Cricket Australia threatens to cancel Afghan Test if women not allowed to play

News Network
September 9, 2021

Kabul, Sept 9: Cricket Australia said Thursday it would have "no alternative" but to cancel hosting a historic Test match against Afghanistan unless the Taliban backtracks on a reported ban on women playing sport.

The governing body said the first ever men's Test between the two nations was under serious threat after the deputy head of the Taliban's cultural commission, Ahmadullah Wasiq, reportedly said women would not play cricket or any other sport under the new regime.

"I don't think women will be allowed to play cricket because it is not necessary that women should play cricket," Wasiq told Australian broadcaster SBS on Wednesday.

"In cricket, they might face a situation where their face and body will not be covered. Islam does not allow women to be seen like this.

"It is the media era, and there will be photos and videos, and then people watch it. Islam and the Islamic Emirate do not allow women to play cricket or play the kind of sports where they get exposed."

The Taliban said shortly after taking power that the schedule for the Afghanistan men's team would not be interrupted, leading Cricket Australia to announce earlier this month it still hoped to host the landmark match on November 27.

On Thursday, Cricket Australia said driving the growth of women's cricket globally was "incredibly important" to the organisation.

"Our vision for cricket is that it is a sport for all and we support the game unequivocally for women at every level," it said.

"If recent media reports that women's cricket will not be supported in Afghanistan are substantiated, Cricket Australia would have no alternative but to not host Afghanistan for the proposed Test Match due to be played in Hobart."

During their first stint in power, the Taliban banned most forms of entertainment -- including many sports -- and stadiums doubled as public execution venues.

Despite promising to enforce a less strict version of Islamic law this time, the United Nations says women in Afghanistan are being prohibited from leaving home without a male family member and in some areas stopped from working. 

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News Network
October 23,2021

Washington, Oct 23: Indian-American policy expert Neera Tanden, a close confidant of US President Joe Biden, has been named White House staff secretary, eight months after Republican lawmakers scuttled her nomination to another key post.

Tanden, 51, a senior adviser to President Biden was named White House staff secretary on a morning staff call on Friday, the CNN reported.

The White House staff secretary is a behind-the-scenes but critical role in the West Wing, responsible for managing paper flow to the President from other areas of the administration and federal government. The person filling the job has been viewed as one of the most powerful in the building, it said.

In addition to her new duties, Tanden will keep her senior adviser title "and will continue to provide leadership on particular projects and initiatives," Politico reported, quoting a White House official.

She will report to White House chief of staff Ron Klain, it said.

The appointment does not require Senate confirmation.

"The Staff Secretary role is the central nervous system of the White House and moves the decision-making process and manages a wide variety of issues for the President," the White House official said.

Tanden has "over two decades of experience in policy and management which are critical elements of the role. Her experience across domestic, economic and national security policy will be a key asset in this new role," the official said.

Tanden's appointment as White House staff secretary came eight months after she withdrew her nomination as Director of the White House Office of Management and Budget due to stiff opposition from Republican senators.

In March, she faced a tough time for the confirmation of her nomination as Director of the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) over her past social media outbursts against several lawmakers, including those from her own Democratic Party.

While accepting Tanden's request to withdraw her name from nomination in March, President Biden had said, "I have the utmost respect for her record of accomplishment, her experience and her counsel, and I look forward to having her serve in a role in my Administration. She will bring valuable perspective and insight to our work."

White House announced in May that Tanden had been appointed as a senior adviser to Biden.

Tanden previously served as a senior adviser for health reforms at the US Department of Health and Human Services. She worked with Congress and stakeholders on particular provisions of former President Barack Obama's signature legislative achievement, the Affordable Care Act.

Before that, Tanden was the director of domestic policy for the Obama-Biden presidential campaign, where she managed all domestic policy proposals.

Tanden also served as policy director for Hillary Clinton's first presidential campaign.

Before the 2008 presidential campaign, Tanden served as legislative director in Clinton's office, and deputy campaign manager and issues director for Clinton's 2000 Senate campaign.

She began her career as an associate director for domestic policy in former President Bill Clinton's White House, and senior policy adviser to the First Lady.

Tanden holds a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of California, Los Angeles, and a law degree from the Yale Law School. 

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News Network
October 18,2021

Mangauru, Oct 18: An elderly husband and wife ended their life by suicide at Padekarya in Badagannur of Puttur taluk in Dakshina Kannada district. 

The deceased are Subrahmanya Bhat  (84) and Sharada Bhat (78). They were farmers.

The couple had slept in a room on the ground floor of the house while their children had slept on the first floor.

The suicide came to light when their son entered their room in the morning. 

It was said that Sharada Bhat was suffering from diabetes and age-related ailments. Both were worried about the same and took the extreme step to end their lives, said P Nagesh Bhat, son of the deceased in his complaint to the police. 

The jurisdictional Sampya Police have visited the spot.

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News Network
October 24,2021

Bengaluru, Oct 24: Vice-Admiral Anil Kumar Chawla, flag officer commanding-in-chief, Southern Naval Command, said here on Saturday that India had begun thinking of separating East Pakistan from West Pakistan from 1965 though it actually happened in 1971.

Chawla’s remarks came at a conclave at Air Force Station Yelahanka celebrating the golden jubilee of the 1971 India-Pakistan war victory.

Quoting “declassified” documents that he said were enough to show this, Chawla said: “The thinking started actively after the 1965 war, of how to separate East Pakistan from West. The principal reason was ISI’s interference in northeast insurgencies, particularly arming and training of Naga rebels in the Chittagong hill tracts. We used those lessons when we trained the Mukthi Bahini.”

However, he said, India was weak then as Congress had split and Indira Gandhi had barely held on to become prime minister. “She was called ‘Goongi Gudia’ by the opposition, which didn’t expect her to last long,” he said, adding that in Pakistan Yahya Khan had taken over from Tikka Khan in 1969.

 “He (Yahya) actually started this whole story by dissolving the “one unit geopolitical programme” of 1954, by which entire Pakistan was considered one wing to offset the population superiority of East Pakistan, and called for elections in 1970,” Chawla said.

Pointing out that the 1970 elections were the first one-person, one-vote elections in Pakistan, he said Indira Gandhi called for elections one-and-a-half years ahead of the scheduled February 1971 polls.

“Yahya was very firmly entrenched and Gandhi was on a weak wicket. It suddenly changed in December 1970 when Sheikh Mujibur Rahman won 160 seats in East Pakistan and Bhutto only 81 in West Pakistan. Rahman was the natural successor to the prime ministership,” he said.

Stating that the thinking in 1965 was nascent, Chawla inferred that the January 30, 1971 hijacking of an Indian Airlines aircraft to Lahore by Kashmiri separatists may have been a trigger.

“The government of India stopped overflight facilities, preventing them from rearming in East Pakistan. They had to fly over Colombo, which was difficult and expensive. Also, Rahman winning elections and not being allowed to be PM started unravelling the whole plot. In March, once Rahman declared independence, India entered the war in April 1971,” Chawla said.

He added that the comprehensive Indian response included clandestine operations to sabotage shipping in East Pakistan. “It was not just inter-service collaboration, it was the entire government approach under astute leadership. On March 7, Indira Gandhi won a landslide victory that strengthened her position. Several things fell into place and she came to be called the ‘Durga of India’,” he said.

“While we go over individual battles, the most important thing is the immutable principles of war, which almost perfectly followed in 1971. Whether this is being done today or not is for us to judge, but the adversaries are different. Warfare is different and technology has changed everything. We need to look ahead and remember that adversaries, the geopolitical situation, and technology are evolving at an ever faster pace," he said.

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