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Australia May Send More Troops to Afghanistan Under Trump Surge

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(Last Updated On: August 23, 2017)

Australian Prime minister emphasizes ‘very, very strong’ relationship with US after Trump announces plan to reorient military mission towards ‘killing terrorists’.

Malcolm Turnbull has refused to rule out sending more troops to Afghanistan and emphasized the “very, very strong” relationship with the United States in a sign Australia could contribute to Donald Trump’s planned surge.

Responding to Trump’s announcement on Tuesday that the US would reorient the mission towards “killing terrorists” rather than nation building, the Australian prime minister promised to “work through” any request for an increased troop commitment.

At a doorstop in Tumut on Wednesday, Turnbull repeated the line of Australia’s defense ministers that Australia makes one of the most substantial contributions to the coalition effort in Afghanistan and had increased its presence already.

On troop numbers, Turnbull said he was “not ruling anything out … I am not going to speculate on what the additional resources we would bring to bear would be, but as to timeline I think the coalition commitment to Afghanistan would be very long term, as it has been”.

Turnbull said “I’m not ruling anything out” and observed that Trump had not yet set out what additional resources the US will commit.

Asked about the Australian defense force’s capacity, Turnbull said “it depends how much, and for how long and what other calls on the ADF’s resources are present, but again, we will work through [any request], rather than speculate”.

“We’ll be having close consultation with the US, and the outcome of those may result in additional resources being deployed to Afghanistan but I don’t want to speculate on it, we are very very staunch allies … in the global war to defeat terrorism.”

Source: The Guardian

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Updates on protests over George Floyd’s killing – USA

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(Last Updated On: June 4, 2020)

All four Minneapolis police officers involved in George Floyd’s death have been charged, an Aljazeera report.

According to the report, Derek Chauvin, who knelt on Floyd’s neck, has been charged with second-degree murder, up from third-degree murder. He also faces a second-degree manslaughter charge.

In the meantime, the other three are charged with aiding and abetting second-degree murder and manslaughter.

On the other hand, the US President Donald Trump has been criticized by his former defense secretary, James Mattis, who said he was trying to divide the nation.

Also, Trump’s current defense chief, Mark Esper, has said he opposed Trump’s threat to send in the military to control the unrest.

The report indicates that the protesters have remained undeterred by curfews and the presence of the US National Guard in some cities.

“Those protesting against police brutality have been met with, at times, excessive force by authorities,” the report reveals.

It is also said that some journalists have also been targeted by police.

There are reports of officers getting injured as well in the protests.

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Footballers ‘take a knee’ in commemoration of George Floyd

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(Last Updated On: June 3, 2020)

Liverpool players in a training session took a knee at the center circle at Anfield stadium.

Following the death of George Floyd and nationwide protests in the USA, Liverpool football players took a knee at Anfield Stadium on Monday in a gesture of support and unity, said an Aljazeera report.

The players posted a picture of the act on their social media accounts with the caption “Unity is strength #BlackLivesMatter”.

This was an act to show the solidarity of Liverpool players to the death of George Floyd who was killed in police custody.

Marcus Rashford, Manchester United forward also reacted to the death of George Floyd.

“Black lives matter. Black culture matters. Black communities matter. We matter,” Rashford wrote.

Apart from the Premier League, in Bundesliga, the Borussia Dortmund players Jadon Sancho and Ashraf Hakimi wore shirts on Sunday with the message “Justice for George Floyd” in a match.

It is to be recalled that Floyd died May 25 in Minneapolis after a white police officer knelt on the Black man’s neck.

Floyd’s death has been followed by nationwide protests and chaos in the United States.

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Al-Aqsa Mosque reopens to worshippers – Jerusalem

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(Last Updated On: May 31, 2020)

After over two months of lockdown for the Coronavirus, Jerusalem’s Al-Aqsa Mosque compound has been reopened, international news agencies.

The Council of Islamic Waqf, which oversees Muslim sites on the complex, said the restriction was lifted after the virus’ spread slowed down locally.

The council also imposed some precautionary measures to reduce the risk of contagion at Islam’s third-holiest site.

That is, worshippers must wear face masks and bring personal prayer rugs should they wish to pray in the mosque or on the grounds.

It worth mentioning that the Al-Aqsa Mosque which is located in the Old City of Jerusalem, is the third holiest site in Islam.

The mosque was built on top of the Temple Mount, known as the Al Aqsa Compound or Haram-e-Sharif in Islam.

Celebrating the reopening, dozens of Muslims gathered in front of the large wooden doors, pronouncing, “God is greatest, we will protect Al-Aqsa with our soul and blood.”

Reportedly, the resumption of prayers capped a somber period for Jerusalem’s Muslims, who this year marked the fasting month of Ramadan and the Eid al-Fitr holiday without their usual daily visits to Al-Aqsa Mosque.

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