Afghan Support Organizations Urge Taliban to End Blockades, Improve Security
An alliance of humanitarian aid agencies called the Afghan Donor Support Group issued a statement urging the Taliban to remove blockades in northern, opposition-held sections of Afghanistan* and to improve security conditions for humanitarian aid workers. Thousands of Afghans are near starvation because the Taliban's blockades and dangerous conditions make it impossible for aid workers to reach the people who need help. A Washington Post article has since reported that the Taliban has agreed to lift its blockade and allow emergency food relief.
The group also stated its commitment to meeting the needs of women, vowed to "treat women as equal partners in Afghanistan's future recovery" and promised to concentrate on eliminating opium production there. "It's an open secret that while the leaders may condemn it, the Taliban benefit from drugs production, through the levy of taxes on poppy crops and from payments by traffickers to ensure their laboratories and drugs convoys can operate with impunity," said Junior British Foreign Minister Derek Fatchett. Fatchett urged members of the Afghan Support Donor Group to work together on their common goals.
1/27/2016 Taiwan Elects First Woman President - In a landslide victory, the leader of Taiwan's Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Tsai Ing-wen won the country's presidential election, becoming the first woman in Taiwan's history to hold the position.
Emphasizing her party's commitment to maintaining Taiwan's independence from China, Tsai won over young voters eager to usher in a political changing of the guard following some 70 years of dominance by the pro-Chinese unification party, the Kuomintang (KMT), chaired by presidential opponent Eric Chu. . . .