Feed aggregator

Austrian Police Find 24 Afghan Migrants Locked in Van

New York Times Topic:Afghanistan - 8 hours 49 min ago
The migrants, who narrowly escaped suffocation, were crammed into a space about 6 feet wide, 10 feet long and less than 6 feet high. A suspect has been arrested.

Migrant Child's Body On Beach Shocks Europe

TOLO News - 9 hours 20 min ago

A photograph of a toddler's lifeless body washed ashore on a Turkish beach after a migrant boat sank swept across Europe on Wednesday, in a poignant image of the refugee crisis.

The images showed the little boy lying face down in the sand near Bodrum, one of Turkey's prime tourist resorts, before he was picked up by a police officer in photographs taken by the Dogan news agency.

The hashtag "#KiyiyaVuranInsanlik" ("Humanity washed ashore") made it to Twitter's top world trending topics after the image was widely shared.

The bleak image made the front page of almost all of Britain's major newspapers, including some that had previously taken a hard line on the migrant crisis.

"Tiny victim of a human catastrophe" was the Daily Mail's headline, along with a photo covering almost all of its front page.

"Unbearable" said The Mirror.

"If these extraordinarily powerful images of a dead Syrian child washed up on a beach don't change Europe's attitude to refugees, what will?" asked The Independent in an editorial which was headlined: "Somebody's child."

The paper immediately launched a petition demanding Britain accept "its fair share of refugees" which gained 10,000 signatures in hours.

London has come in for criticism over the number of refugees it has accepted which is lower than other EU countries in proportion to its population.

The Sun, which caused outcry earlier this year when it published a column comparing migrants to "cockroaches", used its front page to urged Prime Minister David Cameron to act.

"It's life and death," read the front page.

"Today The Sun urges David Cameron to help those in a life-and-death struggle not of their own making."

- 'The drowning of Europe' -

The image, which spread like wildfire on social media, also appeared on the websites of Spain's El Pais, El Mundo and El Periodico, which dubbed the image: "The drowning of Europe".

In Italy, La Repubblica tweeted the picture with the words: "One photo to silence the world."

The image also dominated the front pages of Sweden's main newspapers, with the headline in the Dagens Nyheter reading: "The refugee picture which shook the world."

Speaking to AFP, a Turkish rescue worker identified the boy as Aylan Kurdi. Media reports said he was three-years-old.

He was believed to be one of at least 12 Syrian migrants who died trying to reach Greece when their boats sank in Turkish waters.

The Turkish coastguard said two boats had sunk after separately setting off from Turkey's Bodrum peninsula for the Greek Aegean island of Kos early Wednesday. Among the dead were five children and a woman.

Another 15 people were rescued and the coastguard, backed by helicopters, was continuing its search for three more who were still missing, a statement said.

The rescue worker said the toddler from the Syrian Kurdish town of Kobane. Residents there had last year fled to Turkey year to escape violence by Islamic State (IS) extremists.

Over the last week, there has been a dramatic spike in the numbers of migrants -- mainly from Syria, Afghanistan, Pakistan and Africa -- seeking to leave Turkey by sea for Greece in the hope of finding new lives in the European Union.

This week, the Turkish government said the coastguard had rescued over 42,000 migrants in the Aegean Sea in the first five months of 2015 and more than 2,160 in the last week alone.

A coastguard official told AFP around 100 people had been rescued by Turkish rescue teams overnight as they tried to reach Kos.

The United Nations refugee agency UNHCR says more than 2,500 people have died trying to cross the Mediterranean so far this year.

Migrants, many of whom have paid over $1,000 to smugglers for the risky passage, are taking advantage of the calm summer weather which makes this the best time for the crossing.

MEHWAR: Eight Military Airfields Being Handed Over To Govt

TOLO News - Wed, 09/02/2015 - 19:22

In this episode of Mehwar Daoud Sultanzoy Senior Advisor to the President speaks about hand over of eight military Airfields to Afghan government.

To watch the program, click here:

{youtube}NiVM0KisILA{/youtube}

GOFTMAN: Reviewing the Economy Since Formation of NUG

TOLO News - Wed, 09/02/2015 - 19:16

In this episode of Goftman host Haris Jamalzad discusses the economic status of the average Afghan since the formation of the National Unity Government (NUG) with the following guests:

Amin Farhang, former commerce minister
Sayed Massoud, university lecturer
Dr. Noor Agha Roen, economic expert
Ahmad Zia Rafat, university lecturer

To watch the program, click here:

{youtube}e3fDG6LytVw{/youtube}

FARAKHABAR: Sartaj Aziz to Visit Kabul, Ease Tensions

TOLO News - Wed, 09/02/2015 - 19:04

Pakistan's national security advisor, Sartaj Aziz, is expected to visit Afghanistan amid strained relations between Kabul and Islamabad.

Besides attending the Regional Economic Cooperation Conference on Afghanistan (RECCA) summit which will start on Thursday, the Pakistani diplomat is said to help improve the relations between the two neighboring countries, Pakistani media outlets said Wednesday.

The relations were soured following a spate of attacks in Kabul which the Afghan intelligence sources blamed on Pakistan.

Meanwhile, officials at the Afghan Presidential Palace said Afghanistan has delivered solid evidence to the Pakistani government that clearly proved bases of insurgent networks in that country.

Recently, the U.S National Security Advisor, Susan Elizabeth Rice, in her visit to Islamabad called on Pakistan to stop terrorist networks from carrying out attacks on Afghanistan from within their borders.

In this episode of Farakhabar, host Yama Siavash discusses the topic with the following guest,

Ghulam Hussain Nasiri, MP

Bismillah Sher, leader of the Wefaq Millie Party (WMP)

To watch the program, click here:

{youtube}q7etbre5ZvY{/youtube}

TOLOnews 6pm News 02 September 2015

TOLO News - Wed, 09/02/2015 - 17:08

Top news in this Bulletin:

Religious scholars on Wednesday urged President Ashraf Ghani to start the anti-corruption fight from within the Presidential Palace.

To watch the whole news bulletin, click here:

{youtube}1uhTSUJ3HLw{/youtube}

The Senior Officials Meeting (SOM) of the donor countries in Afghanistan will be held in the capital Kabul on Saturday.

Afghan Women Call For Action

TOLO News - Wed, 09/02/2015 - 17:07

Afghan women on Wednesday gathering in Kabul and called for government to provide them with a secure living environment.

Under the theme of "Legal strategies to prevent sexual harassment of women" the women urged the National Unity Government (NUG) to take a stand against sexual harassment in government and non-government organizations.
They also called on government to create national strategies against the harassment of women and girls.

Among their concerns is that they are not only vulnerable in society but also do not have a safe working environment.

Zarqa Yaftali, Executive Manager of Women and Children Legal Foundation said that the investigation they have conducted in this regard shows that most women and children have said that due to a lack of a legal reference they have no recourse in this respect.

"These women said that there is no legal reference and nowhere to register our complaints in this regard," said Yaftali.

Fawzia Kofi, an Afghan lawmaker said that harassment of women and ignoring women has become a culture and as such women demand a commitment to improve their situation.

"If a problem is ‎known in the community as a real problem, this requires that we should find a solution to the problem and that solution must be comprehensive," said Kofi.

"According to our investigations on the basis of our daily experiences that so far have taken place ... the issue of harassment and ignoring women and gender insulting under the name of women has been changed in to a culture," Kofi added.

"The measures that the NUG has regarding women and youth are very serious measures but the implementation of the measures but are time consuming. We must be sure that the works regarding this issue will be done," said Habiba Wahaj Second Vice President Advisor on Women and Children.‎

Women said that if the government does not take action on the issue, the future for women in the country will be bleak.

Kabul To Host SOM Conference Next Week

TOLO News - Wed, 09/02/2015 - 17:06

The Senior Officials Meeting (SOM) of the donor countries in Afghanistan will be held in the capital Kabul on Saturday.

The Afghan National Unity Government (NUG) is expected to present reports regarding commitments made during the Tokyo and London summits.

At the London summit the NUG leaders presented a reform plan to the international community regarding areas of good governance, fighting corruption, security, supporting women and children rights and the growth of the economy.

Bringing reforms and supporting human rights - especially that of women and children rights - were the commitments of the NUG leaders but whether the government has ‎recording many achievements in this field will be revealed at Saturday's SOM meeting.

"The promises that were given are not addressed, no attention paid to ensure human rights. The human rights commission itself needs reforms and has lots of problems. Regarding fighting corruption no action has been taken, appointment of non-professionals in the professional posts has prepared more grounds for corruption," said Shahla Farid a university lecturer.

"The President promised to fight corruption but he couldn't and Kabul Bank case is still not finished and not solved, land mafia still exists and administrative system is not reformed," Farid added.

Fighting corruption and economic development was two of the NUG leaders promises at the London summit, experts believe that the government has failed to fulfill these obligations.‎

"There is no doubt that the security forces have honestly defended the independence and territory of the country but corruption and mismanagement in the institutions and lack of attention to the security forces has been problematic and has led to increased problems in Afghanistan, The government failed to make good use of the capacity of the armed forces and bring good cooperation among the forces," said Jawed Kohistani military analyst.

After the Tokyo summit which was held in 2012 the international community committed aid worth $16 billion dollars for stability and development of Afghanistan. Conditions were that if the Afghan government brings reforms aid will be increased.

After the Tokyo summit came the London summit which was held last year and the international community repeated its pledge of aid for Afghanistan. However the international community once again emphasized that good governance, fighting corruption, providing security and also government support of women and children rights in Afghanistan was imperative.

RAPL 2015: De Spinghar Bazan VS Mawjhai Amu Ends 2-2

TOLO News - Wed, 09/02/2015 - 16:59

The Roshan Afghan Premier League's (RAPL) second week saw the match between De Spinghar Bazan and Mawjhai Amu drawn after both the teams scored two goals each on Wednesday.

Fahim Afkar of De Spinghar Bazan opened the net in the 22nd minute of the match after his team began the game with a number of attacks towards opponent's goal.

Afkar, the captain, once again opened the opponent's net and scored his second goal in the 50 minute after the first half ended 1-0.

It was the 56th minute when De Spinghar Bazan's defender Abdul Manan Farahi scored an own goal and the score became 2-1.

However, the match ended in draw after the equalizer goal was scored by Hedayatullah Ahmadi of Mawjhai Amu in 88th minute.

Afkar was declared man of match for his brilliant performance.

For the first time this year, the tournament's champion will play in the South Asian Football Federation [SAFF] league championship.

"After it was announced that the champion will play in the South Asian championship, all the teams are now making hard efforts to win this tournament," De Spinghar Bazan's assistant coach Wahidullah Wahidi said.

The next match will be played on Thursday between Toofaan Harirod and Shaheen Asmayee.

All of the group stage matches will start at 4:00 pm local time this season. The matches will broadcast live on TOLO TV, Lemar TV, Arman FM and Arakozai FM. Matches will also be available on the RAPL YouTube page (www.youtube.com/afghanpremierleague).

Kabul Ulema Urge Ghani To Fight Corruption Within Presidential Palace

TOLO News - Wed, 09/02/2015 - 16:57

Religious scholars on Wednesday urged President Ashraf Ghani to start the anti-corruption fight from within the Presidential Palace.

The scholars said that corruption has increased in governmental institutions and that the government itself must focus on fighting corruption.

Ghani on Tuesday strongly condemned corruption and called on the Ulema Council to call for Jihad to fight the scourge that has gripped the country.

Ghani said that if corruption turns into an organized phenomenon it becomes like a "cancerous lesion" that can threaten the essence of the nation. During his speech he urged the Ulema Council to assist and launch Jihad against corruption.

President Ghani said that corrupt persons exist on all levels - from cabinet to judicial services.

"We will head to success this fight with the help of people and scholars," Ghani added.

In response to Ghani's remarks religious scholars asked him to start fighting corruption from the top tiers of government, especially within the presidential palace and the cabinet.

"The Jihad that president Ghani declared against corruption must come from his office so belief comes to exist among people for fighting corruption," a religious scholar Mawlavi Abdul Hadi Hedayat said.

"Two, three or more ministers are fully corrupt from the last government. The president wants to start Jihad against who?" said Haji Qandahari a religious affairs analyst.

People are tired of corruption in government institutions, a number of Kabul residents have said. They have in turn called on Ghani to wage Jihad against corruption from within the presidential palace and to ensure justice is served on corrupt officials. ‎

"President Ghani first must start Jihad against corruption against presidential palace and cabinet and parliament," said Islamuddin a Kabul resident.

"The government must execute those guilty of corruption in front of people eyes to be a lesson for others," said Ahmad Mukhtar another resident.

In more the past ten years, large sums of money has been spent in a bid to eradicate corruption but these efforts have, according to analysts, failed and Afghanistan remains at the top of global indexes on most corrupt countries in the world.

Ministries Fail to Implement Development Projects

TOLO News - Wed, 09/02/2015 - 16:55

Senators that reviewed last year's financial report declared Wednesday that a number of ministries once again failed to utilize the budget for hundreds of development projects.

The 2014 national budget consisted 717 development projects, of which, the spending for 347 programs were zero, according to the senators.

The Ministries of Public Health, Education, Agriculture, Public Works, Water and Energy and Higher Education and also the Independent Directorate of Local Governance (IDLG) are among the government organizations that failed to use their development budgets.

"The problem is with the lack of capacity within the government organizations and the absence of transparency in the budgets," said Mohammad Alam Izadyar, deputy chairman of Senate.

Overall, the government has been able to spend only 45 percent of development budgets for year 2014.

Meanwhile, the members of civil society who also reviewed the report said a large amount of money from non-discretionary budget have gone back to the donors after they were left unused.

"Unfortunately, there are problems with the transparency of projects," civil society activist Rahim Jami said.

He suggested the civil society should monitor the budgeting process, from draft to finalization.

Despite frequent requests for information, the Ministry of Finance refused to comment on the issue.

Sartaj Aziz to Visit Kabul, Ease Tensions

TOLO News - Wed, 09/02/2015 - 13:46

Pakistan's national security advisor, Sartaj Aziz, is expected to visit Afghanistan amid strained relations between Kabul and Islamabad.

Besides attending the Regional Economic Cooperation Conference on Afghanistan (RECCA) summit which will start on Thursday, the Pakistani diplomat is said to help improve the relations between the two neighboring countries, Pakistani media outlets said Wednesday.

The relations were soured following a spate of attacks in Kabul which the Afghan intelligence sources blamed on Pakistan.

Meanwhile, officials at the Afghan Presidential Palace said Afghanistan has delivered solid evidence to the Pakistani government that clearly proved bases of insurgent networks in that country.

According to Afghan officials, the fundamental cause of tension with Islamabad is the existence of insurgent groups, especially Haqqani Network in Pakistan.

"The remarks of Mr. Aziz are same as the past remarks of Pakistani officials that they had over the past decade," President Ashraf Ghani's deputy spokesman Sayed Zafar Hashemi said, after Aziz stated the Haqqani bases were eliminated in Pakistan.

Recently, the U.S National Security Advisor, Susan Elizabeth Rice, in her visit to Islamabad called on Pakistan to stop terrorist networks from carrying out attacks on Afghanistan from within their borders.

Meanwhile, the analysts stress the need for trilateral efforts by United States, Pakistan and Afghanistan to eradicate terrorism in the region.

This comes after Washington recently cut its $1 billion USD aid program to Islamabad on the back of their decision that Pakistan was not working at doing enough towards counter-terrorism operation in north Waziristan in a bid to squash Haqqani.

In addition, the U.S. also blacklisted a senior member of Haqqani Network, Aziz Haqqani, and declared him as a foreign terrorist.

Clashes Between Taliban Fighters Leave 18 Dead

TOLO News - Wed, 09/02/2015 - 11:44

At least 18 Taliban insurgents have been killed so far in the ongoing clashes between the Taliban militants in western Herat province, the local official said on Wednesday.

In addition, 10 other insurgents sustained injuries, said Ehsanullah Hayat, provincial governor's spokesman.

The clashes started Wednesday in Shindand district when the fighting broke out between the supporters of late Taliban leader Mullah Omar and the followers of Mullah Mansour, who succeeded the group's ex-supreme leader, he added.

"The clashes started early morning in Okal area in Shindand," Hayat said, stating that "The clashes are still going on."

The odds between the Taliban leaders emerged following appointment of Mullah Mansour as the group's new leader – a decision widely opposed by some members of the group.

Shindand saw a similar incident about two weeks ago that left 15 Taliban insurgents dead.

TOLOnews 10pm News 01 September 2015

TOLO News - Wed, 09/02/2015 - 08:18

Top news in this Bulletin:

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) on Tuesday said it is ready to host the sixth Regional Economic Cooperation Conference on Afghanistan (RECCA) which is scheduled to start on Thursday.

To watch the whole news bulletin, click here:

{youtube}PER4DGILCG4{/youtube}

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani on Tuesday strongly condemned corruption and called for a national Jihad to fight the scourge that has gripped the country.

 

Young Girl, Boy Commit Suicide in Balkh, Samangan

TOLO News - Wed, 09/02/2015 - 08:01

Two teenagers have committed suicide in northern Balkh and Samangan provinces, local officials said on Wednesday.

The first incident happened in Shulgara district of Balkh after a 16-year-old girl hanged herself for as yet unknown reasons, District Governor Sarajuddin Abid said.

"It not yet clear why she committed suicide and investigations are underway," he said.

The local officials believe that she did this due to families issues.

In a separate incident, an 18-year-old boy committed suicide due to financial problems in Samangan province, a spokesman for Police Media Office in Samangan, Abdul Munir Rahimi said.

The boy named Abdulla was a resident of Aybak the capital of province.

However, the officials did not provide more details about the incident.

'We Love Germany!', Cry Relieved Refugees at Munich Station

TOLO News - Wed, 09/02/2015 - 06:32

"We love Germany," several young migrants yelled happily as they stumbled out of a train in Munich -- the last stop, they hope, of their long and perilous journey from war.

Whatever fatigue and fear they had was wiped away by the relief of having reached Germany, and seeing a welcoming crowd of people holding up banners reading "Welcome!"

"Thank you Germany!", chanted the new arrivals in return.

Women and children were among the hundreds who had travelled on foot, by boat, bus and train, fleeing war in countries including Syria and Somalia in recent weeks and months.

"We are happy to have made it to Munich. But now we are tired, just really tired," said one Syrian woman, dark rings under her eyes, who had fled Aleppo with her husband and three children.

Another man from the same devastated city said: "We could no longer live there."

He was carrying two children in his arms, aged around three and four. Standing beside him was his wife, who had another toddler in her arms and a boy holding her hand.

Germany has become the top destination for migrants seeking refuge in Europe, and expects to receive 800,000 this year, a record number and four times as many as in 2014.

Syrians in particular are trying to get to Europe's biggest economy, as Berlin has eased asylum-seeking procedures for those fleeing the brutal civil war.

German police registered a record 2,200 migrant arrivals in the country's key southern border region with Austria in the 24 hours to Tuesday morning.

Arrivals spiked as passenger trains, each packed with hundreds of refugees, left Hungary and crossed through Austria to head into Germany's southern Bavaria state.

- 'Overwhelmed by donations' -

Facing the major influx into an already crowded major rail hub, Munich's police were keeping up a certain level of German orderliness despite the large numbers of arrivals.

Refugees were quickly guided away to a closed off area where they were put on coaches to take them to temporary shelters.

A medical service, portable toilets, and a registration centre were also at hand at the station.

For many of the new arrivals, what made the difference was the welcome they received.

"In Hungary, that was very, very bad. The children there didn't have any clean water, they didn't have any food, and the police in Hungary is very bad man," said Abdel Alim, a Syrian, speaking in halting English.

Munich residents brought food, drinks and baby necessities including nappies, which were distributed by dozens of volunteers.

Andreas Duchmann, a 21-year-old apprentice, was one of these volunteers, who had gone to the main station with his friends to offer his help, after finding out that refugees were arriving there from Hungary.

The young man had taken time off from work, citing an emergency situation, to organise a welcoming centre with his pals.

They bought water and cookies with their own money and made several appeals on the radio for the wider population to help.

The appeal has paid off with a continuous flow of people asking "what else do you need?", "can we buy this?".

In fact, the offers were so numerous that police said on Twitter Tuesday: "We are overwhelmed by the donations from the Munich people for the refugees at the main station. Please don't bring any more things."

Suicide Bomber in Pakistan Attacks Government Office, Killing 4

New York Times Topic:Afghanistan - Wed, 09/02/2015 - 05:00
The Pakistani Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack, which also wounded 50 people, in the Khyber tribal region, according to local news reports.

MHEWAR: Authorship Status in Afghanistan

TOLO News - Wed, 09/02/2015 - 04:35

In this section of Mehwar host Fawad Aman discusses with Sayed Reza Mohammadi head of Afghanistan writers union about issues faced by the sector and challenges for authors affected by war.

To watch the program, click here:

{youtube}ZW9vIvoGH9o{/youtube}

TAWDE KHABARE: Ghani Calls For Jihad To Fight Corruption

TOLO News - Wed, 09/02/2015 - 04:24

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani on Tuesday strongly condemned corruption and called for a national Jihad to fight the scourge that has gripped the country.

To watch the program, click here:

{youtube}4maZ8y3ROII{/youtube}

Speaking at a press conference at the Amani High School, in Kabul, Ghani spelt out in no uncertain terms that certain sectors are under scrutiny and sweeping changes will be brought in a bid to fight the problem.

Another area of major concern in terms of corruption is that of smuggling, said Ghani.

In conclusion, Ghani emphasized that government was committed to fighting corruption and said that they will take action against those involved in illicit dealings.

In this episode of Tawde Khabare, host Shapoor Bakhtiar discusses the issue with the following guests:

Gul Padshah Majidi, MP

Farhad Majidi, MP

Said Akram Afzali, Integrity Watch Public Relations chief (IWA)

Mufti Rahimullah Hanafi, religious scholar

 

FARAKHABAR: Dostum Returns to Kabul

TOLO News - Wed, 09/02/2015 - 04:05

The First Vice President Gen. Abdul Rashid Dostum, who returned to Kabul on Monday after taking part in a month-long military operation in northern Afghanistan, said that Afghanistan's war is Pakistan's intelligence war.

To watch the program, click here:

{youtube}EQvC8go6nks{/youtube}

Dostum then called on President Ghani to allow him to eliminate terrorists in Kunduz province.

This comes after Dostum donned his military uniform and joined troops on the frontline in Faryab.

But what actually happened in Faryab province and what is going on in Afghanistan's political scene?

In this episode of Farakhabar, host Yama Siavash discusses the topic with the following guests:

Inayatullah Babar Farahmand, MP
Ahmad Sayedi, political analyst

Subscribe to Afgha.com - News - Afghanistan aggregator