15 October 2019

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Friday October 4, 2019
Kabul (BNA) In what might result as a major embarrassment for Afghanistan and its cricketing entities, the Afghanistan Cricket Board prematurely calling off the APL, Season – 2 poses a serious threat for the Cricket Board to incur legal and financial liabilities to the tune of over 10 million US$ (78,2500000 AFN).
There had been speculations about the current CEO, Mr. Lutfullah having terminated the contract with the Indian Company Snixer Sports without consulting other members of the Board. Speaking to one of the board members of ACB, who refused to be named, he said that there was no communication sent to any stakeholder or team owners before termination.
He further said that it was foolhardy to call off the league without considering business and legal implications. If team owners and stakeholders sue ACB, we won’t be able to even finance our litigation costs. Our sources with ACB confirm that Snixer Sports has already sent a legal notice to ACB over their action to which ACB is yet to reply.
This can prove fatal for exiting player contracts as well and for their cricketing future. Speaking to one of the senior officials of Snixer Sports, it was learnt that there were allegations over misconduct by few ACB officials and stakeholders in the previous league and the same is under inquiry with ICC, ACU.
“We did seek clarification from ICC, ACU and it was informed to us on record that the inquiry is still going on. We are extremely intolerant towards any such practices which is contrary to the guidelines prescribed by ICC and we been cooperating with ACU to set the record straight. We fail to understand how ACB can be reckless enough to terminate the league without any rationale and over unfounded attributions.”
“Our talks are going on and it is our understanding that the same had been done with procedural discrepancies. We have suffered huge losses owing to such illegal termination and we shall take appropriate legal action to recover the same if our current talks don’t succeed. Afghanistan and its cricket-loving people have been looking forward to the league and it had been a huge disappointment for them as well.”
APL 2019 might go ahead if internal matters of ACB are sorted
Meanwhile, there is huge unrest amongst all the stakeholders over ACB’s action which might result in a long drawn legal battle for Afghanistan Cricket Board against Snixer and existing commercial stakeholders. The drama is still unfolding over speculations of APL season –II somehow happening if internal matters of ACB are sorted.
For a fairly new cricketing association in a sporting nation which has recently started gaining international accolades in cricket, this episode can prove extremely fatal for the scope and future of the sport in Afghanistan. Afghanistan Cricket Board has recently gone ahead engaging Afghanistan’s Attorney General’s office over irregularities in the board.
The sport means a lot to the people of Afghanistan and over recent years, the country has produced many players of international repute. With all such things at stake, ACB’s liability can dent permanent damage to the country’s finances and repute in the international arena.

Friday October 4, 2019
Kabul (BNA) Any peace in Afghanistan must be negotiated for Afghans by their elected leaders, the country's national security adviser, Hamdullah Mohib, says.
"We have objected to being part of the negotiations and not being a central part of this discussion," Mohib, 36, tells NPR's Rachel Martin from New York City, where he addressed the United Nations General Assembly on Monday.
"And if we want to see peace in Afghanistan, the Afghan government must be at the forefront of any negotiations," he added.

Mohib is back in the U.S. a little over six months after the Trump administration said it was ending contact with him after he criticized its approach to Afghanistan peace talks.
Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, who ran in the country's election over the weekend, did not attend this year's General Assembly. Despite hundreds of attacks by Taliban insurgents during the months before, national elections went ahead on Saturday, though voter turnout was low and there have been allegations of fraud and other irregularities. On Monday, however, both Ghani and his challenger, Abdullah Abdullah, claimed they were ahead as the vote count continues.
It is not clear how much sway the Taliban will hold or what possible role they will have in a new government.
In March, Mohib — who also served as Afghanistan's ambassador to the U.S. from 2015 to 2018 — accused the U.S. envoy to Afghanistan, Zalmay Khalilzad, of "delegitimizing" Ghani's government by excluding it from peace talks with the Taliban. Soon after, the U.S. told Ghani that Washington would end communications with Mohib.
U.S. negotiations with the Taliban, the closest the White House has come to ending a nearly 18-year troop presence in Afghanistan, collapsed in September when President Trump abruptly declared the talks "dead." An agreement was expected to include an initial withdrawal of more than a third of the 14,000 U.S. troops in Afghanistan in exchange for a Taliban promise to not let the country become a base for global terrorist attacks.
The Taliban have said "doors are open" to resume talks with the United States. They have continued to mount frequent, large-scale attacks on Afghan civilians but also lifted bans on activities by the International Committee of the Red Cross and the World Health Organization.

Friday October 4, 2019
Kabul (BNA) United States Special Envoy for Afghan Peace Zalmay Khalilzad reached Islamabad on Tuesday.
The envoy was accompanied by a delegation of officials.
Sources told ARY News that Khalilzad, during his stay in Pakistan, will hold meetings with Pakistan's top military and civil leadership and would share new development on the Afghan peace process.
Khalilzad will likely visit the Foreign Office and hold a consultative meeting with the Pakistani officials, the sources added.
The US envoy arrived here after concluding his visit to China.
On September 22, Khalilzad had called upon Prime Minister Imran Khan, who was in America then, and had discussed the ongoing situation in Afghanistan and the apparent dissolution of the Afghan peace process.

Friday, 04 October 2019 10:20

A Tech School for Dreamers in Afghanistan

Friday October 4, 2019
Kabul (BNA) When a team of high school girls from Afghanistan were initially denied visas to enter the U.S. for Global FIRST, the international robotics competition in 2017, the setback proved only temporary.  The story of the team’s plight made international news and gained support from U.S. legislators and the president. And it set in motion a collaboration between Yale and the team’s coach, entrepreneur Roya Mahboob, to design a technology school for high school students in Afghanistan. The school, to be called The Dreamer Institute, is particularly remarkable because it will be attended by both boys and girls. In a country that has only recently started to accept women in science, such a school would have been impossible just a few years ago.
The collaboration brings together Yale's School of Engineering & Applied Science (SEAS), the School of Architecture and the Whitney and Betty MacMillan Center for International and Area Studies at Yale.
The Dreamer Institute, to be built in Kabul, will focus on robotics, artificial intelligence and block chain, and will consist of two interlocking buildings on the campus of Kabul University. One building is the high school, to be attended by girls for one half of the day and by boys the other half. The other is an innovation center based partly on Yale’s Center for Engineering Innovation & Design (CEID), which would be shared by the high school students and students from Kabul University.
Mahboob, an entrepreneur from Afghanistan and a founder of numerous startups, said the idea for the school was sparked by the team’s tour of North America. Their visits to numerous tech-based high schools fascinated the team members, who had little exposure to technology training until joining the robotics team.
“We went to these schools and saw how the students worked together - all the girls wanted this back home,” Mahboob said. “We did some research about STEM schools and figured out what we needed to bring one to Afghanistan.”
Through Yale’s work with Global FIRST, Mahboob mentioned the idea to Vincent Wilczynski, deputy dean of SEAS and director of the CEID. 
“When I heard Roya’s idea, I thought ‘Yale could do this, and Yale should do this,’” Wilczynski said. “There was a need, and we have the resources, we have the people, and we have the talent. All of us coming together to do this is reflective of what’s possible at Yale.”
He sent out a few emails and a collaboration was soon struck between SEAS, Architecture and the MacMillan Center. From there, things moved fast. Sunil Bald, associate dean for curriculum and admissions for the architecture school, led a team of five architecture students, working out of the CEID for four weeks over the summer to draw up the plans for the 150,000 square feet of building space. The project presented unique challenges to the student team of Michelle Badr, Camille Chabrol, Deo Deiparine, Alexandra Pindea, and Jerome Tryon. Among them was figuring out how to combine traditional aspects of Afghan architecture with more modern elements, creating a secure space while maintaining a sense of openness, and how to make the building adaptable to a country with a quickly changing cultural environment.
“This is a pretty unique endeavor in terms of having a group of students working with a faculty member to design something that we hope will see the light of day in another part of the world,” Bald said. “To see these kinds of tangible results in such a short amount of time has been really encouraging.”
Bald and the students presented the final designs to Mahboob last week at the School of Architecture Gallery. 
“It was amazing,” Mahboob said after the presentation. “I had envisioned it with a totally different design, and then I come here they bring this very innovative scheme for the buildings. Thank you for making the dream come true. I hope you can one day come to Afghanistan and see the school. It is a symbol of the future of Afghanistan and especially the young people.”
Mahboob, the first female CEO for a tech company from Afghanistan, said this kind of plan would have been a non-starter in her country a few years ago.
“But now, you see a lot of women as owners of companies or forming technology groups robotics, animations or coding," she said. "The perceptions of women’s ability in science and technology and engineering have changed.”
A lot of that has to do with the robotics team that toured the world.
“It just changed the whole country,” she said. “It became a symbol of hope and unity and courage for many young generations, especially women. Even more conservative people saw this and said, ‘OK women can be mentors or designers or scientists.’ That was a huge shift.”
George Joseph, executive director of the MacMillan Center, said the project is a “perfect opportunity to bring together a number of entities across Yale.” He noted that of much of the center’s financial support that goes to faculty and students is for “more standard academic modes of communication.” 
“To see a real-world application of our effort, it’s very inspiring,” Joseph said. “The potential for impact that this could have, not only on these girls in Afghanistan, but on Afghanistan as a whole - that motivates us for why we do what we do at MacMillan.”
Mahboob said the building, if all goes according to plan, would be up and running in 2021. She’s currently seeking funding for the construction from various sources, including the Afghanistan government, and plans to present the design to the president - she’s waiting until this week’s election to see who that will be. Further down the road, she said, more Dreamer Institutes could be built around the globe.
“All countries need to focus on student development, and they have to start investing in them today,” she said. “The idea of the Dreamer Institute is to give students access to emerging technologies, where there’s a much bigger gap between the richest and poorest countries. Countries and governments are responsible for making sure that this knowledge is in the hands of the young generations.”


Friday October 4, 2019
Kabul (BNA) Glass manufacturing industry is an old and ancient art in the world and since long times it has been common in Herat. In the past extensive attention was paid to this industry but at present according to Herat cultural officials, it has been fading.
Herat cultural professionals attribute the history of Glass-manufacturing to the era of Temorids which was used in constructions. According to them in past times, mixture of glass was seen in glazed-tiles. During the monarch of late king Mohammad Zaher Shah, samples of this industry was seen in the combination of shrine of Mohammad’s cloak.
Herat cultural authorities claim that in the past times, glass manufacturers had produced colored glasses for rooms’ windows that reflected color into rooms and produced pleasant and desirable environment.
General Director of Herat Historical Monuments Repairing Preservation Directorate Zalmay Safa said that Glass manufacturing industry has a background of over 150 years in Herat and at present two glass production factories are operating here while prior to this, several factories were operating.
Safa added, products of these factories are restricted to antique equipments and decorating items including flowerpot, pen-case, sugar blow, Jug etc which are supplied in Herat, Kabul and other provinces. Prior to this, in these factories. Beside that, clear glasses were also produced for homes’ windows. Safa added that some times before, three glass-manufacturing experts led by director of Herat provincial directorate of information and culture Arya Raoofyan travelled to Kenya to learn new, modern and more practical methods exploiting new equipment and instruments on this craft.
Despite calling current situation of glass manufacturing satisfactory Safa said that there are some concerns in future of this industry.
Talking on this industry, Mohammad Ibrahim a resident of Herat city said, this industry has been gradually fading due to imports of foreign products with cheaper prices and desirable designs particularly chines products.
Najia Qayoomi a student of Herat University believes that carelessness of relevant government authorities to native and local industries including glass manufacturing, engraving on wood or Glaze-tilt and carpet industry causes falling of ancient industries and they are replaced by artificial industries. The Afghan government should take practical step to prevent its fall.
Safa went on to say, at present there are only five or six experts of glass-manufacturing in Herat and in case of a problem, this industry would be facing with serious problem.
Massouda Qarizada

Friday October 4, 2019
Kabul (BNA) Secretary General of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) Dr. Yousef Al-Othaimeen praised the people of Afghanistan for the conduct of presidential elections on 28 September 2019 and commended all who participated in and supported the electoral process.
The OIC Secretary General recognized Afghanistan’s remarkable endurance, and strong determination to build a peaceful and prosperous future.

Thursday, 03 October 2019 07:27

Dozens Displaced Families Receive Aids

Thursday October 3, 2019
SHABERGHAN CITY (BNA) Foodstuffs and non-foodstuffs have been distributed to dozens displaced families in northern Jawzjan province.
Abdul Malik Rustami head of refugees and repatriation department in Jawzjan told BNA reporter, the distributed aids include 50 items that provided by Save the Children, World Food Organization and other charity organization to the families.
The families displaced due to war from insecurity of Jawzajan province and relocated in Shaberghan city the provincial capital of the province, Rustami added.
The displaced families asking government to ensure security situation in their areas to return to their houses.


Thursday, 03 October 2019 07:24

Imam of a Mosque Kills Following Mine Blast

Thursday October 3, 2019
MAZAR-E-SHARIF CITY (BNA) An Imam of a mosque lost his life following mine blast in northern Balkh province yesterday.
Mohammad Hanif Rezayee spokesman of 209 Shaheen army corps told BNA correspondent, the mine exploded in Darchi region, Balkh district of the province, as a result Mullah Shir Mohammad Imam of a mosque lost his life.
Two other civilians were wounded following the blast, the source added.


Thursday, 03 October 2019 07:24

Taliban Rebels Killed in ASF Ambush

Thursday, October 03, 2019
Maimana (BNA) Sixteen Taliban rebels were killed in Afghan Security Forces ambush in Faryab province last night.
Spokesman of Shaheen 209 army corps told BNA, the Afghan Security Forces Killed the Taliban in Yangi Qala Khwaja Mosi region, Pashtoonkoit District, Faryab province and five other insurgents have been wounded in the clash.
Numerous of war equipment and two motorbikes were also seized in the clash.
According to another report, six armed Taliban were killed and seven others have been injured in Afghan security forces operation in Qezelqeshlaq village, Khwaja Sabzposh district, Faryab province.
It is said that two policemen were also martyred in the event as well.
T. Yarzada

Thursday, 03 October 2019 07:21

Three Civilians Martyred by Taliban Fighters

Thursday October 3, 2019
GHAZNI CITY (BNA) Three civilians have been martyred following Taliban’s attack in Ghazni province the other day.
Mohammad Aref Noori spokesman of Ghazni governor told BNA reporter, the civilians including a child were martyred by Taliban members in Qaq Dara region, Jaghato district of the province.
Six others including two policemen were wounded during the attack as well, Noori added.
Taliban fighters intentionally target the civilians’ vehicle in Jaghato district, Noori further added.
Baz Mohammad Hemat head of provincial hospital in Ghazni said that the health condition of three injured are not satisfactory.


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