World News Roundup: Biden put rights at heart of U.S. foreign policy. Then he pulled punches; Afghans face 'their most perilous hour', warns U.N. boss and more
Members of Congress - President Joe Biden's fellow Democrats as well as opposition Republicans - have planned hearings since the Taliban seized control of the country last month after a rapid advance. No 'magic wand' to fix Lebanon crisis, new prime minister says Lebanon's new Prime Minister Najib Mikati, who took office last week promising to revive IMF talks to unlock aid, said on Monday there was no time to lose and no easy path to tackle one of history's worst economic meltdowns.
Following is a summary of current world news briefs.
Biden put rights at heart of U.S. foreign policy. Then he pulled punches
Hours after the last U.S. troops and diplomats were out of Afghanistan, President Joe Biden said in an address at the White House that Washington will continue to support the Afghans left behind and would defend their basic rights, especially those of women and girls. "I've been clear that human rights will be the center of our foreign policy," he said, repeating a campaign promise he has made often in speeches since taking office on Jan. 20.
Afghans face 'their most perilous hour', warns U.N. boss
U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Monday called for donors to pledge hundreds of millions of dollars for Afghanistan, saying that poverty was spiralling and many people could run out of food by the end of the month. "After decades of war, suffering and insecurity, they face perhaps their most perilous hour," he said in opening remarks at a Geneva conference where $606 million is being sought.
Qatar foreign minister says he urged Taliban to respect women's rights
Qatar's foreign minister said on Monday the Gulf state has urged Afghanistan's new Taliban rulers to respect women's rights and that it was still too early to consider recognising their government. Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani was speaking in a joint press conference with French foreign minister Jean-Yves Le Drian in Doha. Le Drian said dozens of French nationals are still in Afghanistan and Paris is working with Qatar to evacuate them.
Nigeria says 75 abducted children released amid army crackdown
Seventy-five children who were kidnapped from their school in Nigeria's northwestern Zamfara State have been released after their abductors came under pressure from a military crackdown, a state official said on Monday. Gunmen took the students from the village of Kaya on Sept. 1, the latest in a spate of mass kidnappings from schools across the region.
Putin approves pre-election salary boost for police, military personnel
President Vladimir Putin on Monday approved higher salaries for law enforcement and military personnel ahead of a parliamentary vote, one of many measures critics say is designed to boost support for the ruling party. The measure, which indexes their compensation to a figure above inflation, comes days before Russians head to the polls on Sept. 17-19 for an election which the ruling United Russia party is expected to dominate despite a slump in its ratings due to declining living standards.
Macron's ex-bodyguard goes on trial over May Day assaults
A former security advisor of French President Emmanuel Macron arrived at a Paris court on Monday to go on trial accused of roughing up May Day protesters in 2018, in what triggered the first major political crisis of Macron's mandate. Macron and his Elysee palace team were sharply criticised at the time for not sacking Alexandre Benalla immediately. He was fired when a video of the incident emerged six weeks later.
Myanmar's Suu Kyi dizzy and drowsy, skips court appearance
Deposed Myanmar leader Aung San Suu Kyi was unable to appear at a court hearing on Monday for health reasons, a member of her legal team said, describing her condition as dizziness caused by motion sickness. Suu Kyi, 76, who has been detained on various charges since her overthrow in a Feb. 1 military coup, did not have the coronavirus but felt ill having not traveled in a vehicle for a long time, lawyer Min Min Soe said.
Kabul gamers fret over favourite pastime with Taliban back in power
The Sm:)le net club, a gaming cafe in downtown Kabul, used to be a haven for young people in the city: an escape from the daily grind in a country where decades of war and economic malaise have dimmed their prospects. Now, with Afghanistan back under control of the Taliban, which banned most forms of entertainment during its previous rule in 1996 to 2001, some fear that gaming may be wrenched away.
Secretary of State Antony Blinken will testify twice to Congress this week about the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan, as lawmakers kick off what could be a long series of high-intensity hearings about the chaotic end to America's longest war. Members of Congress - President Joe Biden's fellow Democrats as well as opposition Republicans - have planned hearings since the Taliban seized control of the country last month after a rapid advance.
No 'magic wand' to fix Lebanon crisis, new prime minister says
Lebanon's new Prime Minister Najib Mikati, who took office last week promising to revive IMF talks to unlock aid, said on Monday there was no time to lose and no easy path to tackle one of history's worst economic meltdowns. The new government, formed after more than a year of political stalemate, finally met for the first time on Monday, replacing a caretaker administration that had quit following last year's huge explosion in Beirut.
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