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England survive Afghan scare to win by 15 runs in World T20



(Last Updated On: October 25, 2022)


England nearly slipped on a potential banana skin but pulled their act together in time to notch up their second win of the World T20 beating Afghanistan by 15 runs in a group phase clash here on Wednesday.

England survived a batting collapse to post a respectable 142/7, chiefly due to Moeen Ali’s (41 not out) heroics down the batting order, pulling them from an abyss at the Ferozeshah Kotla stadium.

David Willey (20 not out) helped in rebuilding the innings, but only after a massive slump that saw them lose three wickets in an over.

Afghanistan came close to the target, but England always had the upper hand, ultimately restricting them to 127/9.

England jumped to the second spot in Group 1 with the win, behind the West Indies. Afghanistan exited the tournament after their third successive defeat.

Afghanistan needed their lynchpin Mohammad Shahzad to fire in the run chase after an impressive bowling effort in their Super 10 contest.

He began by edging the first ball he faced, an in-swinger from left-arm quick David Willey, to the third man boundary. A ball later, he went back to the pavilion, playing across a swinging delivery to be plumb in front of the stumps.

His early dismissal dispirited the Afghans who lost two more wickets inside the third over, skipper Asghar Stanikzai (1) and Gulbadin Naib (0).

England’s new-ball partners David Willey (2/23) and Chris Jordan (1/27) swung the ball intelligently to reduce the Afghans to 13/3.

They limped to 50 in the 11th over, losing half their side in the process and were in desperate need of an innings like Moeen Ali’s. But, sadly, no one rose to the task, though Shafiqullah (35) did bring them close.

Earlier, England exhibited aggression after winning the toss and taking first strike. But skipper Eoin Morgan’s decision proved to be hollow as opener Jason Roy (5) danced down the track to be castled by left-arm spinner Amir Hamza.

That brought the in-form man Joe Root in and he began to build a decent partnership with James Vince.

But a collapse in the last three balls of the sixth over pushed them on the backfoot. Vince (22) succumbed to the charms of off-spinner Mohammad Nabi, offering a simple caught and bowled opportunity.

Morgan (0) followed Vince back in the very next ball, shouldering arms to a bowl that came in. The slump turned into a crisis (12) when Root departed after an ugly mix-up with Ben Stokes to reduce the Englishmen from 41/1 to 42/4.

They reached 50 in the eight over but never quite recovered from the shock and lost two more wickets soon. The relatively grassy pitch didn’t have any voodoo but England were simply not able to apply themselves.

Jos Butler’s (6) strong drive was superbly caught by a pumped-up Nabi, diving at extra cover. Stokes (7) inside-edged a quicker flat-trajectoried delivery onto his stumps and in the process landed on his bum, summing up England’s poor effort with the bat.

At 85/7 in 14.3 overs, the picture looked bleak, Ali (41 not out) gave England a fighting total, pulling them past the 100-run mark in the 18th over, launching into some big shots in the penultimate over, scoring 25 off it.

He and fellow left-hander Willey (20 not out) stitched a 57-run stand in 5.3 overs , plundering 55 of the last 30 deliveries to give England a fighting chance.

Brief scores: England: 142/7 (Moeen Ali 41, James Vince 22; Mohammad Nabi 2/17, Rashid Khan 2/17). Afghanistan: 127/9 (Shafiqullah 35, Samiullah Shinwari 22; David Willey 2/23, Adil Rashid 2/18).


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Media outlets must ‘not cause misery and sedition’: Ministry



(Last Updated On: December 1, 2022)

The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan’s (IEA) Ministry of Information and Culture has called on media outlets to disseminate content that is factual and that contains issues of national interest.

In a meeting on Wednesday with media representatives, officials from the ministry, including the minister, Mullah Khairullah Khairkhah, said the media plays an important role in the development, progress, and preservation of Islamic and national values and also national unity.

“You (media outlets) should try to use your pen and language to benefit the people and not to cause misery and sedition between people,” said Khairkhah.

Mohajer Farahi, the Deputy minister meanwhile said that the media can criticize the lack of work of the government in order to bring about reforms in the institutions, but that it must be based on Islamic principles and values. He also said the policy of the Islamic Emirate was not and is not in any way in conflict with the media.

“The policy of the Islamic Emirate is that we do not want to clash with the media in any way, but we [want to] work together,” said Farahi.

The spokesman of the IEA Zabihullah Mujahid however has pointed out that all government institutions are obliged to make information available to the media in a timely manner.

“Access to information is less and there are problems, and the Commission for Access to Information has its own problems and its employees have decreased from 51 to 18 people,” said Mujahid.

“As much as possible, the organizations should be obliged to make the information available to the media,” he added.

Mujahid also said that the mass media law is under review.

The Ministry of Information and Culture meanwhile has banned Radio Azadi and Voice of America from broadcasting in the country.

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UN warns 6 million Afghans on brink of famine



(Last Updated On: December 1, 2022)

The United Nations warned on Wednesday that six million people in Afghanistan face an emergency level of food insecurity amid a shortage of sufficient humanitarian assistance due to the lack of funding.

“The economic shocks, which we are experiencing these days are the primary drivers for the humanitarian needs,” UN Deputy Special Representative, Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator for Afghanistan Ramiz Alakbarov told reporters.

He said that winter is approaching with temperatures dropping in certain areas of the country to minus 25 degrees Celcius.

“We require $768 million to support winter preparedness activities, and 614 million are required before the end of the year… We’ve been struggling for the funding for the entire year,” Alakbarov said.

Two-thirds of the entire population – more than 28 million people – will need humanitarian assistance next year, according to the UN.

He also said that six million people are getting closer to the famine line.

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Explosion at Samangan school sparks widespread condemnation



(Last Updated On: December 1, 2022)

The deadly explosion on Wednesday at the Al-Jihadi school in the city of Aybak, the center of Samangan province, which killed and injured a number of children and teenagers, has sparked widespread condemnation both locally and internationally.

According to an announcement by the Ministry of Interior, 10 children died and a number of others were injured in the explosion.

US Special Representative for Afghanistan Thomas West, in a series of tweets called the attack terrible.

“All Afghan children have the right to go to school without fear,” he tweeted, adding that the United States condemns this senseless attack against innocent civilians.

Amnesty International called the blast “disturbing”, and stated it was “yet another reminder to the world that the sufferings of Afghan people are far from over.”

Amnesty International has said that Afghanistan demands the attention of the world and that determined efforts must be made to protect the people of this country and that those responsible for such reprehensible attacks face justice in fair trials.

The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has also said in its response that it is horrified by the explosion.

UNICEF added that at least 288 children were killed or injured in Afghanistan in the first half of this year, including in attacks on schools and educational environments. According to the organization, it is believed that the real figure of Wednesday’s explosion is much higher.

The United Nations Children’s Fund has said that children should never be the target of violence.

The Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs also condemned the blast.

“Appalled by today’s horrendous bomb attack on a school in Samangan, Afghanistan, killing and wounding innocent people and students. These atrocities only add to the multitude of crises in Afghanistan. My thoughts go out to the victims’ families and their loved ones,” Anniken Huitfeldt, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Norway tweeted.

Germany also condemned the explosion, adding that children should be able to go to school without fear and harm.

“We are shocked and saddened by the reports of an attack on a school in Aybak in northern Afghanistan with many dead and injured, including children & young people. Children should be able to go to school without fear and harm. Our thoughts are with those who grieve for a loved one,” German Foreign Office tweeted.

Imdadullah Mahajer, head of the cultural information department in Samangan province, says that an explosion occurred on Wednesday at a religious school called Al-Jihadi in the vicinity of Aybak city, the center of Samangan province.

Mahajer said that students were praying at the time of the explosion.

According to him, 15 students were killed and a number of others were wounded. However, the IEA has put the death toll at 10.

The attack was also widely condemned by IEA officials in the country.

Mawlawi Abdul Kabir, the political deputy of the current government, has strongly condemned the explosion and said that it is against all Islamic and humanitarian principles and an “unforgivable crime”.

“The enemies of Afghanistan and Islam revealed their enmity with Islam with this attack that targeted the students of Quran and Sunnah. I assure that the perpetrators of this crime will not remain unanswered,” Kabir tweeted.

Hamid Karzai, the former president of Afghanistan, has also strongly condemned this explosion and called it against all human and Islamic values.

Abdullah Abdullah, the head of the High Council of National Reconciliation under the previous government, also condemned the incident in a Facebook message.

Abdullah wrote that attacking worshipers, students, religious schools, mosques and places of worship is against Islamic and human values.

The ministry of interior meanwhile stated that the explosion targeted a religious seminary in Samangan’s capital Aybak, killing 10 students and wounding several others.

However, reports on social media indicate that the casualty toll was much higher.

So far no group claimed responsibility for the blast.

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