PM Abiy Ahmed's party wins landslide victory in Ethiopia election

News Network
July 11, 2021

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Addis Ababa, July 11: Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed's Prosperity Party won the most seats in Ethiopia's parliamentary election, the election board said on Saturday, a victory that assures him another term in office.

Abiy hailed the June 21 vote as the country's first free and fair election after decades of repressive rule. However, an opposition boycott, war in the northern region of Tigray, ethnic violence and logistical challenges in some areas overshadowed the election. Voting did not take place in three of Ethiopia's 10 regions.

Abiy's party won 410 of 436 parliamentary seats, election board deputy chairperson Woubshet Ayele announced in the capital Addis Ababa. Chairperson Birtukan Mideksa said the board had delivered a credible election.

Opposition leader Berhanu Nega said his Ethiopian Citizens for Social Justice party (Ezema) had filed 207 complaints after local officials and militiamen blocked observers in the Amhara region and Southern Nations, Nationalities and Peoples' region.

The election was the first test of voter support for Abiy, who promised political and economic reforms when he was appointed prime minister by the governing coalition in 2018.

Within months of taking office, Abiy lifted a ban on opposition parties, released tens of thousands of political prisoners and took steps to open up one of Africa's last untapped markets.

He now faces international pressure over the war in Tigray and accusations from rights groups that his government is rolling back some new freedoms, which it denies.

Abiy's newly formed Prosperity Party faced a fragmented opposition of dozens of mostly ethnically-based parties. The opposition parties Ezema and the National Movement of Amhara (NAMA) each won less than 10 seats.

Voting in the Harar and Somali regions was delayed until September over security concerns and problems with ballot papers.

No date has been set for voting in Tigray, where the military has been battling forces loyal to the Tigray People's Liberation Front (TPLF), the region's former ruling party, since November. The fighting has displaced 2 million people, and the United Nations has warned of famine conditions in parts of the region.

At the end of June, the TPLF seized control of most of Tigray and the regional capital Mekelle, eight months after the conflict erupted.

The government announced a unilateral ceasefire after days of TPLF advances. The TPLF has presented a list of seven demands that it says are a precondition for a ceasefire, including the withdrawal of the military and its allies from parts of Tigray currently administered by the neighbouring region of Amhara, which also claims the land.

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News Network
September 2,2021

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Popular TV and film actor Sidharth Shukla died at the age of 40 on Thursday. He was brought dead to Cooper Hospital, forensic department head Dr R Sukhdeve said. 

Since the news of his demise, an outpouring of grief and condolences has flooded the internet. He found immense fame after winning Bigg Boss 13.

After hearing the unfortunate news, a number of celebrities and colleagues of Sidharth took to social media to pay their tribute. Comedian Kapil Sharma tweeted, “Oh god, it’s really shocking n heartbreaking, my condolences to the family n prayers for the departed soul. Om Shanti.” Kriti Kharbanda wrote, “No words. This is just heartbreaking.”

Hailing from Mumbai, Sidharth Shukla made his acting debut with the Hindi TV show Babul Ka Aangann Chootey Na in 2008. He got his first major breakthrough after starring in the Colors TV show Balika Vadhu. 

This was followed by his stint in several reality TV shows, such as Khatron Ke Khiladi, India’s Got Talent and multiple seasons of Bigg Boss. He was the winner of Bigg Boss 13 and recently appeared on Bigg Boss OTT with Shehnaaz Gill.

Besides Salman Khan and Akshay Kumar, Bhuj actor Ajay Devgn also tweeted on Sidharth Shukla's untimely death.

He wrote: Life & death are both baffling. But when someone as young as #SidharthShukla passes away with suddenness, one is very sad... Condolences to his family. RIP Sidharth 

Salman Khan, who hosted Bigg Boss 13 which Sidharth Shukla won, has expressed his shock at latter's death news. He tweeted: Gone too soon Siddharth.. u shall be missed. Condolences to the family .. RIP

Sana Khan broke down while talking to media about Sidharth Shukla. She said that she couldn't believe the news and checked multiple times on Google. She added, "I am still in shock. I cannot believe, this has happened. God, lease give strength to his family. He was such a nice human being and that's why he won Bigg Boss 13."

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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
September 3,2021

Bengaluru, Sept 3: Bharatiya Janata Party leader Arvind Bellad has given clean chit to Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led government holding Afghanistan’s Taliban completely responsible for price rise in India!

Bellad, who is an MLA from Hubli-Dharwad (West), claimed that Taliban takeover of Afghanistan was the actual reason for the rise in fuel prices. 

 “Taliban problem has started. Internationally, prices are up and hence the gas rates are up. All over the world, gas and oil supplies have been hit. That’s why the rates are up in India too,” he claimed. 

“Voters are mature. They will understand the reality and vote for BJP,” he added.

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