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Member since: Mon Apr 29, 2019, 08:15 PM
Number of posts: 1,861

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US delegation meets with Taliban representatives in Doha

Source: CNN

A US delegation was set to meet with "senior Taliban representatives from Kabul" in Doha, Qatar, this weekend, a State Department official said ahead of the meeting -- the first such gathering since the US withdrawal from Afghanistan at the end of August.

"This meeting is a continuation of the pragmatic engagements with the Taliban on issues of US vital national interest," the official told CNN.

Taliban spokesperson Zabihullah Mujahid told reporters on Saturday, "We had a detailed discussion with the American delegation in Doha, and this discussion with continue all day today and into tomorrow as well."

"During this meeting, discussions were made about the humanitarian assistance as well and this discussion will continue," Mujahid said.

Read more: https://www.cnn.com/2021/10/08/politics/us-taliban-doha-meetings/index.html

France cuts back on visas granted to Maghreb nationals over immigration policy

Source: France 24

France will slash the number of visas available to nationals from Maghreb countries because of their governments’ refusal to take back illegal migrants sent home by the French authorities, government spokesman Gabriel Attal said on Tuesday.

Immigration is becoming a key campaign issue for the French presidential election set for April next year, with right-wing and far-right parties challenging centrist President Emmanuel Macron’s policies. Macron has not yet said whether he will stand for re-election.

Attal said the French government would halve the number of visas available to nationals from Algeria and Morocco and reduce those for Tunisians by almost a third.

“It is a decision that is made necessary as these countries do not accept back nationals whom we do not want and cannot keep in France,” he told French Europe 1 radio.

Read more: https://www.france24.com/en/europe/20210928-france-cuts-back-on-visas-granted-to-maghreb-nationals-over-immigration-policy

The government says this action is not related to upcoming presidential election. I imagine it won't hurt Macron though.

Macron says France, Britain to propose Kabul safe zone to U.N.

Source: Reuters

France, Britain and Germany are working on a United Nations proposal aimed at establishing a safe zone in Kabul to allow safe passage for people trying to leave Afghanistan, French President Emmanuel Macron said on Sunday.

Macron, who said France had begun discussions with the Taliban to explore how further evacuations might proceed, said the resolution would be brought on Monday to an emergency U.N. Security Council meeting of veto-wielding members.

"There are some discussions to see how flights could be re-established," Macron said in a TV interview broadcast by France's TF1, adding that Qatar was also helping negotiations.

"What we have proposed, and what we plan to bring to the U.N. Security Council along with Britain and Germany is a solution that we have used before in other operations, which would involve creating a zone allowing people to arrive at that airport."

Read more: https://www.reuters.com/world/asia-pacific/macron-says-france-britain-propose-kabul-safe-zone-2021-08-28/

I've heard the US is now part of this proposal. Do we not know what it means to get out?

How about having France and UK give it a go and see how it works out for them?

Update: Sounds like the Taliban rejected the plan, and it was left out of the UN resolution.


Rest assured that we can still launch drone attacks. /s

Canada halting AstraZeneca vaccine shots for people 55 and younger

Source: CNN

Canada's National Advisory Committee on Immunization recommended Monday that the AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine should not be used in adults under age 55 while rare cases of serious blood clots following vaccination are being investigated, according to a release from the committee.

The rare cases of serious blood clots, known as vaccine-induced prothrombotic immune thrombocytopenia (VIPIT), have recently been reported in Europe following post-licensure use of the AstraZeneca vaccine, primarily in women under the age of 55.

According to the vaccine committee, the rate of this adverse event is still to be confirmed and information is being gathered to be more accurate.

"Following population-based analyses of VIPIT assessing risk of COVID-19 disease by age, and considering that alternate products are available (i.e., mRNA vaccines), from what is known at this time, there is substantial uncertainty about the benefit of providing AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine to adults under 55 years of age given that the potential risks associated with VIPIT, particularly at the lower estimated rates," committee officials said.

Read more: https://www.cnn.com/2021/03/29/americas/canada-astrazeneca-vaccine-intl/index.html

They got to do what they got to do, but this doesn't help persuade people to get the vaccine. I'm glad the US has three other vaccines currently being produced in great quantities, so we can stay out of the AZ controversies.
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