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Not concerned about Apple's stock price slump: Trump. VOA

The Donald Trump administration has ordered the US military to start withdrawing roughly 7,000 troops from Afghanistan, a move that is likely to plunge the war-torn country further into chaos.

President Trump made the decision to pull out the troops — about half the number the US has in Afghanistan now — at the same time he decided to pull American forces out of Syria, a defence official was cited as saying by the New York Times on Thursday.


The withdrawal of the troops could take months and the order marked a significant departure from Trump’s August 2017 decision to slightly increase the number of US troops in Afghanistan and keep them in place with conditions on the ground dictating withdrawal, reports say.

The Afghanistan directive also came as the US was attempting to negotiate a peace deal with the Taliban to end the 17-year-old war. According to the Times, the abrupt troop withdrawal decision stunned Afghan officials, who said they had not been briefed on the plans.

The President’s orders on Syria and Afghanistan led to the resignation on Thursday of his Pentagon chief James Mattis, who disagreed with him on a hasty withdrawal from both countries.

Trump’s decision was also met with opposition by some of his senior Cabinet officials, including outgoing White House Chief of Staff John Kelly and White House National Security Adviser John Bolton.

The Times said that the troop withdrawals and the resignation of Mattis leaves a murky picture for what is next in the US’ longest war and they come as Afghanistan continues to witness spasms of violence in its capital Kabul and other important areas.


U.S. President Donald Trump. VOA

The US has about 14,000 troops in Afghanistan, most of which are present as part of a larger NATO-led mission to train, advise and assist Afghan forces. Any withdrawal would be complicated by the fact that the US is part of NATO’s Resolute Support mission.

Senior Afghan officials and Western diplomats in Kabul woke up to the shock of the news on Friday. Several of them said that they had received no indication in recent days that the Americans would pull troops out.

Republican Senator Lindsey Graham tweeted that any withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan would be a “high risk strategy” which could reverse US progress in the region and pave the way towards a “second 9/11”.

Trump had repeatedly before his election campaign in 2016, publicly advocated leaving Afghanistan — where US forces have been since 2001.

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However, in 2017 he indicated he would keep boots on the ground in the country indefinitely to prevent the country’s collapse amid a Taliban resurgence.

American-led combat operations against the group officially ended in 2014, but in the years since the group’s power and reach has soared.

In September 2017, Trump announced the US would send 3,000 extra troops to the country amid a shift of strategy. (IANS)


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Hackers have stolen crypto tokens worth $120 million from Blockchain-based decentralised finance (DeFi) platform BadgerDAO.

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Kishan said that the organisers have been asked to strictly follow all Covid-19 protocols.

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Kishan said that the organisers have been asked to strictly follow all Covid-19 protocols. Also, those who are not vaccinated, will not be allowed without the negative RT-PCR test report, he added. "We have been informed by organisers that a total of 120 guests are invited to the wedding and the events will take place between December 7 to December 10," he added.

Earlier at 10.30 a.m., Kishan called a meeting which was attended by administrative, police and forest department officials, hotel and event managers to ensure adequate arrangements for crowd control, smooth regulation of traffic, and law and order situation amid the VIP movement. The wedding venue Fort Barwara, that has been converted into a heritage hotel, is situated in the panchayat samiti Chauth Ka Barwara. The venue is around 22 km away from Sawai Madhopur and is around 174 km from Jaipur. Sawai Madhopur district is famous for the Ranthambore National Tiger Reserve and as per reports, the guests are likely to be taken for a tiger safari. (IANS/ MBI)


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Dr Rakesh Mishra at the CCMB said on Friday that the consortium is continuously monitoring the situation in all the four cities and has upscaled its efforts to sequence as many samples as possible Apart from the CCMB and the NCBS, the consortium includes CSIR-Institute of Genomics and Integrative Biology - IGIB in New Delhi and the Pune Knowledge Cluster, Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER), Pune, and CSIR-National Chemical Laboratory in Pune.

covid virus The first case of the Omicron variant was detected in South Africa and reported to the World Health Organization on November 24. | Unsplash

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