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Afghan teen deported by Sweden is killed in Kabul bombing a week later

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An Afghan teenager was killed in a bombing less than a week after being deported from Sweden, Human Rights Watch said Wednesday, calling on European nations to halt repatriations as “Kabul is not safe”.

The deportation of rejected asylum seekers from EU nations has been highly controversial, with criticism mounting over returning them to conflict-torn Afghanistan after a recent wave of deadly bombings.

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The teenager was among 20 asylum seekers that Sweden sent back on May 30. He died in a bombing on June 3 that hit a funeral procession for a man killed in anti-government protests over spiralling insecurity in the Afghan capital.

“European countries have increasingly rejected the asylum claims of Afghans without denying their protection needs,” HRW said in a statement.

“The idea that Kabul is considered ‘safe’ for Afghans has real repercussions… Kabul is not safe.”

Kabul has been on edge since a massive truck bomb on May 31 killed more than 150 people and wounded hundreds in the city’s fortified diplomatic quarter, the deadliest attack in the Afghan capital since 2001.

Just days later protesters incensed by the bombing clashed with police, prompting authorities to respond with live rounds, which left at least four people dead.

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Suicide bombers tore through a row of mourners at the funeral for one of the protesters, killing at least seven more people.

The carnage has left the Afghan capital shaken, with protesters who have set up a sit-in camp close to the bombing site demanding the resignation of President Ashraf Ghani’s government.

The violence has prompted the German government to temporarily suspend deportations of Afghans.

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“Other European countries should do the same,” HRW said. “It shouldn’t take any more deaths of deportees to dispel the myth that Kabul is a safe place of refuge.”

In early February, 23-year-old Atiqullah Akbari suffered shrapnel injuries in a militant attack in Kabul, two weeks after he was deported from Germany, highlighting the perils of repatriation to the war-battered country.

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Akbari was picked up by German police in January from his home in Bavaria where he had sought refuge.

Afghanistan is plagued by insecurity, poverty and unemployment, and is increasingly overwhelmed by people repatriated from Pakistan, Iran and Europe along with hundreds of thousands of others displaced by war.


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2020 Election

We should look closely at Britain’s decision to elect a man so renowned for his untrustworthiness

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In previous British elections, to say that trust was the main issue would have meant simply that trust is the trump card – whichever leader or party could secure most trust would win. Now, the emerging question about trust is whether it even matters anymore.

This is at least partly because Brexit has deepened the crisis of trust. The 2019 election was always going to be about Brexit – and not only because some people would vote according to where they stood on the matter. It was also because the emotional turbulence initiated by the 2016 referendum continues to dominate national politics in a more general way.

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Here are 9 things people say about exercise that are utter hogwash

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It can be hard to include exercise in our busy lives, despite the best of intentions. There are a lot of reasons people don’t exercise, and a lot of misconceptions about exercise. Here are nine common misconceptions about exercise and what research actually tells us.

1. I was fit once, so I don’t need to exerciseUnfortunately, the health benefits of exercise won’t last if you don’t sustain your exercise regime. A significant reduction or drop out can cause a marked loss of initial benefits, such as cardiovascular fitness and endurance. Consistency is the key. Mix it up and keep it interesting as maintaining high levels of physical activity throughout your life is associated with the best health outcomes.

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How Boris Johnson’s Conservatives swept to election victory in Labour heartlands

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Welcome to a whole new political world. The UK general election of 2019 has delivered a seismic shift in the balance of the country’s politics, the consequences of which are very hard, if not impossible to predict. But what’s clear is that Boris Johnson has broken the legislative deadlock with regard to Europe and will now wield power in a manner that his recent predecessors could only have dreamed of.

To this extent the political system appears to have worked – the people have spoken. Clearly they want to “get Brexit done”, but the result also suggests the existence of a major disconnect between the UK’s main opposition Labour party and a big chunk of its base.

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