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Traffic Incident in Herat Leaves Four Killed, Two Wounded

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(Last Updated On: August 31, 2018)

At least four people have been killed and two others wounded in a traffic in Herat City, officials said Friday.

The incident took place near consulate of India on Bagh-e-Melat road in the city.

Mohammad Ibrahim Mohammadi the in charge of Herat ambulance  said that all of the victims aged between 20-30.

According to Mohammdi, among the wounded people, one of them is in a critical condition.

The provincial traffic officials said that the incident has taken place due to driving at excessive speed.

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Govt signs MoU with UAE firm to build solar power plant

Ariana News



(Last Updated On: August 11, 2020)

A memorandum of understanding (MoU) for a solar power plant has been signed between the government of Afghanistan and the United Arab Emirates-based PAL 4 Solar Energy LLC.

The office of the presidency said Tuesday in a statement that the project would be implemented across the country.

The MoU was signed by Mohammad Zafar, managing director of the solar power company, Ataullah Nasib, head of the Investment Facilitation Unit of the Office of the President, and Ahmad Daud Noorzai the CEO of Afghanistan’s power company, Da Afghanistan Breshna Sherkat (DABS), in the presence of Kabir Isakhel, Chief Legal Advisor for President Ashraf Ghani.

Once complete, the project will provide the opportunity for Afghanistan to generate up to 3,000 MW of electricity across the country.

The agreement was signed at the Afghan Embassy in Abu Dhabi, in the UAE.

According to the agreement, the UAE company will invest in the installation of solar panel plants which will produce electricity.

Currently, Afghanistan has three solar power plants – in Bamiyan, Herat, and Kandahar provinces.

The Kandahar Solar Power plant worth $39 million generates 30 megawatts of electricity. The solar power plant installed in Bamiyan provides electricity to thousands of Bamiyan families.

The renewable energy resource potential of Afghanistan is estimated at over 300,000 MW, the Ministry of Energy and Water has stated in the past.

This includes natural gas, biomass, hydropower, solar, and wind power.

Major progress has however been made in the past decade by Afghanistan, along with private investors, to turn the land-locked nation into a self-sustainable energy-producing country as a significant amount of electricity is still imported from neighboring countries.

In 2017, a report published by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) stated that Afghanistan has the potential to produce 67,000 megawatts of electricity from wind energy, 220,000 megawatts electricity from solar energy, 4,000 megawatts of clean energy from biomass and 23,000 megawatts of electricity from water resources annually.

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Afghan peace talks team briefs Ghani ahead of historic meeting with Taliban

Ariana News



(Last Updated On: August 11, 2020)

President Ashraf Ghani met with the Afghan government’s negotiating team on Tuesday to discuss the upcoming peace talks with the Taliban which are expected to start on Sunday in Doha.

In a statement released on Tuesday, the Presidential Palace (ARG) said Mohammad Masoom Stanekzai briefed Ghani on the team’s activities and preparations following the Loya Jirga’s decision in favor of the release of the final 400 Taliban prisoners – which had been a stumbling block in the way of kickstarting negotiations.

Stanekzai stated they will sit around the negotiating table with the Taliban as a united team in favor of “the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan” and they will consider the interests of the people.

Meanwhile, Ghani said the Loya Jirga drew a peace roadmap for government, and that they are “committed to the implementation of that.”

“We are committed to peace, the goal is to end the war in a fundamental way,” Ghani added.

He said the peace talks team will negotiate a suitable and fair peace deal with the Taliban as it is in the best interests of the people.

“After the decree pardoning 400 Taliban prisoners was signed, the people expect that there will be no more obstacles and excuses for the commencement of the negotiations between the Taliban and the government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan,” Ghani said.

The latest developments on the political front have been welcomed by global leaders and many have hailed the decisions as an historic opportunity to bring peace to the war-torn country.

Afghans themselves have also welcomed the developments and the business community has said peace will undoubtedly help boost the country’s economy and create much-needed jobs.

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Russia registered world’s first COVID-19 vaccine: Putin

Ariana News



(Last Updated On: August 11, 2020)

Russian President Vladimir Putin said Tuesday that his country has succeeded to develop a vaccine that “forms stable cell and antibody immunity” against the COVID-19.

Speaking at a government meeting, Putin said: “As far as I know, this morning for the first time in the world a vaccine against the novel coronavirus infection was registered.” 

The Russian Tass news agency reported that the vaccine was developed by Moscow’s Gamaleya institute and its clinical trials were over.

The vaccine was approved by the country’s Health Ministry after less than two months of human testing.

“I know this very well, because one of my daughters got vaccinated, so in this sense, she took part in testing,” Putin said. He noted that after the first vaccine shot, his daughter had a 38°C fever, and on the next day, a fever slightly higher than 37°C. And then, after the second shot, she had a slight fever again, and then everything was fine, she is feeling well and has a high [antibody] count,” Putin said quoted by the Tass.

The vaccine still has to complete final trials but Russia’s move could pave the way for mass vaccination.

Reuters reported that the vaccine’s approval by the health ministry comes before the start of a larger trial involving thousands of participants, commonly known as a Phase III trial.

Such trials, which require a certain rate of participants catching the virus to observe the vaccine’s effect, are normally considered essential precursors for a vaccine to receive regulatory approval.

The Moscow-based Association of Clinical Trials Organizations (ACTO), a trade body representing the world’s top drugmakers in Russia this week urged the health ministry to postpone approval until that final trial had been successfully completed.

In a letter to the ministry, it said there were high risks associated with registering a drug before that happened.

“It is during this phase that the main evidence of a vaccine’s efficacy is collected, as well as information on adverse reactions that could appear in certain groups of patients: people with weakened immunity, people with concomitant diseases and so forth,” it said.

Some international experts have also questioned the speed at which Russia approved its vaccine.

“Normally you need a large number of people to be tested before you approve a vaccine,” said Peter Kremsner from the University Hospital in Tuebingen, currently testing CureVac’s COVID-19 vaccine in clinical trials.

“In that respect, I think it’s reckless to do that (approve it) if lots of people haven’t already been tested.”

Duncan Matthews, a professor of intellectual property law at the Queen Mary University of London, said news of a potential COVID-19 vaccine was to be welcomed, “but safety must be the priority”.

“The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the European Medicines Agency (EMA) have fast-track approval procedures for emergency humanitarian use and we need to see evidence that Russia is adopting an equally prudent approach,” Matthews said in an emailed comment.

More than 100 possible vaccines are being developed around the world to try to stop the COVID-19 pandemic. At least four are in final Phase III human trials, according to WHO data.

(With inputs from Reuters)

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