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Record Number of Disabled Afghans Sought Assistance in 2018: ICRC

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(Last Updated On: January 23, 2019)

A record number of disabled Afghans – more than 12,000 people – sought assistance for the first time in 2018 at physical rehabilitation centres run by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) across Afghanistan.

“Alarmingly, despite the record level of assistance provided, many more people remain in need,” the ICRC said in a statement.

Last year was the ICRC’s 30th year of running rehabilitation programs in the country. More than 22,000 artificial limbs and other orthopaedic devices – also a record number — were provided in 2018, together with 2,000 wheelchairs, 18,000 crutches, and countless physiotherapy sessions.

“The record number of Afghans seeking rehabilitation assistance is a reflection of the huge levels of need,” said Alberto Cairo, ICRC’s physical rehabilitation program manager in Afghanistan. “Even with all of the people we helped, we aren’t coming close to being able to assist everyone in need.”

Due to decades of war, diseases and traffic incidents about five percent of Afghanistan’s population is physically disabled, according to the Ministry of Public Health.

“The issue of disability is worrying, though, we don’t have exact figures in this regard but we can presume that around three to five percent of the country’s population is disabled,” said Health Minister Feruzuddin Feruz.

The ICRC started assisting disabled people in Kabul in 1988 by providing them with limb-fitting services and physiotherapy sessions to help them regain their mobility.

Today the organization runs seven physical rehabilitation centres including in Kabul, Mazar-i-Sharif, Herat, Jalalabad, Gulbarhar, Faizabad and Lashkar Gah.

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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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Facebook labels state-controlled media outlets

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(Last Updated On: June 5, 2020)

Facebook – a social media giant – said Thursday that it would start labeling state-controlled media outlets on Facebook.

Facebook would reportedly add labels to the Facebook pages of Russia Today, Russia’s Sputnik, China’s Xinhua News, Iran’s Press TV, and the People’s Daily, among others, saying that these were state-controlled outlets.

The Company said in a statement, “We’re providing greater transparency into these publishers because they combine the influence of a media organization with the strategic backing of a state, and we believe people should know if the news they read is coming from a publication that may be under the influence of a government.”

The giant tech company would also block state-controlled media outlets from buying advertising in the US this summer ahead of the US presidential election in November without setting an exact date.

“State-controlled media outlets rarely advertise in the US. Nevertheless, later this summer we will begin blocking ads from these outlets in the US out of an abundance of caution to provide an extra layer of protection against various types of foreign influence in the public debate ahead of the November 2020 election in the US,” Facebook said.

Other outlets that are run independently, would not be included in the labeling, Facebook said.

It comes as the company has recently faced a backlash from its employees for not adding warning labels to comments from the U.S. president linked to the ongoing violence across the country.

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