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Taliban announces U.S. humanitarian aid to Afghanistan

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The United States has agreed to provide humanitarian assistance to Afghanistan, which is close to economic disaster, but refuses to politically recognize the country’s new rulers, the Taliban announced.

The announcement came at the conclusion of the first direct talks between former adversaries following the hasty withdrawal of American troops in late August.

The United States provided no comment on this weekend’s meeting.

The Taliban said the talks in Doha, Qatar “went well” and announced that Washington would provide humanitarian assistance to Afghanistan, after clarifying that such assistance was not tied to formal recognition of the Taliban as a new force in Kabul.

Moreover, Washington was keen to emphasize that the talks were not a preamble to the recognition of the Taliban, who came to power on August 15 following the collapse of the US-backed Afghan government.

Taliban political spokesman Suhail Shahin told The Associated Press that the movement’s interim foreign minister assured the United States during negotiations that the Taliban are committed to ensuring that Afghan lands are not used by extremists to attack other countries.

However, this Saturday the Taliban refused to cooperate with Washington to curb the activities of the radical Islamic State (EI) group, which is increasingly active in Afghanistan.

IS, an enemy of the Taliban, has claimed responsibility for a string of recent attacks, including a suicide bombing this Friday that killed 46 minority Shia Muslims. Washington considers ISIS to be the biggest terrorist threat emanating from Afghanistan.

“We can confront Daesh alone [acrónimo árabe do movimento]”Shaheen said when asked if the Taliban would work with the United States to curb the Islamic State’s dependence on Afghanistan.

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US officials were expected to pressure the Taliban to allow US citizens and others to leave Afghanistan.

In a statement released today, the Taliban said, without going into details, that “they will facilitate the movement of foreign citizens on a principled basis.”

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Luxembourg became the first European country to legalize the production and consumption of cannabis

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Luxembourg became the first European country to legalize the production and consumption of cannabis after local authorities announced this Friday allowing adults to grow up to four plants in their homes or gardens. With permission, a dramatic shift in the country’s approach to the recreational use and cultivation of cannabis is envisioned in light of the failure of the ban to prevent its use.

Thus, people over 18 years of age can legally grow up to four plants per family for personal use. The seed trade will also be allowed without any restrictions on the amount or levels of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the main psychoactive ingredient.

There is also an intention to allow domestic seed production for commercial purposes, but plans for a national regulated production and distribution chain have been delayed due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The consumption or transport of cannabis or similar products in public places continues to be prohibited, as is the sale of cannabis or related products other than seeds. Consuming and transporting quantities up to 3 grams will not be considered a crime, but will be classified as a misdemeanor.

Government sources said that the adoption of the law was dictated by the desire to liberalize consumption and cultivation “within its four walls.” According to government sources, a state-regulated production and distribution system must guarantee product quality and sales revenues, which will be invested “mainly in drug prevention, education and health care.”

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France gives a “fuel check” for 100 euros from December

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Starting in December, France will provide a one-time € 100 “fuel check” to an estimated 36 million drivers who earn less than € 2,000 a month due to rising diesel and gasoline prices.

The measure, which applies to dependents and independent workers, unemployed job seekers and retirees, was announced on Thursday by Prime Minister Jean Castex, who, in statements broadcast on TF1, said it was “an exceptional response to an exceptional situation.” …

The financial support will be provided only once and will come after growing public discontent with the global energy crisis, as households are still recovering from the economic fallout from the covid-19 pandemic.

In September, the French government pledged € 100 in financial aid to about six million low-income families to help them pay their electricity bills.

Castex announced that the natural gas price freeze will continue until the end of next year.

The fuel issue is particularly acute in France after the emergence of the anti-government yellow vests movement, which began in 2018 with protests against higher fuel taxes.

The protest quickly turned into a general protest against economic injustice, which resulted in weekly, sometimes violent demonstrations.

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“If I don’t get what I want, I’d rather kill the Americans”: Armed group that kidnapped 17 people in Haiti threatens to start executions

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In a video released this Thursday, the leader of an armed group that has kidnapped 17 people, mostly missionaries, in Haiti threatens to kill them if the ransom is not paid.

The gang, known as the 400 Mawozo, is holding captive all of the kidnapped people – 16 Americans and one Canadian, including six women and five children. For their release, a ransom of one million dollars (more than 862 thousand euros) was required for each, that is, for a total amount of 17 million dollars (about 15 million euros).

“I swear if I don’t get what I want, I’d rather kill the Americans. I shot everyone in the head, ”said Joseph Wilson, who is considered by the authorities to be the leader of the armed group.

According to the Wall Street Journal, which adds that it has not been able to confirm the video’s authenticity, Joseph appears to be speaking at the funeral of five gang members, whose death he attributed to the person in charge of the police. The funeral took place this Wednesday, and the circumstances of the death are unknown.

“Five soldiers fell, but whoever killed them cannot destroy the army. I’m going to spill blood, ”threatens Wilson Joseph.

The video was filmed less than a week after the kidnapping, which occurred over the weekend as a group of missionaries working for the Christian Relief Ministry were returning from a shelter in Croix-de-Bouquet, about eight miles from the capital, Port-au. -Prince.

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