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Dozens of Afghan Troops Vanished From Military Training in US Bases

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(Last Updated On: October 6, 2016)

Brig. Gen. Muhaiuddin Ghori, commanding general, 3rd Kandak, 205th Corps, Afghan National Army, maneuvers alongside a Marine fire team on patrol at U.S. Marine Corps Base Camp PendletonForty-four Afghan troops visiting the United States for military training have gone missing in less than two years, presumably in an effort to live and work illegally in America, Pentagon officials said.

Although the number of disappearances is relatively small — some 2,200 Afghan troops have received military training in the United States since 2007 — the incidents raise questions about security and screening procedures for the programs.

They are also potentially embarrassing for U.S. President Barack Obama’s administration, which has spent billions of dollars training Afghan troops as Washington seeks to extricate itself from the costly, 15-year-old war. The disclosure could fuel criticism by supporters of Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, who has accused the Obama administration of failing to properly vet immigrants from Muslim-majority countries and has pledged a much tougher stance if he wins.

While other foreign troops on U.S. military training visits have sometimes run away, a U.S. defense official said that the frequency of Afghan troops going missing was concerning and “out of the ordinary.”

Since September alone, eight Afghan troops have left military bases without authorization, Pentagon spokesman Adam Stump told Reuters. He said the total number of Afghan troops who have gone missing since January 2015 is 44, a number that has not previously been disclosed.

“The Defense Department is assessing ways to strengthen eligibility criteria for training in ways that will reduce the likelihood of an individual Afghan willingly absconding from training in the U.S. and going AWOL (absent without leave),” Stump said.

Afghans in the U.S. training program are vetted to ensure they have not participated in human rights abuses and are not affiliated with militant groups before being allowed into the United States, Stump said.

The defense official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, added there was no evidence any of those who had absconded had carried out crimes or posed a threat to the United States.

The Afghan army has occasionally been infiltrated by Taliban militants who have carried out attacks on Afghan and U.S. troops, but such incidents have become less frequent due to tougher security measures.

Trump, whose other signature immigration plan is to build a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border, has proposed a temporary ban on Muslims seeking to enter the country, and has said that law enforcement officers should engage in more racial profiling to curb the threat of attacks on American soil.

After Omar Mateen, whose father was born in Afghanistan, killed 49 people at a gay nightclub in Orlando in June, Trump said an immigration ban would last until “we are in a position to properly screen these people coming into our country.”

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ATN employee Sulaiman Yousufi dies of Coronavirus

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(Last Updated On: May 29, 2020)

COVID19 took the life of an employee of the Ariana International Television Network.

Sulaiman Yousufi, an employee of Ariana News and Ariana TV, died of coronavirus today.

Mr. Sulaiman Yousufi was infected by the Coronavirus a few days ago and died early today after severe suffering from respiratory troubles.

Yousufi had been working in the transportation department of Ariana TV and Ariana News for over a decade.

He is survived by a son and two daughters.

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Prisoner release; Taliban’s technical team negotiating with gov’t

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(Last Updated On: May 29, 2020)

Both the Taliban team and the government are negotiating on how to verify and release the prisoners, as well as obtaining guarantees of not returning to the war, Arg said.

An agreement on peace between the Taliban and the government has not yet been reached, but the US-Taliban peace agreement which was signed three months ago in Doha, Qatar says that the Afghan government should release 5,000 Taliban prisoners in exchange for 1,000 prisoners from the Taliban side.

A Taliban delegation is now in Kabul negotiating the prisoners’ release.

However, the Taliban has said that the team was in Kabul only to monitor the release of prisoners and has no further authority over other aspects of the peace process.

The Afghan government and the Taliban in their latest actions came to an agreement about a three-day ceasefire on the occasion of Eid ul-Fitr.

The Afghan government is now urging the Taliban to take new and more practical steps in the process of starting Intra-Afghan negotiations.

Arg said that the government’s negotiating team was ready and that the government was committed to take new measures.

Sediq Sediqqi, the presidential spokesman said that the Afghan government had taken major steps towards peace and it was time for the Taliban to show the green light.

Sources close to the Taliban said that the unannounced ceasefire by the group is ongoing, but they will not start the Intra-Afghan negotiations until thousands of the Taliban prisoners are released.

The United States and the international community are waiting for the Afghan government and the Taliban to begin the first round of Intra-Afghan Talks, as the start of these talks could open new doors to the Afghan peace process.

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Official: Laliga to resume on June 11

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(Last Updated On: May 29, 2020)

The Spanish Football league known as La Liga will officially resume on June 11, says the Laliga’s president Javier Tebas.

While the Coronavirus shutdown the European football leagues for two months, the major football leagues are now preparing to resume their matches.

The Germany’s Bundesliga is already resumed, whereas the other major leagues are yet to resume their matches.

According to Javier Tebas, the Laliga’s president, the match between Real Betis and Sevilla on June 11 could restart the league.

Tebas added the 2020-2021 season of Laliga will start on September 12.

This comes as all matches of the league for this season will be held behind the closed doors.

The England’s Premier League is expected to start on June 17th, while the Italy’s Serie A will resume on June 21st.

The French Football League was cancelled for this season, and Paris Saint German became the early champion of the season.

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