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Friday 20 July 2012,

DUSHANBE: Tajikistan is for the first time sending a female boxer to the London Olympics who is on a mission not only to win but to smash gender stereotypes in the religiously conservative ex-Soviet state.

Mavzuna Choriyeva, 19, won her ticket to the Olympics at a qualifying competition in Beijing earlier this year and will be the only competitor from ex-Soviet Central Asia in the boxing competition.

Choriyeva, who fights in the 60 kilogram’s category, is already Asian champion but her qualification spot so delighted the nation that President Emomali Rakhmon awarded her a car as a gift.

"My dream is to win a medal at the London Olympics," she told AFP before flying out to the British capital.

"I know this is not going to be easy -- the strongest sportswomen are going to be there with victories and experience behind them. There is nothing to fear you just need to move forwards to new victories."

"The competition will show your level, your readiness and will reveal your strengths and weaknesses," said Choriyeva, who celebrated her Asian championships victory by wearing a national costume on the podium.

Like many Tajiks of her generation, Choriyeva spent much of her early life in Moscow where her father was working as a migrant labourer in the hope of finding better wages than in their impoverished home country.

Her father had dreamed of teaching a son to box but in the end it was his daughter Mavzuna who put on the gloves and rapidly showed her talent. When her father died, she moved back to Tajikistan to work under trainer Mirzo Shamsiyev.

"Marvzuna is a self-starter and very capable. She does it all herself,” said Shamsiyev. "She aims at the set task and takes the boxing training very seriously."


(BNA) Friday 20 July 2012,

KABUL: British Prime Minister David Cameron warned the Taliban Thursday that the international community would continue to support the Afghan government after Nato troops pull out in 2014.

Cameron told a press conference with Afghan President Hamid Karzai in Kabul that a Nato conference in Chicago and a donors conference in Tokyo had recently shown the West's commitment to the war-torn country.

"I think this sends a very clear message to the Taliban: that you cannot wait this out until foreign forces leave in 2014, because we will be firm friends and supporters of Afghanistan long beyond then.

"So now is the time for everyone to participate in a peaceful political process in Afghanistan."

Afghan president Karzai said the peace process was "the most important goal that we pursue".

He and Cameron will later meet  Pak Prime Minister Raja Pervaiz Ashraf.

"This meeting is to see how we could intensify the Pakistan role in the Afghan peace process," Karzai said.

Cameron said the "terrorists" who were trying to destabilize Afghanistan were also trying to destablise Pakistan.

The first meeting between the three leaders comes as Britain, along with its Nato allies, prepares to withdraw its troops from Afghanistan by the end of 2014.

Relations between Afghanistan and Pakistan have traditionally suffered from distrust and mutual blame for the Taliban violence that plagues both countries.

Cameron also signed a deal to build an officers' training academy modelled on Britain's Sandhurst as Afghan forces take over increasing responsibility for the fight against Taliban insurgents.

On Wednesday, Cameron visited troops in the southern province of Helmand, where British forces are based.

Britain has around 9,500 troops in Afghanistan, making it the second-largest contributor to Nato's US-led 130,000-strong International Security Assistance Force, which is due to withdraw by the end of 2014.

Asked about reductions in troop numbers, Cameron said earlier it would be done in "a sensible, ordered, practical way -- 9,500 to 9,000 this year".

"As Afghan troops take a bigger role we will be able to reduce troop numbers further next year," he said.

"I don't want to see some cliff edge. I'm confident we are going to have a staged reduction and deliver a safe and secure situation."

It is the Pakistani prime minister's first visit to Kabul since being elected last month after his predecessor was dismissed for contempt, and the first time he is holding talks with president  Karzai and Cameron.

 ( Friday 20 July 2012,

. NEW YORK: Substituting almonds for less healthy foods could help dieters stick to a calorie-controlled diet, and lower their cholesterol at the same time, says a new study.

"Nuts, and in this case almonds, shouldn't be on the ‘do not eat' list, they can be effectively incorporated in a weight loss plan, with the caveat that they have to be portion controlled," said Dr. Gary Foster, who led the study at Temple University in Philadelphia.

The new study, published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition and supported by the Almond Board of California, involved 123 generally healthy but obese people who followed a calorie-controlled diet for 18 months. Women ate 1,200-1,500 calories per day, while men ate 1,500-1,800.

Half the people, assigned at random by researchers, were given two 28-gram packages of almonds (about 24 almonds per package) to eat each day. That works out to about 350 calories' worth. The other half agreed to avoid nuts altogether.

When researchers checked in with dieters after six months, they found that the nut-free dieters had lost slightly more weight than the almond eaters: 16 pounds compared to 12 pounds, on average. A year later, both groups had gained some of their weight back, and there was no longer a clear difference in total weight loss between participants who did and didn't eat almonds.

Past research also suggests that nuts like almonds might play a role in reducing risk factors for heart disease, so Foster and his team expected to see some improvement in cholesterol and levels of blood fats known as triglycerides among the almond-eating dieters.

Six months into the study, cholesterol in the almond group had fallen 8.7 milligrams (mg) per deciliter (dL), on average, compared to 0.1 mg/dL in the nut-free group - keeping both groups under the 200 mg/dL limit for total cholesterol recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. After 18 months, cholesterol levels had risen in both groups but were still lower, on average, in the almond group - although the difference could have been due to chance.

"This shows you can include almonds in the context of a weight control program, lose a significant amount of weight and get nice additional benefits in terms of cholesterol and triglycerides," said Foster.

Still, he urges caution. "Almonds don't make you lose weight; they're not free calories," he said.


It can be difficult for dieters to stay on track for as long as 18 months, and healthy people have fewer incentives to lose weight than those with health problems, said Dr. Michelle Wien, a nutrition researcher at Loma Linda University in California, who wasn't involved in the study.

In their report, researchers point to a lack of difference in blood fats at the end of the study as evidence that participants stopped following the diet over time. That's normal in any type of weight loss program, said Wien.

Snacks like nuts - promoted as a healthy source of nutrients by the U.S. Department of Agriculture - are generally considered off-limits to dieters because of their high fat content. Almonds are particularly rich in magnesium, potassium and vitamin E, as well as being a good source of fiber and calcium, according to the study's funder, the Almond Board of California.

When dieters are limiting how many calories they eat, it's important they eat foods that are nutrient dense, with a nice level of vitamins and minerals, and good quality fats, said Wien.

It's a comfort for people who are struggling with weight management, said Wien. They often crave something crunchy, something palatable with a nice texture, she added.

Foster agreed. If people can eat foods they enjoy when they're dieting, they are more likely to stick to their weight loss plan, and keep the weight off, said Foster.

The message to dieters is not ‘eat all the almonds you want and you'll lose weight,' but you can effectively incorporate almonds as part of a weight controlled diet," said Foste


Thursday, July 19, 2012
Kabul (BAN) At the invitation of Hamid Karzai, President of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, Raja Pervez Ashraf, Prime Minister of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, visited Kabul on 19 July 2012. 
President Karzai congratulated Prime Minister Ashraf on being elected as the Prime Minister of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, and assured him of the Government of Afghanistan’s continued cooperation in a broad range of areas between the two countries. 
The two leaders held in-depth discussions on various issues pertaining to bilateral cooperation, and re-affirmed the historical, cultural and religious bonds of friendship that exist between the two countries. Both leaders agreed that maintaining a strong, robust and independent bilateral relationship between Afghanistan and Pakistan was their mutual priority as it would contribute to the stability and prosperity of the region. 
Both sides stressed on the need to work together in the various fields of security, development, transit, trade, economic and investment linkages, mining, infrastructure and energy connectivity and people to people contacts. They recommitted to their shared vision to advance regional peace and stability and, in this context, reaffirmed their strong commitment to eliminating the scourge of terrorism in all its forms and manifestations. 
The two leaders discussed the Afghan peace process in great depth, renewing the commitment by the two countries to work together towards an Afghan-led, Afghan-owned peace and reconciliation process involving the Taliban, Hezb-e-Islami and other armed opposition groups.
The two leaders shared the view that the expressed desire and determination of the Afghan people to put an end to violence and bring lasting peace to their country, as affirmed in the Peace Jirga of July 2010 and the Traditional Loya Jirga of November 2011, must be complemented by result-oriented regional and international cooperation. In this context, both sides expressed the hope that Pakistan’s support to the Afghan peace process would contribute to durable peace and stability in Afghanistan.
Recalling the successful visit of President Karzai to Islamabad in February 2011, which remains a milestone in the history of bilateral relations, the Afghan side welcomed and expressed appreciation for the steps being taken by Pakistan in support of the Afghan peace process, including the public call on the Afghan armed opposition groups to participate in the reconciliation process to achieve long-term peace, stability and progress in Afghanistan. 
The Pakistani side reaffirmed its support for an Afghan-led and Afghan-owned inclusive peace process, and underlined its determination to redouble efforts in facilitating direct intra-Afghan contacts and negotiations. The two leaders committed to implement additional concrete steps to advance Afghan peace and reconciliation. Both sides agreed to facilitate a conducive environment for the peace and reconciliation process to move forward.
The two leaders also recognized the importance of pursuing multiple channels of communication and contact with the Afghan Taliban and other armed opposition groups. In this context, they emphasized international support for the Afghan peace process and, in particular, welcomed the efforts of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the Republic of Turkey and other countries.
To ensure the timely follow up of the efforts in support of the Afghan peace process, the two sides highlighted the role of Afghanistan’s High Peace Council and looked forward to a successful visit to Islamabad by the Chairman of the High Peace Council. Both sides also agreed to resume regular meetings of the two-tier Afghanistan-Pakistan Peace Commission.
With a view to advancing regional cooperation in all its dimensions, the two leaders recognized the importance of regional organizations and for, including the various trilateral and quadrilateral processes involving Afghanistan, Pakistan and other countries. In particular, the two sides welcomed the progress on regional confidence-building through the Istanbul Process and emphasized that enhanced cooperation between Afghanistan and its near and extended neighbors on issues such as narcotics, regional trade and connectivity will create an environment for long-term stability and prosperity. The two leaders looked forward to the upcoming meeting of the Afghanistan-Pakistan-Russia-Tajikistan Quadrilateral Summit in Islamabad later this year.
Highlighting the many complementarities of the two countries in promoting economic development and integration between them and with the wider region, the two sides reaffirmed to broaden their cooperation in the economic sphere, including the full implementation of all bilateral agreements, such as the Afghanistan-Pakistan Transit Trade Agreement (APTTA) and the creation of Special Economic and Industrial Zones. The two sides agreed to extend APTTA as a first step to Tajikistan as part of the overall effort to promote regional economic cooperation. Both sides also emphasized the importance of early finalization of the process for establishment of the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) gas pipeline project, the speedy implementation of the CASA-1000 power transmission line, and enhancing connectivity and upgrading rail and road infrastructure between the two countries. 
The Afghan side expressed its gratitude to the Islamic Republic of Pakistan for hosting Afghan refugees for the past three decades. Both sides expressed support for the creation of conditions conducive to the voluntary and safe return of refugees in a dignified and orderly manner, as well as continued international support to Pakistan as a host nation.
The Afghan side expressed gratitude for Pakistan’s participation at the Chicago and Tokyo conferences on Afghanistan, and for its pledges of long-term support to Afghan security and development efforts. 
Prime Minister Ashraf thanked President Karzai for the warm hospitality extended to him and the Pakistani delegation during their visit to Kabul. 

Thursday, July 19, 2012
Kabul (BAN) His Excellency Hamid Karzai, President of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, hosted a special trilateral meeting of Afghanistan, Pakistan and United Kingdom today, and welcomed to the Presidential Palace Raja Pervez Ashraf, Prime Minister of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, and The Right Honorable David Cameron, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom. 
President Karzai and Prime Minister Cameron congratulated Prime Minister Ashraf on being elected as Prime Minister of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, and looked forward to working closely with him and his Government. 

The three leaders discussed the current situation in the region and reaffirmed their common vision to advance regional peace and stability.
Recognizing that terrorism poses the gravest threat to regional and international security, the leaders reiterated their strong commitment to working together to eliminate this scourge, and agreed that success will depend on the active support of the region and the international community.
They also emphasized the importance of peace in Afghanistan for the peace and security of Pakistan.
Prime Minister Cameron highlighted the international community’s continued commitment for a peaceful, stable and democratic Afghanistan in a stable and prosperous region.
The three leaders expressed satisfaction at the progress of the Transition process in Afghanistan, and reiterated that an independent, peaceful, self-reliant and democratic Afghanistan was necessary for to the stability and prosperity of the wider region.
They also took note of the international community’s long-term commitments to Afghan security and economic development made at the recent Chicago and Tokyo conferences.
Afghanistan thanked the United Kingdom and Pakistan for their support to these goals. The leaders agreed that regional prosperity requires economic development through trade, investment and greater economic integration.
In this regard, the leaders noted the success of the 14 June 2012 Heart of Asia Ministerial Conference in Kabul, aimed at strengthening confidence and practical cooperation in the region, including through the implementation of the Istanbul Process confidence building measures.
President Karzai reiterated the continued importance and urgency of a political solution to end the violence in Afghanistan, and the Afghan people’s determination to realize their aspirations for lasting peace through an inclusive and dignified process, involving the Taliban, Hezb-e-Islami and other armed opposition groups.
Prime Ministers Ashraf and Cameron reaffirmed their support for such a process that is led and owned by Afghans, facilitated by Pakistan and other regional countries, and supported by the UK and the wider international community.
The two leaders recognized the leadership that President Karzai has brought to the peace process and welcomed the reinvigorated efforts of the Afghan High Peace Council under Chairman Rabbani.
Prime Ministers Ashraf and Cameron thanked President Karzai for hosting this special trilateral meeting of the three countries.

Thursday, 19 July 2012 13:18

Suicide Attack Prevented In Parwan

Thursday, July 19, 2012
Parwan (BAN) A person who wanted to target the local authorities of Shekh Ali district of Parwan province identified and shod to death by Afghan forces.
This suicide attacker while identified in a check post in related areas of Shekh Ali district wanted to escape from the area shod to death by Afghan forces.
Noor Aqah Sami district governor of Shekh Ali of Parwan province told this news agency, this person wanted to target local authorities of that district.
He added, this attacker was resident of Takhar and on the command of Mullah Habiburahman a leader of Taliban, wanted to carry out suicide attack in Shengreyan area of Shek Ali district.
According to the district governor, this attacker learned terrorist attacks in Pakistani Madressas.
T. Rateb

Thursday, July 19, 2012
Kunduz (BAN) Mullah Abdul Bahre a local commander of armed Taliban left fighting in Kunduz province and jointed peace process.
Since four years back this commander had activity against Afghan and NATO forces in Aliabad district of that province.
Samiullah Qatra responsible of Kunduz police told BNA 12 loyal men of Mullah Abdul Bahre along with him jointed to peace process as well.
He added, this commander handed 13 light and heavy weapons to the government.
Mullah Abdul Bahre in the joining ceremony asked all Afghan Taliban to leave fighting and destroying of beloved Afghanistan and take part in the reconstruction processes of the country.
He expressed regret to acted on the command of strangers and stood against the government and people of Afghanistan. He promised to take active part in the reconstruction processes and ensuring of security in the country after this.
According to the reports of Kunduz responsible, from the beginning of the current year, 350 fighters jointed peace process and handed over 500 light and heavy weapons to the Afghan forces in Kunduz province.
T. Rateb

Thursday, July 19, 2012
Logar (BAN) At least three Afghan National Army soldiers martyred and four others injured in an attack of a suicide bomber on a base of Afghan and NATO forces in Logar province.
This event happened yesterday afternoon, while a suicide attacker targeted the security guards at the entering gate of a military base of Afghan and NATO forces in Ibrahim Khail area, related to the Afghan forces.
A source of NSD of Logar told this news agency, as a result of firing of the attacker three ANA soldiers martyred and four others injured.
He added, the attacker exploded himself and killed.
The health condition of the injured soldiers reported critical.
T. Rateb

Thursday, 19 July 2012 12:27

Two NATO Soldiers Killed

Thursday, July 19, 2012
Kabul (BAN) Two NATO soldiers were killed in Afghanistan today.
These soldiers were killed in two separate events in the east of Afghanistan.
NATO sending a press statement to BNA confirmed the death of these two soldiers but said nothing regarding their identities and the exact place of the events.
It is said that these military soldiers were killed in mine explosions.
Meanwhile, two soldiers of NATO were killed at the same event in the south and east of Afghanistan yesterday.
T. Rateb

Thursday, 19 July 2012 11:44

Taliban Killed, Injured In Farah

Thursday, July 19, 2012
Kabul (BAN) In an armed clash ten Taliban killed and injured in Farah province yesterday.
This clash took place while a group of armed Taliban rushed on the Sheewan Bazaar of Balabolok district and set on fire a number of shops.
Abdul Rahman Zhwand spokesman of Farah governor told BNA, after the attack of Taliban on people’s shops, the Afghan forces clashed with the attackers which resulted to the killing of two and injuring of eight other Taliban.
He added, in this clash the Afghan forces and civilians had no casualties.
Another report said, in an armed clash in Takht Shaher Farah area seven Taliban fighters have been arrested.
These men were arrested with their light and heavy weapons from their hideout while they taking readiness for carrying out terrorist attacks on Afghan forces.
The spokesman said, the arrested men were involved in the recent terrorist attacks and mine planting in that province.
Two policemen were martyred and three others injured in these clashes, said the source.
T. Rateb

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