Taliban announce reopening of girls‘ schools in Afghanistan: The Taliban administration in Afghanistan is working towards reopening high school education for girls, who were left out of a recent return to school for boys and younger girls, although a Taliban spokesman speaking on Tuesday gave no time frame for action. The Taliban say they have changed since their 1996-2001 rule, when they barred women from leaving home without a male relative and shuttered schools for girls, but they stirred skepticism when they said last week that they would open schools for high school-aged boys but not girls.
Four people found dead on border with Belarus: Polish officials said Sunday the bodies of three men, believed to be Iraqi nationals, were found on the Polish side of the Poland-Belarus border while Belarusian authorities announced an Iraqi woman was found within a meter of the border. Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said on Facebook that he was in contact with the interior minister as well as the head of the border guards. Morawiecki said links between these „dramatic events and Belarusian provocations“ would be investigated. EU member-states Poland, Lithuania and Latvia, which border Belarus, have come under increasing pressure as Belarusian strongman Alexander Lukashenko has opened a backdoor route for migrants into the EU.
Right-wing extremism – Germany’s Military Counterintelligence Service investigates KSK soldiers: The German Military Counterintelligence Service (MAD) is investigating two suspected cases of right-wing extremism in the elite Special Forces Command (KSK). The cases date back several years. According to security sources, an officer and a non-commissioned officer are under investigation. The officer is said to have hoisted the black-white-red flag of the German Reich, which far-right “Reichsbürger” (literally “citizens of the Reich”) use to show their rejection of the Federal Republic of Germany. The non-commissioned officer came to the attention of the MAD because he was allegedly part of a right-wing radical chat group. There had been some revelations about right-wing extremist incidents in the KSK last year.
Thousands of former Boko Haram fighters surrender in Nigeria: According to Nigeria’s army, thousands of Boko Haram fighters in the north of the country have surrendered their weapons. According to reports, the government is now planning a reintegration program. The former terrorists apparently carried colorful signs saying „Surrender and live“ or „Surrender and be free“. Nigeria’s government and army see the surrender of the former jihadists as a stage victory in the fight against terrorism in the country.
Ethiopian human rights activist Daniel Bekele receives German Africa Award 2021: Daniel Bekele, currently Chief Commissioner of the Ethiopian Human Rights Commission (EHRC), will receive the German Africa Award for his fight for democracy and human rights. The prize is the highest award of its kind in Germany. It honors outstanding personalities from the African continent who are committed to peace, reconciliation, and social progress.
Security policy: The US put China under pressure with submarines in the Pacific sueddeutsche.de
Kramp-Karrenbauer: European Union should become more militarily independent deutschlandfunk.de
Amnesty report: „Taliban dismantle human rights“ tagesschau.de
Bomb explosions: Isis carries out attacks on Taliban fighters n-tv.de
Egypt: Intelligence service severely intimidates activists amnesty.de
NUMBER OF THE WEEK
Iran and Pakistan are already home to around 90% of the 2.2 million registered Afghan refugees.
Navalny accuses Kremlin of stealing election results: Jailed Russian opposition politician Aleksei Navalny has accused the Kremlin of using „intimidation and repression“ to steal parliamentary elections that saw the ruling United Russia party retain its constitutional majority amid widespread reports of voting irregularities and ballot tampering. Writing in an Instagram message from prison, Navalny said that his tactical voting system was a huge success, weakening the party of President Vladimir Putin’s choice, only to have the results „redrawn in the most primitive way.“ The Russian election was denounced by the West and described by an independent monitoring agency as „one of the dirtiest“ in Russian history.
Apple shuts down iCloud Private Relay in Turkey and Russia: The list of countries where Apple does not want to provide its new “iCloud Private Relay” data protection service seems to be growing. IPhone users of the iOS 15 beta are reporting that the service has suddenly been disabled in Turkey and Russia and can no longer be activated. A warning will be displayed stating that the private forwarding service is not supported in this “country or region”.
Middle Eastern foes are giving diplomacy a shot: Exhausted from years of conflict and eager for growth, rivals are talking. It was a surprising choice for a summer holiday: On August 18th Tahnoon bin Zayed, the national-security adviser of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), turned up in Ankara to meet Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. The countries have been at odds for years over Erdogan’s support for Islamist groups around the Middle East. Turkish officials accused the UAE of abetting a failed coup in 2016. But none of that was mentioned in the official statement after their meeting, which talked instead of economic co-operation. A week later Sheikh Tahnoon met the emir of Qatar, becoming the most senior Emirati official to visit Qatar since the UAE and three other Arab states imposed an embargo on it in 2017. Again, there was cheery language about co-operation.
„Should Mali’s cooperation with Russian mercenary groups be confirmed, this would call into question the foundations of the Bundeswehr’s mandate for Minusma and EUTM and, together with the Bundestag, we would have to draw consequences.“
German Defense Minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer.
Police lead pony away in handcuffs: An unusual animal rescue took place in Bavaria. Pony „Wotan“ had run away from his owner and put herself in danger. However, a policewoman „experienced with horses“ was able to catch the animal. „Near the Gernlinden stop, a female officer, herself a horse owner, was able to catch the runaway pony and lead it to the road with the help of her handcuffs,“ a statement from the federal police said. When they met again, the joy and relief of all involved was great, the police wrote.