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Taliban to meet Afghan opposition in Moscow: official

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Taliban to meet Afghan opposition in Moscow

KABUL: The Taliban said Sunday they will send a delegation to Russia for a rare meeting with Afghan opposition leaders, just days after peace talks with the United States that excluded the Kabul government.

The two-day sit-down in Moscow, starting Tuesday, will be attended by some of President Ashraf Ghani’s chief political rivals, but none of the government envoys tasked with Taliban negotiations.

Ghani has appealed to the insurgents to talk after being frozen out of six days of discussions between the Taliban and the United States in Doha last month that sealed the outlines of a peace deal.

Instead the Taliban, which refuses to recognise Ghani’s government, will sit down in Moscow with some of the president’s main opponents to discuss the country’s future — stirring frustrations in Kabul.

“It shows the peak of depression, and begging to terrorists,” said Amrullah Saleh, who is running as vice-president on Ghani’s ticket in elections slated for July.

“A smile to the enemy is a blow to the national spirit,” he posted on his Facebook page on Sunday.

Among those, who have confirmed their attendance in Moscow, is Haneef Atmar, who is running against Ghani in the elections. Former warlord Atta Muhammad Noor and former Afghan president Hamid Karzai — both Ghani rivals — are also attending.

Noor on Sunday said the meeting was “a pathway towards strengthening the peace efforts led by the US” while Atmar described it as “an important step towards intra-Afghan peace talks”.

A government-appointed council tasked with Taliban engagement said Sunday it was not invited to Moscow.

A senior Taliban official said they would send a delegation, but described the meeting as non-political and “arranged by some organizations based in Moscow”.

The Russian Embassy in Kabul issued a statement late Saturday on behalf of the “Afghan Society of Russia”. The group said it had invited “influential figures” to the dialogue in the President Hotel in Moscow.

“We are ready to play our role in bringing peace to Afghanistan,” the statement read.

It is not clear what role, if any, Russia has in the summit. A spokesman for the Russian Embassy in Kabul could not be reached for comment.

The Taliban are scheduled to hold another round of peace talks with the US in Doha on February 25.

 

 

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USA

US 2020 presidential candidate calls for Trump’s impeachment

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NEW YORK: US Senator Elizabeth Warren has became the most senior Democrat, and the first 2020 presidential candidate, to call for the start of impeachment proceedings against President Donald Trump following the release of the special counsel’s report on Russian interference in the 2016 American election and the Trump presidential campaign.

“The (Robert) Mueller report lays out facts showing that a hostile foreign government attacked our 2016 election to help Donald Trump and Donald Trump welcomed that help.

Once elected, Donald Trump obstructed the investigation into that attack,” she said in a statement following the release of a redacted version of a 448-page summary of Mueller’s nearly two-year investigation.

In a series of posts on Twitter, Ms. Warren attempted to lay out her case for the House of Representatives to begin its effort to impeach Trump.

“I read the Mueller report. When I got to the end, I realized this is a point of principle,” Warren wrote. “Because it matters not just for this president, but for all future presidents. No one is above the law.”

Warren, who was taunted by Trump during the 2016 presidential campaign after the senator claimed Native American heritage, called on Democrats and Republicans to “set aside political considerations,” suggesting that impeachment proceedings should be bipartisan.

“To ignore a president’s repeated efforts to obstruct an investigation into his own disloyal behavior would inflict great and lasting damage on this country, and it would suggest that both the current and future presidents would be free to abuse their power in similar ways,” Warren continued.

Warren claimed that the Mueller report showed that Russia attempted to tilt the election in Trump’s favor and that he welcomed the helped while attempting to derail the investigation afterward.

“Mueller put the next step in the hands of Congress: ‘Congress has authority to prohibit a president’s corrupt use of his authority in order to protect the integrity of the administration of justice.’ The correct process for exercising that authority is impeachment,” Warren wrote.

 

 

 

 

 

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Asia

Easter: 160 killed, 300 injured in bomb blasts in S.Lankan cities

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COLOMBO: 160 people (including six foreigners) lost their lives while three hundred got wounded in six blasts in different cities of SriLanka on Easter Sunday.

According to details three churches (Colombo’s St. Anthony’s Shrine, Negombo’s St. Sebastian’s Church, Batticaloa’s Zion Church) and three high-end hotels (Cinnamon Grand, Shangri-La, Kingsbury) were targeted simultaneously at 8:45 am local time.

According to Police, at least 43 were killed in Colombo while 10 in Batticaloa blasts.

 

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Sports

Amir Khan, NPTV Brand Envoy, to Rewrite Narrative at Big Apple

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NEW YORK: Madison Square Garden is the venue where NewsPakistan.TV’s Brand Ambassador Amir Khan is going to rewrite the narrative against Terence ‘Bud’ Crawford in the most anticipated welterweight showdown today (Sunday 6 PM local time). The best boxers on the planet are going to clash for the Welterweight Championship. WBO Champion Terence Crawford (34-0, 25 knockouts) will attempt to extend his undefeated streak defending his unbeaten streak.

32-year-old Amir Khan (33-4, 20 knockouts) commenting on the fight held: “Terence is a skillful fighter, and I always do well against skillful fighters…This is going to be like a game of chess at times. I’ve been in the division longer, so I’ve got that advantage on my side. I’m the bigger guy, so that is on my side. This is a fight where I have to bring my ‘A’ game.”

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A relevant piece published earlier: 

A role model to millions of people, World Boxing Champion Amir Khan, who won Athens 2004 Olympic Silver Medal for Britain at the age of 17, is a philanthropist outside the ring. 

In an exclusive interview with NPTV conducted here, he held: “When I fought for these world titles it was very difficult.  Nothing in life comes easy. But one thing to the viewers is if anyone has any dream in life you have to work hard to achieve it. Don’t give up. Never give up in life. It is very hard to achieve what you want to achieve in life. But as long as you keep working hard, one day, you know, you will achieve your dream!”

Q: Tell us about your early days and life? 

AMIR KHAN: Early Days! I was born in Bolton, a small town in Manchester.  I was very hyperactive! I was very naughty at school! And the teacher used to always say to me:  “I am going to call your parents to school because you misbehave too much! They have to monitor you! Make sure you are OK!” So what my dad did – he took me to a boxing club. You know! Since then I started to behave in school! The teacher called my father and asked my father:  What have you done to Amir? Because he is totally changed. 

What boxing taught me was discipline. Because of that I totally changed the way I live; the way I treat people; how I respect people. And also I know not to fight, or not to mess around! Because I am a professional fighter now! There are so many people who look up to me. I am a role model to millions of people around the world. So I have to, you know, do the right things in life!

Q: Tell us about your experiences and the biggest achievement of your life? 

AMIR KHAN: Obviously, the biggest achievement was going to the Olympic Games.  And then winning the world title. I was the first ever Pakistani to win the world title.  No one has ever won a world (boxing) title – been a Pakistani. It is a great honor for me to win the World Championship. It was not easy. It was very hard. I was a smaller guy. I was a younger guy. When I fought for these world titles it was very difficult.  Nothing in life comes easy. But one thing to the viewers is if anyone has any dream in life you have to work hard to achieve it. Don’t give up. Never give up in life.  It is very hard to achieve what you want to achieve in life. But as long as you keep working hard one day, you know, you will achieve your dream. But one thing about our young Pakistani children is they need to work hard. We need them to work hard and have a focus and have ambition.

To have an ambition in life, to become the best.  That’s the only reason you will achieve something.  I will tell you about myself. I used to wake up every morning and I used to be like: ‘One day I will become the World Champion!’ I used to always wake up in the morning have one thing in my head: ‘I am going to become a World Champion! I’ll have my dream and I will have my ambition’. I kept training and training and now MashaAllah I am now in this position. I am the World Champion now. I won big fights. I am a big name around the world, not only in Pakistan but in England, America, Europe. All over the world. So, it is just a great feeling to be in this position. And also I hope I’ll inspire more people. I want to inspire the young, the youth to do what I’ve done.

Because Pakistan is a country which has a lot of talent.  But we have to now put them on the right path. We have to support them. So, all the people now have to support the children, tell them: ‘Look if you want to achieve something in life then go for it, we support you 100%. And that’s why I have come myself to Pakistan. So I can support people myself. I am going to coach myself the youth of Pakistan. I am going to coach them; I am going to train them; I am going to hold pads for them; I am going to teach them technique. Because I want Pakistan to improve in boxing.

Q: You have been to different countries like in Europe and America? Did you ever feel racism there? 

AMIR KHAN: No! You know, to be honest with you; I have never experienced any racial stuff, never. It is nice to be seen as a people’s Champion.  Wherever I go to, Europe: In Germany, England, France… I never ever experience any racism. People like me. Even in England, they say I am the son of England. They love me in England, that’s where I live.  The Queen always invites me for like the tea … So MashaAllah! I am in a great position. Where I am loved by so many people. I think it is not only because of boxing. I think it is about what I am like as a person. As a person, I am a very down-to-earth guy. I respect everybody. I treat everybody nice. And at the same time, you know, I do a lot of charity work as well. So people like charity work I do.

Q: Tell us about your Charity Foundation. 

AMIR KHAN: I have the Amir Khan Trust.  And in the UK I have the Amir Khan Foundation. Basically, we do a lot of work. For example, when the earthquake happened, we were in Pakistan straight away, in Muzaffarabad.  Then when the floods happened, I went to Nowshera, Charsadda… And then when the APS school killing happened – the children.  I was there, at the APS School. One thing about me is I like to go there myself and see, and experience and help: When the floods happen, I give them clothing, I give them food, I supply clean drinking water. When the Earthquake happens, I supply clothing, rebuild homes. So you know! Allah has given me this big name. I want to utilize my name the right way. For example, helping poor people, the right way. For example, collecting donations. Giving to charities and giving to poor people! (Published on 16th August 2016)

 

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