PARIS: France can no longer evacuate people from Afghanistan from Friday evening, French Prime Minister Jean Castex told RTL Radio.

The United States and its allies urged people to evacuate from Kabul Airport Thursday as Western forces rush to evacuate as many people as possible before the August 31 deadline.

Pressure to complete the evacuation of the thousands of foreigners and Afghans who helped western countries during the 20-year war against the Taliban has increased, and all US and allied troops are due to leave the airport next week.

French President Emmanuel Macron spoke with Tajik President Emomali Rakhmon about the crisis in Afghanistan, and Macron will receive Rakhmon at a meeting in France on October 13, a statement from Macron’s office said.

Tajikistan will not recognize an Afghan government that does not include and represent all ethnic groups, said Rakhmon on Wednesday, accusing the Taliban of failing to keep their promise of inclusivity.

PARIS: A French court sentenced an Afghan to a 10-month suspended prison sentence for violating a surveillance order days after France evacuated him from Taliban-controlled Kabul.

The man, Ahmat M., is one of five people who were investigated into Taliban links after arriving in France.

One man, not Ahmat M., is suspected of working for the Taliban despite helping France evacuate vulnerable nationals and Afghans. He and four other people close to him, including Ahmat M., were put under surveillance earlier this week.

The surveillance order stipulated strict restrictions on movement, and Ahmat M., who had arrived over the weekend, was convicted by a court late Wednesday for moving outside this zone.

Ahmat M., who claims to have been a public prosecutor in Afghanistan before he resumed his law studies, had been instructed not to close the Paris suburb of Noisy-le-Grand, where he lived with his wife, young daughter and several other family members leave.

He told the court that he wanted to buy medicine because he had been suffering from headaches and vomiting since arriving in France. In sometimes confused remarks, he said that he had followed a man living in the same hotel who had offered to buy him these drugs without realizing that he was going to the center of Paris.

The other man told investigators that Ahmat M. asked him to accompany him to Paris to buy SIM cards. Ahmat M. also insisted that he was not aware of the restrictions that he had to follow.

“This is not the case with a Taliban in France, but with a man who fled his country with his wife and three-month-old daughter and who was arrested for” going to the supermarket, “said his lawyer Alice Ouaknine.

The possibility that there could be Taliban members among the hundreds of Afghans evacuated from France in the past fortnight has sparked a storm of controversy in France, with migration being a major battleground in the 2022 presidential election / p>
The Right has accused President Emmanuel Macron’s administration of failing to conduct adequate security checks, while he has also been criticized by the Left for abandoning ordinary Afghans by letting a limited number of people into France.

HANOI: U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris turned her attention to labor rights and civil liberties issues Thursday as she ended her visit to Southeast Asia and highlighted activists in a region of the world known for its human rights challenges and limitations.
In Vietnam, Harris attended what her team called “Changemakers,” with activists advocating for LGBTQ rights and climate change.
“If we are to take on the challenges we face, it is crucial that we do so in a collaborative way, that we must empower leaders in every sector, including government, of course, but also community leaders, business leaders and civil society. if we are to maximize the resources we have in common, ”said Harris.
Harris will speak at a press conference later on Thursday before making the trip back to the United States.
Vietnam has been criticized for restricting freedom of expression and the press, for widespread violence against women in the country, and for cracking down on people it classifies as political dissidents. While Harris spoke about the need to defend women and transgender people’s rights, she did not criticize the Vietnamese government for its abuses while reporters were in the room.
The events marked the conclusion of a week-long trip Harris took to Singapore and Vietnam to strengthen U.S. ties with the two countries and reaffirm commitment to a region that would support U.S. efforts to counter China’s influence around the world. is becoming more and more important.
The vice president spent the week meeting with leaders from both nations to discuss ways the US can deepen economic and defense ties. She unveiled new agreements with Singapore to combat cyber threats and combat climate change, and assisted Vietnam in developing economic opportunities and combating the coronavirus, among other things.
While Harris has stressed that her visit to Southeast Asia is intended to foster positive relationships with countries in the region and increase US cooperation and engagement, she also spent the visit reinforcing the Biden government’s rhetoric against China and that Country repeatedly warned about ending its aggression in the disputed South China Sea.
“We need to find ways to put pressure on Beijing and increase pressure to comply with the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea and challenge its bullying and excessive claims in the maritime sector,” she said on Wednesday.
Harris avoided the inadvertent slip-ups that overshadowed her first overseas trip to Guatemala and Mexico in the spring, where her statement to migrants – “don’t come” – and fleeing rejection of questions about their refusal to visit the border was criticized by both sides of the corridor. Harris answered questions from reporters at several points on the trip and sat for an extended cable news interview.
In Asia, Harris focused on her meetings with Biden government officials and topics of conversation about China. While questions surrounding the chaotic US withdrawal from Afghanistan dominated their first day in Singapore, Harris emphasized the same message from President Joe Biden and his staff – that the US must continue to focus on evacuations, not allegations of what went wrong is.
But she was sure that during her press conference on Thursday she would ask further questions about Afghanistan, the US confrontation with China and its involvement in the Indo-Pacific.
On her way home, Harris will stop at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam in Hawaii to meet with soldiers. Then she will focus on US politics at an event in the San Francisco area for California Democratic Governor Gavin Newsom, who faces a recall attempt.

The United States and its allies on Thursday urged people to evacuate from Kabul Airport as Western forces rush to evacuate as many Afghans as possible before the August 31 deadline.

Pressure to complete the evacuation of the thousands of foreigners and Afghans who helped western countries during the 20-year war against the Taliban has increased, and all US and allied troops are due to leave the airport next week.

In a warning on Wednesday evening, the US embassy in Kabul advised citizens not to travel to the airport and urged those already at the gates to cite unspecified “security threats”.

In a similar recommendation, the UK urged people in the airport area to “go to a safe place”.

“There is a persistent and high threat of terrorist attacks,” the UK Foreign Office said in its statement.

Australia also urged its citizens and visa holders to leave the area and warned of a “very high risk of a terrorist attack” at the airport.

The warnings came against a chaotic background in the capital Kabul and its airport, where a massive airlift of foreigners and their families as well as some Afghans has been underway since the Taliban captured the city on August 15th.

While western troops at the airport worked feverishly to move forward with the evacuation as quickly as possible, Taliban militants guarded the outskirts, crowded with thousands of people trying to flee instead of staying in a Taliban-ruled Afghanistan.

Ahmedullah Rafiqzai, an Afghan civil aviation official who works at the airport, said people continue to crowd around the gates despite the attack warnings.

“It is very easy for a suicide bomber to attack the corridors filled with people and warnings have been issued repeatedly,” he told Reuters.

“But people do not want to move, it is their determination to leave this country so that they are not even afraid of dying, everyone risks their lives.”

A diplomat from a NATO country in the Afghan capital said that while the Taliban are responsible for security outside the airport, threats from Daesh cannot be ignored.

“Under no circumstances do Western forces want to be able to launch an offensive or defensive attack against anyone in Afghanistan,” added the diplomat. “Our mandate is to ensure that the evacuations end on August 31st.”

Another Western official said flight operations slowed on Wednesday but the pace of evacuations will accelerate on Thursday.

Taliban guards continue to protect civilians outside the airport, an Islamist group official said.

“Our guards also risk their lives at Kabul airport, they are also threatened by the Daesh group,” said the officer, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

The White House said President Joe Biden was briefed on Wednesday of the threat posed by the Daesh-K militant group and contingency plans for the evacuation.

Biden ordered all troops out of Afghanistan by the end of the month to keep a deal with the Taliban, despite European allies saying they needed more time to get the people out.

In the eleven days since the Taliban entered Kabul, the United States and its allies have carried out one of the largest air evacuations in history, evacuating more than 88,000 people, including 19,000 in the last 24 hours. The US military says planes take off every 39 minutes.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said at least 4,500 American citizens and their families have been evacuated from Afghanistan since mid-August, and the State Department is contacting about 1,500 who have stayed there.

Blinken said at a press conference in Washington that there was no time limit for efforts to help people who want to leave, both Americans and others, and that they would last “as long as necessary.”

The US military said it would shift its focus to evacuating its own troops in the final two days prior to the August 31 withdrawal deadline.

The Taliban have announced that foreign troops will have to be withdrawn by the end of the month. They have encouraged Afghans to stay while saying that those who have permission will if commercial flights resume after foreign troops leave.

The militant group has asked NATO member Turkey to keep the airport open after foreign troops have withdrawn. Turkey said technical experts could stay to assist in the operation of the airport.

The United Nations is leaving around 3,000 Afghan employees on their mission. A UN security document checked by Reuters described dozens of threats, looting of UN offices and physical abuse of employees since August 10th.

The rule of the Taliban from 1996 to 2001 was characterized by public executions and the restriction of fundamental freedoms. Women have been excluded from school or work.

The US-backed Afghan government collapsed quickly after Biden withdrew troops, two decades after US-backed troops left the Taliban in the weeks following the attacks on the United States on November 11th.

While the Taliban have stated that they will respect human rights and will not allow terrorists to operate from the land, Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid told NBC News that there is “no evidence” that Osama bin Laden, the late Al -Qaida chief, on the 9/11 terrorist attacks on New York and Washington.

“Even after 20 years of war there is no evidence, we have no evidence that he was involved … There was no justification for this war,” he said.

KENNEWICK, USA: Authorities believe an armed man killed three people and injured another in east Washington on Wednesday.
A suspect was later found dead after police shot a vehicle.
KEPR reports that police were called shortly before 4 a.m. in Finley, Washington about multiple fires and a shooting. When the officers arrived at the scene, they found a man with a gunshot wound and two burning houses in the area.
Police say they believe the suspect started the Finley arson and then started several fires across Benton County.
The suspect’s truck was later found in West Richland. The police reported shots from inside the vehicle. Kennewick Police Chief Aaron Clem said four officers at the scene then fired their guns in the vehicle.
Flames struck the vehicle and live ammunition could be heard firing inside the vehicle. According to the police, the body of an unknown person was found in the burned-out truck.
The investigation continues. However, Kennewick Police say the bodies of two other people were found in a different house and are believed to be related to the suspect.

WASHINGTON: A mysterious condition known as “Havana Syndrome” that has caused severe headaches, nausea and possible brain damage to US diplomats has convinced many officials that they are facing ongoing attacks with electronic weapons.
On Tuesday, US Vice President Kamala Harris delayed a trip to Vietnam for several hours after the US Embassy in Hanoi reported a possible “acoustic incident” there and raised concerns that she might be a target.
Eventually Harris went to Hanoi, and the State Department said it was investigating a case where the US government officially called an “abnormal health incident,” or AHI.
It was the latest of dozens of such cases reported by US diplomats and intelligence officials since 2016, first in Cuba, then in China, Germany, Australia, Taiwan, and Washington itself.
In July, New Yorker magazine reported that there had been dozen cases among U.S. officials in Vienna, Austria, since early 2021.
Amid concerns that a powerful rival, possibly Russia, is stepping up attacks, the State Department has warned thousands of diplomats of the threat while conducting extensive medical examinations of those traveling abroad to better measure the impact of future attacks.
“We take every report we receive very seriously and work to ensure that affected employees receive the care and support they need,” said a department spokesman.
The number of reported incidents among US officials has been kept under lock and key.
After the Hanoi incident, former CIA agent Marc Polymeropoulos, who himself was a victim in Moscow in 2017, said the number of attacks appeared to be increasing.
“It seems to me that our opponents are sending a clear message that they can not only get to our intelligence agents, diplomats and US military officers,” Polymeropoulos told the Cipher Brief Open Source Report on Wednesday.
“This is a message you can get from our high-ranking VIPs.”

The syndrome has affected US officials almost uniformly.
However, in 2017, Canadian diplomats and their families in Havana reported several of their own cases, months after the first with Americans.
In some cases, people have reported hearing focused, high-pitched, or sharp noises that made them feel nauseous.
Sometimes people had bloody noses, headaches, and other symptoms that were similar to a concussion.
The incidents were poorly understood and sparked theories that they were caused by a weapon using focused microwaves, ultrasound, poison, or even a reaction to a barbecue.
But for several years high-ranking government officials rejected the complaints, interpreting them as symptoms of people who were under stress or who reacted with hysteria to unknown stimuli.
Still, former President Donald Trump’s administration pulled US officials out of Havana and expelled 15 Cuban diplomats from Washington, suggesting that either the Cuban or Russian governments were behind the attacks.
In late 2020, the National Academy of Sciences looked at the available cases and concluded that, unlike any other known disorder, they present a distinctive set of symptoms.
Their report found that there were large differences among known cases, not all of which were associated with a perceived sharp, directional sound.
But it was said the best explanation would be pulsed, directional microwaves.
In March, the CIA set up a task force to investigate the problem.
But on Aug. 9, after meeting senior cabinet officials, Avril Haines, the director of the US National Intelligence Service, said they were baffled.
Officials unanimously agreed that “the top priority is identifying the cause of AHI, providing the highest levels of care to those affected, and preventing such incidents from continuing,” Haines said.
pmh / sw