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UNAMA calls for urgent end to violence and focus to be on peace

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(Last Updated On: October 15, 2020)

United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan on Thursday reiterated its calls for an end to violence in the country following five days of heavy clashes in the southern province of Helmand. 

In a series of tweets, UNAMA said initial reports suggest civilians have been killed and wounded, including women and children. 

“Violence only heaps further hardship and misery on ordinary Afghans and undermines efforts for progress and building bridges between parties at the historic Afghanistan peace talks in Doha.”

“Civilians have borne the brunt of Afghanistan’s conflict. The number of civilians killed and injured – a key indicator of the intensity of violence – has so far been lower in 2020, but in recent weeks a worrying reversal seems to be emerging,” UNAMA stated. 

The mission added that civilians are routinely killed or injured in armed clashes with high casualties resulting from indirect weapons: mortars, rockets, grenades. “These civilians, including many children, must be protected from harm. The only way to do that is to stop the violence.”

“UNAMA reiterates the urgency to halt violence and to focus on achieving a peaceful negotiated settlement to the Afghanistan conflict,” they stated. 

Heavy clashes broke out on Saturday night across various areas in Helmand province, which has since forced tens of thousands of residents to flee their homes. 

Fighting has also been reported from areas on the outskirts of the provincial capital Lashkargah, where hundreds of families have sought refuge. 

Organizations said on Wednesday, at least 35,000 people have been displaced in the province after fleeing their homes. 

 

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Uzbekistan’s Samarkand city named 2023 World Tourism Capital

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(Last Updated On: December 5, 2021)

Uzbekistan’s historic city of Samarkand was chosen as the 2023 World Tourism Capital at the 24th General Assembly of the UN World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) in Spain, Uzbekistan’s Tourism and Sports Ministry said in a statement on Saturday.

Samarkand will host the 25th General Assembly of the UNWTO, which will be a “historic event” as it marks the first time in history that the gathering will be held in Uzbekistan, read the statement.

The summit in Madrid was attended by a delegation led by Uzbekistan’s Tourism and Sports Minister Aziz Abdukhakimov, who is also the country’s deputy prime minister.

The opportunity to host a UN organization meeting for the first time is the result of the Uzbek government’s policies and efforts to develop tourism in the country, the statement added.

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Pakistan seal semi-final T20 World Cup spot after beating Namibia 

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(Last Updated On: November 2, 2021)

Pakistan defeated Namibia by 45 runs on Tuesday night in Abu Dhabi to become the first side to qualify for the semi-finals of the T20 World Cup 2021.

Chasing a formidable target of 190, Namibia gave a good account of their ability and promise and eventually finished with 144-5 as Pakistan collected the two points they needed to go through to the next round.

Pakistan’s total is the second-highest in this tournament, behind Afghanistan’s 190-4 against Scotland in Sharjah.

Afghanistan’s next T20 World Cup match is on Wednesday against India.

 

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US administers over 420 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines

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(Last Updated On: October 31, 2021)

The United States has administered 420,657,683 doses of COVID-19 vaccines in the country as of Saturday morning and distributed 518,701,225 doses, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said.

The agency said 221,221,467 people had received at least one dose, while 192,244,927 people were fully vaccinated as of 6am on Saturday.

The CDC tally includes two-dose vaccines from Moderna and Pfizer/BioNTech, as well as Johnson & Johnson’s one-shot vaccine, Reuters reported.

About 17.7 million people have received a booster dose of either Pfizer, Moderna or Johnson & Johnson’s COVID-19 vaccine.

On November 8, the United States is lifting the extraordinary travel restrictions that have barred most non-U.S. citizens who within the last 14 days have been in Britain, the 26 Schengen countries in Europe without border controls, Ireland, China, India, South Africa, Iran and Brazil. 

It is also imposing new rules requiring nearly all foreign adult air visitors to be vaccinated against COVID-19.

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