Afghan school blast toll nears 60; most of the victims are schoolgirls

News Network
May 9, 2021

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Kabul, May 9: The death toll from an explosion outside a school in Afghanistan's capital city Kabul has risen to 58, Afghan officials say.

Officials said on Sunday that medical staff in hospitals were struggling to provide medical care to at least 150 people, mostly schoolgirls, who were injured in the blast on Saturday.

The blast occurred in front of a school in the Shia majority neighborhood of Dasht-e-Barchi in western Kabul.

An eyewitness reported that the victims of the attack were mostly female students headed on their way back home after finishing school.

The death toll in the blasts might increase, Tariq Arian, a spokesman for the Interior Ministry, said on Sunday.

According to the ministry, there were a total of three consecutive blasts in the afternoon near Kabul’s Seyyed ul-Shohada Girls School in Dasht-e-Barchi.

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani said the Taliban militant group was responsible for the attack. 

The Taliban, however, did not claim responsibility for the blast.

Iran's Foreign Ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh condemned the terrorist attack in Kabul.

Khatibzadeh described the attack against civilians as detestable, particularly as the targets were girl students. He offered condolences to the survivors and families of those killed in the attack.

The violent attack came a week after the United States and its NATO allies began pulling their troops and military hardware out of Afghanistan.

US President Joe Biden announced the schedule to complete the drawdown of US forces by September 11.

The Taliban have issued a warning, pledging to attack US troops if they failed to withdraw as scheduled.

Twenty years on, violence is increasingly rampant in the conflict-stricken country. 

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News Network
June 11,2021

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Lakshadweep police on Thursday registered a case of sedition against local resident and film activist Aisha Sultana for calling the Union Territory’s administrator, Praful K Patel, a bio-weapon being used by the Centre on the island’s people.

The case was registered at Kavaratti police station, based on a complaint from BJP’s Lakshadweep unit president C Abdul Khader Haji, under Section 124 A of IPC (sedition).

Khader’s complaint cited a recent debate on Malayalam channel ‘MediaOne TV’ on the ongoing controversial reforms in Lakshadweep, in which Aisha had purportedly said that the Centre was using Praful Patel as a ‘bio-weapon’ on the islands. The remarks had sparked protests from the BJP’s Lakshadweep unit. BJP workers had moved complaints against Aisha in Kerala as well.

A film professional, Aisha has been in the forefront of campaigns against the reforms and proposed legislation, which have taken Lakshadweep and Kerala by storm.

Justifying her controversial reference to the administrator, Aisha posted on Facebook, “I had used the word bio-weapon in the TV channel debate. I have felt Patel as well as his policies [have acted] as a bio-weapon. It was through Patel and his entourage that Covid-19 spread in Lakshadweep. I have compared Patel as a bioweapon, not the government or the country…. You should understand. What else should I call him…”

Lakshadweep Sahitya Pravarthaka Sangam on Thursday extended support to Aisha. “It is not proper to depict her as anti-national. She had reacted against the inhumane approach of the administrator. It was Patel’s interventions that made Lakshadweep a Covid-affected area. The cultural community in Lakshadweep would stand with her,’’ the organisation’s spokesperson, K Bahir, said.

While the UT Administration has said Patel’s controversial proposals are aimed at ensuring safety and well-being of residents along with promoting the islands as a tourist destination on par with Maldives, residents view them as ripping the social and cultural fabric of the islands.

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hari
 - 
Friday, 11 Jun 2021

Aisha Sultana made a mistake especially when she repeated it again TV interview. She should have been known to the limit of "freedom of speech", and considered the consequence it can make for the country. Let her accept whether comes on her way, its the result of her doings in anyway...

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News Network
June 14,2021

Bengaluru, June 14: Karnataka on Sunday recorded 7,810 fresh cases and 125 deaths taking the total infection count and toll to 27.65 lakh and 32,913 respectively. The state has 1,80,835 active cases whereas the total discharges stood at 25,51,365 with the recovery of 18,648 people.

The Covid infections in Bengaluru Urban district remained the highest with 1,348 infections and 23 deaths but showing significant decline in cases compared to June 1 when there were 3,418 cases and 276 deaths. The city has so far reported 11,96,688 infections and 15,307 deaths. There were 85,995 active cases.

Mysuru district remained the second major Covid hotspot with 1,251 and 25 fatalities.

According to the health bulletin, there were 581 infections in Hassan, 467 in Mandya, 434 in Dakshina Kannada, 393 in Shivamogga, 391 in Davangere and 352 in Tumakuru. Fresh cases were reported in other districts as well including Ballari, Belagavi, Bengaluru Rural, Chikkamagaluru, Kodagu, Kolar, Udupi and Uttara Kannada.

The department said there were nine deaths each in Belagavi and Dharwad, seven deaths each in Ballari, Davangere, Hassan and four each in Chikkamagaluru and Udupi. Deaths were reported in 13 other districts as well.

There were zero fatalities in Bagalkote, Bidar, Chikkaballapura, Kalaburagi, Mandya, Ramanagara and Yadgir. As many as 1,29,617 tests were done on Sunday including 80,841 using RT-PCR and other methods.

So far 3.16 crore tests were done cumulatively, the department added. As on Sunday, 1.69 crore inoculations were done in the state comprising first and second dose of vaccine.

The positivity rate for the day was 6.02 per cent and Case Fatality Rate was 1.6 per cent, the department said. 

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News Network
June 1,2021

Washington, June 1: Joe Biden warned in a speech commemorating America’s war dead on Memorial Day that US democracy was “in peril” and called for empathy among his fellow citizens.

Speaking at Arlington National Cemetery, the US president, joined by first lady Jill Biden, Vice-President Kamala Harris and her husband, paid tribute to America’s war dead whom he described as making the ultimate sacrifice in the pursuit of democracy.

But he added that US democracy was itself in danger. “The mission falls to each of us, each and every day. Democracy itself is in peril, here at home and around the world,” he said, adding: “What we do now, how we honor the memory of the fallen, will determine whether democracy will long endure.”

Biden’s speech played out against a tumultuous time in American politics, which have been shaken by four years of erratic and norm-shattering rule by Donald Trump which culminated in the 6 January attack on the Capitol in Washington DC by a Trump-supporting mob seeking to disrupt the formalization of Biden’s electoral win.

It also comes at a time of civic unrest sparked by largely rightwing protests against shutdowns caused by the coronavirus pandemic, the spread of conspiracy theories around election fairness stoked by Trump and the far right and widespread demonstrations against racism and police brutality.

Biden centered his speech on the ideals of a democracy that thrives when citizens can vote, when there is a free press and when there are equal rights for all.

“This nation was built on an idea,” Biden said in his address. “We were built on an idea, the idea of liberty and opportunity for all. We’ve never fully realized that aspiration of our founders, but every generation has opened the door a little wider.”

Since he beat Trump to the White House last year Trump and many other Republicans have sought to baselessly portray the election as having been somehow fraudulent. They have launched scores of court cases and even a so-called “audit” of the results in in Arizona’s largest county.

Republican state legislatures have also passed local voting laws aimed at restricting voting access that civil rights advocates say are aimed at communities of color. On Sunday night Texas Republicans failed to push through one of the most restrictive voting measures in the US after Democrats walked out of the state House at the last minute. But other measures have passed in states like Georgia and Florida.

While politicians from both sides of the US political spectrum routinely speak of a “battle for the soul of America” to describe their mission to voters, Biden’s holiday address came as Trump’s former national security adviser Lt Gen Michael Flynn also said over the weekend that a Myanmar-like coup “should happen” in the US.

Appearing before a conference of the QAnon conspiracy movement in Dallas, Flynn was asked by an attendee if what was happening in Myanmar – in which the military overthrew a democratically elected government – could be repeated at home.

“There’s no reason,” Flynn told a cheering audience. “I mean, it should happen – that’s right.”

Since Myanmar’s military seized power in February, and detained the country’s democratically elected leaders, at least 800 civilians have died and thousands have been arrested.

Flynn was fired by Trump in 2017 after it was revealed that he had lied to Vice-President Mike Pence over contacts with Russian ambassador Sergei Kislyak.

He later pleaded guilty to making false statements to the FBI, then withdraw his plea and the justice department dropped charges against him. Trump later pardoned the general. In January, Twitter banned Flynn from its platform in a purge of accounts promoting QAnon theories. 

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