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‘Afghan girl’ from famous National Geographic cover finds asylum in Italy

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Sharbat Gula, the green-eyed Afghan woman immortalised decades ago on National Geographic cover, has been evacuated to Italy, Rome says.

Italy has given safe haven to Sharbat Gula, the green-eyed “Afghan Girl” whose 1985 photo in National Geographic became a symbol of her country’s wars, Prime Minister Mario Draghi’s office said.

The government intervened after Gula asked for help to leave Afghanistan following the Taliban takeover of the country in August, a statement said on Thursday, adding that her arrival was part of a broader programme to evacuate and integrate Afghan citizens.

US photographer Steve McCurry took the picture of Gula when she was a youngster, living in a refugee camp on the Pakistan-Afghan border.

Her startling green eyes, peering out from a headscarf with a mixture of ferocity and pain, made her know internationally but her identity was only discovered in 2002 when McCurry returned to the region and tracked her down.

An FBI analyst, forensic sculptor, and the inventor of iris recognition all verified her identity, National Geographic said at the time.

READ MORE: Pakistan deports “Afghan Girl” of National Geographic fame

Refugee most of her life

In 2016, Pakistan arrested Gula for forging a national identity card in an effort to live in the country.

Gula said she first arrived in Pakistan as an orphan, some four or five years after the Soviet invasion of 1979, one of the millions of Afghans who have sought refuge over the border since.

The then Afghan president, Ashraf Ghani, welcomed her back and promised to give her an apartment to ensure she “lives with dignity and security in her homeland”.

In early September, Rome said it had evacuated almost 5,000 Afghans from Afghanistan after the Taliban seized power in August.

Italy earlier this month said it had granted citizenship to Afghanistan’s first woman chief prosecutor, Maria Bashir, after she had landed in the European country on September 9.

READ MORE: Taliban’s first 100 days: Five main issues that grip Afghanistan

Source: TRTWorld and agencies

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Drought in Europe limits river transportation of goods

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Droughts across Europe are causing some countries like Germany to prioritize rail transportation for materials and equipment that are essential to energy production, as shipping by river is becoming a challenge with the low water levels.

Germany also referred gas and transformer equipment for power production and transmission to be given priority over passenger services and other industrial requirements amid the Rhine’s shocking drought levels.

Stranded boats lie on the dried river bed of the Danube in the city of Novi Sad, Serbia, and France’s Loire River revealed its dried banks as historic droughts hit Loireauxence, France.

 

Source: CGTN

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JP says citizen’s rule can only be maintained through presidential system

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Leader of Jumhooree Party (JP) Qasim Ibrahim has stated that citizen’s rule can only be maintained through a presidential system. The leader of the government coalition party made the statement at a time when President of the Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) Mohamed Nasheed is seeking support for his proposal to establish a parliamentary system in the Maldives.

In the tweet, Qasim highlighted the importance of maintaining a presidential system, as the president and the parliament members are elected directly by the people. He said that the prime minister, who rules in a parliamentary system, is not chosen by the electorate.

President of MDP Nasheed has said he will propose amendments to the Constitution of the Maldives at the party congress, in order to establish a parliamentary system in the country. President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih, along with some cabinet ministers and political leaders, has voiced opposition to establishing a parliamentary system.

Source: psmnews

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Gabon confers Distinguished Award to Maldivian Foreign Minister

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The Government of Gabon has conferred the National Order of Merit of the Gabonese Republic to the Minister of Foreign Affairs and President of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) Abdulla Shahid.

The National Order of Merit of the Gabonese Republic was conferred to Minister Shahid by President Ali Bongo Ondimba at a ceremony held in Libreville, Gabon. The award was introduced in 1971 and is given to outstanding servicemen in various fields. Minister Shahid is currently in Gabon on an official visit as the UNGA president.

The Maldives established foreign relations with Gabon on March 20, 2008. This year marks the 14 years since the establishment of relations between the two countries.

Source: psmnews 

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