Of COVID-19 Complications

“The Most Reverend Archbishop Desmond Mpilo Tutu dies at 90. Official note to be released soon.”

Tutu was renowned for his work as an anti-apartheid and human rights activist. Between 1985 and 1986 he was the Bishop of Johannesburg from and then the Archbishop of Cape Town from 1986 to 1996. He was the first black African to hold both positions.

He was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1984.

 

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70-year-old Woman Gets First Child After IVF Treatment

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70-year-old Woman Gets First Child After IVF Treatment

An Indian woman has had her first child at the age of 70 after agreeing with her husband to undergo IVF treatment for the last time, making her one of the oldest first-time mothers in the world, the Daily Mail of UK reported.

Jivunben Rabari and her husband Maldhari, 75, proudly showed off their son – whose name they have not revealed – to reporters as they said he had been conceived through IVF.

Rabari told reporters she was 70, which would make her one of the oldest first mothers in the world. However, another Indian woman, Erramatti Mangayamma, is believed to be the oldest after having twin girls in September 2019 at the age of 74.

Rabari and Maldhari, from a small village called Mora in Gujurat, India, have been married for 45 years and have been trying unsuccessfully for a baby for decades.

They were able to have a child through IVF, which can be effective after menopause.

READ ALSO: Fully Vaccinated Colin Powell Dies Of COVID-19 Complications

The couple’s doctor Naresh Bhanushali said it was “one of the rarest cases I have ever seen.”

Dr Bhanushali said: “When they first came to us, we told them that they couldn’t have a child at such an old age, but they insisted. They said that many of their family members did it as well. This is one of the rarest cases I have ever seen.”

The chances of a woman in her 70s getting pregnant naturally are virtually zero due to most women going through the menopause between their late 40s and early 50s.

But the American Society of Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) claims that any woman of any age can get pregnant with medical help provided that she has a ‘normal uterus’, even if she no longer has ovaries.

Medics use an egg donated by a much younger woman and it is fertilised outside of the body using a man’s sperm.

Eventually, the embryo is placed inside the woman’s womb in the hopes that she’ll become pregnant.

There have been several instances of women into their 60s and 70s having children through IVF in India.

Mangayamma is believed to be the oldest woman in the world to give birth after welcoming twins through IVF aged 74.

Mangayamma gave birth to twin girls in a ‘medical miracle’ on September 5, 2019, following IVF treatments involving a donor’s egg and her husband’s sperm.

The pensioner, of Andhra Pradesh state, revealed she was inspired to try for a baby after her 55-year-old neighbour conceived.

 

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Fully Vaccinated Colin Powell Dies Of COVID-19 Complications

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Colin Powell, Military Leader, First Black US Secretary Of State, Dies
General Colin L. Powell,

By
Devan Cole

Colin Powell, the first Black US secretary of state whose leadership in several Republican administrations helped shape American foreign policy in the last years of the 20th century and the early years of the 21st, has died from complications from Covid-19, his family said on Facebook. He was 84.

“General Colin L. Powell, former U.S. Secretary of State and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, passed away this morning due to complications from Covid 19,” the Powell family wrote on Facebook.

READ ALSO: Bill Clinton Hospitalised

“We have lost a remarkable and loving husband, father, grandfather and a great American,” they said, noting he was fully vaccinated.

Powell was a distinguished and trailblazing professional soldier whose career took him from combat duty in Vietnam to becoming the first Black national security adviser during the end of Ronald Reagan’s presidency and the youngest and first African American chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff under President George H.W. Bush. His national popularity soared in the aftermath of the US-led coalition victory during the Gulf War, and for a time in the mid-90s, he was considered a leading contender to become the first Black President of the United States. But his reputation would be forever stained when, as George W. Bush’s first secretary of state, he pushed faulty intelligence before the United Nations to advocate for the Iraq War, which he would later call a “blot” on his record.

Though he never mounted a White House bid, when Powell was sworn in as Bush’s secretary of state in 2001, he became the highest-ranking Black public official to date in the country, standing fourth in the presidential line of succession.

CNN

 

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