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Humanitarian crisis intensifies in Afghanistan

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United Nations say the Taliban have so far allowed their work to continue uninterrupted, as world leaders and NGO’s work tirelessly to meets the needs of thousands of displaced Afghans in what is now a major humanitarian crisis.

An estimated 270,000 Afghans have been newly displaced inside the country since January 2021 – primarily due to insecurity and violence –  bringing the total uprooted population to over 3.5 million and rising.

Taliban leaders have assured officials that the takeover would be peaceful, and that women’s safety in the country a priority, despite reports that women are being forced to stay indoors and forego work and extracurricular activities.

Taliban assures NGO’s they’ve reformed

Daniel Wordsworth, CEO of World Vision Australia says the Taliban have so far not interfered with their ongoing aid work in the country.

Several large humanitarian groups maintain they have a mandate to continue emergency aid. But the scope of what that would look like is uncertain – dependent on fraught negotiations with the Taliban, and clouded by the potential for tighter restrictions and threats to Afghan staff.

World Vision calls for government action

World Vision Australia is asking the government to provide 20,000 places within their refugee program for displaced Afghans feeling the Taliban.

So far, the Australian government has pledged to offer 3000 humanitarian crisis visas, despite other nations declaring to offer more than six times that figure.

Priority will be given to Afghans with family in Australia, women and girls, and persecuted minorities as part of their ongoing rescue operation.

Australia’s commitment falls short of what is being offered by some other developed countries.

Late last week, Canada detailed a plan to offer 20,000 special humanitarian visas to vulnerable Afghans in response to the current crisis.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison referenced the moves made by other countries and ruled out making similar promises, despite pledging further ADF involvement.

“You would have heard other countries talk about figures of 5,000, I note that some are talking about figures of 20,000”.

“But, can I tell you, there are no clear plans about that”.

“Australia is not going into that territory”, he said.

World

AUKUS meetings wrap up as Australia eyes off nuclear submarines

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Australia's defence minister

The first AUKUS meetings wrap up in Washington as Australia eyes off nuclear submarines

The first round of AUKUS meetings have wrapped up, with U.S. Defence Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin praising the talks as an “historic endeavour”.

Following an agreement made in Washington, Australia will have nuclear-powered submarines at the “earliest possible date”.

Defence Secretary Austin joined Australia’s Richard Marles and the UK’s Ben Wallace at the Pentagon. The leaders discussed key challenges and opportunities confronting the world right now.

High on the agenda was the contentious Indo-Pacific region, in response to “ongoing Chinese aggression”.

The meeting comes as Australia looks to move away from its conventional Collins-class subs and invest in nuclear-powered vessels.

The U.S. reaffirming its commitment to ensure its pacific partner will acquire this capability at the earliest possible date.

Australia’s Deputy PM and Defence Minister Richard Marles says the submarines are “central” to advancing the military capabilities of the alliance.

“There is an enormous sense of shared mission and momentum across all three countries, in having Australia acquire a nuclear powered submarine,” Marles said.

“The significance of that step shouldn’t be lost on people. There’s only been one occasion where a country has shared that capability with another. That was the United States with the United Kingdom a long time ago.”

But while we’ve heard the meetings went well, leaders are remaining tight-lipped about the exact details and any deals that have been made.

AUKUS has set a target of March 2023 to figure out a plan for Australia to acquire the nuclear subs.

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World

Arrests made in Germany over a suspicious plan

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Well arrests have been made in Germany over suspicious activity to overthrow the nation’s government.

Twenty-five people have been arrested as part of the raids across the country.

The group reportedly includes far-right and ex-military figures.

It’s understood they were planning to storm the nation’s parliament and take over control.

Suspects include racists and conspiracy theorists, and Q-Anon believers.

Three thousand officers took part in the sting involving 150 operations in 11 of Germany’s 16 states.

Arrests were also made in Italy and Austria.

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Twist in trial over the crash of a Rio to Paris flight in 2009

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There’s been an unusual development in the trial of Airbus and Air France over the crash of a Rio to Paris flight in 2009

Ticker’s Europe Correspondent Ryan Thompson has more from Paris

After weeks in court, prosecutors have decided NOT to ask for a conviction of the two French companies – even as they acknowledge that’s not what victims families would want.  

French prosecutors said they were unable to prove the companies were guilty of involuntary manslaughter.

Their guilt “appears to us to be impossible to prove. We know that this view will most likely be difficult to hear for the civil plaintiffs,” prosecutors said.

Prosecutors initially dropped charges against the companies in 2019. This sparked anger in families of the victims.

A Paris appeals court overturned this decision in 2021 and ordered the trial to go ahead. 

“We have a prosecutor who is supposed to defend the people who in the end is defending the multinational Airbus,” Daniele Lamy, the head of victims’ association Entraide et Solidarite AF447, told reporters.

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