COPENHAGEN, Denmark (AP) – Norway has slammed the latest Afghan Taliban edict demanding women cover up head to toe in public and warned that Afghanistan’s new rulers are “steering the country toward a humanitarian, economic and human rights catastrophe.”
The Taliban decree, announced on Saturday, ordered all Afghan women to wear all-covering clothing in public, the traditional burqa, and threatened to punish their male relatives in cases of noncompliance. It evoked similar restrictions on women and other hard-line measures imposed by the Taliban during their previous, 1996-2001 rule of Afghanistan.
Earlier this year, the Taliban decided against reopening schools to girls above grade six, reneging on an earlier promise and opting to appease their hard-line base. That decision has drawn international condemnation and disrupted efforts by the Taliban, who seized power in Afghanistan last August, to win recognition from potential international donors at a time when the country is mired in a worsening humanitarian crisis.
“I am outraged by the announcement that warns that women in Afghanistan must cover their faces in public, cannot drive a car and only leave home when necessary,” a statement from Henrik Thune, Norway’s deputy foreign minister, said Sunday.
Taliban Terrorist Leaders Touch Down in Oslo to Woo Humanitarian Donorshttps://t.co/LzfuUcrbBz
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) January 24, 2022
Thune said the edict is “completely unacceptable” and stressed that although the Taliban are in power, “they are still an isolated and non-representative government.”
“The Taliban´s policies continue to oppress women and girls, instead of addressing the economic crisis and the need for an inclusive government,” he said.
Norway hosted three days of talks in January between the Taliban, Western diplomats and other delegates at closed-door meetings in the snow-capped mountains above the Norwegian capital of Oslo.
The talks – the first in Europe since the Taliban takeover – focused on humanitarian aid to Afghanistan and human rights. The Taliban-appointed foreign minister, Amir Khan Muttaqi, said the discussions “went very well.” The talks also included discussions between the Taliban and members of Afghan civil society.
Thune said it was necessary to pursue dialogue, “even if the Taliban have values that are far from ours” and added that without dialogue, “we also have no opportunity to influence those in power.”
He urged the Taliban to “once again to keep their promises to Afghan women and girls.”
“Afghanistan´s women and girls are waiting for the right to a full life and can´t be excluded from society,” he said.
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— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) September 21, 2021
Former Goldman CEO Warns of Potential Recession: ‘Very, Very High Risk Factor’
Appearing on CBS’s Face the Nation, former Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein warned the United States could plunge into a recession.
“Do you think we’re headed towards recession?” @margbrennan asks Goldman Sachs Senior Chairman Lloyd Blankfein amid U.S. inflation.
“It’s definitely a risk…If I were a consumer, I’d be prepared for it, but it’s not baked in the cake.” pic.twitter.com/IehxU4wSo6
— Face The Nation (@FaceTheNation) May 15, 2022
A transcript is as follows:
MARGARET BRENNAN: Do you think we’re headed towards recession?
LLOYD BLANKFEIN: We’re certainly heading — it’s a very, very high risk factor. There’s a path, a narrow path, but I think the Fed has very powerful tools. It’s hard to finely tune them and hard to see the effects of them quickly enough to alter it. But I think they are responding well. It’s definitely a risk. If I was running a big company I would be very prepared for it. If I was a consumer, I would prepared for it. But it’s not baked in the cake.
White House Claims Baby Formula Shortage a Top Priority Since February After Joe Biden Claimed Ignorance of Problem
The White House claimed President Joe Biden’s administration made the baby formula shortage crisis a top priority as early as February, even though the president claimed ignorance of the problem on Thursday.
“This is something he is focusing on very acutely and again I said 24/7 we’ve been working on this since we have learned about this back in February,” White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said during the daily briefing about Biden, calling the issue “one of the presidents top priorities.”
Biden bristled when asked by reporters on Friday if he could have acted sooner to fix the crisis.
“If we had been better mind readers, I guess we could’ve, but we moved as the problem became apparent to us,” Biden said.
The president did not even personally mention the crisis until Friday, despite weeks of reports highlighting the problem.
“I’ll answer the baby formula question because, all of a sudden, it’s on the front page of every newspaper,” Biden grumbled on Friday.
He announced the launch of a new government website to help parents locate baby formula in stores, but it was beset by extremely long hold times and unhelpful information.
Jean-Pierre alluded to a comment from Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Bacerra claiming the Biden administration had been working on the issue since February and even as early as last year in 2021.
CNN: “You are satisfied with the government’s response throughout [the baby formula shortage]?”
HHS Sec. Xavier Becerra: “FDA has kept me apprised of this from LAST YEAR. We have been moving as quickly as we can” pic.twitter.com/5WRZa5chYg
— RNC Research (@RNCResearch) May 16, 2022
“You’ve heard us talk about this, you’ve heard colleagues talking about what we have done since February,” Jean-Pierre said. “We’ve been working on this 24/7.”
Jean-Pierre refused to offer a timeline for when supplies of baby formula would return to normal.
“What I can say is there are a lot of dates floating around out there,” she said.
Joe Biden Botches Name of Hero Killed in Buffalo Shooting Aaron Salter Jr.
President Joe Biden struggled Monday with the correct pronunciation of the name of Aaron Salter Jr., a heroic ex-cop and security guard who died Saturday confronting the Buffalo mass shooting suspect.
“We pay tribute to all law enforcement officers and their families who understand what it takes, what’s at risk, to save and protect all of us,” Biden said. “That includes paying tribute to the Buffalo police officer Aaron Salder — Slater, excuse me — who gave his life trying to save others.”
Biden spoke about Salter during a Public Safety Officer Medals of Valor ceremony at the White House for law enforcement and public safety officials.
Salter was a Buffalo police officer for 30 years before retiring in 2022 and taking a security job at the Tops Friendly Market where the shooting took place.
Salter hit the alleged shooter with at least one round from his pistol, but it was blocked by the alleged shooter’s bulletproof armor. Salter was later shot and killed during the attack.
“You’re the heart and soul and very spine of this country and communities,” Biden continued, praising the public safety officials in the room.
During the ceremony, Biden also botched the name of Rep. Adriano Espaillat, a Democrat congressman from New York.
“Excuse me. You can call me ‘Bidden,’” Biden joked, mispronouncing his own name. “We’ve known each other so long and I still stumbled. I apologize.”
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