(AFGHANISTAN) #Taliban Invasion Report: According to last estimate media reports the Taliban have taken 23 of 34 provincial capitals as US, U.K. and Australia move in transport planes to take out their citizens to safety #AceNewsDesk report

#AceNewsReport – Aug.15: The #Taliban have begun entering the outskirts of the Afghan capital Kabul “from all sides”, according to the Afghan Interior Ministry….

#AceDailyNews says the Taliban began entering Afghan capital Kabul from all sides and three Afghan officials said they were in the districts of Kalakan, Qarabagh and Paghman in Kabul and it comes just hours after they took control of the key eastern Afghanistan city of Jalalabad without a fight: The insurgents now control 23 of 34 provincial capitals. What’s happening in Kabul? More than a quarter of a million people have been displaced by the fighting and many have sought refuge in Kabul.

In a pre-recorded TV address on Saturday, President Ashraf Ghani said a top priority was the remobilisation of the Afghan armed forces to prevent further destruction and displacement of people.The speech came amid speculation by some that Mr Ghani might have been about to announce his resignation.

Displaced Afghan women and children from Kunduz pray at a mosque that is sheltering them on August 13, 2021 in Kabul
Many Afghans who have fled the fighting have sought refuge in Kabul

The Taliban have moved closer to retaking full control of Afghanistan, with the capital Kabul now the only major city left in government hands: On Sunday the militants took control of Jalalabad, a key eastern city, without a fight.

It followed the seizure of the government’s northern bastion of Mazar-i-Sharif just a day earlier.

The rapid collapse of government forces has left President Ashraf Ghani under growing pressure to resign.

He appears to face a stark choice between surrender or a fight to hold the capital.

Meanwhile, the US has begun evacuating members of staff from its embassy in Kabul. On Sunday morning they were being taken to the airport where they have been seen boarding six large military transport planes. The US has deployed 5,000 troops to help with the operation.

President Joe Biden has defended his decision to escalate the US withdrawal from Afghanistan, saying he could not justify an “endless American presence in the middle of another country’s civil conflict”.

What happened in Jalalabad?

Reports on Sunday morning said the Taliban overran the city, the capital of Nangarhar province, without a shot being fired.

“There are no clashes taking place right now in Jalalabad because the governor has surrendered to the Taliban,” a local Afghan official told Reuters news agency.

“Allowing passage to the Taliban was the only way to save civilian lives.”

Journalist Tariq Ghazniwal tweeted images purportedly showing the provincial governor handing over control to the Taliban.

The capture of Jalalabad means the Taliban have secured the roads connecting the country with Pakistan.It came hours after Mazar-i-Sharif – the capital of Balkh province and fourth-largest city in Afghanistan – also fell largely without a fight.Abas Ebrahimzada, a lawmaker from Balkh, told the Associated Press news agency that the national army were the first to surrender, which then prompted pro-government forces and other militia to give up.

Some who had fled areas controlled by the Taliban said militants there were demanding families hand over unmarried girls and women to become wives for their fighters.Muzhda, 35, a single woman who fled from Parwan to Kabul with her two sisters, said she would take her own life rather than let the Taliban force her to marry.”I am crying day and night,” she told AFP news agency.

Women from Taliban-held areas have also described being forced to wear burkas – one-piece veils that cover the face and body – and militants are reported to have beaten people for breaking social rules.

President Ashraf Ghani: ”The reintegration of the security and defence forces is our priority””God forbid we will see war in Kabul,” city resident Sayed Akbar, 53, told the New York Times. “People here have gone through 40 years of sorrows. The roads on which we are walking are built on people’s bones.” One 17-year-old, named only as Abdullah, told AFP news agency that he and his family had fled the northern city of Kunduz after it was seized by the Taliban and were now sleeping under a tent in a Kabul park.He said he and other youths in Kunduz had been forced into carrying rocket-propelled grenades and other munitions for the militants.

AFPAfghan police are manning checkpoints in Kabul residents have formed long queues at banks trying to withdraw their savings. Some branches have reportedly already run out of money.

There were also reports of a riot at Pul-e-Charkhi prison on the outskirts of the capital, with local residents saying gunfire was heard from the facility.

A Taliban official told Reuters the group did not want any casualties as it took charge but had not declared a ceasefire.

The militants later pledged not to take the capital “by force” as sporadic gunfire could be heard in the capital.

US embassy personnel were evacuated by helicopter and are now working from Kabul airport.

Several EU staff have been moved to an undisclosed location in the capital, US officials said.

More American troops were being sent to help in the evacuations after the Taliban’s lightning advances brought the Islamist group to Kabul in a matter of days.

US officials said diplomats were being ferried to the airport from the embassy in the fortified Wazir Akbar Khan district.

A young middle eastern man in a blue traditional suit walks in middle of street with woman on motorbike behind.
The Taliban have taken control of the majority of Afghanistan’s cities.(AFP)

Just last week, a US intelligence estimate said Kabul could hold out for at least three months:

The capture of Jalalabad followed the Taliban’s seizure of the northern city of Mazar-i-Sharif late on Saturday, also with little fighting.

A man in a white head wrap speaks at a podium.
President Ashraf Ghani vowed not to give up Afghanistan’s “achievements” of the last 20 years. (Reuters)

President Ashraf Ghani, who spoke to the nation on Saturday local time for the first time since the offensive began, appears increasingly isolated.

Warlords he negotiated with just days earlier have surrendered to the Taliban or fled, leaving Mr Ghani without a military option.

Ongoing negotiations in Qatar, the site of a Taliban office, also have failed to stop the insurgents’ advance.

US President Joe Biden on Saturday authorised the deployment of 5,000 troops to help evacuate citizens and ensure an “orderly and safe” drawdown of US military personnel.

In his speech, Mr Ghani vowed not to give up the “achievements” of the 20 years since the US-led invasion toppled the Taliban after the September 11 attacks.

“We have started consultations, inside the government with elders and political leaders, representatives of different levels of the community as well as our international allies,” Mr Ghani said.

“Soon the results will be shared with you,” he added, without elaborating further.

A beautiful golden mosque with blue domes can be seen at the centre of a paved square.
Mazar-i-Sharif is Afghanistan’s fourth largest city.(ABC News: Farshad Usyan )

Many Afghans fear a return to the Taliban’s oppressive rule under a harsh version of Islamic law in which women were forbidden to work or attend school.

The group had previously governed Afghanistan under a harsh version of Islamic law in which women were forbidden to work or attend school, and could not leave their homes without a male relative accompanying them.

Salima Mazari, one of the few female district governors in the country, expressed fears about a Taliban takeover during an interview from Mazar-e-Sharif before it fell.

“There will be no place for women,” Ms Mazari said.

“In the provinces controlled by the Taliban, no women exist there anymore, not even in the cities. They are all imprisoned in their homes.”

An Afghan woman and her child photographed in Jawzjan province.
There are concerns that Afghanistan’s women will have fewer rights in a return to Taliban rule.(ABC News: Sally Sara)

In a statement late on Saturday, however, the Taliban insisted its fighters would not enter people’s homes or interfere with businesses.

It also said it would offer an “amnesty” to those who worked with the Afghan government or foreign forces.

“The Islamic Emirate once again assures all its citizens that it will, as always, protect their life, property and honour, and create a peaceful and secure environment for its beloved nation,” the militants said.

“In this regard, no-one should worry about their life.”

Despite the pledge, those who can afford a ticket have been flocking to Kabul International Airport, the only way out of the country.

Wires/ABC/BBC/Reuters/AFP/

#AceNewsDesk report ……Published: Aug.15: 2021:

Editor says …Sterling Publishing & Media Service Agency is not responsible for the content of external site or from any reports, posts or links, and can also be found here on Telegram: https://t.me/acenewsdaily all of our posts fromTwitter can be found here: https://acetwitternews.wordpress.com/ and all wordpress and live posts and links here: https://acenewsroom.wordpress.com/and thanks for following as always appreciate every like, reblog or retweet and free help and guidance tips on your PC software or need help & guidance from our experts AcePCHelp.WordPress.Com

#afghanistan, #australia, #kabul, #troops, #u-k-u-s

(LONDON) #Coronavirus Travel Report: Senior cabinet ministers are to discuss allowing fully vaccinated travellers from the EU and US to avoid quarantine when they arrive in England #AceHealthDesk report

#AceHealthReport – July.28: A review of the border rules is due by 31 July – the second date in the Department for Transport’s plan for a safe return to international travel.

#CoronavirusNewsDesk says #COVID19 Travel: Fully jabbed from EU and US could avoid quarantine as ministers discuss with airlines on best way forward as U.S and E.U do not have an open border policy with rise in cases and lower vaccination rates than U.K. …as sources said the isolation exemption was likely to be discussed at the Covid Operations meeting on Wednesday over 31st July review of border rules….but todays cases are these below for 28/07/21 …

What is the EU vaccine ‘passport’ and can I use it?

By Joseph Lee & Francesca Gillett
BBC News

Woman arriving at Heathrow

But they said a decision on whether to proceed will not necessarily be taken.

Currently, people who have been fully vaccinated in the UK do not have to quarantine when travelling from the US and EU, apart from France, because those places are on the amber list (and some EU countries are on the green list). But that exemption does not apply to people who have been vaccinated outside the UK.

Downing Street and the Department for Transport declined to comment on newspaper reports the government would go ahead with the plan to also exempt people vaccinated in the US and EU. 

The travel industry has been pushing for this change in the rules so that people living abroad can more easily come to the UK for holidays or to visit loved ones.

“At the moment we’re in this slightly ridiculous situation where if I’m on a plane from Spain, because I’m lucky enough to have had two jabs, once we get to the UK I just wander off, no problem,” said travel expert Simon Calder.

“But the person sitting next to me, who happens to have had their vaccinations in Spain, not in the UK, has to go and sit in a room for 10 days. Doesn’t make sense.”

The aviation industry is also calling for a change after carrying out a 10-day trial of checking the vaccination status of passengers.

British Airways, Virgin Atlantic and Heathrow Airport wanted to demonstrate that vaccination status could be checked away from the border and allow safe entry to the UK from countries on the amber list.

The companies said 99% of documents were verified correctly during the trial, which involved about 250 fully-vaccinated participants from the US, the Caribbean and Europe, travelling to Heathrow.

Two passengers had their credentials rejected, the companies said: one because their vaccination was completed less than 14 days before travel, and the other because of a discrepancy between the name on the passport and on the vaccine card.

The relaxation of the quarantine rules for travellers into England from the EU and the US is backed by a broad coalition of government ministers, who see the benefits to the tourism industry and the economy in general. “There’s no reason not to do this,” said one advisor. Another warned that an airline could go bankrupt if it didn’t happen.

A decision may be imminent but it may take days or weeks to put it into practice. For example, airlines will need time to prepare because they’ll be the ones checking the documents.

And the recent creation of an “amber plus” category at the last minute and without the knowledge of some members of the government shows that sometimes the process doesn’t always go smoothly.

Then there’s travel in the other direction, with the US in no rush to allow in British travellers despite the high-profile launch of a transatlantic travel taskforce last month. British Airways, Virgin Atlantic and Heathrow Airport said the UK was falling behind the EU in opening up to international travellers.

BA chief executive Sean Doyle said the trial provides the evidence that the government needs to allow fully vaccinated visitors from low-risk countries to come to the UK without self-isolating.

Heathrow boss John Holland-Kaye said there was “no reason to delay with rolling out the solution from July 31”, while the head of EasyJet told LBC such a change was “the right thing” but a “little bit too late”.Freddie Julius runs tour company Tourist England which puts on trips for overseas visitors. He said around 80% of his customers are from the US and EU and “over the last 18 months we’ve seen almost none”.

Tourist EnglandTourist England said a rule change was critical for the revival of the travel sectorHe said changing the rules to allow vaccinated tourists to visit without quarantining was “critical for the revival of the inbound tourism sector”.But he told the BBC any change needed to be lasting, adding: “

The constant easing and tightening of restrictions have made it almost impossible to plan ahead, both for tour companies and tourists.” However, even if the UK changed its rules for the US, its citizens have been urged not to travel to the UK by the country’s health protection agency, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. And the US border is currently closed to the UK, as well as many other countries, except for US citizens.

The UK and US have set up a taskforce to discuss a travel corridor, although earlier this week the White House said it had no plans to lift Covid-19 travel restrictions for non-Americans.Boris Johnson told LBC on Wednesday that “we’re talking to them the whole time”.

The EU has encouraged its members to gradually lift travel restrictions for the UK, and each country has its own rules.Labour’s deputy leader Angela Rayner told Sky News the potential plan was “reckless”, adding: “We also know that people who have had the vaccine of course can still get the virus so a testing regime is very important and crucial as well.”US to maintain Covid foreign travel restrictionsYour travel guide to seven Mediterranean countriesUnder current rules, other countries are granted a “traffic light” status for arrivals – red, amber or green.

The vast majority of countries, including the US and many European countries including Spain, Italy and Germany, are on the amber list. Adults who have been fully vaccinated in the UK, and under-18s who are UK residents, no longer have to self-isolate after visiting any amber country apart from France. But anyone who was fully vaccinated outside the UK still has to quarantine for 10 days on arrival, or pay for the test-to-release scheme to shorten their quarantine.

#AceHealthDesk report ………Published: July.28: 2021:

Editor says …Sterling Publishing & Media Service Agency is not responsible for the content of external site or from any reports, posts or links, and can also be found here on Telegram: https://t.me/acenewsdaily all of our posts from Twitter can be found here: https://acetwitternews.wordpress.com/ and all wordpress and live posts and links here: https://acenewsroom.wordpress.com/ and thanks for following as always appreciate every like, reblog or retweet and free help and guidance tips on your PC software or need help & guidance from our experts AcePCHelp.WordPress.Com

#eu, #health, #london, #travel, #u-k-u-s