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Gov’t-Taliban prisoner release talks end inconclusive, TB team leaves Kabul

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(Last Updated On: April 7, 2020)

A member of the government’s negotiating team told Ariana News that the Afghan government didn’t come to an agreement with the Taliban over the prisoner release, adding that the disagreement was on the Taliban’s demand – to release 15 prominent commanders – but was denied by the government.

This comes as the Taliban’s political office in Qatar said that the prisoner release was postponed for various reasons.

A week ago, a team of three Taliban representatives came to Kabul to negotiate with the Afghan government over the release of the prisoners.

Although both the laterals had several talks and agreements on releasing the prisoners, eventually, the government and the Taliban didn’t come to an agreement to any releases and the team left Kabul unfruitfully.

Now the Taliban doesn’t seem happy about it, as according to the US-Taliban agreement, 5,000 prisoners of the Taliban were supposed to be released unconditionally.

Suhail Shaheen, the Taliban’s political Spokesperson, said, “Their release has been delayed under one pretext or another till now. Therefore, our technical team will not participate in fruitless meetings with relevant sides starting from tomorrow.”

Yet again, the usual question niggles: Why this deadlock?

The Taliban had expected that in the very first phase at least 15 of their prominent commanders would be released. The Afghan government though, pronounced “NO” to the demand.

The government has said that 400 aged prisoners of the Taliban could be released first and that it couldn’t accept every demand of the Taliban.

To start the Intra-Afghan Talks depends on the prisoner release and as of this date, the political impasse, among other tensions, has put the country in a difficult position.

The US, however, insists on the prisoner releases – implementation of an important part of the US-Taliban deal – and remove the hurdles lying on the way of the Intra-Afghan Talks.

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Leading tennis player charged with assaulting ex-wife

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(Last Updated On: June 5, 2020)

Nikoloz Basilashvili, a leading tennis player has been sued by his ex-wife for assault, CNN reports.

A statement from the Prosecutor’s Office of Georgia indicates that Nikoloz Basilashvili, who is ranked No. 27 in the world, was charged with violence against Neli Dorokashvili.

Although an investigation into the criminal case is ongoing, Basilashvili was released on a bail of $31,300 and is due to return to court on July 16 for the next hearing.

In a statement on Basilashvili’s Facebook page posted after he posted bail, his legal representatives said the allegations are “false and totally unsubstantiated.”

The couple, who have a five-year-old son together, divorced last year.

His lawyers have said, “We would like to ensure Nikoloz Basilashvili’s fans that video footage already submitted to the court evidences our client’s position and fully discharges him from the abovementioned untrue allegations.”

On the other hand, Dorokashvili’s lawyer says there is evidence to support her claims, noting “There are people who are witness to their relationship. There are some video records and audio records. There also some transcripts, there are dialogues of phone text messages and so forth.”

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Twitter disabled Trump’s video tribute to Floyd for copyright reasons

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(Last Updated On: June 5, 2020)

Twitter has pulled down Donald Trump’s tribute video to George Floyd on its platform.

On a copyright complaint, Twitter has pulled down Donald Trump’s tribute video to George Floyd on its platform, news agencies report.

A Twitter representative has said, “We respond to valid copyright complaints sent to us by a copyright owner or their authorized representatives,”

The clip is said to be a collation of photos and videos of protest marches and instances of violence in the aftermath of Floyd’s death, with Trump’s voiceover.

The three-minute 45-second video is still on YouTube, with over 60,000 views and 13,000 likes – it was tweeted by Trump’s campaign on June 3.

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Afghanistan records highest Coronavirus death toll in single day

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(Last Updated On: June 5, 2020)

Nine people have died of Coronavirus in Afghanistan in the past 24 hours, the Public Health Ministry.

In a statement released on Friday, the ministry said that three people in Balkh, two in Herat, two in Samangan, and two others in Kunduz lost life after suffering COVID-19.

According to the statement, 915 people were tested positive for the Coronavirus in the past 24 hours.

The cases were registered as follow: 423 in Kabul, 201 in Herat, 116 in Balkh, 29 in Kunduz, 23 in Kunar, 21 in Kandahar, 21 in Farah, 21 in Sar-e-Pul, 20 in Helmand, 15 in Samangan, 11 in Paktia, 7 in Nangarhar, 4 in Maidan Wardak, and three in Laghman, the statement said.

It brings the total affected people to 18,969 in Afghanistan.

Meanwhile, 178 people have recovered and fully discharged from the hospitals, bringing the total recoveries to 1,763, the ministry added.

So far, 309 people have died of the virus since its first case was detected in western Herat province.

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