More than 10,000 civilian victims in the Afghan war in 2019: UN

More than 10,000 civilians were killed or injured in the war in Afghanistan last year, the United Nations announced on Saturday, when a historic partial truce began across the country.

According to the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA), 3,404 civilians were killed and 6,989 were injured in 2019.

While the number has dropped five percent since 2018, however, it was the sixth consecutive year that the war caused more than 10,000 casualties, UNAMA said.

“Almost no civilians in Afghanistan have escaped being personally affected in any way by the ongoing violence,” said UNAMA chief Tadamichi Yamamoto.

“It is absolutely imperative that all parties take advantage of the moment to stop the fighting, since peace is very late; the lives of civilians must be protected and efforts for peace are underway. “

The five percent drop in victims was attributed to the decline in the activity of the local branch of the Islamic State in eastern Afghanistan, which was largely eliminated last year.

On Saturday, a partial truce, referred to by the warring parties as a “reduction of violence,” began in Afghanistan.

The Taliban, US and Afghan forces agreed to reduce violence for seven days before the signing scheduled for February 29 of an agreement between the United States and the Taliban that could begin to end the war.

The United States has been in talks with the Taliban for over a year to secure the agreement, in which it would withdraw thousands of soldiers in exchange for Taliban security guarantees and a promise to hold peace talks with the government in Kabul.

The UNAMA report said there were significant fluctuations in violence throughout 2019, coinciding with the advances and setbacks achieved during the negotiations between the United States and the Taliban.

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The FIA ​​received more than 56,000 complaints of cyber crimes during 2019

ISLAMABAD: The Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) said Thursday that it had received more than 56,000 complaints related to cyber crimes during 2019 and registered 1086 cases against the defendant, ARY NEWS reported.

Details were shared by FIA officials during the meeting of the Permanent Defense Committee of the National Assembly, chaired by MNA Amjad Nizai of Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI).

Officials said that of the 56,696 complaints received by the agency, 11028 were investigated and 1086 cases were registered against the defendants involved in cybercrime activities.

“We have increased the number of offices against cybercrime to 15 to improve action against such acts,” they said and added that there are currently more than 70 million internet users in the country.

They said that the majority of reported cybercrime cases were related to sexual harassment, blackmail and obscene online activities.

“We have also carried out a gang of child pornography that operates worldwide and one of the Pakistani defendants is convicted in the case,” they said.

FIA officials said they had also arrested a gang, made up of PTA officials, involved in activating IMEI numbers without paying taxes. “An investigation in the case is ongoing,” they said.

In response to the investigation of financial fraud, officials said they had to obtain prior approval from the court for investigations in these cases.

In June 2017, the Federal Minister of Justice and Justice, Dr. Muhammad Farogh Naseem, said the government would bring amendments to the cybercrime law to eliminate failures.

Read more: The FIA ​​arrests young people for blackmailing Iranian and Afghan women through social networks

Speaking to journalists, Farogh Naseem said the law ministry had prepared a draft amendment and added that after finalizing the bill, he would appear before the cabinet.

He stressed the need to balance cyber crime laws and added that the draft amendment would eliminate failures and improve things.

The government will ensure freedom of expression and basic human rights, said the minister and added that it was also necessary to stop false and anti-state news.

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Bloomberg referred to transgender people as “a boy wearing a suit” in the 2019 comments

Bloomberg’s Comments – which were first reported by BuzzFeed News on Tuesday – drew the condemnation of the nation’s most important LGBTQ rights organization and could be a responsibility for Bloomberg in a democratic presidential race in which all candidates have asked to promote equal transit.

Speaking in a forum hosted by the Bermuda Business Development Agency in March 2019, Bloomberg said that “if you go in the middle of the country, people would say, if your conversation during the presidential election is about a boy wearing a suit and if he can going to the locker room with your daughter is not a winning formula for most people “.

“They care about health care, they care about education, they care about safety and all that kind of thing,” he added.

“And some of these social issues – and it’s not just the American government, the government (of the European Union), too – we’re focusing on many things that have little relevance for people who are trying to live a world that is changing because of technology and communications and things like that. “

In recent years, many states have adopted so-called bathroom bills. The proposed legislative measures require people to use bathrooms and changing rooms that match the gender on their birth certificate.

Bloomberg’s campaign has repeatedly declined to comment on the record for this story.

The human rights campaign called on Bloomberg to apologize for “using language that demoralizes and dehumanizes members of our community.”

“We expect all candidates for equality, including Mayor Bloomberg, to create political solutions to end the epidemic of violence that our community faces, not to use the same talking points that our opponents use to dehumanize transgender people. and justify their hateful beliefs, “Alphonso David, president of HRC, said in a statement.

Former New York City Mayor’s website declares “Mike will reverse President Trump’s attacks on LGBTQ + Americans, resume the march towards equal rights and protections in every part of the country and restore American leadership in the global fight for LGBTQ + equality “.

While Bloomberg was not a presidential candidate when he made the comments, he entered the race less than a year later – and had already publicly discussed the chances of a presidential race before making the comments.

During the forum, he explicitly stated that “you can understand where someone like Trump is from” when you look at the progressive messaging of the Democratic Party.

“You can understand if you take a look at the Democratic Party, they are so far away that two years ago there was no one on their side who would take these positions, and today practically all the Democratic Party presidential candidates have been so progressive,” he said at the moment. “I don’t know what progressive means.”

News of Bloomberg’s comments from 2019 come as his campaign addresses a wave of painstaking control over his wave of national polls and spending incessant.
A NPR / PBS / Marist survey Released on Tuesday, Bloomberg took second place nationally only behind the Vermont senator, Bernie Sanders. He will face his main rivals for the first time during Wednesday’s presidential democratic debate in Las Vegas.

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Apple Watch beat the Swiss watch industry in sales in 2019

Apple Watch has sold 31 million units worldwide, while all Swiss watch brands put together have sold 21 million units, according to research by consultancy Strategy Strategy.

Analysts are divided as to whether this poses problems for the Swiss watch industry, with some arguing that the end is near. Others point out that Swiss-certified mechanical watches generate even more revenue than the Apple (AAPL) Clock.

“The Apple Watch has emerged as a stand-alone status symbol and offers a competitive alternative to mid-range Swiss watches,” Steven Waltzer, senior analyst at Strategy Analytics, told CNN Business. “Apple’s huge customer base means that converting only a small percentage of iPhone users to Apple Watch users produces millions.”

The Apple Watch, which can track fitness levels and connect to faster check-in apps at the cinema or gym, appeals to younger generations, while analog watches are popular with older demographics, he stressed. Strategy Analytics in a report.

“People have adopted the Apple Watch as a solution that combines technology and fashion,” said Carolina Milanesi, a technology analyst at the research firm Creative Strategies.

Milanesi noted that Apple emphasis on health and fitness has positioned its watches differently than Swiss watches marketed as jewelry and fashion accessories.

“Yet these two value propositions are much more sticky than fashion and glamor, and that’s how we get there today,” he said. “No one else in the wearable device market has been able to find the right formula and move closer to Apple.”

The company also benefits from its larger iPhone, iPad and other Apple-branded ecosystem. While Swiss companies also sell smartwatches, they operate in the Android ecosystem.

“Apple already has a relationship based on consumer electronics with the vast majority of its Apple Watch customers,” he said Rishi Kaul, media and consumer technology analyst at Omdia, a technology research service. Kaul pointed out that Swiss watchmakers are using Google’s Android-based WearOS software, which may appeal especially to people who already use Android phones.

More replacements

However, analysts have said that this does not indicate the end of the Swiss watch as a luxury status symbol, even if it is lagging behind in the smartwatch competition.

“I would say he isn’t really comparing apples to apples,” said Vincent Thielke, a research analyst at market research firm Canalys. “Unit shipments do not paint the whole picture.”

Thielke pointed out that Swiss watches are around double the size as expensive as Apple watches on average ($ 1,000 versus $ 500), and in terms of absolute US dollars generated, the Swiss watch industry surpassed the Apple Watch last year.

Looking at unit sales alone doesn’t say the whole picture. Apple Watch may need to be replaced more frequently than Swiss watches to improve their technology and increase battery life, which could increase the sales number of Apple’s unit, Thielke said. He added that the Apple Watch may also attract more recent audiences who may never have purchased a Swiss watch.

“Apple Watches caters to a much larger consumer base, including young customers and gadget enthusiasts,” said Thielke. “For these groups, it may be more important to adopt a smartwatch for technological or health reasons rather than because of an appreciation for” timeless watches “.”

Still timeless?

The Swiss watch’s position as a status symbol is secure given the luxury price and the different dials and designs to choose from, said Kaul, an analyst at Omdia. “The only way to increase Apple Watch’s uniqueness or status is to invest in a designer band.”

Ramon Llamas, director of research at market research firm IDC, said that Swiss watches embody “luxury, location and wealth”.

“Does this mean the end of Swiss watches? I doubt it. There will still be interests and demands, and in fact a number of younger users still aspire to own one someday,” he said, “In the meantime, today’s smartwatches – and yes, the Apple Watch too – will look distinctive in a few years. “

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Global defense spending increased by four percent in 2019

Global defense spending increased by four percent in 2019, the highest growth in 10 years, led by large increases in the US. UU. And China said a study on Friday.

The International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) said the increase was fueled by growing rivalries between major powers, new military technologies and rumbling conflicts from Ukraine to Libya.

Beijing’s military modernization program, which includes the development of new hard-to-detect hypersonic missiles, is alarming Washington and helping boost US defense spending, the IISS said.

His annual “Military Balance” report said only the increase in US spending. UU. From 2018 to 2019 – $ 53.4 billion – it was almost as large as Britain’s entire defense budget.

“Expenditure increased as economies recovered from the effects of the financial crisis, but the increases were also driven by the sharpening of perceptions of threats,” said IISS chief John Chipman, presenting the report. at the Munich Security Conference.

Both the United States and China increased spending by 6.6 percent, according to the report, to $ 684.6 billion and $ 181.1 billion, respectively.

Europe, driven by constant concerns about Russia, increased 4.2 percent, but this only brought the defense spending of the continent to 2008 levels, before the global financial crisis reduced budgets.

European NATO members have been trying to increase spending to placate President Donald Trump, who has repeatedly charged them with free cargo in the United States.

Trump has criticized European allies, particularly Germany, for not fulfilling NATO’s promise of 2014 to spend two percent of GDP on defense.

The mercurial president’s anger over spending has fueled concern over his commitment to the transatlantic alliance, which culminated in an explosive 2018 summit where he launched a devastating public attack on Germany in a televised meeting with Chancellor Angela Merkel.

In giving the opening address at the annual security meeting, German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier warned that Trump’s “America First” strategy had shaken the international order and fueled insecurity.

“We are witnessing an increasingly destructive momentum in global politics,” Steinmeier said.

“Every year we are increasingly moving away from our goal of creating a more peaceful world through international cooperation.”

New technology

The key elements of the international order that developed after World War II have been the subject of a growing challenge.

The collapse last year of the Intermediate Reach Nuclear Forces (INF) treaty of the Cold War era and the doubts surrounding the renewal of the new START arms reduction treaty, which expires in 2021, have contributed to the state of instability , according to the IISS report. .

China’s military modernization program, described by the IISS as “surprising by its scale, speed and ambition,” has disturbed both Washington and its allies in the Pacific.

In October, Beijing showed new technologies, including its DF-17 hypersonic gliding vehicle, designed to launch warheads at high speeds to avoid interception.

Russia, following its own modernization project, has already announced the entry into service of its own hypersonic missile system.

Nicknamed Avangard, the system has been tested at speeds of Mach 27, or approximately 33,000 kilometers (20,500 miles) per hour, according to Moscow.

Hypersonic missiles worry Western officials, because they are so fast and maneuverable that they make existing defense systems useless and give almost no warning of attack.

A senior NATO official warned that in an attack with hypersonic missiles, it may not even be clear what the objective is “until there is a boom in the ground.”

Elsewhere, spending in Asia is booming: it grows more than 50 percent in a decade, from $ 275 billion in 2010 to $ 423 billion in 2019 in real terms, since the economic success of the continent has allowed to countries to invest more in their armies.

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Fawad Chaudhry says that 2019 remained the most peaceful year for Pakistan

ISLAMABAD: Federal Minister of Science and Technology, Fawad Chaudhry, said 2019 remained the most peaceful year in the country’s history.

In a tweet, Fawad Chaudhry said the news that created a negative impression was transmitted last, but many fields experienced remarkable growth.

The tourism field flourished last year in Pakistan. Cricket returned to Pakistan after many years and all PSL matches will also be held in the country.

Read more: Fawad Chaudhry condemns NA resolution seeking public hanging of child rapists

He said that successes in the field of science and technology are also significant.

Fawad Chaudhry said Pakistan gave an adequate response to the Indian aggression after the Pulwama incident.

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