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Afghanistan on alert: Conflict within the Taliban arises over opposing views

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The new government are at heads, following allegations of a potential fallout between two ministers with different leadership strategies.

New government’s deputy PM and Taliban co-founder Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar

There are reports that a major fight has broken out between different leaders of the Taliban as the group settles into their rule over Afghanistan.

Allegations state that the group’s co-founder Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar and a cabinet member were involved in the disagreements that occurred at Kabul’s presidential palace.

Speculation has grown around the stability of the group since the co-founder disappeared from public view over recent days.

It was believed that the leader may have died, but those rumours have since been denied through an unofficial recording circulating social media.

The Taliban took back control of Afghanistan in August declaring the country an “Islamic Emirate”, with their entire cabinet made up of senior male figures.

Here’s how it started

A source within the militant group says the co-founder and minister for refugees exchanged strong words inside the palace and their respective followers brawled with each other nearby.

The reports come after a senior Qatar-based Taliban member plus his connection, said he can confirm that an argument broke out at the palace last week.

The strong words exchanged in the argument related to the deputy Prime Minister’s dissatisfaction with the interim government’s structure.

Additionally, many government members are in protest over who should be held accountable and awarded credit for the group’s “success” in taking over Afghanistan.

Could it be the start of something greater?

There appears to be conflicting views within the interim government.

Mr Bradar is reportedly attempting to rule on a diplomacy-based approach, whereas members of the Haqqani group and their followers believe fighting and terrorism is a better way to lead.

The group’s leader, Sirajuddin Haqqani, has been allocated a spot in the new government as the interior minister.

However, the Haqqani group is responsible for some of the world’s most violent attacks, deemed as a terrorist group by the United States.

Since the alleged altercations, Mr Baradar is still yet to make any in-person appearances, with concerns increasing over his wellbeing and whereabouts.

Business

Sleepover at IKEA: dozens stranded amid snowstorm in Denmark

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Two dozen staff and six customers were forced to stay the night at IKEA as up to 30 centimetres of snow trapped them inside

A furniture showroom in the department store in Aalborg, Denmark, became the bedroom of several people who were unable to safely make it home in time amidst a strong snowstorm.

Store Manager Peter Elmose told the Ekstra Bladet tabloid that people could “pick the exact bed they always have wanted to try.”

People working in a toy shop next door also took to the department store to join in on the fun.

Michelle Barrett, one of the toy shop staff, told Denmark’s public broadcaster, DR, “it’s much better than sleeping in one’s car. It has been nice and warm and we are just happy that they would let us in.” 

“We just laughed at the situation, because we will probably not experience it again,” she added.

Another approximate 300 people had to stay the night at the Aalborg airport to keep out of the storm. 

According to Euronews, the IKEA sleepover consisted of feasting on chips and Swedish cinnamon rolls in the staff canteen before watching television.

“It was a really nice evening, enjoying each other’s company,” Elmose told AFP. 

“Everyone had a full night’s sleep, our mattresses are good.”

And when the shop reopened for business the next morning, all the bedding and sheets had of course been changed.

Unmade beds following the overnight stay at IKEA amid snowstorm. Source: IKEA Aalborg’s Instagram

This comes after 61 people were trapped in a Yorkshire pub for three nights last week.

The several people trapped in the Tan Hill Inn during the storm slept on makeshift beds on the floor, watched movies, had a quiz night and enjoyed a buffet meal.

Some guests even claimed they didn’t want to leave the the pub after enjoying the 17th century hotel’s hospitality.

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World

Hong Kong to launch China style system

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As Hong Kong and China prepare to resume quarantine-free travel, Hong Kong’s government will introduce a Beijing-style health code from December 10

The Hong Kong Health Code will take note of a user’s real name, address and identification number.

The voluntary app is designed to be compatible with systems in both Macau and Guangdong provinces in southern China.

In mainland China, a mandatory health code dictates where residents and visitors can travel to and from, sharing real-time data with authorities.

The introduction of this health code system in Hong Kong will allow Chinese officials to open back up the nation’s borders with the city-state.

Hong Kong’s chief information officer also says records “won’t be transferred to mainland authorities unless the person is infected or has been a close contact”.

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Meghan Markle wins latest privacy battle case

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A UK court dismissed the appeal brought on by Associated Newspapers Limited, after the company published a letter that she sent to her father, Thomas Markle in 2018.

ANL and the Mail have staunchly denied that they have done anything wrong, standing by the decision to publish the letter.

But the court rejected these claims, and says the Duchess has “a reasonable expectation of privacy in the contents of the letter.”

The judge continued, adding “the contents were personal, private and not matters of legitimate public interest”.

ANL says it is disappointed with the decision and is considering an appeal to the UK’s Supreme Court.

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