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Clinton pans threatened Afghan vote boycott

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US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said on Saturday that a boycott of the run-off election in Afghanistan by runner-up Abdullah Abdullah would not de-legitimise the poll.

Clinton, who was asked whether the outcome of a run-off with only one candidate would result in a legitimate government, said such situations are “not unprecedented” and occur in the United States and other countries.

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“We see that happen in our own country where, for whatever combination of reasons, one of the candidates decides not to go forward. I don’t think it has anything to do with the legitimacy of the election,” she said.

Earlier on Saturday, an official in the Abdullah campaign said the former foreign minister was poised to boycott the run-off unless incumbent Hamid Karzai bows to a series of demands from him.

Following widespread fraud in the August first round, Abdullah has demanded that Karzai sack the head of the Independent Electoral Commission and suspend four ministers who campaigned for the incumbent.

“I’m not going to comment on what any of the candidates might decide to do,” Clinton said, adding: “It’s a personal choice which may or may not be made.”


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Trump alerts ‘active-duty U.S. military police’ for possible deployment to Minnesota: report

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President Donald Trump's administration is contemplating using active-duty U.S. troops in an attempt to quell the protests in Minneapolis, the Associated Press reported early Saturday morning.

As unrest spread across dozens of American cities on Friday, the Pentagon took the rare step of ordering the Army to put several active-duty U.S. military police units on the ready to deploy to Minneapolis, where the police killing of George Floyd sparked the widespread protests," the AP reported.

"Soldiers from Fort Bragg in North Carolina and Fort Drum in New York have been ordered to be ready to deploy within four hours if called, according to three people with direct knowledge of the orders. Soldiers in Fort Carson, in Colorado, and Fort Riley in Kansas have been told to be ready within 24 hours. The people did not want their names used because they were not authorized to discuss the preparations," the AP explained.

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John Roberts joins liberals as Supreme Court rejects challenge to Newsom’s COVID-19 limits on California church attendance

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In a 5-4 ruling, the Supreme Court on Friday rejected an emergency appeal from the South Bay United Pentecostal Church in Chula Vista, California. The San Diego area church tried to challenge the state's limits on attendance at worship services:

The church argued that limits on how many people can attend their services violate constitutional guarantees of religious freedom and had been seeking an order in time for services on Sunday. The church said it has crowds of 200 to 300 people for its services.

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