Humanitarian situation in Afghanistan remains critical UN officials say

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Speaking at a UN press briefing in New York, Deputy Emergency Relief Coordinator Carolyn McAskie said that the most difficult areas for humanitarian agencies to reach were in the south, but also around Mazar-i-Sharif and Kunduz in the north.There had been reasonable success, however, in increasing the humanitarian presence in certain key areas, she said. A good working relationship was established with the authorities in Kabul as negotiations continued for the return of internally displaced persons from the capital to areas outside the city.Meanwhile UN international staff have been given the green light to return to Bamiyan in central Afghanistan following a security assessment, a UN spokesman said today in Islamabad. The UN’s Regional Coordinator for Bamiyan was on his way to the area on Thursday, while a 17-member UN survey team to assess support requirements for a possible enhanced UN presence in the region arrived in Islamabad this morning.With much of northern Afghanistan in the grip of winter, UN relief officials today highlighted their concern at the suffering of internally displaced persons, especially children.At least one child and one adult are reportedly dead in a camp for internally displaced persons (IDPs) in Sari-Pul and four children in a camp in Mazar-i-Sharif, according to Hasan Ferdous, a spokesman for the UN Coordinator for Afghanistan. “Some surveys suggest that the nutritional condition of IDPs around Mazar-i-Sharif is quite serious,” he told reporters in Islamabad. “A significant number of people are suffering from severe to moderate malnutrition.”In other news, the rate of return from Iran to western Afghanistan is increasing in the past days, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNCHR) reported. Yesterday, a record 2,000 Afghans crossed the Dogharoun border and returned mainly to Herat, bringing to more than 24,000 refugees who have returned since the Taliban’s hold on Herat was broken on 12 November.The agency also appealed again to countries of asylum not to forcibly return refugees, noting that refugees have still been observed fleeing Afghanistan, especially from the southern and eastern parts of the country. More than 2,000 people fleeing for safety were still stranded in no-man’s land at the Chaman border on Wednesday. As for food delivery, the UN World Food Programme (WFP) announced that it started to use rail lines from Turkmenistan to ship food to a border town, where it will then be moved to trucks and despatched through Herat directly to provinces in the central west of Afghanistan.Over the next six days, 12,000 tonnes of food will be taken by rail to the border town for onward transhipment, WFP spokesman Lindsey Davies said, estimating that about 436,000 people needed food assistance in the two provinces.WFP has brought in almost half of the amount needed and will continue to give extremely high priority to food deliveries in these provinces by despatching food directly both from its warehouses in Herat and across the border from Turkmenabad, the spokesman said.

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Tri-State Treasure: The Veterans Memorial Coliseum

first_imgMARCH 8TH, 2019 TOMMY MASON EVANSVILLE, INDIANAFrom basketball to big musical performers to bingo and even body slams Evansville’s Veterans Memorial Coliseum has hosted a wide range of events since its dedication in 1917. The 6,600 square foot limestone building was officially known as the Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Coliseum after construction in memory of those who served in the Civil War and the Spanish American War.After the completion of what is now the Old National Events Plaza in the early ’70s, Vanderburgh County officials had no use for the aging structure.General Manager Andrea Stafford says a new generation of veterans would soon be tasked with preserving the monument for many years to come.“Veterans Council said please let us take it over. We’ll maintain it. We’ll keep it open. We keep it running. So, they did. They took it over in 1971. They pay a dollar a year,” says Stafford.On average, the Coliseum hosts 75 events per year. In the 1970s and 80s regional pro wrestling promotions like the continental wrestling association.Stafford shares some of the big-name grapplers who jerked the curtain at the Coliseum.“Jerry Lawler, Bill Dundee, Dutchman Tell, Stone Cold Steve Austin, the Rock, and the Undertaker. A lot of them actually got their start here,” says Stafford.And the list goes on with some of the most compelling live broadcasts shot in the bowels of the building.Stafford says there’s another show happen in those halls now. “We have some celebrities downstairs too. I don’t know if people have died in the building or they have an attachment to it. There is some spooks downstairs,” says Stafford.Stafford describes one of those spirits as a dark entity. That cell is part of a network of tunnels connecting it to the old jail and the old courthouse where prisoners would be transported.Those passages have since been sealed. The 4000-seat coliseum would later play host to the Evansville College Purple Aces basketball team before relocating to Roberts Municipal Stadium in 1950.Although, the event calendar has become a bit thinner in the 21st century the spirit of those veterans and the monument they allow us to enjoy makes this a must see Tri-State Treasure.Comments0 commentsFacebookTwitterCopy LinkEmailSharelast_img

Get your tax return filed in good time

first_imgBakers are being urged to beat the New Year rush and file their tax return before 31 January or face a £100 fine.Self assessment tax returns have to be filed online at hmrc.gov.uk/online/index.htm and, if submitting it electronically for the first time, companies will need to register; an activation code can take up to seven working days to arrive.The self assessment online service is available 24 hours a day, with the quietest time to use it between 5pm and 8am, Monday to Friday. You will need to provide details of business accounts for the tax year ended 5 April 2010, such as spreadsheets of income and expenditure, bank and credit card statements, and invoices from customers and expenses receipts. Details of any other income, such as interest on bank and building society accounts or income from stocks and shares, need to be given too.Visit hmrc.gov.uk/sa or call the self assessment helpline on 0845 900 0444.last_img

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