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Swiss court upholds life ban for former Afghan football boss 

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(Last Updated On: July 15, 2020)

The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) has upheld the life ban imposed last year on the former president of the Afghanistan Football Federation (AFF) by the Federation Internationale de Football Association (FIFA). 

CAS issued its decision in the appeal arbitration procedure between Karim and FIFA on Tuesday. 

A statement issued by the court stated that the CAS panel dismissed the appeal and confirmed the decision taken by the Adjudicatory Chamber of FIFA Ethics Committee on June 8 last year. 

At the time, Karim was found to have breached Article 23 (Protection of physical and mental integrity) and article 25 (Abuse of position) of the FIFA Code of Ethics and sanctioned him with a life ban from all football-related activities at both national and international level, and ordered him to pay a US$1 million fine. 

The FIFA Ethics Committee investigation into Karim came after complaints were lodged by female Afghan football players accusing him of sexual abuse between 2013 and 2018. 

During the CAS hearing, several players of the AFF women’s national team stated that they had been sexually and physically abused by Karim. 

According to the court statement: “The players testified from a secured place, by telephone, using a voice scrambler to protect their identity. 

The Panel in charge of this matter underlined that, unlike bribery and match-fixing which damage the integrity of the sport, the offenses committed by Keramuddin Karim violated basic human rights and damaged the mental and physical dignity and integrity of young female players. 

With his appalling acts, he had destroyed not only their careers but severely damaged their lives. 

The Panel determined that Keramuddin Karim should get the most severe sanction possible available under the FIFA Code of Ethics, i.e. a life ban and a fine of (Swiss Francs) CHF 1 million (US$1 million).

FIFA meanwhile welcomed the Swiss court’s decision and said in a statement that it confirms the importance of its “zero-tolerance policy against physical, mental and sexual abuses at all levels of football.”

The organization also praised “the bravery of those victims who, under dreadful personal circumstances in their home country, have come forward and allowed for justice to be served.”

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Doing away with the Republic would cost Afghanistan dearly: Ghani

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(Last Updated On: January 24, 2021)

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani said Sunday that any interruption in the Republic governing system would come at a great cost to the country especially as it currently provides equality to all Afghans.

Speaking at a meeting with members of the Shia Ulema (scholars) Council of Afghanistan at the Presidential Palace,Ghani said: “The Republic is an umbrella and a bed where the equality of all Afghans is ensured.”

“Our security and defense forces have not lost the war, and the full international legitimacy of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan remains, and the United States is a partner of the Afghan government and our security and defense forces,” Ghani added.

The meeting was also attended by Sarwar Danish, second vice president, and Mohammad Mohaqiqm, a senior advisor to Ghani on security and political affairs.

Ghani also said that in setting the goal of peace, with the world and the region, is to ensure an independent Afghanistan that enjoys national sovereignty, democracy and national unity.

He also stated that “way to other stages of negotiations is to do it carefully, prudently and confidently.

“We are not ready for an apology or surrender and we want a peace in which there is survival, prosperity and national unity,” Ghani said.

Mohammad Akbari, deputy head of the council, said in turn the Ulema council is “working with a moderate policy and a clear path to strengthen the foundations of Islamic brotherhood and national unity, and is calling for peace and an end to the war in the country; and it supports the preservation of the Constitution, and the system of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan.”

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Central Bank staff once again targeted in IED explosion

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(Last Updated On: January 24, 2021)

A senior official of De Afghanistan Bank, (the Central Bank) was targeted in an IED explosion in Kabul early Sunday morning, the bank confirmed.

The bank said in a statement that Abdullah Dawrani, the head of the Financial Dispute Resolution Commission, was the target in an IED explosion at around 8.15 am this morning.

According to the statement, Dawrani was wounded and his bodyguard was killed in the blast.

The bank stated that another person was also injured in the explosion, which occurred in the Shah Shaheed area of PD8 of the city but did not reveal the person’s identity.

No group has claimed responsibility for the attack.

This is the second targeted attack against Central Bank employees.

In November last year, Yama Siavash, a former TV news anchor, and an employee of the Central Bank, was killed in an IED explosion in PD9 in Kabul.

Meanwhile, an IED blast rattled Jalalabad city in eastern Nangarhar province on Sunday morning.

The blast happened in PD4 of the city, police confirmed.

Farid Khan, a spokesman for Nangarhar police told Ariana News that at least three civilians were wounded in that explosion.

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SpaceX delays launch of 143 satellites due to bad weather

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(Last Updated On: January 24, 2021)

SpaceX is expected to launch 143 satellites into space on a single Falcon 9 rocket on Sunday after having to postpone its launch day of Saturday at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida due to bad weather.

The decision to postpone came just six minutes before blast off, Space.com reported.

“Weather is looking a little dicey for our current liftoff time,” SpaceX production supervisor Andy Tran said about seven minutes before the rocket was scheduled to blast off, citing electrical fields.

Space.com reported that less than a minute later, the SpaceX team made the call to postpone the launch attempt entirely, not waiting for the clock to run out.

Electrical fields are a risk to rocket launches because they can prompt lightning formation during liftoff.

The Transporter-1 launch will be SpaceX’s first dedicated rideshare mission, carrying 133 assorted small satellites and 10 of the company’s Starlink internet satellites. When it launches, the mission will hold the record for most satellites deployed from a single rocket, Tran said.

The launch will be the fifth flight for the Falcon 9 first-stage booster. Its previous flights, all in 2020, include the company’s first-ever crewed launch, called Demo-2, in May 2020, which sent two NASA astronauts to the International Space Station for a two-month stay.

The booster also launched a military communications satellite for South Korea, a Cargo Dragon resupply ship to the station for NASA and a separate Starlink mission.

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