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Taliban claims capture of Afghanistan’s Panjshir

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The Taliban has taken complete control of Afghanistan’s Panjshir province

It’s the last area in Afghanistan held by resistance forces according to a Taliban spokesperson.

The National Resistance Front known as NRF – the anti-Taliban forces in Panjshir Valley, pledged to carry on fighting.

The NRF stated that the group was and remains present in “strategic positions” across the valley, adding “the struggle against the Taliban and their partners will continue”.

According to reports, the NRF acknowledged “suffering considerable battlefield losses” and called for a ceasefire.

It came as US Secretary of State Antony Blinken flew to Qatar to try and handle the chaotic aftermath left by the US withdrawal from Afghanistan.

The NRF group proposed in a statement “that the Taliban stop its military operations in Panjshir … and withdraw its forces”.

“In return, we will direct our forces to refrain from military action,” said the statement.

Who is the NRF?

The NRF is an anti-Taliban group made up of local fighters that are loyal to Ahmed Massoud – the son of the famous anti-Soviet and anti-Taliban commander Ahmad Shah Massoud.

The group also includes remnants of the Afghan military that retreated to the Panjshir Valley which is located about 125km north of the capital, Kabul.

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China conducts ‘punishment’ war games near Taiwan

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China initiated military ‘punishment’ exercises in the waters surrounding Taiwan in response to the newly inaugurated President Lai Ching-te.

These drills come amid escalating tensions in the region, with Beijing asserting its sovereignty over Taiwan, denouncing the inauguration of President Lai Ching-te and labelling this one of several “separatist acts”, as reported by Reuters.

These military manoeuvres are seen as a show of force and a warning to Taiwan and its supporters against any moves perceived as challenging China’s territorial claims.

President Lai has repeatedly offered talks with China but has been rebuffed.

He says only Taiwan’s people can decide their future, and rejects Beijing’s sovereignty claims.

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Apple Music’s controversial top 10 albums of all time

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Apple Music has released its highly anticipated “100 Best Albums of All Time” list, with the top 10 rankings causing a bittersweet symphony of destruction for some music lovers.

The list was curated by a panel of experts and based on various factors including cultural impact, critical acclaim, and commercial success, with the aim to celebrate the most influential and timeless albums across genres.

As reported by the official Apple Music Newsroom blog post, the top ten best albums of all time are the following:

10. Lemonade (2016), Beyoncé

9. Nevermind (1991), Nirvana 

8. Back to Black (2006), Amy Winehouse

7. good kid, m.A.A.d city (2012), Kendrick Lamar

6. Songs in the Key of Life (1976), Stevie Wonder

5. Blonde (2016), Frank Ocean

4. Purple Rain (1984), Prince & The Revolution

3. Abbey Road (1969), The Beatles

2. Thriller (1982), Michael Jackson

1. The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill (1998), Lauryn Hill

In other news, Apple recently became the first company to hit a $3 trillion stock market value, before falling just below that milestone, as reported by Reuters.

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Leaders

Essential daily protein needs for better health

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Protein is a fundamental macronutrient essential for various bodily functions, including muscle repair, enzyme production, and immune system support.

Daily protein requirements can vary significantly based on factors such as activity levels, age, and gender.

To help unpack this topic, Kate Save from BeFitFood joins to share her key insights. #featured

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