Taliban announce remaining cabinet members, no woman included
The Taliban on Tuesday announced a list of deputy ministers and once again did not name any woman, despite an international warning that the group will be judged by their actions and that its recognition would be linked to the treatment of women and minorities in Afghanistan. Taliban spokesperson Zabihullah Mujahid present that list of new names at a press conference in the Afghan capital of Kabul. Mujahid defended the expansion of the cabinet, saying it included members of ethnic minorities, such as Hazaras. He also said that women might be added later.
The Taliban announced an interim setup to govern Afghanistan on September 7 and said it will be led by a founding member, Mohammad Hassan Akhund as they returned to power after two decades. They also named several leaders of the dreaded Haqqani Network in key positions. Sirajuddin Haqqani, the son of the founder of the Haqqani Network, was named as the new Afghan interior minister. He is one of the FBI's most wanted men due to his involvement in suicide attacks and ties with al Qaeda.
The reclusive Taliban chief Haibatullah Akhundzada was named the supreme leader with the final say on religious, political and security affairs.
(With agency inputs)
Chinese authorities on Tuesday closed down parts of Tibet and launched mass testing in the capital after a rare outbreak of Covid-19 was reported in the remote region, even as the local government scrambles to contain Covid clusters in Hainan province's tourism hotspot, where thousands of tourists remain stranded. Authorities also suspended large events, shut entertainment and religious venues, and closed some tourist sites, including the famous Potala and Norbulingka Palaces, both world heritage sites.
Nagasaki paid tribute to the victims of the US atomic bombing 77 years ago on Aug 9, with the mayor saying Russia's war on Ukraine showed the world that another nuclear attack is not just a worry but "a tangible and present crisis". Read Reducing the risk of a nuclear war The United States dropped the world's first atomic bomb on Hiroshima on Aug 6, 1945, destroying the city and killing 140,000 people.
Sri Lanka on Tuesday said its “excellent relations” with China remain on a solid foundation even as it explained that it had deferred a proposal for a Chinese research vessel to call at Hambantota port because of the need for further consultations. The vessel, equipped with powerful radars and surveillance equipment, was earlier scheduled to call at Hambantota port, which is controlled by China, on August 11 for replenishment.
Parts of Tibet are running mass COVID-19 testing on Tuesday, including the Chinese autonomous region's two largest cities, to fight a rare flare-up, while clusters were growing in tropical Hainan and in Xinjiang in China's west. Subvariants of the highly transmissible Omicron are challenging China's strategy of swiftly blocking the spread of each nascent cluster. Mainland China reported 828 new domestically transmitted cases for Aug. 8, official data showed on Tuesday.
China used the visit of US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to Taipei as a pretext to hold war games in the region that helped prepare it for a possible invasion of the island, Taiwan's foreign minister said, adding Beijing had been planning the move for some time. Taiwan responded by deploying aircraft and vessels, issuing radio warnings and deploying land-based missile systems to monitor the activities.