Kabul, Sep 18 (AP/UNB) — The Latest on developments in Afghanistan (all times local):
An Afghan official says at least 22 people including six military personnel have been killed in that suicide attack in the capital Kabul.
Firdaus Faramarz, spokesman for the Kabul police chief, said Tuesday that 38 others were wounded in the attack that took place near the Massoud intersection.
"There are both women and children among those killed or wounded in the attack," said Faramarz.
Pakistan's foreign ministry has condemned a Taliban suicide attack on a campaign rally by Afghan President Ashraf Ghani in northern Afghanistan earlier in the day that killed at least 24 people, including women and children.
Ghani was present at the venue but was unharmed in Tuesday's attack.
Pakistan denounced the attack and offered condolences to the families of the victims as well as prayers for a speedy recovery of all the wounded.
A statement by the ministry says that "Pakistan condemns terrorism in all its forms," adding Islamabad's support for Afghan efforts aimed at restoring peace and stability to the war-ravaged country.
Kabul often accuses Pakistan of backing the Taliban, who have stepped up attacks across Afghanistan in recent months. Pakistan denies the charge
The Taliban have claimed a deadly attack in northern Afghanistan that targeted President Ashraf Ghani's campaign rally, killing 24 people, and another attack, a Kabul explosion near the U.S. Embassy.
Zabihullah Mujahid, a Taliban spokesman, says one suicide bomber targeted presidential guards who were protecting Ghani and the rally in northern Parwan province along with other members of the security forces.
Ghani was unhurt in the attack and it wasn't immediately known if any of his guards were hurt in the explosion in Parwan on Tuesday.
Mujahid claims the suicide bomber in Kabul targeted an Afghan army base. Afghan officials have not yet provided details on that attack.
Iran's foreign ministry says a delegation of the Taliban has visited Tehran to discuss prospects for peace in Afghanistan.
The semi-official Borna news agency on Tuesday quoted the ministry's spokesman, Abbas Mousavi, as saying the delegation discussed "the latest" developments with the Iranian side.
It did not elaborate. On Monday, Taliban spokesman in Qatar, Suhail Shaheen, said the delegation is in Iran. In December, Iran confirmed a rare visit of a similar delegation to Tehran.
The talks were not the first between the Taliban and Iranian officials. In 2018, Iran said such talks had taken place in the past and that it would continue to facilitate talks between the insurgents and the Afghan government as part of efforts to bring a negotiated end to Afghanistan's 18-year war.
An Afghan official says there has been an explosion in the capital, Kabul, near an army base and also near the U.S. Embassy.
Firdaus Faramarz, spokesman for the Kabul police chief, says the blast took place on Tuesday, close to the city's Massoud Square. He couldn't provide any other details and there was no immediate word on any casualties.
The explosion came shortly after a bombing targeted a campaign rally by President Ashraf Ghani in northern Parwan province, killing at least 24 people and injuring another 31, many of them women and children.
The violence comes as Afghanistan faces presidential elections on Sept. 28. The Taliban have warned that polling stations and election campaigns would be targeted.
A hospital director in northern Afghanistan says a bombing that targeted a campaign rally of President Ashraf Ghani killed 24 people. The president was at the scene but was unharmed in the blast and is safe.
Dr. Qasim Sangin at the Charakar hospital in northern Parwan province says another 31 people were wounded in the attack. He says there are women and children among those killed and wounded.
No one claimed responsibility for the attack, which comes as the country heads into presidential elections later this month despite relentless violence plaguing Afghanistan.
The Taliban have warned Afghans not to vote and said they would target polling stations and election campaigns.
Afghan officials say a sticky bomb attached to a police vehicle went off near a campaign rally by President Ashraf Ghani in the country's northern Parwan province.
There was no immediate word of casualties in the explosion.
The president's campaign spokesman Hamed Aziz says that Ghani was there but that he is safe and unharmed. Aziz said he would provide more details later.
Wahida Shahkar, spokeswoman for the provincial governor in Parwan, says the explosion happened while the rally was underway on Tuesday, at the entrance to the venue.
No group immediately claimed responsibility for the attack.
Across Afghanistan, militant attacks have continued as the country prepares for presidential elections later this month.
New York, Sep 18 (AP/UNB) — Cokie Roberts, the daughter of politicians and a pioneering journalist who chronicled Washington from Jimmy Carter to Donald Trump for NPR and ABC News, died Tuesday of complications from breast cancer. She was 75.
ABC broke into network programming to announce her death and politicians including former presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama offered sympathy.
Roberts devoted most of her attention to covering Congress, where her father Hale Boggs was a House majority leader who died in 1972 when his plane went missing over Alaska. Her mother, Lindy Boggs, took over his Louisiana congressional seat and served until 1990, later becoming ambassador to the Vatican.
Roberts co-anchored the ABC Sunday political show "This Week" with Sam Donaldson from 1996 to 2002. She was most proud professionally of a series of books about women in Washington. "We Are Our Mother's Daughters" was about the changing roles and relationships of women. She also wrote two books with her husband, Steven Roberts, about marriage and an interfaith family.
"Cokie Roberts was a trailblazer who forever transformed the role of women in the newsroom and in our history books," House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said. "Over five decades of celebrated journalism, Cokie shone a powerful light on the unsung women who built our nation, but whose stories had long gone untold."
Roberts, who earned her nickname because her brother couldn't pronounce "Corinne," grew up primarily in Bethesda, Maryland. She attended Wellesley College, and met her future husband at a conference for student leaders.
"Journalism just kind of happened to me," she said in a 2018 interview with the Television Academy. "It wasn't anything I had planned to do."
But she got her start at a newsletter, worked in local news and filed stories for CBS News from Greece when her husband was stationed there as a correspondent. She was bitten by the bug.
Settling back in Washington in the mid-1970s, she was hired to cover Congress for National Public Radio. Again, it wasn't in the game plan — politics felt like treading familiar ground in a way that didn't interest her — but her background enabled her to understand how Congress worked in a way few outsiders could. And it gave her time to spend with her mother outside of Sunday dinner.
In those days it wasn't unusual for a senator to lean in and put a hand on her knee.
"I would just sort of pick it up and put it on the table say, "I think this belongs to you,'" she recalled. "It's remarkable how long that went on."
Roberts "grew up instinctively understanding the ground she would cover as a journalist, and she used her insider knowledge for the public good," said veteran Rep. John Lewis of Georgia. "She asked tough questions and formed solid opinions that made journalists and newsmakers in Washington lean in whenever she shared her thoughts."
Obama said Roberts was a role model for women at a time the journalism profession was still dominated by men, and was a constant over 40 years of a shifting media landscape and changing world.
His predecessor, former President George W. Bush, and his wife, Laura, called Roberts a talented, tough and fair reporter.
"We respected her drive and appreciated her humor," the former president said. "She became a friend."
While staying at NPR, she started working at PBS on "NewsHour" and in 1988 joined ABC News. She may be the only reporter to file stories for "Morning Edition," ''All Things Considered," ''World News Tonight" and "Nightline" in a single day, said James Goldston, ABC News president.
After leaving as "This Week" host, she settled into a role as analyst and commentator at both news organizations. She co-wrote a syndicated column with her husband, which got her into some hot water with NPR in 2016 when they called for "the rational wing" of the Republican Party to reject Trump as their presidential candidate.
"I never met her," Trump told reporters Tuesday. "She never treated me nicely. But I would like to wish her family well. She was a professional and I respect professionals."
Roberts lamented in her television academy interview how the 24-hour news cycle meant journalists are under constant pressure to file stories and had less time to report. The only answer is to hire more reporters, and she didn't expect that to happen.
Despite her lifetime around politics, colleagues say she never became consumed by cynicism. She wanted government to work.
"She liked politics and covered it as someone who was not uncritical about it, but was an affectionate student of it," said columnist and former ABC colleague George Will. "As such, she is anthropologically anachronistic, reflective of Washington before tribalism swallowed everything."
Roberts, who was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2002, kept working nearly to the end. She appeared on "This Week" in August, drawing enough concern about her evident weight loss that she released a statement saying "I am doing fine" and that she was looking forward to covering next year's election.
She was married to Steven Roberts for 53 years and they had two children, Lee and Rebecca, and six grandchildren.
Dhaka, Sept 17 (UNB) - A young man who found a wallet containing €2,000 (£1770; $2200) in cash on the street in Rome refused a reward after returning it to its owner, reports BBC.
Mossan Rasal, a 23-year-old Bangladeshi citizen, went directly to the police after spotting the item on the pavement in the Italian capital on Friday.
It was then arranged for the owner to collect the wallet from Mr Rasal.
He was thanked for his honesty but said "I did not do anything exceptional," adding: "That money wasn't mine."
"I didn't know the amount because I didn't count it, I just took everything to the [police] station," Mr Rasal told Italian daily La Repubblica on Sunday.
"It was about being honest, as my family taught me to be," he added.
The wallet also contained several credit cards, a driver's license and personal identification papers, police said.
Mr Rasal, who runs a small stall in central Rome, has been living in the city for seven years. He said that he would be happy if the owner of the wallet, a local businessman, now visited his stall and became a regular customer.
Congo, Sept 17 (AP/UNB) — Police in Congo say 36 people are missing after a boat sank on the Congo River east of the capital, Kinshasa.
The national police said Sunday that about 76 people were rescued after the accident near the Mambutuka locality about 80 kilometers (49 miles) outside Kinshasa.
The boat had been traveling from Balibambi in Mai-Ndombe province to the capital.
The cause of the accident is not immediately known. Boats in the vast nation of Congo are usually overloaded with passengers and cargo, and official manifests don't include all those aboard.
The overcrowding makes it common for boats to capsize.
Road infrastructure in the vast Central African nation is often poor.
Chattogram, Sept 16 (UNB) - Election Commissioner Kabita Khanam on Monday warned that action will be taken if any election official is found involved in providing national identity (NID) and smart cards to Rohingyas.
“If any election official is found involved in providing national identity (NID) and smart cards to Rohingyas, he or she will be removed,” she said while talking to reporters after a meeting with local election officials in the city.
Kabita said the Election Commission has changed the passwords of all the upazila and thana election offices across the country and introduced new security features in the system so that no Rohingya can be enlisted as a voter.
She also directed all the registration officers, conveners of special committees and Chattogram divisional commissioner to remain alert in this regard.
According to sources at the EC, the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) has found that false NID and smart cards were prepared for Rohingyas using an EC laptop which went missing from its Chattogram office.
But the ACC could not confirm whether the laptop was stolen or handed over to someone by election officials.
A total of 46 Rohingyas have so far been identified who were included in the voter list.
The voter ID cards were prepared in 14 thana election offices in six districts with 74 registration forms.
Meanwhile, the EC has blocked the NID server for further investigation into the matter.
By the time, three members of an NID forgery gang were arrested in Chattogram and Cox’s Bazar.
On September 1, an alleged Rohingya robber leader who was killed in a reported gunfight with law enforcers in Teknaf of Cox’s Bazar had an NID card.
Bangladesh is now hosting over 1.1 million Rohingyas. More than 730,000 Rohingya fled to Bangladesh after the Myanmar military launched a brutal offensive targeting the mainly-Muslim ethnic minority on August 25, 2017.