Afghan women’s rights official shot dead

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Safia Ahmed-jan, the director of the Afghan Ministry of Women’s Affairs for the Khandahar province and an advocate of women’s rights and a strong critic of the Taliban‘s repression of those rights, was shot dead by unidentified gunmen outside her home in Khandahar city in southern Afghanistan on Monday.

Safia Ama-jan, as she was known locally, is the first woman official to be targeted by the Taliban-led insurgency since it was deposed in 2001.

Safia Ahmed-jan taught at a girls’ school and was a high-school principal in Khandahar prior to the Taliban’s 1996 rise to power in Afghanistan. When the Taliban regime banned education for girls and forbade women from working outside the home, she ran an underground school for girls at her home, said her son Naqibullah, speaking to the Associated Press.

After the Taliban government was overthrown in 2001, Ahmed-jan became the provincial chief for women’s affairs in 2002, when the ministry was established and has since then held that position, worked for women’s rights and particularly, championed the cause of educating girls. Her secretary, Abdullah Khan told Associated Press that among her most successful projects were the vocational training schools she opened in Khandahar, where almost 1000 women were taught baking, tailoring and other skills.

Ahmed-jan has also been fiercely critical of the repression of women during the Taliban rule, in a region that has remained conservative and emerged as a hotbed of the Taliban’s insurgent activity. Her requests for personal security guards and transport went unheeded by the government, according to local media reports, though her nephew, Muhammad Asif told the New York Times that Ahmed-jan preferred to keep a low profile and used a taxi or public transport even though her office maintained cars and drivers.

Ahmed-jan was shot dead outside her house at about 7:30 a.m. local time (UTC+4:30) on Monday, as she left for work in a taxi. The gunmen are believed to have left scene on a motorcycle, and tyre marks have been found by the police, said the provincial governor Asadullah Khaled, who visited the scene of the attack.

Ahmed-jan was shot four times with a pistol, Muhammad Haidar, who worked in her office told the New York Times. Mohammad Nader, the head nurse at Khandahar’s main hospital where Ahmed-jan was taken to, confirmed to the Chicago Tribune that she was shot four times, including once in the head.

She was about 65 years old.

Accounts of the shooting are sketchy, several reports suggesting no one witnessed it. However, one man, identified as Allaudin told Al Jazeera that he saw two men on motorcycles waiting on the road, who attacked Ahmed-jan as she left her house.

A spokesman for the Khandahar governor, Daud Ahmadi confirmed the death and said that Ahmed-jan had died on the spot. An investigation into the attack has begun, and local officials have blamed the Taliban.

Hundreds of men and women, including the Governor Asadullah Khaled were present at Ahmed-jan’s funeral on Monday evening, which took place in Khandahar’s main Shia mosque.

The killing has been strongly condemned by the Afghan President Hamid Karzai as well as aid and human rights organisations in Afghanistan.

Aleem Siddique, a spokesman for the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA), said that UNAMA was “appalled at the senseless murder” of a woman who was working to ensure a full and equal part in the future of Afghanistan for its women. He added, “We share the sentiment of the majority of Afghan people who are appalled at this killing.”

Abdul Quadar Noorzai, head of the Afghan Independent Human Rights Commission (AIHRC) for the Khandahar region told IRIN News that Ahmed-jan’s death will have a “serious impact on women’s activities in the south where women are already suffering from … the deteriorating security and conservative traditions,”.

Fariba Ahmedi, a woman MP from Khandahar who was present at Ahmed-jan’s funeral told the Associated Press, “The enemy of Afghanistan killed her, but they should know it will not derail women from the path we are on. We will continue on our way,”.

Sonja Bachmann, a U.N. political officer who knew Ahmed-jan well told the New York Times that Ahmed-jan “did a good job, she worked in a very low-key way and worked hard to raise awareness about women’s issues.”

Reuters and Associated Press received phone calls, claiming responsibility for the attacks on behalf of Mullah Sadullah, a regional Taliban commander, but no confirmation of the claim has been possible.

Another caller, who identified himself as Taliban commander Mullah Hayat Khan told Al Jazeera that Ahmed-jan was killed because she worked for the government.

The Taliban-led insurgency has stepped up attacks in recent months, killing hundreds of people this year.

Last week, 19 Afghans working for reconstruction projects in the region were killed after their bus was ambushed.The Governor of Paktia province, a close associate of President Karzai, was killed in a suicide bombing on September 10.

Attacks on schools have also been stepped up. According to the Afghan education ministry, there have been 158 attacks on schools this year, compared to 146 last year. The attacks on schools are believed to be due partly to the Taliban’s opposition to educating girls, as well as a way to undermine the Afghan government and it’s reconstruction efforts.

Twelve suspected militants and two Afghan police officers were reported killed on Monday in separate incidents which also left eight others and a U.S. soldier wounded.

“People are scared, of course,” Ahmad-jan’s co-worker Haidar said, “How can we feel secure when the head of our department is killed in front of her house?”

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The Advantages Of Duct Cleaning Systems

byAlma Abell

Perhaps the most important system at work in your home is the a/c because without it the Summer months would be nearly unbearable. In order for the a/c system in your home to function properly, all of the different elements that comprise the system will have to be at peak performance. Many elements of the a/c system, such as the ducts, are commonly neglected and over time can become riddled with problems. Many a/c professionals recommend that the ducts in your home be cleaned on an annual basis to reduce any problems. Here are a few of the Advantages of Duct Cleaning Systems.

Better Quality of Air

Among the best benefits of having your ducts cleaned is that it will help to substantially improve the quality of air in your home. The dust particles that build up in your duct system over time will begin to work their way in to the air that you breathe. This can cause many different respiratory ailments and can be hazardous to everyone that comes in to your home. By letting a professional clean your ducts on a regular basis, you can avoid these negative consequences and ailments that accompany them.

Save Money on Cooling Costs

Most homeowners fail to realize that the dirtier their ducts are, the harder it is for the cool air to pass through them. The harder that your unit has to work to push the air through, the more energy it will use. This will not only run the price of your energy bill up and it will bring about repairs in your unit faster. The money that is paid to have the ducts cleaned is far better than having to repair your unit prematurely due to negligence on your part.

When in need of quality Advantages of Duct Cleaning Systems, be sure to call on the team at Palm Harbor Heating & Air Conditioning. They can get your ducts cleaned in a timely and efficient manner. Call them or visit their website for more information on what they can do for you and the a/c system that you have.

UK chancellor raises national insurance payments for self employed in new budget

Friday, March 10, 2017

UK chancellor Philip Hammond announced his 2017 budget on Wednesday, which included a £2 billion pledge to social care and a tax hike on the self-employed. It was accused of breaking Conservative Party manifesto promises.

It was announced there will be a 2% increase in national insurance contributions for the self-employed, with chancellor Philip Hammond citing worries that people were choosing to become self-employed in order to pay lower taxes and his perception of unfairness in the different rates paid by employees and self-employees. There were accusations this change in policy goes against the manifesto promises the Conservative Party ran on in 2015, which promised four times that there would be no increase in national insurance rates. Conservative MP Anna Soubry tweeted saying she believed these new measures would be unpopular as many would see them as unfair. The leader of the opposition, Jeremy Corbyn, claimed the new measures will not clamp down on people whose self-employment is just for tax benefits, instead causing problems for those legitimately self-employed, arguing that if they are to start paying similar tax rates to the employed then they should get rights such as statutory maternity pay. The think tank Resolution claimed, however, this increase is outweighed by other government policies and is, therefore, a good move.

In addition to this, the chancellor announced a £2 billion pledge to social care over the next three years, saying he was aware of the stress the ageing population is having on the NHS and social care. Liberal Democrat Norman Lamb described the amount as “wholly inadequate”, saying much more is needed to pay for an increase in care demands due to the ageing population. The lowest threshold at which shareholders pay dividend taxes is to be lowered from £5,000 to £2,000 claiming that the taxes for dividends provided “an extremely generous tax break for investors with substantial share portfolios”. Other budget announcements include an additional £325 million for the NHS, £90 million transport spending for the North of England, £20 million to support campaigning against violence against girls and women and a slight increase in funding for the devolved governments.

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Despite passage of bailout bill, two US states may need loans

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Despite the passage of a 700 billion USD bill by the United States House of Representatives on Friday and the Senate on Wednesday, two U.S. states may need loans totaling over 14 billion dollars.

California and Massachusetts are seeking at least 7 billion dollars each from the federal government as loans. Officials and lawmakers in both states say that the loans would be temporary.

According to Massachusetts’ state treasurer, Timothy P. Cahill, the state was unable to borrow money last week on a short term loan. He also states that the state can afford to pay its bills and debts for the next few weeks, but not beyond that without a short-term loan from the government. Cahill has asked the federal government for a loan similar to the recent one passed by Congress and the Senate.

“That’s all we would ask them to do: Treat us like the investment banks,” said Cahill to the Associated Press.

Officials in California say they need an emergency loan, or they will run out of money by the end of October. California’s governor, Arnold Schwarzenegger said the state is “not out of the woods” and needs a short term loan from the government.

“California and other states may be unable to obtain the necessary level of financing to maintain government operations and may be forced to turn to the federal treasury for short-term financing,” said Schwarzenegger in a letter to the Treasury Department, which is taking the letter under consideration.

On Friday, the U.S. House of Representative voted to pass a revised bailout bill which included raising the FDIC insurance cap to $250,000, a move designed to please progressives. However, the $110 billion in tax breaks, earmarks and what has been called pork barrel spending is not offset by any increases in revenues and has added opposition to the bill from some Representatives in the House. Earmarks added into the bailout bill included $192 million in tax rebates for the Virgin Islands rum industry, $148 million in tax cuts for the wool industry, $100 million tax cuts to the auto racing industry, and $48 million in Hollywood tax incentives, among others.

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Brampton MPP to hold community barbeque

Thursday, August 25, 2005

Bramalea-Gore-Malton-Springdale Member of Provincial Parliament Dr. Kuldip S. Kular invites “everyone” to his community barbecque.

The event lasts from 1 until 4 pm in the northwest corner of Chinguasousy Park, at 9050 Bramalea Road in Brampton. The BBQ is free.

Kular was elected into office in 2003, having come to Campbellton, New Brunswick in 1974 to set up a family medical practice.

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A Look At A Skin Doctor

A skin doctor is another name for a dermatologist. These healthcare specialists have education and expertise in caring for skin that is normal and healthy as well as in caring for skin that has problems. Skin care doctors prevent and treat numerous skin conditions such as psoriasis, warts, rosacea and forms of skin cancer. Dermatologists do not just deal with skin disorders, but also with disorders that affect the nails and the hair. Those who are suffering from hair loss, nail fungus or scars can be referred to a skin doctor to be diagnosed and treated for the problem at hand. If you need to locate a dermatologist for a skin, hair or nail problem that you have developed, then your general practitioner can refer you to a professional or can recommend someone to you. Another place to look would be the American Academy of Dermatology because they keep lists of doctors that are board certified. Still another resource is to place a call to a local medical school that is within a university setting and ask for names and recommendations of dermatologists.When you do come across a dermatologist or two who seems to fit your criteria, there are certain questions that you need to ask of him or her. These questions include: -What types of health insurance do you accept?-Can you provide patient references? -If I have a problem, can I get an appointment on short notice? -Does your office offer evening hours or weekend hours?-Do you specialize in a particular area of dermatology? -How many patients have you performed this specific procedure on? To become a skin doctor, a physician must spend approximately three years following graduation from medical school in getting further education in disorders that affect the skin, nails and hair. They also are trained to perform surgical procedures on the skin and other related procedures. You have probably been told in the past that you should only go to board certified doctors. While board certification does matter, it is by no means a guarantee that the doctor in question will be a good skin doctor. What it does demonstrate is that the medical practitioner completed the training that was required and has acquired the knowledge that was necessary to pass the required examination. For your own peace of mind you can easily verify that a dermatologist has received board certification by visiting the American Board of Dermatology website.When you are looking for a dermatologist to tend to the skin, hair or nail condition that you have developed, you need to research the speciality of every doctor who looks of interest to you. The area of expertise is important to finding the physician who can provide you with the right type of treatment. The vast majority of dermatologists are able to diagnose and treat most skin problems but some choose to obtain additional certifications for specific areas of the medical discipline. Examples of the specialist certifications that a skin care physician can obtain include clinical and laboratory dermatological immunology, pediatric dermatology, and dermatopathology.

CanadaVOTES: NDP candidate David Sparrow in Don Valley West

Friday, October 10, 2008

In an attempt to speak with as many candidates as possible during the 2008 Canadian federal election, Wikinews has talked via email with David Sparrow. Sparrow is a candidate in Ontario’s Don Valley West riding, running under the New Democratic Party (NDP) banner. The riding was set to vote in a by-election on September 22, 2008, following the resignation of John Godfrey, but Stephen Harper’s sudden election call nulled that effort.

Also running in the Toronto riding are Liberal Rob Oliphant, Conservative John Carmichael, Green Georgina Wilcock, and Communist Catherine Holliday.

The following is an interview with Sparrow, conducted via email. The interview is published unedited, as sent to Wikinews.

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Leaked cables cause Australian concern

Friday, December 10, 2010

Leaked diplomatic cables between Australia and the US Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, have raised controversy in the Australian community. The documents were released by the whistle-blowing website Wikileaks. The cables between the then prime minister of Australia, Kevin Rudd, and the US Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, revealed that China may need to be forced to integrate into the international community. The secret documents also contained information of a conversation between Clinton and Rudd in Washington. In the interview, Rudd stated that China was “paranoid” about Taiwan and Tibet.

The sensitive documents may place a strain on diplomatic relations between Australia and China. Despite this, Kevin Rudd reassured the public that the “robust” relationship between Australia and China wouldn’t sustain any substantial damage to the relations between the two countries. At this stage, Prime Minister Julia Gillard has provided no further comment on the matter, other than to ensure that the relationship between China and Australia would allow opinions to be expressed without any threat to either side.

At the heart of the leaks is Australian founder, Julian Assange. Wikileaks have now released 821 of their promised 251,287 US diplomatic cables. The cables are being released on a stage-by-stage basis. Earlier this week, Assange was arrested on suspicion of rape in London under a Swedish arrest warrant placed on him from a court in Stockholm on November 18.

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Important Factors Effecting Your Insurance In Austin

byAlma Abell

Have you ever found yourself in an auto accident? Accidents happen out of nowhere and can cost thousands and thousands of dollars. This is precisely why you need auto Insurance in Austin. Insurance is there to cover you, your passengers, your vehicle, and other vehicles involved in an accident. With so many different types of coverage available, it’s up to drivers to pick the best and most affordable one. Let’s take a look at the different factors that’ll play a part in your decision.

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Age. Your age isn’t something you can have too much effect on. Insurance companies tend to group drivers into specific age groups. On average, younger drivers tend to see some of the highest car insurance rates. Why? Car insurance companies see younger drivers as more of a risk than older drivers. Statistics have shown that drivers between the ages of 16 and 25 tend to get into more accidents than older drivers. Older drivers tend to be much more cautious while on the road, and therefore are less likely to get into accidents.

Gender. Whether a man or woman can play a major part in the price of your Car Insurance Quote. In this case, it’s the men who tend to see the most expensive rates compared to women. Why? Insurance companies don’t think that men are necessarily more careless drivers than women. However, statistics have shown that men tend to be more aggressive while on the road. Aggressive drivers are much more likely to get into some type of accident. Needless to say, if you’re a male under the age of 25, you’ll likely see the highest premiums around.

Vehicle. Now, we’ve finally arrive at something that you will be able to control when it comes to Insurance in Austin. The vehicle you drive is a huge indicator for many insurance companies. Insurers will take into account the type of vehicle you own. They’ll look at the model, age, features, and condition of the vehicle. If you’re planning on getting lower rates, you should stay away from flashy sports cars. These cars are seen as a risk and tend to bring higher premiums along with them. Consider a safer and more economical vehicle with a number of safety features. Vehicles like this are seen as less risky by most insurance companies.

How the Army Corps of Engineers closed one New Orleans breach

Friday, September 9, 2005

New Orleans, Louisiana —After Category 4 storm Hurricane Katrina slammed into New Orleans, on the night before August 29, 2005, several flood control constructions failed. Much of the city flooded through the openings. One of these was the flood wall forming one side of the 17th Street Canal, near Lake Pontchartrain. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) is the primary agency for engineering support during such emergencies. A USACE team was assessing the situation in New Orleans on the 29th, water flow was stopped September 2nd, and the breach was closed on September 5th.

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