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Taliban Bans Drug Cultivation, Including Lucrative Opium | World News

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By Charlotte Greenfield and Jibran Ahmad

KABUL/PESHAWAR (Reuters) – The Taliban introduced on Sunday a ban on the cultivation of narcotics in Afghanistan, the world’s largest opium producer.

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“As per the decree of the supreme chief of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan, all Afghans are knowledgeable that from now on, cultivation of poppy has been strictly prohibited throughout the nation,” in response to an order from the Taliban’s supreme chief Haibatullah Akhundzada.

“If anybody violates the decree, the crop might be destroyed instantly and the violator might be handled in response to the Sharia regulation,” the order, introduced at a news convention by the Ministry of Interior in Kabul, mentioned.

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Drug management has been one main demand of the worldwide neighborhood of the Islamist group, which took over the nation in August and is searching for formal worldwide recognition with a view to wind again sanctions which might be severely hampering banking, business and improvement.

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The Taliban banned poppy rising in the direction of the top of their final rule in 2000 as they sought worldwide legitimacy, however confronted a well-liked backlash and later principally modified their stance, in response to specialists.

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Afghanistan’s opium manufacturing – which the United Nations estimated was price $1.4 billion at its peak in 2017 – has elevated in current months, farmers and Taliban members instructed Reuters.

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The nation’s dire financial state of affairs has prompted residents of south-eastern provinces to develop the illicit crop that might convey them sooner and better returns than legal crops akin to wheat.

Taliban sources instructed Reuters they have been anticipating powerful resistance from some parts inside the group in opposition to the ban on poppy and that there had been a surge within the variety of farmers cultivating poppy in current months.

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A farmer in Helmand who spoke on situation of anonymity mentioned that in current weeks prices of poppy had already greater than doubled on rumours the Taliban would ban its cultivation. But he added that he wanted to develop poppy to assist his household.

“Other crops are simply not worthwhile,” he mentioned.

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(Reporting by Kabul newsroom and Jibran Ahmad in Peshawar; Editing by Jacqueline Wong)

Copyright 2022 Thomson Reuters.

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Pink Floyd Founder Cancels Poland Concerts After War Remarks

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WARSAW, Poland (AP) — Pink Floyd co-founder Roger Waters has canceled live shows deliberate in Poland amid outrage over his stance on Russia’s battle towards Ukraine, Polish media reported Saturday.

An official with the Tauron Arena in Krakow, the place Waters was scheduled to carry out two live shows in April, stated they might now not happen.

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“Roger Waters’ supervisor determined to withdraw … without giving any purpose,” Lukasz Pytko from Tauron Arena Krakow stated Saturday in feedback carried by Polish media retailers.

The website for Waters’ “This Is Not a Drill” live performance tour didn’t record the Krakow live shows beforehand scheduled for April 21-22.

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Waters wrote an open letter to Ukrainian first woman Olena Zelenska early this month through which he blamed “excessive nationalists” in Ukraine for having “set your nation on the trail to this disastrous battle.” He additionally criticized the West for supplying Ukraine with weapons, blaming Washington particularly.

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Waters has additionally criticized NATO, accusing it of frightening Russia.

Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This materials will not be printed, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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New UN Climate Chief Takes the Fight Personally

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By SETH BORENSTEIN, AP Science Writer

UNITED NATIONS (AP) — For the United Nations’ new local weather chief, the battle is private.

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As a former engineer who says he is aware of “find out how to make issues work and get issues achieved,” it wasn’t simply what Simon Stiell did earlier than he turned a prime U.N. official, it was the place.

Stiell was the atmosphere and local weather resilience minister on the small island nation of Grenada till he started his job as the govt secretary of the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change just a few weeks in the past. It’s now his job to make certain the world cuts about half emissions of heat-trapping gases — that are serving to set off unprecedented frequent climate disasters — in simply eight years, or as he places it, two World Cups or two Olympics away.

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“Living half my life in a climate-vulnerable nation provides me a deep appreciation,” Stiell, 53, mentioned in an interview with The Associated Press. “I’ve lived by means of two hurricanes ( Ivan in 2004 and Emily in 2005). I’ve seen my nation flattened by means of hurricanes. I’ve seen sea stage rise round my ankles. … And I’ve additionally been in authorities discovering options and accountable as the lead policymaker in how we construct a extra resilient nation with the restricted assets that now we have.”

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And Grenada, which had losses that doubled its annual gross home product, is way from alone. In Pakistan, for instance, a 3rd of the nation is beneath water.

“Billions of {dollars} in damages, lives misplaced, tens of millions displaced. How do they recuperate from that?” Stiell requested from the tenth flooring of the U.N. headquarters, overlooking the East River. Rich polluting international locations must pay to assist poorer international locations which can be local weather victims, like his, he mentioned.

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Polluters paying for what their emissions have achieved is simply as necessary as chopping what comes out of smokestacks and tailpipes, Stiell mentioned. High-emitting international locations reimbursing poorer, weak nations — referred to as “loss and injury” in the world of local weather negotiations — is now so necessary it’s one in every of 4 pillars of the battle in opposition to local weather change. The others are chopping emissions, adapting to a hotter and wilder world, and wealthy nations financially aiding poor nations to develop inexperienced vitality and adapt.

“Loss and injury needs to be addressed,” Stiell mentioned. “It’s a really tough dialog, however it’s a dialog that needs to be had. Positions have softened over the years from nonacceptance and refusal to debate this to some extent now the place these are agenda gadgets in the negotiations. So that could be a step ahead.”

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Rich nations pledged a number of years in the past to spend $100 billion a 12 months in assist to poor nations to assist them adapt to local weather change and develop cleaner vitality methods, although not as compensation for injury. Even these pledges, nevertheless, particularly from the United States, haven’t been fulfilled. Stiell hopes they’re getting shut.

Coming from a rustic hit exhausting by local weather provides him “a deep understanding,” however Stiell says his new job means “I additionally should think about the positions of a few of these richer nations” and convey everybody collectively.

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Poorer international locations see an ally.

“It’s an enormous job, and it’s good to see somebody from a local weather weak nation taking the helm. As somebody from Grenada, he doesn’t want reminding what’s at stake,” mentioned Mohamed Adow of assume tank Power Shift Africa. “For too lengthy the views of the world north have held sway at the local weather talks and led to foot dragging and inaction. We’re beginning to see this alteration, however it actually must be accelerated.”

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Since 2015, small island nations with little financial and political energy have been utilizing their ethical authority to get large concessions from the remainder of the world, mentioned longtime local weather negotiations analyst Alden Meyer of the assume tank E3G.

In Paris for the 2015 settlement, small island nations compelled the remainder of the world to conform to a stricter temperature aim of limiting warming to 1.5 levels Celsius (2.7 levels Fahrenheit) since pre-industrial instances and a mechanism that requires nations to extend their emission reduce targets each 5 years, Meyer mentioned.

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“They have clear ethical authority and are exhibiting they will construct strain on the larger gamers,” Meyer mentioned.

Stiell resides out of a resort in Germany, the place the U.N. local weather company is predicated, till worldwide local weather negotiations in Egypt in November. He isn’t as targeted on wins from the upcoming local weather talks as he’s about one thing long run. He mentioned he’s aiming at 2030 and the want for dramatic air pollution cuts to maintain temperatures from passing the 1.5 diploma aim — one thing that’s trying much less seemingly as a result of it’s just a few tenths of a level away and approaching quick. The world has already warmed 1.1 levels Celsius (2 levels Fahrenheit) since pre-industrial instances.

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“We have a tendency to take a look at incremental progress. And incremental progress isn’t going to supply us with the transformational shifts that we want,” Stiell mentioned.

Taking that 2030 aim and “working backwards will truly improve the strain,” Stiell mentioned. “So it’s not to say allow us to kick the can down the highway. It’s the exact opposite. It’s bringing the can ahead proper at our toes. … We’re near running out of time.”

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Because of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the vitality disaster it triggered, international locations have stepped backwards on their commitments to section out coal, Stiell mentioned. “But hopefully it’s a momentary regression, and people international locations are going to speed up as the disaster diminishes, which it’ll.”

The United States, the second greatest carbon polluter, took “a serious step ahead” and is sending a sign to the remainder of the world with the Inflation Reduction Act that President Joe Biden signed this summer season. China, the prime carbon emitting nation, can also be doing extra, Stiell mentioned.

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“Is it so far as they should go? Is it as quick because it must go? No. But this requires collective effort,” Stiell mentioned.

U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres frequently ratchets up the rhetoric. This week, he has referred to as on nations to institute a windfall income tax o n fossil gas corporations that would then be used to assist compensate climate-change victims and folks going through excessive vitality and meals prices.

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Stiell mentioned Guterres’ function is that of a “truth-teller” in carrot-and-stick negotiations with international locations, whereas his new job is that of an arbiter “bringing events collectively.”

“It’s exhausting. It’s irritating,” Stiell mentioned. “But finally the important focus is attaining that aim of limiting world temperatures to 1.5 levels. And that requires extraordinary motion.”

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Associated Press local weather and environmental protection receives assist from a number of personal foundations. The AP is solely accountable for all content material. Follow AP Science Writer Seth Borenstein on Twitter at http://twitter.com/borenbears. Follow AP’s local weather and atmosphere protection at https://apnews.com/hub/climate-and-environment and for extra AP protection of the U.N. General Assembly, go to https://apnews.com/hub/united-nations-general-assembly

Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This materials is probably not revealed, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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Crowded Campsites, High Demand Cause Fights, ‘Camp Pirates’

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SALEM, Ore. (AP) — Some Oregon parks officers say excessive demand for crowded campsites is resulting in arguments, fistfights and even so-called “campsite pirates.”

Brian Carroll with Linn County Parks and Recreation stated park rangers have needed to play mediator this summer time as would-be campers argue over first-come, first-served campsites at Sunnyside County Park, the Statesman-Journal reported Friday.

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“People have been actually preventing over campsites,” stated Carroll. “What we skilled this yr was actually a normal degree of elevated frustration and anxiousness of individuals not with the ability to get their campsite. There appears to be much less normal widespread courtesy occurring.”

Tensions additionally escalated over reserved campsites, with some recreationists wrongly claiming already-reserved websites by tearing off the reservation tags and changing them with their very own, prompting the nickname “campsite pirates.” The authentic events find yourself indignant and confused after they arrive to seek out their campsite occupied. The observe is not widespread, but it surely’s occurring greater than it used to, Carroll stated.

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Sunnyside County Park is not the one place experiencing such woes. Earlier this yr, the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department stated it will search laws to present rangers added safety due to the growing degree of assaults and harassment concentrating on rangers.

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“Traditionally about 1% of our guests actually wrestle with complying to guidelines and rules,” stated Dennis Benson, recreation supervisor for Deschutes National Forest. “Now, we’ve obtained extra like 10% of the inhabitants that doesn’t comply or adhere with guidelines, rules, these sorts of issues, which is lending itself to extra problematic behaviors on public lands.”

Last yr, the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department set data for its complete numbers of holiday makers — an estimated 53.6 million day visits and three.02 million campers who stayed in a single day. This yr’s numbers are about the identical, state Parks and Recreation Department affiliate director Chris Havel stated.

“This summer time we’ve been extraordinarily busy, at 96% to 98% capability, which mainly means you would possibly discover a night time right here or there, however mainly every little thing is taken,” Havel stated. “What we’re noticing once more this yr is that it’s lots of people new to tenting and the outside normally. In different phrases, the pattern that we noticed begin through the pandemic of individuals popping out for the primary time is continuous, and which means we’re going to remain busy.”

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