World – Ariana News Bringing Afghan News to the World Sun, 19 Jan 2020 14:10:29 +0000 en-US hourly 1 To ‘reduce violence’ is a strategy to escape peace: Danish Sun, 19 Jan 2020 14:10:29 +0000 Vice President Sarwar Danish, says that amid the peace talks, the strategy to ‘reduce violence’ is an escape from peace and, it is to deceive Afghans and the International Community.

Danish, speaking at the gathering of ‘revealing the strategy for Protecting the Human Rights Defenders’, held by the Amnesty International, Sunday morning January the 19th, said that the plan to ‘reduce violence’ is in a way marginalizing the peace, and one-upping the people of Afghanistan and the International Community.

The deputy of the president said, “The Taliban and their supporters may convince the United States to sign the peace agreement, but for the people of Afghanistan, who indeed are the prime dimension in the matter, it will not solve any problem whatsoever.”

In respect to the improvements in the peace talks between the Taliban and their American counterpart, Danish said, “We, as the government and the people of Afghanistan, certainly welcome peace and stability – putting an end to the devastating war is a desire our people longed forever.”

The presidential deputy, further clarified regarding the mechanism of the peace talks saying, “Until the start of the ‘intra-Afghan peace talks chaired by the government of Afghanistan’ and the approval of a ‘full ceasefire’, there will be no trust between the laterals and no hope for the future.”

Danish added that up and till now, the Afghan government as well as the people, civil societies, political parties and tribal leaders, have been sidelined. That said, to bring peace seems impossible.”

Regarding the content of the peace agreement, he said that the people of Afghanistan will approve an agreement that involves all aspects adequately, be it putting an end to the war or being a part of the government, all through democratic and legal ways, and create a peaceful life for the people of Afghanistan.

He also spoke of the principles of a republic, civil rights, and protection of human rights as the most important values of the people of Afghanistan. “Elections, freedom of speech and media, and respect to women and minorities are the primary elements of human rights and, must not be disregarded,” he said.

Danish underscored that saying ‘yes’ to an ‘emirate’ state and/or a government of any sort that means dictatorship and violates democracy and human rights, will not only desert peace but will also intensify a new format of war in Afghanistan.

Afghan Boxer Zakariya Beats Nigerian Rival Gabinga Sun, 19 Jan 2020 11:20:14 +0000 Zakariya Zamani, an Afghan professional boxer, last night beat his Nigerian opponent, Gabinga, once again.

The competition was a rematch called in on Gabinga’s challenge through the ‘Marine Pro Boxing’ India.

Zakariya Zamani won the match in round 6. He was announced the winner of the match with the highest score.  

To date, Zamani has had 3 professional matches, with no losses at all.

Charge d’Affaires Ross Wilson begins his tenure in Kabul Sun, 19 Jan 2020 07:04:55 +0000 Ross Wilson started his tenure as the Charge d’Affaires at the United States Embassy in Kabul on Saturday, the US Embassy said in a statement.

Earlier, Wilson was the US Charge d’Affaires at the country’s embassy in Georgia, 2018 through 2019.

Meanwhile, Ross Wilson tweeted Saturday that he was excited to start work at the US Embassy in Kabul “during such crucial time in the history of Afghanistan”.

“Be it Afghan Elections, the quest for peace, or other priorities, my country and I strongly support all Afghans as they choose the future of this proud country,” Wilson said.

Ross Wilson is replaced with John Bass, who was the US ambassador for two years since September 2017.

The Diplomat received a bachelor’s degree from the University of Minnesota and master’s degrees from Columbia University and the US National War College.

Wilson has served as the US ambassador to Azerbaijan from 2000 – 2003, and to Turkey from 2005 – 2008, and his later assignments were as US chargé d’affaires in Turkey in 2014, and the Republic of Georgia, 2018 through 2019.

World’s most powerful passports: Japan tops 2020 rankings Fri, 17 Jan 2020 12:36:45 +0000 The Henley Passport Index, which measures the world’s most travel-friendly passports from time to time based on data received from the International Air Transport Authority (IATA), has released its first report of the new decade.

According to the report, Japan is now on top of the list. Now, a Japanese passport offers visa-free or visa-on-arrival access to 191 destinations around the globe.

Asia dominates the top of the list, with Singapore in second place and South Korea joins Germany in third place.

European countries stay strong in the top 10 of the rankings, while the US and the UK are shown down the rankings – from the number one to eighth in comparison to what they held in 2015 rankings.

Afghanistan ranks the lowest. Its passport stands in number 107 – last in the list.

A Japanese passport holder can access 165 more destinations than a holder of the world’s weakest passport, that of Afghanistan, which offers visa-free/visa-on-arrival access to just 26 destinations.

Afghan-China Transit Trade embarks through Gwadar Seaport Thu, 16 Jan 2020 14:55:42 +0000 Transit trade between China and Afghanistan has begun with the inauguration of Gwadar Seaport on the southern coasts of Karachi, Pakistan, and with the arrival of the first transit trade ship from China.

The Embassy Pakistan in Kabul says that the commercial goods will be transited from the Gwadar Seaport to Chaman port in Kandahar, with a distance of 1,000 km.

Based on the Pakistani embassy’s statement, this would be the shortest distance in the region for the Afghan Transit goods from any seaport to the Afghan Cities including Kabul and Kandahar.

The Pakistani Embassy said that the functioning of Gwadar Seaport would cut down the costs of import to Afghanistan.

On the other hand, the Chinese Embassy in Kabul said in a tweet that the Transit Trade between China and Afghanistan has started with the arrival of a trade ship from China to Gwadar Seaport.

Gwadar Seaport has been built on the southern coasts of Karachi, Pakistan, situated close to the southern provinces of Afghanistan.

Russian Parliament to review Putin’s selection of new PM Thu, 16 Jan 2020 09:06:11 +0000 The parliament of Russia Thursday, January the 16th, will review a not-so-famous tax chief Mikhail Mishustin’s nomination as the new prime minister of Russia, recommended by Vladimir Putin.

After Dmitry Medvedev resigned as Russia’s prime minister along with his whole cabinet, Vladimir Putin, the President of Russia nominated Mikhail Mishustin, Wednesday, as the new prime minister of the country.

Dmitry Medvedev and his cabinet resigned right after Putin announced that there will be amendments in the constitution of the country which will cause a remarkable alteration in Russia’s balance of power.

Medvedev said Wednesday that his cabinet’s resignation is aimed to pave the ground for Putin so that he can bring desirable improvements to the constitution.

The proposed amendments in the constitution will mean a transition of power from the presidential cabinet to the parliament.

Putin’s current presidential term closes to an end by 2024. As per the present constitution of the Russian Federation, Putin cannot run for the president anymore. Putin’s proposals for the constitutional amendments may likely enable him to extend his power.

Mishustin, 53, has worked for the Russian since 1998. He has led Russia’s tax services since 2010.

Russia’s new administration will be officially effective after the parliament’s approval. Putin has asked the present cabinet to stay put until the new government takes over.

Secret that helps some trees live more than 1,000 years Wed, 15 Jan 2020 09:55:08 +0000 Scientists have found that some trees like “ginkgo trees” can live for more than 1,000 years.

Researchers in the US and China studied growth rings taken from inside the trunks of 34 healthy ginkgo trees. The trees ranged in age from 15 to 667 years old. They found that the ginkgos didn’t stop growing as they aged, although the rings grew thinner.

They found that, no matter what their age, the trees produced protective chemicals that helped defend against outside stressors such as disease or drought.

“In humans, as we age, our immune system begins to start to not be so good,” said Richard Dixon, a biologist at the University of North Texas. But in a way, “the immune system in these trees, even though they’re 1,000 years old, looks like that of a 20-year-old.”

“As ginkgo trees age, they show no evidence of weakening their ability to defend themselves from stresses,” Dixon added.

The study concluded that, in effect, old ginkgo trees stay healthy by preventing aging and maintaining their ability to resist external stresses.

Ginkgo trees are native to China and are known for their distinctive fan-shaped leaves that turn buttery yellow in the fall. Besides their longevity, fossils of the species date back to the time of the dinosaurs.

They’re listed as endangered in the wild but, the Maidenhair tree, like the ginkgo, is also known, is found in many parks and gardens across the world.
Some Ginkgos are thought to be as old as 3,000 years, but that doesn’t make them the world’s oldest tree. Bristlecone pine with approximately 5,000 years-age is the oldest tree in the world.
Kashmir Avalanches Kill Dozens, Destroy Villages Wed, 15 Jan 2020 06:01:38 +0000 At least 69 people died after avalanches hit the Pakistani and Indian administered Kashmir during the last 24 hours, Reuters reported.

According to the report, at least 59 people were killed and many more were missing after avalanches in Pakistan-controlled Kashmir over the last 24 hours, senior government officials said, Tuesday.

In the Indian administered Kashmir too, at least 10 people were killed after several avalanches hit the northern part of Kashmir.

Two Pakistani officials said many villagers were still stranded by the avalanches in the Neelum Valley following heavy rain and landslides. Many people were reported missing and feared dead as rescue efforts got underway, an official told Reuters.

Rescuers had managed to extract more than 50 people from the snow and airlifted them out of the area for treatment. Authorities also scrambled to provide relief to local people with another spell of heavy snow expected on Friday.

At least 53 houses have been completely destroyed by avalanches in the Pakistani administered region known as Azad Jammu and Kashmir abbreviated as AJK, officials said.

“I have asked the National Disaster Management Authority, the military, and all our federal ministers to immediately provide all humanitarian assistance on an emergency footing to the affected people in AJK,” Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan tweeted.

A senior Indian police official said five soldiers were among the 10 killed near the border between India and Pakistan.

The area is one of the world’s most militarily tense frontiers, where the neighboring armies have confronted each other over disputed territory for decades. Kashmir has been divided between Indian and Pakistan since their independence in 1947.

In 2012, an avalanche engulfed a Pakistani army battalion headquarters near the Indian border, killing at least 124 soldiers and 11 civilians.

Meanwhile in western Pakistan, heavy snowfall in southwestern Balochistan destroyed several houses in the mountainous region, killing 17 people.

The disaster management authority declared an emergency in seven districts of the mineral-rich province and sought the army’s help for relief and rescue operations.

Key highways connecting Pakistan and Afghanistan were blocked due to heavy snow, forcing officials to suspend transportation of essential goods into Afghanistan.

In addition, severe cold and heavy snow led to the death of 39 people in six provinces of Afghanistan in the past two weeks said Tamim Azimi, a spokesman for Afghanistan’s Natural Disaster Management Authority in Kabul.

“We are distributing emergency assistance, including cash to the affected families,” said Azimi, adding that heavy rain and snow have hampered the rescuers.

Afghan National Cricket Players Triumph High Ranks: ICC T20 Ranking Tue, 14 Jan 2020 11:35:54 +0000 In the recent ranking of T20 cricket players by the ICC, some Afghan Cricket players earned decent ranks.

In the ICC T20 ranking, Rashid Arman and Mujeeb Zadran, two of Afghan National Cricket Team players, secured first and second positions.

On the other hand, in the all-rounder ranking T20, Muhammad Nabi Isa Kheil tops the list keeping the previous record.

Also, Hazratullah Zazai, another Afghan National Cricket Team player, ranked eighth in the bowling field.

Barcelona signed in Quique Setién as its new coach Tue, 14 Jan 2020 08:23:51 +0000 FC Barcelona has signed an agreement with Quique Setién to become the lead coach until June 30, 2022.

Quique Setién, 61 year replaces Ernesto Valverde. He is from Cantabria in the north of Spain and has previously coached Racing Santander, Poli Ejido, Logroñés, Lugo, Las Palmas, and Betis football teams.

Throughout his career, he has been a proponent of ‘taking over the ball’ and ‘offensive playing’, two of the characteristics his fans love. As a player, Setién was a midfielder who excelled with Racing Santander over 12 seasons. He also featured in Atlético Madrid where he won the Spanish Super Cup.

Setién’s predecessor Valverde, 55, took over from Luis Enrique in the summer of 2017. His first season yielded a league and cup double, but he lost the Champions League title to Rome and was kicked out of the championships. But what made Valverde to be penalized and replaced was this Thursday’s Supercopa defeat against Atletico Madrid in Saudi Arabia. The recent defeat caused him not to stay longer in the club.

Barcelona was founded in 1899 by Joan Gamper. The club has become a symbol of Catalan culture and has a motto “More than a club”. Barcelona is one of the most widely supported teams in the world. This team, along Real Madrid, is also widely supported in Afghanistan and is popular among Afghan youth.

Philippines warns of huge lava eruption Mon, 13 Jan 2020 10:38:32 +0000

The Philippines is on full alert to be precautious of the possible eruption of the Taal volcano, one of the country’s most active, about 60 kilometers south of the capital Manila on the island of Luzon.

About 8,000 people were moved forcefully to safer ground or housed in evacuation centers Sunday.

As of now, there are no reports of casualties or damage. However, the lack of water and energy have been evident in the affected areas.

Pong Mercado, the mayor of Taal said, “We have to be very cautious. The roads are slippery and dangerous. I myself am making plans to move to safer ground.”

Reportedly, the Volcanology and Seismology Department has been monitoring the Taal volcanic site since March last year. On Sunday, it warned of a “possible hazardous volcanic eruption” within hours or days.


Australian Prime Minister admits mishandling bushfires Sun, 12 Jan 2020 13:42:31 +0000 Scott Morrison, the Prime Minister of Australia has expressed remorse over the way he tackled fight against the bushfires turning out critical damages for the country.

The way the administration of the Morrison fought off the bushfires and his policy of climate has received huge criticism.

Since September 2019, bushfires have reportedly killed at least 28 people and destroyed thousands of homes.

Morrison acknowledged Sunday that there were “things I could have handled on the ground much better”.

The prime minister has been visiting the worst-fire-affected parts of New South Wales and Victoria, in the last three weeks. In response, he was not welcomed well. Some told to his face, “you won’t be getting any votes down here”, while others demanded more resources for the fire services.

The PM pressed on his plan to reduce carbon emissions and said that his government was ready to meet its objectives. “We’re living in longer, hotter, drier summers,” Morison said. “This is obviously affected by the broader changes in climate.”

Iran Anti-government protests on the Ukrainian plane downing Sun, 12 Jan 2020 06:19:09 +0000 Anti-government protesters hailed to the streets of Tehran Saturday after Iran admitted that it had mistakenly shot down the Ukrainian passenger Jet, killing all 176 people on board.

The demonstrators marched in front of Amir Kabir University and Sharif Alia University of Technology and chanted slogans against the Iranian leader and IRGC, demanding a trial for the perpetrators of the Ukrainian downed plane.

Meanwhile, US President, Donald Trump tweeted in Persian that the world should no more allow the killing of Iranian protesters.

The demonstrations took place in some other provinces of Iran as well.

The demonstrators continued to commemorate the victims by lighting candles.

Among the victims, there were 23 graduates from Iranian universities.

US imposes new sanctions at Iran’s economy & senior leaders Sat, 11 Jan 2020 11:21:37 +0000 The United States imposed new sanctions on the Islamic Republic’s metals and some senior leaders, Friday, after Tehran’s attack on Iraqi-based US troops.

According to US Treasury Department, the sanctions are aimed at Iran’s steel industry, eight senior officials and other sectors, namely, construction, manufacturing, textiles, and mining.

The sanctions are meant to force Iranian leaders into negotiations for a new nuclear agreement. Pompeo said at the White House, “We want Iran to simply behave like a normal nation”.

Although these sanctions severely damage Iran’s nation, both economically and politically, Tehran has declined Washington’s propositions.

After Iran hit two American military bases in Iraq, Trump tried to lower tensions with Iran by not striking back; however, he threatened Iran with “immediate” sanctions.

Source: Bloomberg

Iranian state TV: Iran “unintentionally” shot down the Ukrainian plane Sat, 11 Jan 2020 07:53:15 +0000 Iran admitted that the Ukrainian passenger aircraft had been shot down by human error and unintentionally early Wednesday, killing all 176 people aboard.

In a military statement released earlier Saturday, it is stated that “Hours after the missile operation in Iraq, US military flights around the borders of Iran increased and Iranian military officials reported seeing aerial targets that were coming towards Iran’s strategic centers. Numerous defense centers around Iran reported seeing increased radar activity which caused a heightened sensitivity in the aerial defense centers of the country. Under such sensitive and crucial conditions, Ukrainian International Airlines Flight 752 took off from Imam Khomeini Airport and while in rotation, the aircraft came close to a sensitive military center at an altitude and flight condition that resembled hostile targeting. Due to these circumstances, the aircraft was unintentionally hit, which unfortunately resulted in the death of the many Iranian and foreign nationals.”

Before now, Iranian officials had denied the claims on the plane had been shot down by Iran. That is to say that countries, such as Canada, the United States, and the United Kingdom, had said the plane had been shot down.

The Ukrainian plane crashed on Wednesday morning after flying from Imam Khomeini Airport, killing 176 people, including 10 Afghan nationals.

Stowaway body found in Air France plane Fri, 10 Jan 2020 13:17:01 +0000 In the undercarriage of a French flight flying from Ivory Coast to Paris, the body of a stowaway – possibly a child – has been found.

“Air France confirms that a lifeless body of a stowaway was discovered in the well of the landing gear on flight AF703 coming from Abidjan on the 7th of January,” the airline said in twitter statement Wednesday.

The statement added that Air France has expressed its condolence in regard to the human loss and has commenced an inquiry into the tragedy.

The age, identity, and cause of the death of the stowaway has not been confirmed yet; however, investigations have been being conducted, a source in the prosecutor’s office in Paris said, denying that the stowaway was a child.

Ukraine plane crash: missile hit or technical cause? Fri, 10 Jan 2020 11:35:50 +0000 New York Times has published a video that suggests a possible Iranian missile exploded near a plane above Parand area. The plane did not explode right away – it flew back towards Tehran airport; however, it exploded before reaching the airport.

Ukraine plane Boeing 737 which had 167 passengers and 9 crew members on board, crashed after taking off from Imam Khomeini International Airport. The crash took place hours after Iran fired missiles on US bases in Iraq.

A number of Iranian media reports indicate that the crash was because of some technical errors. “The plane did not signal any emergency situation”, media quotes officials. However, in addition to the possibility of missile downing, there are other possible causes of the crash of the plane too.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has said that the priority is to find the truth and the responsible elements that caused the tragedy. Also, Oleksiy Danilov, secretary of Ukraine National Security and Defense wrote on his Facebook that the investigators are going to dig around four possible factors of the plane crash: missile strike, mid-air collision with a drone, engine failure, and terrorist act.

Truth finding inquiries have been in progress. Ukraine has also deployed a group of investigators to Tehran. However, there isn’t any clear evidence whether there is a connection between the two cases – US-Iran heightened tensions and the plane crash.

America ready to embrace peace: Trump after Iran’s missile attacks Thu, 09 Jan 2020 09:25:15 +0000 The US President Donald Trump says none of US troops have been harmed in Iranian missile attacks against the US bases in Iraq.

Trump said Wednesday in the White House that stricter sanctions will be imposed on Iran unless Iran changes its behavior.

Iran considers its Wednesday attacks against Iraq-based US bases as revenge for the killing of Soleimani.

In the aftermath of Soleimani’s killing by the US, Trump had threatened to “fully strike back” if Iran attacked any US citizen or site; however, in his first televised comments, there was a change of tone speech following Iran’s missile strikes.

Trump and some US officials have been justifying the US attack which killed Iranian top general. “Soleimani was planning ‘imminent attack’ against the US,” they say.

President Trump asked the United Kingdom, Germany, France, Russia, and China to recognize step out of the nuclear deal (JCPOA) signed in 2013. He said Iran had received $1.8 billion from the deal and used it in funding armed groups in Yemen, Syria, Lebanon, Afghanistan, and Iraq.

“Iran must abandon its nuclear ambitions. We want a deserving future for the people and leaders of Iran, with prosperity and harmony with the nations of the world. The United States is ready to embrace peace with all who seek it”, said Trump.

Reynhard Sinaga, a PhD student from Indonesia was found guilty of 159 sexual offences in the UK Wed, 08 Jan 2020 14:40:36 +0000 BBC reported that Sinaga, a 36-year-old Ph.D. student from Indonesia, was found guilty of 159 sexual offenses against 48 men in Manchester, United Kingdom.

He was a serial sexual predator who would pick up his prey outside clubs and take them to his flat. After drugging, he would film them while rapping.

He was sentenced to life imprisonment by court, with a minimum term of 30 years, Monday.

Saibun Sinaga, father of the criminal says that the punishment verdict by the court best fits his son’s actions.

Speaking for the first time, his father Saibun Sinaga told BBC Indonesia over the phone: “We accept the verdict. His punishment fits his crimes. I don’t want to discuss the case any further.”

Sinaga’s friends at the University of Indonesia say he was very social, friendly, and easy to get along with and, he was fun to work on projects with.

Police say they have evidence Sinaga targeted at least 190 victims in total.

In Indonesia, news of Sinaga’s crimes has resulted in shock and anger among people. Many Indonesians said Sinaga has brought shame to the country in the eyes of the world. Some called for him to face the death penalty. However, some others in Indonesia questioned his mental state on social media. However, Mr. Afero, who met Sinaga during the trial, said he was in a sound state of mind.

Iraq-based US headquarters come under Iranian missile attack Wed, 08 Jan 2020 07:26:35 +0000 Iran has launched two missiles at the US bases located in Iraq. This is considered as an act of revenge for Soleimani’s killing by the US.

Iran’s Foreign Minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif, said Wednesday that Iran’s attacks at two Iraqi bases housing US forces were “self-defense measures under Article 51 of the UN Charter.”

“We do not seek escalation of tensions or war; however, we will defend ourselves against aggression,” he tweeted.

Following Iran’s attacks in Iraq, US President Donald Trump tweeted “All is well.”

“Assessment of casualties and damages is in progress. So far, so good! We have the most powerful and well-equipped military anywhere in the world, by far!” Trump said.

Meanwhile, the US Secretary of Defense, Mark Esper, said Tuesday that the US does not seek war, but it is ready to respond forcefully, if necessary.”

“Afghan President Ashraf Ghani and Pakistani General Bajwa, both have offered peaceful counsel and advice in calls today,” Esper tweeted.

Furthermore, the US Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo said in a tweet that Iran has refused to join the Regional and International Consensus for peace in Afghanistan.

“Its sustained efforts to support militant groups undermine the Afghan Peace Process. The Taliban’s entanglement in Iran’s dirty work will only hinder progress,” Pompeo added.

It is noteworthy that the US Federal Aviation Administration has canceled all passenger flights over Iran, Iraq, the Gulf, and the Oman Sea. The reason is “increased military activity and the possibility of miscalculation or misidentification.”