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Why the Taliban is against an evacuation extension for foreign troops



The Taliban has rejected any calls to extend the US evacuation deadline beyond August 31 as operations at Kabul’s major airport accelerate to record pace

This follows the head of the CIA meeting with the militant group’s leader in secret on Monday, marking the highest contact between the two parties since Kabul fell.

Several countries are pushing the United States to have the deadline extended, including the UK and France, who are both in favour of a continuing military presence.

The Taliban’s spokesperson has also urged all Afghan nationals to avoid crowding the airport’s boundaries and return home.

The spokesperson says these Afghans will not face punishment from the country’s new rulers

“The road which goes to the airport is blocked. Afghans cannot take that road to go to the airport, but foreign nationals are allowed to”

“We are not allowing the evacuation of Afghans anymore and we are not happy with it either”.

Many of the people reported to be fleeing are educated people, and particularly women… as women were forbidden to work or attend universities or schools under the Taliban’s previous rule.

Meanwhile, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson says G7 member nations have met and they are pushing the Taliban to allow safe passage for those who want to leave Afghanistan.

The White House says the President briefed the G7 member nations and assured leaders that the deadline will be met.

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Pink-coloured pigeon rescued in New York



Pigeons come in a whole range of colours, but it seems pink isn’t one of them

That’s exactly what happened in New York though, where a bright-coloured bird was rescued.

Wildlife groups believe the pigeon was dyed as part of a gender reveal ceremony.

The feathery friend was suffering from malnutrition when it was found in Madison Square Park.

In a statement, the Wild Bird Fund says they should never be dyed because of risks like starvation and even death.

It went on to say the “poor bird has it bad enough unable to find food in the wild, fly well or escape predators.”

“But being a bright, unusual colour makes him even more of a target.”

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Iranian couple jailed for online dancing video



An Iranian couple have been given jail sentences totalling 10 years after posting a video online.

The two individuals, both in their 20s, were charged for supposedly promoting corruption, prostitution and propaganda.

Authorities have been cracking down on public disobedience.

It follows the death of a woman who was detained by the country’s infamous morality police.

Mahsa Amini died in police custody in September last year, arrested for violating the rule requiring women to cover their hair with a hijab, or headscarf.

Anti-government protests swept across the country after the incident.

The two individuals in the dancing video were reportedly detained after posting the clip to their social media accounts – which have a combined following of more than two million people.

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Donald Trump claims deposition as “biggest witch hunt”



Donald Trump has described the investigation into his company as the “biggest witch hunt” in the history of the United States during a formal deposition.

In September 2022, the New York Attorney General Letitia James, announced she would be looking into the Trump organisation’s business practices.

James alleges the former president “falsely inflated his net worth by billions of dollars to unjustly enrich himself and cheat the system”.

The lawsuit also takes aim at some of Trump’s children, and executives of his business.

During the deposition tape, Trump can be seen reading a lengthy statement.

During this, the former president asserts his constitutional right to not answer questions, while accusing James of investigating him out of political spite.

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