Daily Archives

17 Articles

Posted by Worldkrap on

Judge: Slain Reporter’s Sources an Issue for High Court

A Nevada judge decided Wednesday not to punish Las Vegas police for taking an initial look at a slain investigative journalist’s cellphone after he was killed in September, and said it is up to the state Supreme Court to decide whether a thorough review by homicide detectives of the reporter’s electronic devices would improperly expose confidential notes and sources. 

“I’m inclined to deny the motion for sanctions because it would affect the criminal case adversely,” Clark County District Court Judge Michelle Leavitt said. 

The judge also rejected Las Vegas Review-Journal requests to name a third-party special master to review the material and order the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department to pay what an attorney for the newspaper argued is hundreds of thousands of dollars in attorney fees and court costs racked up while arguing the issue.

Leavitt said she believed court orders not to disclose confidential material could be sufficient to prevent public disclosure of protected material in the murder case against Robert “Rob” Telles, a former Democratic elected county official accused of stabbing Review-Journal reporter Jeff German to death outside German’s home on September 2.

Telles, who had been the focus of investigative news reports by German, was removed from his position as Clark County public administrator following his arrest and remains jailed without bail. He has been indicted on a murder charge, and his jury trial is currently scheduled for April. 

On Wednesday, Leavitt didn’t push back the trial date, but acknowledged the police investigation of German’s death was “at a screeching halt,” and won’t be completed until the state high court decides if names and unpublished material that might be on German’s devices are protected from disclosure by the First Amendment and Nevada state law.

Telles’ new attorney in the murder case, Damian Sheets, took part in the hearing but did not speak.

The judge accepted police department attorney Matthew Christian’s explanation that the initial search was necessary “in the immediate aftermath of finding the body.”

The judge, prosecutors and attorneys for the department, newspaper and Telles have acknowledged there is little legal precedent when it comes to how to protect promises of anonymity or confidentiality made to people who might be in a slain reporter’s files.

Attorney Ashley Kissinger, representing the Review-Journal, characterized the so-called reporter’s privilege to shield sources as “critical to a well-functioning democracy.”

“It’s a crucial aspect of what makes the press free and independent in the United States,” Kissinger told the judge, “and sets us apart from the rest of the world in the area of freedom of expression.”

The Review-Journal obtained a court order in October that prevents police from accessing the devices. The police department appealed that decision.

The judge said later that she believed a court order to prevent public disclosure of information gleaned from German’s devices would let police and prosecutors finish their investigation without breaching promises of confidentiality made by the dead reporter and sought by the newspaper.

Leavitt said she was “inclined to” lift the preliminary injunction imposed in October and to endorse a protective order “to protect the rights of the parties.”

“So, you all can file this back with the Supreme Court,” she said.

Christian assured Leavitt that although investigators accessed German’s cellphone shortly after he was found dead, homicide detectives have not conducted a thorough forensic search. He said the phone and five other computer devices obtained with a warrant from German’s home remain in police custody.

“We’re not going to proceed until we have some kind of court approval,” Christian said.

German, 69, spent more than 40 years as an investigative reporter covering courts, politics, labor, government and organized crime in Las Vegas. He joined the Review-Journal in 2010 after more than two decades at the rival Las Vegas Sun.

Prosecutors say physical evidence against Telles is overwhelming, including DNA believed to be from Telles found beneath German’s fingernails, video showing a man believed to be Telles walking near German’s home at about the time of the slaying, and a vehicle believed to be Telles’ in the area.

Grand jury transcripts say prosecutors presented photos and videos showing a man carrying a gray duffel bag walking into a side yard of German’s home before German goes there, and what a police detective described as “a disturbance” in the yard. 

Posted by Ukrap on

Російська влада анонсує закриття Кримського мосту для руху автомобілів наприкінці січня

Раніше російський віцепрем’єр заявляв, що ремонтні роботи мосту планують закінчити в березні 2023 року

Posted by Ukrap on

Стефанчук заявив, що не погоджував відрядження Тищенка до Таїланду

Раніше стало відомо, що «Слуга народу» виключила Миколу Тищенка з партії

Posted by Ukrap on

Уламки російських ракет виявлені на території кількох районів Київщини – поліція

Поліцейські проводять огляд місць, де впали уламки російських ракет

Posted by Ukrap on

Australian Open: чотирьох людей опитала поліція за російські прапори

У соцмережах поширилися кадри, на яких із уболівальниками з російською символікою позував батько сербського тенісиста Новака Джоковича

Posted by Ukrap on

На Одещині внаслідок ракетного обстрілу пошкоджено два об’єкти енергетичної інфраструктури – влада

Наразі є значні проблеми з електропостачанням і водопостачанням – голова ОВА

Posted by Worldkrap on

Air Raid Alert in Ukraine as Zelenskyy Calls for Aircraft, Missiles

Russia launched a fresh wave of missile strikes on Ukraine in the morning Thursday, killing at least one person, hours after an overnight drone attack, while heavy fighting continues unabated in the east, where Moscow’s forces have been increasing pressure on Ukrainian defenders.

The new missile attacks came after President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, speaking just hours after Germany and the United States pledged to provide Kyiv with advanced battle tanks, called on Kyiv’s Western allies to deliver long-range missiles and military aircraft to beef up Ukraine’s air defense.

Kyiv Mayor Vitali Klitschko said one person was killed and two others were wounded in a strike on the capital and urged residents to stay in shelters.

“As a result of a rocket hitting a nonresidential building in the Holosiyiv district, we have information about one dead and two wounded. The wounded were hospitalized,” he said.

Serhiy Popko, the head of Kyiv’s military administration, said more than a dozen missiles were destroyed above the capital by air defenses.

“The enemy launched more than 15 cruise missiles in the direction of Kyiv. Thanks to the excellent work of air defense, all air targets were shot down,” he said.

Andriy Yermak, the head of Ukraine’s presidential administration, wrote on Telegram, “the first Russian missiles have already been shot down,” without specifying the locations.

Two energy facilities were hit by Russian missiles in the southern region of Odesa, local authorities said.

“There is already information about damage done to two critical energy infrastructure facilities in Odesa. There are no injured. Air-defense forces are working over the Odesa region,” the head of the region’s military administration, Yuriy Kruk, wrote on social media. 

The central region of Vinnitsya was also targeted by Russian missiles, said Serhiy Borzov, the head of the regional military administration, adding that there were no casualties.

Earlier, the General Staff of the Ukrainian Military said its forces destroyed 24 drones, including 15 over Kyiv, that Russia launched in overnight attacks.

Zelenskyy said in his regular nightly video address on Wednesday that it is now necessary to “go ahead with the supply of aircraft for Ukraine.”

On the battlefield, Ukrainian forces continued to sustain incessant pressure from Russian attacks in the east, mainly in Bakhmut and Avdiyivka in the Donetsk region and Chervopopyivka in Luhansk, the General Staff said in its daily report Thursday.

“Despite suffering numerous losses, the enemy did not halt its offensive actions,” the General Staff said, adding that Ukrainian defenders also repelled attacks in Lyman, Kupyansk, Zaporizhzhya, and Kherson.

Russia has been “intensifying” its offensive near Bakhmut, where it deployed a “superior number of soldiers and weapons” in what has become a hot spot in the 11-month-old invasion, Deputy Defense Minister Hanna Malyar said Wednesday, adding that “the enemy is intensifying pressure in the Bakhmut and Vuhledar sectors” of the front.

Ukrainian officials on Wednesday also acknowledged their loss to Russian forces of the Donetsk-region salt-mining town of Soledar as many military experts are forecasting a Russian spring offensive in the area.

Berlin and Washington agreed to provide the tanks following months of intense debate among NATO allies in the hope of helping stem the expected push by Russia.

Zelenskyy praised the allies’ commitment to deliver advanced tanks and urged them to provide large numbers of tanks quickly.

“The key now is speed and volumes. Speed in training our forces, speed in supplying tanks to Ukraine. The numbers in tank support,” he said. “We have to form such a ‘tank fist,’ such a ‘fist of freedom.'”

“It is very important that there is progress in other aspects of our defense cooperation as well,” Zelenskyy said.

“We must also open the supply of long-range missiles to Ukraine. It is important — we must also expand our cooperation in artillery, we must enter into the supply of aircraft for Ukraine. And this is a dream. And this is the task.”

President Joe Biden on Wednesday said the United States will send 31 of its highly advanced Abrams tanks in a move he said was not a threat to Russia.

Moscow has warned that it regards the Western supply of advanced battle tanks to Ukraine a dangerous provocation.

Speaking from the White House, Biden said the NATO tanks for Ukraine would help “improve their ability to maneuver in open terrain.”

He praised Berlin’s similar announcement as evidence that “Germany has really stepped up.”

Chancellor Olaf Scholz said hours earlier that Germany will supply 14 Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine and will also allow third countries to reexport their own German-made Leopards.

Scholz said the decision, approved Wednesday, was “the right principle” in the face of Russia’s unprovoked invasion of its neighbor.

German Defense Minister Boris Pistorius added that the first Leopard tanks could be in Ukraine within three months.

With reporting by Reuters, The Associated Press, Agence France-Presse and dpa.

Posted by Worldkrap on

Experts: Arming Ukraine Via US Could Worsen South Korea’s Ties with Russia

South Korea, with a world-class arms industry, is facing mounting pressure to find a way to get needed arms and munitions to Ukraine without unduly angering Russia, which has hinted that it could resume military cooperation with North Korea.

Experts interviewed by VOA say the most likely solution under consideration in Seoul is for the nation’s commercial arms manufacturers to make private sales to the United States, allowing the U.S to ship more of its own armaments to Ukraine without depleting its stockpiles.

A spokesperson for the South Korean Ministry of Foreign Affairs told VOA Korean Service on Wednesday that the administration in Seoul “has been providing humanitarian support to the people of Ukraine” but “there has not been a change” in its position that it “will not send lethal weapons to Ukraine.”

Depleted stockpiles

Since the Russian invasion, Washington’s military aid to Kyiv has depleted U.S. weapons stockpiles.

The Ukraine Defense Contact Group, a U.S.-led coalition of about 50 countries, has been sending Kyiv weaponry ranging from High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems (HIMARS) to howitzers. The U.S. and Germany announced Wednesday that they will send 31 M1 Abrams tanks and 14 Leopard 2 tanks, respectively. Additional tanks have been promised by other NATO countries.

Ukraine is using about 90,000 artillery rounds per month while the U.S. and European countries are producing only half that amount among them, according to The New York Times, citing U.S. and Western officials.

The U.S. has asked the U.S. Forces Korea (USFK) to route some of its equipment stockpiled in South Korea to Ukraine, USFK spokesperson Isaac Taylor told the VOA Korean Service on Jan. 19.

And Washington “has been in discussion about potential sales of ammunition” from South Korea’s “non-government industrial defense base,” said Pentagon spokesperson Lieutenant Colonel Martin Meiners to the VOA Korean Service on Jan. 18.

“The Republic of Korea has a world-class defense industry which regularly sells to allies and partners, including the United States,” Meiners added. South Korea’s official name is the Republic of Korea (ROK).

South Korea’s arms sales

Experts said arms sales from South Korea’s private defense companies to the U.S. could elevate South Korea’s standing as “a global pivotal state,” a stated foreign policy aspiration of President Yoon Suk Yeol since he took office in May.

Yoon said in August that South Korea’s goal is to become one of the top four global arms sellers. He reiterated the goal of boosting weapons sales in November.

South Korea was the world’s eighth-largest exporter of weapons in 2017-21 according to a 2022 report by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) which said the United States, Russia, France, China and Germany are the top five sellers.

“President Yoon has called South Korea a global pivotal state,” David Maxwell, a senior fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, said. “… Providing support to Ukraine directly or indirectly is an example of that.”

Putin’s warning

Experts said that by allowing the private arms sales to proceed, South Korea could shore up its alliances with Western powers and help to demonstrate to authoritarian neighbors like China and North Korea that the kind of aggression launched by Russia in Ukraine will not succeed.

But the move will likely come at the cost of further deterioration in Seoul’s relations with Moscow, which are already fraying over South Korea’s support of the sanctions the U.S. imposed on Russia after it invaded Ukraine.

“South Korea has the same interest about peace, stability, territorial sovereignty, protecting [against] states that are invading through outright aggression,” said Terence Roehrig, a professor of national security and Korea expert at the U.S. Naval War College.

“It is about South Korea making the decision that it needs to stand with the West on those issues with some degree of hedging by being reluctant to send direct military assistance to Ukraine,” he added.

“You will not see South Korea directly contributing arms to Ukraine. It will only be about backfilling other states who might be doing that.” That, he said, is because of concerns that Russia could “play a role on North Korea” through potential technology transfers and weapons development.

In October, Russian President Vladimir Putin warned South Korea that sending ammunition to Ukraine would ruin their relations.

“We have learned that the Republic of Korea has made a decision to supply weapons and ammunition to Ukraine. This will destroy our relations,” said Putin as reported by Russian state-owned Tass. “How would the Republic of Korea react if we resumed cooperation with North Korea in that sphere?”

Until it collapsed in 1991, the Soviet Union provided military support to North Korea. The Ukraine war has drawn Russia and North Korea closer together. On Friday, the U.S. released a photo of what it said was evidence of North Korea sending weapons to the Wagner Group, a Russian private military organization, via trains to Russia.

VOA Korea contacted the Russian embassy in Washington and Foreign Ministry in Moscow for comment, but they did not respond.

Andrew Yeo, the SK-Korea Foundation chair at Brookings Institution, said the proposed private weapons sales to the U.S. “would suggest greater support for the Ukrainian cause and further sour relations with Moscow, although Moscow has already placed Seoul on its list of hostile countries.”

In March, Russia placed South Korea on a list of countries that commit “unfriendly actions,” according to Tass. According to the Tass report, countries on the list imposed or joined the sanctions imposed on Russia after it invaded Ukraine.

“Seoul is eager to preserve a workable relationship with Moscow, so in some way drawing down U.S. weapons in [its bases in South] Korea is more palatable than selling them directly,” said Patrick Cronin, the Asia-Pacific security chair at Hudson Institute.

“But South Korea also has an abiding interest in ensuring that Russian aggression in Ukraine cannot prevail,” he added. “That would be a bad precedent for South Korea’s neighbors.”

Posted by Worldkrap on

  Biden Approves 31 Battle Tanks for Ukraine

President Joe Biden announced the U.S. will send 31 Abrams battle tanks to Ukraine just hours after Germany said it will send 14 Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine. The moves are part of a united effort to help Kyiv defend itself against invading Russian forces. VOA’s Senior Diplomatic Correspondent Cindy Saine reports.

Posted by Ukrap on

У Дніпрі є влучання в промислове підприємство – Лукашук

Упродовж дня 25 січня повітряна тривога оголошувалася кілька разів в усій Україні

Posted by Ukrap on

Залужний подякував генералу США Міллі «за потужну підтримку»

25 січня Німеччина і Сполучені Штати оголосили про рішення надати Україні танки Leopard і Abrams відповідно

Posted by Ukrap on

Компанія Meta відновить облікові записи Дональда Трампа у Facebook та Instagram – заява

Posted by Worldkrap on

Lloyd Morrisett, Who Helped Launch ‘Sesame Street,’ Dies

Lloyd Morrisett, the co-creator of the beloved children’s education TV series Sesame Street, which uses empathy and fuzzy monsters like Abby Cadabby, Elmo and Cookie Monster to charm and teach generations around the world, has died. He was 93.

Morrisett’s death was announced Monday by Sesame Workshop, the nonprofit he helped establish under the name the Children’s Television Workshop. No cause of death was given.

In a statement, Sesame Workshop hailed Morrisett as a “wise, thoughtful, and above all kind leader” who was “constantly thinking about new ways” to educate.

Morrisett and Joan Ganz Cooney worked with Harvard University developmental psychologist Gerald Lesser to build the show’s unique approach to teaching that now reaches 120 million children. Legendary puppeteer Jim Henson supplied the critters.

“Without Lloyd Morrisett, there would be no Sesame Street. It was he who first came up with the notion of using television to teach preschoolers basic skills, such as letters and numbers,” Cooney said in a statement. “He was a trusted partner and loyal friend to me for over 50 years, and he will be sorely missed.”


Sesame Street is shown in more than 150 countries, has won 216 Emmys, 11 Grammys and in 2019 received the Kennedy Center Honor for lifetime artistic achievement, the first time a television program got the award (Big Bird strolled down the aisle and basically sat in Tom Hanks’ lap).

Born in 1929 in Oklahoma City, Morrisett initially trained to be a teacher with a background in psychology. He became an experimental educator, looking for new ways to educate children from less advantaged backgrounds. Morrisett received his bachelor’s at Oberlin College, did graduate work in psychology at UCLA, and earned his doctorate in experimental psychology at Yale University. He was an Oberlin trustee for many years and was chair of the board from 1975-81.

The seed of Sesame Street was sown over a dinner party in 1966, where he met Cooney.

“I said, ‘Joan, do you think television could be used to teach young children?’ Her answer was, ‘I don’t know, but I’d like to talk about it,’” he recalled to The Guardian in 2004.

The first episode of Sesame Street, sponsored by the letters W, S and E and the numbers 2 and 3, aired in the fall of 1969. It was a turbulent time in America, rocked by the Vietnam War and raw from the assassination of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. the year before.

Children’s programming at the time was made up of shows like Captain Kangaroo, Romper Room and the often-violent cartoon skirmishes between Tom & Jerry. Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood was mostly teaching social skills.

Sesame Street was designed by education professionals and child psychologists with one goal: to help low-income and minority students aged 2-5 overcome some of the deficiencies they had when entering school. Social scientists had long noted kids who were white and from higher-income families were often better prepared.

The show was set on an urban street with a multicultural cast. Diversity and inclusion were baked into the show. Monsters, humans and animals all lived together peacefully.

It became the first children’s program to feature someone with Down syndrome. It’s had puppets with HIV and in foster care, invited children in wheelchairs, dealt with topics like jailed parents, homelessness, women’s rights, military families and even girls singing about loving their hair.

It introduced the bilingual Rosita, the first Latina Muppet, in 1991. Julia, a 4-year-old Muppet with autism, came in 2017 and the show has since offered help for kids whose parents are dealing with addiction and recovery, and children suffering as a result of the Syrian civil war. To help kids after 9/11, Elmo was left traumatized by a fire at Hooper’s store but was soothingly told that firefighters were there to help.

The company said upon the news of his death that Lloyd left “an outsized and indelible legacy among generations of children the world over, with Sesame Street only the most visible tribute to a lifetime of good work and lasting impact.”

He is survived by his wife, Mary; daughters Julie and Sarah; and granddaughters Frances and Clara.

Posted by Worldkrap on

US, Chinese, Russian Officials Scramble to Visit Africa

Top Chinese, Russian and American officials are visiting Africa, the world’s fastest-growing continent, this month. Several U.S. officials are in Africa, walking a fine line between their desire for Africa’s support against Russian aggression and Chinese ambitions, and their promise to do work that benefits the continent. VOA’s Anita Powell reports from Washington.

Posted by Worldkrap on

Former FBI Official Pleads Not Guilty to Latest Criminal Charges

Retired top FBI official Charles McGonigal pleaded not guilty in federal court in Washington on Wednesday to criminal charges alleging he took at least $225,000 from a former Albanian intelligence agent while serving as the chief of counterintelligence for the FBI’s New York field office.

McGonigal’s arraignment came two days after he pleaded not guilty in an unrelated case in New York, a five-count indictment that accuses him of money laundering and violating U.S. sanctions after he left the FBI in 2018 by investigating a rival of sanctioned Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska.

McGonigal, who retired from the FBI after a 22-year career, is one of the most senior former FBI officials to be indicted in recent years.

As counterintelligence chief of the New York office, he oversaw high-profile, sensitive investigations, including that of Deripaska.

In recent days, conservatives have sought to link McGonigal to the FBI’s investigation of former President Donald Trump during Trump’s term in office, but his role in that probe appears tenuous.

Could be imprisoned for decades

In the Washington case, McGonigal, 54, faces nine counts of concealing material facts, making false statements, and falsifying records and documents. He could face decades in prison if convicted.

Appearing via video link from New York where he is out on bail, McGonigal pleaded not guilty to all nine charges against him.

Magistrate Judge Zia M. Faruqi stressed that McGonigal is a “presumed innocent person” under the law.

Faruqi ordered prosecutors to turn over all exculpatory evidence to McGonigal’s defense and scheduled the next court hearing for February 24.

The case has been assigned to Federal District Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly.

Most criminal cases in the United States are resolved by plea agreements between prosecutors and defense lawyers, and it’s not clear if McGonigal’s case will go to trial.

The allegations

The nine-count indictment alleges McGonigal concealed from the FBI his relationship with a former Albanian agent and businessman, as well his foreign travels and contacts with other foreign nationals during the last two years of his employment with the bureau.

The former Albanian agent, identified in Albanian and American media as Agron Neza, allegedly had business interests in the Balkans and before foreign governments.

According to court documents, McGonigal allegedly met with Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama at least four times in 2017 and 2018, and later instigated an FBI investigation of an American lobbyist working on behalf of the main Albanian opposition party. Neza was a confidential informant for the investigation.

During his first meeting with Rama in 2017, McGonigal allegedly urged him “to be careful about awarding oil field drilling licenses in Albania to Russian front companies,” according to the indictment.

Neza and a business associate described as an employee of a Chinese energy company and an informal adviser to the prime minister had a financial interest in the Albanian government’s licensing decision, the indictment alleges.

McGonigal’s secret dealings with Rama and his role in investigating the lobbyist for the opposition party have grown into a major national scandal in Albania.

Neza is not accused of any wrongdoing and could not be reached for comment.

In the New York case, McGonigal faces four charges, including violating U.S. sanctions by investigating a rival oligarch of Deripaska in return for receiving secret payments from a Deripaska associate, and later unsuccessfully trying to get the sanctions on Deripaska lifted. He pleaded not guilty on Monday to the charges.

As head of counterintelligence for the New York office, McGonigal once investigated Russian oligarchs, including Deripaska.

His alleged work on behalf of the Russian businessman took place after he left the FBI and was working as a senior executive for a commercial real estate company.

Former Soviet and Russian diplomat Sergey Shestakov was also charged in connection with the alleged scheme.

Posted by Worldkrap on

Russia, Pakistan Discuss ‘Practical Engagement’ With Afghan Taliban

Russia and Pakistan emphasized in bilateral talks Wednesday the need for “practical engagement” with Afghanistan’s Taliban but ruled out formal recognition of the Islamist rulers until they address international concerns over women’s rights and inclusive governance.

The Russian presidential envoy for Afghanistan, Zamir Kabulov, led his delegation in the talks with Pakistani officials in Islamabad and briefed them on his meetings earlier this month with the Taliban in Kabul.


Kabulov said Moscow was continuing to engage with the Taliban but was not considering granting legitimacy to the de facto Afghan rulers “for the time being,” official Pakistani sources privy to Wednesday’s meetings told VOA.

The sources quoted the Russian envoy as saying he “advised” the Islamist Taliban to move toward creating a politically inclusive government and easing curbs on women, saying that otherwise there can be no movement forward on the issue of their legitimacy, nor can Afghanistan get any substantial support from the world.

A brief Pakistani statement posted on Twitter after Kabulov’s meeting with Deputy Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar said the two sides “emphasized [the] need for practical engagement with the interim Afghan government.”

The Pakistani side also reiterated that Islamabad was not considering giving the Taliban formal recognition and would do so only collectively with the international community, the sources said.

The foreign ministry in a formal statement issued later offered few details of the meeting and did not mention the issue of recognition of the de facto Afghan authorities.

The statement quoted Khar as urging the international community “to continue extending assistance and support, in order to address urgent humanitarian needs and to provide a sustainable pathway for Afghanistan’s prosperity and development.”

The Taliban reclaimed power in Afghanistan in August 2021 following the end of almost 20 years of U.S.-led foreign military intervention in the conflict-torn South Asian nation.

The world has not yet formally recognized the male-only Taliban government, mainly over human rights concerns and curbs it has placed on women’s access to work and education.

While the United States and Western nations at large shifted their Afghan diplomatic missions to Qatar after the Taliban captured Kabul, several countries, including Pakistan, Russia, China, Turkey and Iran, have kept their embassies open and maintain close contacts with the hard-line rulers.

Chinese support

Last week, newly appointed Chinese Foreign Minister Qin Gang spoke with his Taliban counterpart, Amir Khan Muttaqi, and reaffirmed Beijing’s support for the group to establish what he called “a broad and inclusive political structure” in Kabul.

Afghan women have been excluded from most areas of the workforce and have been banned from using parks, gyms and public bath houses. The Taliban have refused to reopen secondary schools for girls beyond grade six since returning to power.

The hard-line Taliban reject criticism of their administration, saying the government represents all ethnic and political groups in Afghanistan. They also strongly defend restrictions on women, saying the policies are in line with Afghan culture and Islamic law, or Shariah.

Last month, the Taliban authorities closed universities to female students until further notice, and they forbade women from working for national and international nongovernmental organizations.

The Taliban’s curbs on Afghan female aid workers have forced major international charity groups to halt some of their programs in a country where 97% of the estimated population of 40 million lives below the poverty line and nearly half of them need humanitarian assistance.