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US strikes back at ISIS-K for Kabul attack



US strikes back at ISIS-K

The US military carried out a drone strike against what it said was an ISIS-K planner in Afghanistan’s eastern Nangarhar province, amid warnings of possible further terror attacks targeting the last-ditch US evacuation effort from Kabul.

The desperate mission to airlift US citizens and Afghans who assisted US forces from the country by the end of the month is now in its final phase.

The drone strike in Nangarhar came a day after US President Joe Biden vowed to retaliate for a terrorist attack Thursday that killed 13 US service members and at least 170 others outside Kabul’s international airport.
ISIS in Khorasan, known as ISIS-K, has claimed that an ISIS militant carried out Thursday’s suicide attack at an airport gate, but provided no evidence to support the claim. US officials have said the group was likely behind the bombing.

Biden approved the strike on the ISIS-K planner, according to an official familiar with the matter.

“U.S. military forces conducted an over-the-horizon counterterrorism operation today against an ISIS-K planner. The unmanned airstrike occurred in the Nangarhar Province of Afghanistan,” spokesman Capt. Bill Urban said Friday. “Initial indications are that we killed the target. We know of no civilian casualties.”

The identity of the person targeted in the US airstrike has not yet been confirmed.

A defence official told CNN that the target of the drone strike who was killed was believed to be “associated with potential future attacks at the airport.” The US had located him and “we had sufficient eyes on and sufficient knowledge” to strike, the official said. “He was a known entity.”

The official said the US was not calling the person a “senior” ISIS-K operative.

The US Embassy in Kabul on Friday again warned US citizens at a number of gates at Hamid Karzai International Airport to “leave immediately,” citing security threats.

The alert advised US citizens “to avoid travelling to the airport and to avoid airport gates.”

Thousands more flown out

Following Thursday’s attack, Biden’s national security team told him Friday that “another terror attack in Kabul is likely, but that they are taking maximum force protection measures at the Kabul Airport,” according to White House press secretary Jen Psaki.

“The next few days of this mission will be the most dangerous period to date,” Psaki said in a statement Friday.

US and other Western countries have been racing to evacuate their citizens and Afghan allies ahead of an August 31 deadline, after the Taliban retook control of the country — prompting fears of deadly reprisals against anyone linked to international forces.

The Pentagon said the US was “still planning on ending this mission at the end of the month,” representing a final exit from a 20-year war in Afghanistan.

The US has evacuated and facilitated the evacuation of approximately 109,200 people since August 14, according to the White House.

About 4,200 people were evacuated from Kabul from 3 a.m. to 3 p.m. ET on Friday, according to the White House. The evacuations were carried out by 12 US military flights that carried approximately 2,100 evacuees and 29 coalition flights that also evacuated about 2,100 people.

Approximately 7,500 people had been evacuated from Kabul in the same 12-hour period the day before.

State Department spokesperson Ned Price said earlier Friday that “there are approximately 500 American citizens we are currently working with who want to leave and with whom we are communicating directly to facilitate their evacuations.”

US allies conclude evacuations

The head of the United Kingdom’s armed forces, Gen. Nick Carter, said the UK’s effort to evacuate Afghan civilians from the country would end Saturday, to be followed by the withdrawal of the remaining UK troops.

“It’s gone as well as it could do in the circumstances… but we haven’t been able to bring everybody out and that has been heartbreaking and there have been some very challenging judgements that have had to be made on the ground,” he told BBC Radio 4.

The number left behind who were eligible to be brought to the UK was in the “high hundreds” he said.
The defence spokesman for the opposition Labour Party, John Healey, told Sky News that despite the UK getting more than 14,000 people out of the country, “there are probably 1,000 Afghans who have worked with us over two decades in Afghanistan, helped our troops, our aid workers, our diplomats, that we promised to protect, but we’re leaving behind.”

Healey urged UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson to intervene to offer hope of rescue to those Afghans left behind.

France announced the end of its evacuation effort Friday but vowed to “stand by the Afghan people” after August 31, in a statement released by Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian and Armed Forces Minister Florence Parly.

The country had evacuated nearly 3,000 people since August 15, the statement said. An extra 1,500 Afghans who had worked for France were evacuated before August 15 in anticipation of the current crisis, it added.

Italy’s Defense Ministry also said Friday that it had concluded its military evacuations of Afghan nationals out of Kabul.

The last flight took off Friday evening carrying 58 Afghan citizens, with the remainder of those onboard Italian service members involved in the evacuation process, the ministry said. Since June, 5,011 people have been evacuated in total, of whom 4,980 are Afghan citizens, including 1,301 women and 1,453 children, it said.

Australia, New Zealand, Sweden, Belgium, the Netherlands, Poland, Turkey and Spain have all said their evacuation missions ended or were scheduled to end on Friday.

Meanwhile, the World Health Organization said Friday that it was trying to establish an air bridge into the city of Mazar-i-Sharif in Northern Afghanistan in the coming days, with the help of Pakistan authorities.

Source – CNN

South Africa News

Godswill Akpabio advocates reduction in cost of governance



Godswill Akpabio

The President of the Senate, Godswill Akpabio, has called for transparency, accountability and the elimination of unnecessary expenditures to cut down on the cost of governance in the country. Akpabio made the call on Monday at a one-day dialogue on the cost of governance in Nigeria organized by the National Institute for Legislative and Democratic Studies, NILDS, in Abuja.

Akpabio, who was represented by Sen. Agom Jarigbe (PDP-Rivers) highlighted the possible factors contributing to the high cost of governance in the country.He said the size of the country’s bureaucracy, the escalating public service wage bills, the overhead costs of appointed public officials, and the salaries and allowances of elected officials are major factors.

According to him, the running of government institutions among other substantial components contributed to weighing down the economy and hindering development efforts. Let us hold ourselves accountable and take responsibility for the betterment of our nation. We have to ensure that our government operates efficiently and effectively, serving the needs of the people and fostering sustainable development,” he said.

The president of the senate emphasized the need to streamline bureaucracy, eliminate unnecessary expenditures, and ensured transparency and accountability at all levels of governance. We must invest in our human capital, empowering our public officials with the necessary skills and knowledge to drive progress.

“And we must foster a culture of innovation and creativity, where new ideas can flourish and transform our nation,” he said.Akpabio urged all Nigerians to remain united, become agents of change and be committed to making sacrifices for the nation. He said that the 10th Assembly was ready to partner with all stakeholders to do everything within its constitutional powers to make Nigeria for all citizens.

Source: pmnewsnigeria

In other news – Bad leaders making the life of Nigerians miserable – Pastor Giwa

The senior pastor of Awaiting The Second Coming Of Christ Ministry, Adewale Giwa, on Sunday, lamented that the economic situation in Nigeria has gone from bad to worse under President Bola Tinubu.

Adewale Giwa

The clergyman noted that bad leaders were intentionally making life miserable for Nigerians. Read more

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Zimbabwe News

Chinese national Li Song accused in Cynide scandal in Zimbabwe



Chinese national Li Song

A Chinese national who was arrested yesterday at the Harare magistrate court on allegations of smuggling more than 100 tonnes of Cynide has claimed to be a diplomat.

Li Song who is facing several allegations that include money laundering, extenalisation, theft and attempted murder has been released by the National Prosecuting Authority to the amusement of the complainants who have a solid evidence against her.

According to the source who attended the vetting process Li Song claimed to be a diplomat who is immune from arrest in the country and the members of Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission went to the Chinese embassy to verify her claim..

According to the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission officers Somg was taken to Avondale police station cells for verification.

The notorious Chinese national has been implicated in various offences in the country and is also suspected to be one of the suspect in the poisoning of elephants with Cynide in the country.

Song is accused of externalizing more than US$11 million to an offshore bank account and the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe is a complainant in the case.

Song was arrested at the Harare magistrates court by members of Zacc and is expected to appear in court today.

According to the source Li improtedd more than 100 tonnes of Cynide but was later found with 40 tonnes which was stores at different places in a bid to use it in court to obstruct the course of justice.

Li was recently summons to appear in court on May 21 on allegations of externalization and moneylaundering which Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe is the complainant.

She is accused of externalizing US$11 million through the central bank after manufacturing invoices to get forex at the bank’s auction system.

The Chinese national who is also referred as a defacto ambassador of China is also facing allegations of attempting to kill her business partner Franesco Marconati who is the owner of Eagle Italian Leather and Shoes.

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South Africa News

South African Online Casino Player Strikes Gold with R189,000 Win at Tusk Casino



Tusk Casino

JOHANNESBURG, South Africa 2024 — In a thrilling display of fortune and skill, Tusk Casino announces a monumental win by Adelheid, a passionate player from South Africa, who secured an astonishing R189,000 from a mere R100 bet on the renowned casino slot game, Gate of Olympus. This remarkable achievement underscores the high-stakes excitement that Tusk Casino offers to its players.

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About stands as South Africa’s largest and most reliable online casino and gambling guide, delivering unparalleled casino recommendations, unbiased reviews, and comprehensive gambling insights tailored to ZAR casino players since 2003. It remains a crucial resource for players seeking secure, high-quality, and rewarding online gambling experiences.

About Tusk Casino

As an established corporation with numerous ground casinos worldwide, Tusk Casino has successfully extended its reach into the South African online casino market, offering an exquisite blend of stylish design, player-centric features, and significant bonuses. Licensed and regulated by the Government of Curacao, it provides a diverse range of over 3000 slot games from leading global providers, ensuring a rich, rewarding, and secure online gaming experience for all South African players. With its impressive bonuses and comprehensive payment support, Tusk Casino is dedicated to delivering a distinct and superior online gaming experience.

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