24 September 2018

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Friday September 14, 2018 Kabul (BNA) Safiya Wazir, 27, who fled the Taliban with her family in 1997, won an upset victory in a New Hampshire primary. “There can be change, yes. Why not?” she said. It was a mere state house race, below the radar, with fewer than 500 votes cast. But Safiya Wazir’s upset victory in New Hampshire on Tuesday is yet one more striking example of how nontraditional candidates are upending expectations in this extraordinary election season. Ms. Wazir, just 27 and a refugee from Afghanistan, toppled a four-term incumbent in the Democratic primary for state representative in a blue-collar neighborhood of Concord, the state capital. Her opponent was Dick Patten, 66, a former city councilor and former police dispatcher who was first elected to the state legislature in 2010. His campaign focused on immigrants, whom he blamed for “getting everything,” such as welfare benefits, to the detriment of people born and raised in New Hampshire. She beat him, 329 to 143. It was a stunning upset, not just because Ms. Wazir is so young, a woman and new to politics — not to mention relatively new to this country — but because New Hampshire is 94 percent white. Its neighbors, Vermont and Maine, are 95 percent white, making northern New England collectively the nation’s whitest region. Nytimes Ansari

Sunday, August 26, 2018

Kabul (BNA) Iranian Energy Minister Reza Ardakanian said Saturday that Iran has resumed electricity supplies to neighboring countries after it overcame its domestic power shortage.
“Iran is committed to supplying electricity to neighboring countries of Iraq, Pakistan and Afghanistan,” Ardakanian told reporters on Saturday, while he did not reject the possibility to import power from some other neighboring countries as well.
Iran cut electricity supplies to Iraq due to unpaid bills as well as a sharp rise in domestic consumption during the hot days in summer back in July.
The Iranian energy minister said that the Iraqi side has started paying its accumulated bills, calling for an acceleration in the process of payments.  He also said that Iran will probably import power from Turkmenistan and Armenia if necessary.
 

Monday April 9, 2018 Kabul (BNA) Pashtun Tahafuz Movement's (PTM) grand gathering in Peshawar kicked off on Sunday afternoon with the speakers demanding the release of missing persons as well as provision of basic human rights to the Pakhtun community in Pakistan. People numbering in thousands, from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Federally Administered Tribal Areas (Fata), participated in the gathering at Pishtakhra Chowk near Ring Road and intermittently chanted the slogan da sang azadi da (what kind of freedom is this) their movement's rallying cry. The families of missing persons arrived at the gathering holding pictures of their loved ones, whose whereabouts remain unknown. The protesters were largely mobilised through social media, as well as pamphlets and PTM workers creating an awareness about the movement among local communities. It is pertinent to mention that mainstream TV channels across the country gave little to no airtime to the Sunday protest. "We are only against the oppressors," PTM leader Manzoor Pashteen told a charged audience as he took the stage. "We are only the 'agents' of our nation," he said, addressing allegations that the movement is being backed by foreign agencies. "What has happened so far for the missing persons?" he asked. "The mothers and elders whose beloveds are missing should not be coerced." Family members of a missing person hold poster demanding his recovery. Photo by Author "In Karachi, money is taken in return for bodies. Even Genghis Khan did not take money after killing people," Pashteen said. "After Rao Anwar (the ex-SSP Malir accused of the extrajudicial murder of Naqeebullah Mehsud), it is now the turn of Ehsanullah Ehsan (former TTP leader)," he said, demanding that the erstwhile TTP spokesperson should be brought to the courts. "After Ehsanullah, we will bring [former president] Musharraf to the courts," he added. He also spoke about how businesses in Fata have been affected by the ensuing violence. "Fruit from Wana and Swat is being sold in Lahore instead of Peshawar." "In Waziristan, the 'good Taliban' are threatening the people," he said. Pashteen demanded that the practice of imposing curfews in Fata should come to an end, and that schools, hospitals under occupation should return to their usual course of action. "We will go to every village until our demands are met," Pashteen announced, adding that more jalsas will be held in Karachi, Hyderabad, Loralai and Bannu, followed by a sit-in in Islamabad. He also announced that a gathering named "Jalsa Raddul Fasaad" will be held on April 22 in Lahore, whereas another one in Swat on April 29 will be called "Raah-e-Raast". Thousands gather to demand basic human rights at PTM jalsa in Peshawar. Photo by Author The Islamabad sit-in would end only after an international guarantee, Pashteen told the audience. He also said that a rally will be taken to Waziristan after Ramazan. "We have to give the coming generations a bright future," he concluded.

Friday March 23, 2018
Kabul (BNA) The highest number of asylum seekers in Bulgaria last year are people from Afghanistan - 1050. For the past 15 years people from Afghanistan who demanded asylum in our country are 25,000. This is evidence from Eurostat's first analysis of the number of asylumseekers for the in EU countries in 2017. In the second position is Iraq, the number of asylum seekers was 955 people, and the third was Syria - 940, according to European statistics, cited by BTA. For the first two months of this year, 224 people sought refuge in Bulgaria, with the number of Syrians being the largest - 150, followed by Iraqi representatives - 35 and Afghanistan - 20. A refugee status has been received by about 60 people, humanitarian status - 98, and a refusal was given to about 180 people.
According to the State Agency for Refugees, for the 15-year period, the largest group of asylum seekers is from Afghanistan with about 25 thousand people. The second largest is the group of people from Syria - about 21 thousand, and third - from Iraq - about 19 thousand.
Nearly 650,000 people have applied for international protection in the EU for the first time in 2017, according to Eurostat. This is close to half of those who applied for asylum in the EU in 2016 when their number exceeded 1.2 million people.
Syrians (102,400 candidates), Iraqis (47,500) and Afghans (43,600) remain mainly those seeking international protection in the EU Member States in 2017. The majority of Syrians have sought shelter in Germany - nearly 50,000, in Greece - about 16,000, and in Austria - over 7,000. Germany is the country with the highest number of asylum seekers last year - more than 200,000 or about 30 per cent of the total number of asylum seekers in the EU. It is followed by Italy - 127,000 (or 20 per cent), France - 91,000 (or 14 per cent), Greece - 57,000 (or 9 per cent), and Great Britain - 33,000 (or 5 per cent).
The Eurostat analysis also takes some interesting details about the nationality of asylum seekers in some EU countries: for example, the most compact group of asylum seekers in Spain is from Venezuela - over 10 000 asylum applications. In France, the largest number of asylum seekers is Albania - about 12,000, in Italy - most are asylum seekers are Nigerian - nearly 25,000, in Poland - the most compact group comes from Russia - over 2000, etc. A total of 222,000 were granted refugee status in the EU in 2017 at first instance, 159,000 were granted subsidiary protection status (as victims of military conflicts) and 63,000 were granted a residence permit for humanitarian reasons, Eurostat reported.
Ansari

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