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Clinton makes final push in runup to New Jersey primary

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Hillary Clinton

Democratic presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton made a campaign appearance in New Jersey to tout her plan to provide social wellbeing to Americans and defeat her rival Bernie Sanders there in the last big primary on the East Coast.

With 142 delegates up for grabs, New Jersey will holds its Democratic and Republican primaries on the same day as California — June 7 — and with a time difference of three hours the result in the eastern state may well influence voters in the West Coast state with its whopping 546 delegates.

In addition, New Jersey is key because after decades of being a firmly Democratic state, forecasts are that it could swing to Republican Donald Trump in the November election, although Clinton on Wednesday accused the real estate magnate of “fraud” and emphasised what she called his complete “incompetence” to be the nation’s next “commander in chief”, EFE news agency reported.

Clinton took advantage of the rally at Rutgers University in Newark to list her plans if she’s elected president regarding health care, education, equality and social benefits, all of which have been key campaign themes of Sanders, whom she did not mention even implicitly.

The former secretary of state and first lady said that she will honour the “historic legacy” left by current US President Barack Obama with programmes such as Obamacare, at the same time that she will make priorities of providing aid for childcare, family counseling, mental health services and services for addicts.

Clinton said to applause and cheers that when she talks about social rights some people say she’s “playing the woman card”, and she said she was guilty of that if defending pay equality between men and women and opportunities for all is playing that card.

While Clinton never mentioned Sanders in her speech, she lambasted Trump time and again on the same day that a new election poll by Quinnipiac University came out showing the former first lady leading the billionaire by 4 percentage points.

The Democratic frontrunner said that Trump was a “con man” because of the scandal that erupted in recent days over his donations to veterans’ groups, as well as a “fraud” because of the Trump University case involving numerous complaints from “students” who purchased the real estate courses accusing him of bilking them out of thousands of dollars.

She said that his statements on foreign policy were “dangerous” and questioned his ability to be commander-in-chief, adding that he had attacked key US allies, wants to ban all Muslims from entering the US and is promoting nuclear energy abroad in contradiction of long-standing US policy.

 

Politics

Afghan Cabinet still not finalized: Prez Palace

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Abdullah Abdullah

Kabul, Aug 11 : The Afghan Presidential Palace has said that Abdullah Abdullah, chairman of the High Council for Reconciliation, waas yet to introduce his nominated Ministers for the new Cabinet.

On Monday, the Palace’s deputy spokesman Dawa Khan Menapal said that nominees for Ministers must meet the criteria, so that the President can send them to the National Assembly for a vote of confidence, reports TOLO News.

“As soon as our political partners make a list according to the criteria, the government will send it to the parliament for a vote of confidence,” said Menapal.

On the other hand, Fraidoon Khwazoon, spokesman for Abdullah, said that they have sent their nominee list to the Presidential Palace.

“For our part, the problem is solved and we have sent the list of nominated ministers that is relevant to us and it will be implemented according to the agreement,” he said.

A number of politicians and citizens of the country consider the existence of differences between Ghani and Abdullah as one of the main reasons for the delay with the cabinet.

“The big reason is that these two people do not get along with each other and that is why they do not agree on governors and ministers,” said Abdul Rauf Shapoon, a lawmaker.

In May, a power-sharing agreement was signed between President Ashraf Ghani and Abdullah to end the political deadlock following last year’s presidential election.

Under the agreement signed on Sunday, Ghani remains as President, while Abdullah will head the High Council for National Reconciliation to lead the peace talks with the Taliban.

Abdullah, who served as Chief Executive in the previous government and contested the presidential poll on September 28, 2019, had challenged the outcome of the vote in which the Election Commission declared Ghani as winner.

When the delayed results of the election were finally announced in February, Ghani was again declared President by the Independent Election Commission after earning a slightly higher percentage than Abdullah, reports TOLO News.

But the tensions increased after Ghani and Abdullah, both held inauguration ceremonies on the same day in their adjacent respective palaces, after the latter rejected the outcome.

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New Zealand reports new COVID-19 case after 102 days

This case brought New Zealand’s total number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 to 1,220.

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Coronavirus Symtoms

Wellington, Aug 11 : New Zealand reported one new COVID-19 case of COVID-19 on Tuesday, after a period of 102 days, taking the total number of active cases in the country to 22, all in managed isolation or quarantine facilities, according to the Ministry of Health.

Tuesday’s case was a man in his 20s who arrived in New Zealand on July 30 from Melbourne, Xinhua news agency quoted Director-General of Health Ashley Bloomfield as saying at a press conference.

He was in managed isolation at the Grand Millennium and tested negative for COVID-19 around day three of his stay, but turned positive some nine days later and has now been transferred to the Auckland quarantine facility, Bloomfield said.

This case brought New Zealand’s total number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 to 1,220.

None of those people are receiving hospital-level care, he said.

The Ministry is planning for a COVID-19 immunization program, and while there is still significant uncertainty on what a potential COVID-19 vaccine might be and how it will be delivered.

The death toll stands at 22.

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Afghan president signs decree to free 400 Taliban inmates

However, the presidential palace said provisions of the issued decree about Taliban pardon do not prevent individuals from suing for their right.

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Ashraf Ghani

KABUL, Aug. 10 : Afghan President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani issued a decree on Monday to pardon and release about 400 controversial Taliban inmates, the Presidential Palace confirmed.

The palace tweeted that Ghani signed the decree late Monday evening for pardon of punishment of convicted Taliban prisoners, who are included in the 5,000 prisoners listed by the Taliban group.

The move came one day after participants of a 3,400-member Loya Jirga, or the Grand Assembly, voted for the release of 400 hardcore Taliban inmates.

A peace deal agreement signed between the United States and Taliban in Qatar in February required the Afghan government to free 5,000 Taliban inmates in exchange for Taliban’s release of 1,000 soldiers or government staff.

Since early March, the Afghan government had released 5,100 Taliban inmates and Taliban freed 1,000 Afghan soldiers or government staff.

Under the agreement, U.S. and NATO-led coalition forces would leave Afghanistan by July next year depending on whether the Taliban outfit meets the conditions envisaged in the agreement, including severing ties with foreign terrorist groups.

However, the presidential palace said provisions of the issued decree about Taliban pardon do not prevent individuals from suing for their right.

It was not immediately known when the 400 Taliban inmates will be freed.

According to unnamed officials, following the release of 400 Taliban inmates, the long-delayed peace talks between the Taliban and the Afghan government will begin later this month.

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