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Defying pandemic, feminists in Spain decry far-right attacks

Defying pandemic, feminists in Spain decry far-right attacks

Women in Spain are marking this year’s International Women’s Day with static protests, bicycle fun-rides and small-sized events to prevent gatherings that could trigger a new spike of coronavirus infections

By ARITZ PARRA and BERNAT ARMANGUE Associated PressMarch 8, 2021, 8:59 PM• 3 min readShare to FacebookShare to TwitterEmail this article2:19

Large crowds of partygoers in Atlanta and spring breakers in Florida are raising concerns about a potential rise in COVID cases despite more people receiving the vaccine.The Associated Press

Spain’s Constitutional Court on Monday rejected last-minute appeals by unions and women’s rights groups to street protests or marches in the Spanish capital of Madrid, following similar rulings by lower-level courts.

Over 100 protesters defied the order by gathering — while staying at a distance from each other — in Madrid’s Puerta del Sol central square. They shouted “Enough with patriarchal justice!” held banners against fascism and called for an end to violence and discrimination against women.

The largest gathering took place in Barcelona, where organizers asked people to stand still instead of marching. The protest’s slogan was “Together, diverse and rebellious, we are unstoppable.”

At some point, the activists shouted: “We are not so few, and we are not alone!” The local police said that around 4,500 took part.

Spain’s thriving feminist movement has claimed a few victories in recent years, including the adoption of gender violence laws and forcing judicial reforms regarding sexual abuse. Yet activists say the social and economic crisis triggered by the coronavirus pandemic has widened the both salary gap between men and women and the gap in any work-life balance.

“Spain can’t continue to be built with women in the margins, with a few that break glass ceilings while the most vulnerable continue on sticky floors,” said Equality Minister Irene Montero, who was joined by Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez at an official Women’s Day event.

Far-right activists, meanwhile, have campaigned against gender violence laws that they say discriminate against men and lambasted the government’s push to make consent in sexual relations legally mandatory.

Twin street murals celebrating accomplished women in politics, arts and science were vandalized over the weekend in Madrid and a nearby city. The portraits of Rigoberta Menchú, Frida Kahlo, Nina Simone, Rosa Parks and seven more women were covered in paint, amid signs that read “terrorist” and “communist.”

Sánchez, who said that better policies for women will only make societies advance, called extremist conservative voices who oppose feminism “a force for regression.”

———

Hernán Muñoz in Barcelona, Spain, contributed to this report.

Myanmar protesters defy curfew; media outlets ordered shut

Myanmar protesters defy curfew; media outlets ordered shut

Demonstrators in Myanmar’s biggest city have come out for their first mass protests in defiance of an 8 p.m. curfew to show support for an estimated 200 students trapped by security forces in a small area of one neighborhood

ByThe Associated PressMarch 8, 2021, 8:47 PM• 5 min readShare to FacebookShare to TwitterEmail this articleThe Associated PressAnti-coup protesters discharge fire extinguishers to counter the impact of the tear gas fired by police during a demonstration in Naypyitaw, Myanmar, Monday, March 8, 2021. Myanmar security forces are continuing to clamp down on anti-coup protesters, firing tear gas to break up a crowd of around 1,000 people who were demonstrating in the capital, Naypyitaw. (AP Photo)

YANGON, Myanmar — Demonstrators in Myanmar’s biggest city came out Monday night for their first mass protests in defiance of an 8 p.m. curfew, seeking to show support for an estimated 200 students trapped by security forces in a small area of one neighborhood.

The students and other civilians earlier took part in one of the many daily protests across the country against the military’s seizure of power last month that ousted the elected government of Aung San Suu Kyi.

The military government also placed a major curb on media coverage of the crisis. It announced that the licenses of five local media outlets — Mizzima, DVB, Khit Thit Media, Myanmar Now and 7Day News — have been canceled.

“These media companies are no longer allowed to broadcast or write or give information by using any kind of media platform or using any media technology,” it said on state broadcaster MRTV.

All five had been offering extensive coverage of the protests, often with live steaming video online. The offices of Myanmar Now were raided by the authorities Monday before the measure was announced. The government has detained dozens of journalists since the coup, including a Myanmar Now reporter and Thein Zaw of The Associated Press, both of whom have been charged under a public order law that carried a penalty of up to three years in prison.

The night’s street protests began after police cordoned off part of Yangon’s Sanchaung neighborhood and were believed to be conducting door-to-door searches for those who fled attacks by security forces to seek shelter in the homes of sympathetic strangers.

News of their plight spread quickly on social media, and people poured into the streets in neighborhoods all over the city to show solidarity and in hopes of drawing some of the pressure off the hunted protesters. On some streets, they constructed makeshift barricades with whatever was at hand.

In the Insein district, they spread across road junctions, singing songs, chanting pro-democracy slogans and banging objects together.

The diplomatic missions of the United States, Britain, Canada and the European Union all issued statements urging the security forces to allow the trapped people to return safely to their homes. Although all have been sharply critical of the Feb. 1 coup and police violence, it is unusual for such diplomatic statements to be issued in connection with a specific, ongoing incident.

“There is heightened tension caused by security forces surrounding Kyun Taw Road in Sanchaung Township, Yangon. We call on those security forces to withdraw and allow people to go home safely, ” said the U.S. Embassy’s statement.

By midnight Myanmar time, there had been no reports of clashes between police and protesters, although security forces chased crowds, harassed residents watching from windows, and fired stun grenades. They also were some reports of injuries from rubber bullets.

The nighttime hours have become increasingly dangerous in Myanmar. Police and army units routinely range through neighborhoods, shooting randomly to intimidate residents and disrupt their sleep, and making targeted arrests.

Security forces shot and killed two people in northern Myanmar during the day, local media reported.

The Irrawaddy online newspaper said the victims were shot in the head during anti-coup protests in Myitkyina in Kachin State. Graphic video on social media showed protesters backing away from tear gas, responding with rocks and then fleeing after a fusillade of what seemed to be automatic gunfire.

Demonstrators hurriedly carried away the injured, including one apparent fatality, a person with a severe head wound. A second body was seen later on a stretcher, his head covered with a cloth.

Another shooting death took place in Pyapon, a city about 120 kilometers (75 miles) south of Yangon.

To date, the government’s violent crackdown has left more than 50 protesters dead. At least 18 people were fatally shot Feb. 28 and 38 on Wednesday, according to the U.N. Human Rights Office.

Security forces also clamped down on anti-coup protesters elsewhere Monday, firing tear gas to break up a crowd of about 1,000 people demonstrating in Pyinmana, a satellite town of the capital, Naypyitaw. The protesters deployed fire extinguishers to create a smokescreen as they fled from authorities.

Thousands of protesters who marched in Mandalay, the second-largest city, dispersed on their own amid fears that soldiers and police were planning to break up their demonstration with force.

Meanwhile, an armed force from one of Myanmar’s ethnic groups was deployed to protect anti-coup marchers in the wake of a brutal crackdown by the junta.

The unit from the Karen National Police Force arrived shortly after dawn to accompany about 2,000 protesters near Myitta in Tanintharyi Region in southeastern Myanmar. They carried an assortment of firearms including assault rifles as they marched ahead of the column down dusty rural roads.

The Karen police force is under the control of the Karen National Union, one of many ethnic organizations that have been fighting for greater autonomy from the central government for decades. The KNU employs both political and, through its armed wing, military means to achieve its aims.

Large-scale protests have occurred daily in many cities and towns since Myanmar’s military seized power, and security forces have responded with ever greater use of lethal force and mass arrests.

On Sunday, police occupied hospitals and universities and reportedly arrested hundreds of people involved in protesting the military takeover.

Mexican president defends record on women’s issues

Mexican president defends record on women’s issues

Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador wants to focus attention on the high number of women in his cabinet, and not on the fact he has refused to break with a governorship candidate accused of rape

ByThe Associated PressMarch 8, 2021, 8:40 PM• 3 min readShare to FacebookShare to TwitterEmail this articleThe Associated PressBanners with messages directed at Mexico’s President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador hang from a perimeter fence set up in front of the National Palace as preparation for the upcoming International Women’s Day demonstration, in Mexico City, Friday, March 5, 2021. Marked on March 8th, the day has been sponsored by the United Nations since 1975, to celebrate women’s achievements and aims to further their rights. (AP Photo/Eduardo Verdugo)

MEXICO CITY — Mexico’s President Andrés Manuel López Obrador tried to focus attention Monday on the high number of women in his cabinet, and not on the fact he has refused to break with a governorship candidate accused of rape.

The president said the barriers were meant to protect buildings and monuments in the colonial-era downtown that have been spray-painted with graffiti in past feminist demonstrations, but marchers weren’t accepting that.

“Why do they want clean monuments, in a country awash in blood?” the marchers chanted.

“Half of the cabinet are women,” López Obrador said at his daily morning news conference. “That was never seen before in Mexico.” Nevertheless, old habits die hard; during the same news conference, the president referred to one female reporter as “corazón,” roughly “sweetheart.”

Last week, the president sought to deflect criticism of his support for party’s candidate for the governorship of the southern state of Guerrero, Félix Salgado, who has been accused of rape by two women, though he has not been charged. López Obrador said the issue should be left up to voters in the southern state of Guerrero, and claims it is being brought up by his foes, “the conservatives.”

“All of a sudden, the conservatives are disguising themselves as feminists, very strange. Why? Because they see it as an opportunity to attack us,” the president said.

Monday’s protests focused on the barricades erected in fronts of the colonial-era National Palace where López Obrador lives and works. López Obrador himself once led protests in the same plaza. The president said it was to prevent attacks with incendiary devices on the historic palace, something which occurred at a women’s march last year.

“The barricades were put up because the conservatives are very upset,” López Obrador said. “They infiltrate all the movements to create provocations … they were planning to vandalize the National Palace.”

The president said two women had been found with gasoline bombs at a workshop in an upscale Mexico City neighborhood, noting “I am sure … they were put up to this.”

Salgado has not been charged because prosecutors claimed the statute of limitations ran out on one of the accusations, while another accusation remains under investigation. His lawyer has denied the accusations.

López Obrador’s Morena party has scheduled a re-run of an internal poll to see whether Salgado should remain as the candidate, and a group of female Morena legislators publicly called on him to resign.

Authorities estimate there will almost 100 women’s marches, in cities and towns throughout Mexico. Some local and state authorities designated squads of female officers to provide security at the marches.

Senegal braces for 3 more days of protests as crisis deepens

Senegal opposition leader released as new clashes erupt

Riot police in armed personnel carriers have fired tear gas and rubber bullets at crowds in Senegal’s capital

By BABACAR DIONE and KRISTA LARSON Associated PressMarch 8, 2021, 8:38 PM• 4 min readShare to FacebookShare to TwitterEmail this article3:08

Catch up on the developing stories making headlines.The Associated Press

DAKAR, Senegal — Riot police in armed personnel carriers fired tear gas and rubber bullets at crowds in Senegal’s capital on Monday hours after authorities freed opposition leader Ousmane Sonko from custody following days of violent protests in one of West Africa’s most stable democracies.

“We don’t want to take responsibility for undermining our democracy,” he tweeted late Monday. “But let’s be clear, the revolution is on the march toward 2024.”

At least eight people have died since the unrest began last week, according to Amnesty International, marking the worst unrest to hit Senegal in nearly a decade.

The two men addressed the nation in back-to-back remarks Monday night: first Sonko, then the president.

Sall told Senegalese families he knew they were suffering amid COVID-19’s economic downturn, and that the ensuing poverty was only further fueling discontent with his government. He agreed to reduce the nightly curfew that many merchants blame for deepening their hardships.

“I understand your concerns and the anger you feel about the hard life you have to live in, mainly due to the unemployment accentuated by COVID-19,” Sall said. “But when you ransack a business you don’t create jobs, you destroy them.”

Some Sonko supporters, though, indicated that they would still push ahead with their civil disobedience even after their leader was granted conditional release by a judge Monday. Throngs of boisterous supporters descended on the courthouse downtown waving Senegalese flags and then made their way to his residence next.

Demonstrators have sought to undermine Sall’s business ties with former colonizer France, attacking more than a dozen supermarkets opened by French retailer Auchan. Total gas stations also have been targeted by the protesters in Dakar.

The sight of burned-out cars and boarded-up shops is a rarity in Senegal, which has never suffered the military coups and dictatorships that have destabilized so many of its neighbors in West Africa over the past half-century.

The demonstrations first began Wednesday before Sonko’s initial court appearance for questioning on accusations of rape. He was detained on the way to the courthouse and arrested for disturbing public order after hundreds of his supporters clashed with police who were blocking unauthorized protests. He now has been charged with rape and making death threats.

Sonko, a populist who has railed against corruption and poverty, finished third in the 2019 presidential election with just over 15% of the ballots cast, drawing strong support from younger voters. His message of greater economic independence for Senegal has attracted an even wider audience amid the financial hardships of the COVID-19 pandemic amid curfews and other movement restrictions.

Sonko also called Monday on the president to publicly renounce a third term in office. After easily winning reelection in 2019 with more than 58% of the vote, his opponents fear he will seek to extend his mandate with a third term, as presidents in neighboring Guinea and Ivory Coast did last year. Sall, though, hasn’t commented publicly on his intentions yet.

While Sall has been credited with infrastructure and development projects, his critics say that progress has come alongside the sidelining of political rivals. Two other rising political stars have previously faced charges their supporters said were politically motivated.

Karim Wade, the son of the president Sall defeated in 2012, was once widely seen as the heir apparent before he was charged with corruption the following year. He ultimately spent three years in jail before going into exile abroad in Qatar. Former Dakar Mayor Khalifa Sall, seen as a top contender at one point for the 2019 election, was arrested in 2017 on corruption charges and later pardoned after the vote took place.

The leaders of Senegal’s influential Muslim brotherhoods have urged protesters to show restraint in the days ahead.

“Every Senegalese has the right to express themselves on the situation in the country, but with respect for institutions and without the destruction of public or private property,” said Serigne Mansour Sy. “We call for peace and serenity.”

Brazilian justice annuls sentences against Lula da Silva

Brazilian justice annuls sentences against Lula da Silva

A justice from Brazil’s top court on Monday annulled all sentences against former President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, which for now restores his political rights and allows him to run for the presidency in next year’s election

By MAURICIO SAVARESE Associated PressMarch 8, 2021, 8:29 PM• 2 min readShare to FacebookShare to TwitterEmail this article

Justice Luiz Edson Fachin wrote in his decision that the court in the city of Curitiba, which sentenced da Silva twice for corruption and money laundering, didn’t have the jurisdiction to put the leftist leader on trial.

Both convictions stemmed from a mammoth corruption scandal at state-run oil giant Petrobras, brought to light by the so-called Car Wash investigation. The investigation was focused on Petrobras and its contractors, and the cases against da Silva weren’t directly related to its findings, Fachin wrote in his decision.

Fachin said the case should be sent to the federal court of Brazil’s Federal District, where it can begin again from the start.

Da Silva, 75, was Brazil’s president between 2003 and 2010, and was still appealing his two sentences — one related to the alleged purchase of a beachfront apartment in the city of Guaruja and another regarding his alleged ownership of a ranch in Atibaia, outside Sao Paulo.

Prevented from running, fringe conservative lawmaker Jair Bolsonaro won the election handily. Da Silva was released from prison in November 2019, after the country’s top court ruled that a person can be imprisoned only after all the appeals have been exhausted.

UN urges Yemen’s rebels to allow access to injured migrants

UN urges Yemen’s rebels to allow access to injured migrants

The U.N. migration agency has urged Yemen’s Houthi rebels to allow access to dozens of migrants injured in a fire at an overcrowded detention center in the capital

By SAMY MAGDY Associated PressMarch 8, 2021, 7:43 PM• 2 min read

CAIRO — The U.N. migration agency Monday urged Yemen’s Houthi rebels to allow access to dozens of migrants injured in a fire at an overcrowded detention center in the capital.

Some 900 migrants, most of them from Ethiopia, were detained at a facility inside the Passports and Naturalization Authority complex in Sanaa, which is controlled by the rebels, when the fire took place, the International Organization for Migration said.

More than 170 migrants were injured, including over 90 seriously, the IOM said. At least eight people were announced dead Sunday, but the actual death tall remained unconfirmed since IOM did not have access to injured migrants at hospitals, it said.

A spokesman for the rebels was not immediately available to comment.

Despite its yearslong conflict, Yemen remains a transit point for tens of thousands of migrants desperate to find jobs as housekeepers, servants and construction workers in Saudi Arabia.

A U.N. official estimated Sunday that there were over 700 migrants at the center, most of whom were arrested in the northern province of Saada while trying to cross into Saudi Arabia.

The cause of the fire, which broke out at a hangar near the main building of the detention center, remined unclear, the IOM said. There were more than 350 people in the hangar area at the time of the fire, it added.

Some 138,000 migrants embarked on the arduous journey from the Horn of Africa to Yemen in 2019, but this number decreased drastically to 37,000 last year because of the coronavirus pandemic. Over 2,500 migrants reached Yemen from Djibouti in January, according to IOM.

3 female Guatemalan judges defend rule of law

3 female Guatemalan judges defend rule of law

Three female judges in Guatemala have emerged as critical figures in the fight for the rule of law in a justice system seen as under attack by powerful interests

By SONIA PÉREZ D. Associated PressMarch 8, 2021, 7:22 PM• 5 min readShare to FacebookShare to TwitterEmail this articleThe Associated PressFILE – In this Nov. 8, 2019 file photo, Guatemalan judge for high-risk crimes Erika Aifan poses for photos at her courtroom in Guatemala City. On March 8, 2021, the U.S. Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken will virtually host the annual ceremony for the International Women of Courage (IWOC) Awards to honor a group of exceptional women from around the world, including Aifan. (AP Photo/Moises Castillo, File)

GUATEMALA CITY — Three female judges in Guatemala have emerged as critical figures in the fight for the rule of law in a justice system seen as under attack by powerful interests.

Judges Erika Aifán, Gloria Porras and Yassmín Barrios Aguilar have all decided high-profile cases, drawing harassment, attacks and many attempts to remove them from the bench. The Inter-American Court on Human Rights has ordered special protection for all three.

The work of individual judges has only become more important since the 2019 demise of the United Nations-backed anti-corruption mission that supported the dismantling of major corruption networks and important prosecutions.

On Monday, Erika Aifán, a judge from Guatemala’s High-Risk Criminal Court, was awarded the U.S. State Department’s International Women of Courage Award.

“Despite the strong opposition she has faced throughout her tenure, Judge Aifan has become an icon in Guatemala in the fight against corruption, efforts to increase transparency, and actions to improve independence in the justice sector,” the U.S. government said in a statement.

But it has come at a cost.

Aifán has had complaints filed against her for her decisions 22 times. She decides cases involving powerful businessmen and politicians, corrupt judges, as well drug traffickers.

“I’m a human being and I can make mistakes, but I try to give my best effort and do the best I can because I know that this position represents the voice of many women and that hope for change for a better country,” Aifán said.

One high-profile case in Aifán’s court against businessman and political Gustavo Alejos has drawn constant harassment for the judge. Among other things, he is charged with trying to manipulate the selection of judges for the Supreme Court. Two workers in her court have even been reported for taking or losing pieces of evidence apparently in order to disrupt the proceedings.

But rather than being sanctioned, the two court workers were promoted by the Supreme Court.

Gloria Porras just won re-election for another five-year term on Guatemala’s highest court, the Constitutional Court. She has already served a decade on the court, where she is currently its president. She has had 60 complaints filed against her and has faced 13 requests to lift her immunity so she could be prosecuted.

On Monday, Guatemala’s Supreme Court sent another request to strip Porras of her immunity to the Congress. This time it came from a group of lawyers who receive funding from the Congress. The issue was a verdict that favored Sweden’s ambassador when former President Jimmy Morales tried to expel the ambassador for supporting the U.N. anti-corruption mission.

“In spite of the attempts to damage my independence, I feel free to look for, analyze and resolve the cases,” Porras said. “The decisions taken in a verdict cannot be criminalized.”

Among her decisions, Porras voted to stop a proposal by Congress to reform Guatemala’s national reconciliation law that sought to provide amnesty for crimes against humanity. She also voted to block a proposed law that would have left the prosecutor’s office out of cases and allowed judges to negotiate charges directly with the accused.

The costs to Aifán and Porras go beyond harassment. Both have had to hire lawyers and devote time to defending themselves from attempts to remove them.

Claudia Escobar, a former appellate court judge in Guatemala, knows the sacrifice the judges are making. Without support from the Supreme Court when she was attacked, she had to leave Guatemala in 2015.

“I admire those judge a lot, the personal cost they assume and that they do it with principles,” she said. “The rule of law has been deteriorating.”

In 2001, one day before Barrios was to start the trial of three soldiers accused of the 1998 murder of Bishop Juan José Gerardi, two grenades were tossed at her house. No one was wounded.

More than a decade later, Barrios decided the genocide case of dictator Efraín Ríos Montt. Her ruling lasted 10 days before it was overturned by a higher court that included some magistrates sympathetic to Ríos Montt.

Since that case judicial authorities simply don’t send Barrios cases, even though she is still a judge.

Ovidio Orellana, president of Guatemala’s Bar Association, said these “judges are an example … they can’t give in to any pressure or attack in the form or way they decide, but rather maintain the calling of a judge and adjust to the legal mandate.”

The judges’ critics suggest they aren’t following the law.

José Quezada, a former president of the Supreme Court, now a lawyer representing corporations, said politics enters their decisions.

“They don’t apply the law as they should and less so the Constitution,” he said of Aifán and Porras, mentioning illegal campaign finance cases that have gone before Aifán.

Escobar, the former judge, said the lives of those three is a sample of what judges go through in Guatemala. “Emotionally, it has a lot of value for them to continue their work despite the attacks,” she said.

“I’m sure that the majority of judges are honest people who want to do their work well, but sometimes it’s easier to look the other way because the risks are there and are evident,” she said.

US presents warring Afghan sides with draft peace agreement

US presents warring Afghan sides with draft peace agreement

Afghans involved in peace talks say the Biden administration has presented an eight-page draft peace agreement to the country’s warring sides for review and told them to come to Turkey in coming weeks ready to move on it

By KATHY GANNON Associated PressMarch 8, 2021, 7:18 PM• 5 min readThe Associated PressFILE – In this Feb. 5, 2019, file photo, Afghan politician Fawzia Koofi attends the “intra-Afghan” talks in Moscow, Russia. Frustrated by a stalled peace process and escalating violence, the U.S. has presented an eight-page draft peace agreement to Afghanistan’s warring sides for review. Koofi, one of only four women at the negotiation table in Doha, warned against haste and a May 1 withdrawal of U.S. troops, saying it would cause chaos. She confirmed that all sides had received the U.S.-crafted draft agreement. (AP Photo/Pavel Golovkin, File)

KABUL, Afghanistan — Frustrated by a stalled peace process and escalating violence, the U.S. has presented an eight-page draft peace agreement to Afghanistan’s warring sides for review.

The U.S. told the parties to come to Turkey in the coming weeks ready to move on it, according to Afghans on both sides of the table.

The draft was obtained by The Associated Press on Monday. The document outlines the terms of a cease-fire and its enforcement, calls for the protection of the rights of women, children and minorities and envisions a truth and reconciliation commission aimed at healing 42 years of conflict.

There was no immediate comment from the United States.

There was no immediate comment from Afghan President Ashraf Ghani on the draft proposal or a sternly worded letter from U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken.

In the letter, Blinken said Washington wanted to see progress on peace talks and mentioned the draft peace agreement, which calls for a new, inclusive government — which Ghani has resisted. In recent speeches, Ghani has said no interim government would be formed “as long as I am alive.”

But Blinken was uncompromising in his letter, which was released by Afghanistan’s TOLO TV. “I am making this clear to you so that you understand the urgency of my tone regarding collective work,” he wrote.

In the letter, Blinken said a May 1 deadline for a final withdrawal of U.S. troops — stipulated in a Taliban-U.S. deal last year — is still on the table. Even with America’s $4 billion in aid to Afghanistan’s National Security Forces, a U.S. withdrawal could mean quick territorial gains for the Taliban.

Ghani’s first vice president, Amrullah Saleh, said Monday that the president had received the letter and was unmoved by its contents. He said Ghani was not ready to embrace the secretary of state’s accelerated pace toward a settlement.

“We are neither concerned about the letter nor has it changed our position,” Saleh said. He thanked the U.S. for its sacrifices and financial assistance over the past 20 years but said the Afghan government won’t succumb to dictation.

“We will make peace with dignity, but never . . .an imposed peace,” he said at a ceremony on the anniversary of the death of a former defense minister. Ghani has been accused by his political opponents of trying to cling to power at all cost.

Fawzia Koofi, one of only four women at the negotiation table in Doha, warned against haste and a May 1 withdrawal of U.S. troops, saying it would cause chaos. She confirmed that all sides had received the U.S.-crafted draft agreement.

“One thing that is important is that Afghan ownership and Afghan leadership must be respected,” she said in a phone interview from Doha. “The process should not be rushed.”

Blinken’s letter proposes a revised plan for a 90-day reduction in violence that would prevent the start of a spring offensive by the Taliban and would be followed by a permanent cease-fire laid out in the draft peace agreement.

Both sides would stop fighting within hours of the agreement being signed, according to the draft. The Taliban would remove all its military and military structures from neighboring countries — a reference to Pakistan, where the leadership currently resides. The draft agreement also calls for an independent commission to oversee cease-fire violations.

The preamble of the U.S. document says the draft peace agreement is intended to jump-start negotiations.

“It sets forth principles for governance, security, and rule of law and presents options for power sharing that could help the two sides reach a political settlement that ends the war,” it says.

The preamble portrayed the draft as a compilation of “ideas and priorities” of Afghans on all sides of the political spectrum.

The draft lays out an ambitious road map that protects the rights of all, guarantees elections, demands transparency and a fight against corruption and the illicit drug trade. It demands guarantees of non-interference from Afghanistan’s neighbors and guarantees from Afghanistan that the country won’t be used to attack or interfere with another.

It proposes the establishment of a “peace government” that would oversee the writing of a new constitution and elections held immediately afterward. The new constitution is to protect the rights gained in the last 20 years since the toppling of the Taliban.

According to the draft, the peace government would include separate, but equal branches, including the judiciary, and executive branch.

The draft also said there will be one national government, no parallel governments and no parallel security forces, which would mean an end to Taliban fighters and the many militias loyal to warlords holding sway in Kabul.

It promises to protect Islamic values and while an independent judiciary would have the ultimate authority, the High Council for Islamic Jurisprudence would have an advisory role.

“The new peace plan offers a chance for a cease-fire, it offers a chance to bring the Taliban from the battlefield to the talks table to discuss thorny issues of religion and its role in (the state),” without giving them all the power, said Torek Farhadi, former Afghan government adviser.

“Afghanistan is bordering on a failed state status and is sure to enter the category immediately after the withdrawal of the foreign forces absent a better political arrangement,” he said, “ That is the reality of Afghanistan.”

———————

Associated Press writer Rahim Faiez contributed.

Protesters urge end to violence against women in Turkey

Protesters urge end to violence against women in Turkey

Thousands of people joined a Women’s Day march in central Istanbul to denounce violence against women in Turkey, where more than 400 women were killed last year

ByThe Associated PressMarch 8, 2021, 7:11 PM• 2 min readThe Associated PressProtesters chant slogans during a rally to mark International Women’s Day in Istanbul, Monday, March 8, 2021.Thousands of people joined the march to denounce violence against women in Turkey, where more than 400 women were killed last year. The demonstrators are demanding strong measures to stop attacks on women by former partners or family members as well as government commitment to a European treaty on combatting violence against women. (AP Photo/Emrah Gurel)

ISTANBUL — Thousands of people joined a Women’s Day march in central Istanbul on Monday to denounce violence against women in Turkey, where more than 400 women were killed last year.

As in previous years, riot police put up barricades and blocked demonstrators from marching to the city’s main square, Taksim, citing security concerns. Unable to reach Taksim, the demonstrators walked in the opposite direction toward the shores of the Bosporus, where the march ended peacefully.

The demonstrators are demanding strong measures to stop attacks on women by former partners or family members as well as government commitment to a European treaty on combating violence against women.

Some officials from President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s Islam-oriented party have advocated a review of the agreement, claiming it encourages divorce and promotes LGBT culture which they say are contrary to the country’s conservative values.

A total of 68 women were killed in the country since the start of the year, according to the We Will Stop Femicide Platform. At least 408 women were killed in 2020, according to the group.

Earlier on Monday, Erdogan pledged to form a new parliamentary committee to look into ways to prevent attacks on women, saying “we just cannot allow it to happen.”

Top Brazilian judge annuls corruption sentences of former President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva

Top Brazilian judge annuls corruption sentences of former President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva

Top Brazilian judge annuls corruption sentences of former President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva

ByThe Associated PressMarch 8, 2021, 7:10 PM• 1 min read

SAO PAULO — Top Brazilian judge annuls corruption sentences of former President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva.

Pope Francis to visit Hungary in September, cardinal says

Pope Francis to visit Hungary in September, cardinal says

The cardinal of Hungary’s Roman Catholic Church says Pope Francis will travel to Budapest in September where he will participate in the closing mass of a multiday, international Catholic gathering

ByThe Associated PressMarch 8, 2021, 6:17 PM• 2 min readThe Associated PressPope Francis speaks to journalists, Monday, March 8, 2021, while flying back to The Vatican at the end of his four-day trip to Iraq where he met with different Christian communities and Shiite revered cleric Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani. (AP Photo/Yara Nardi, pool)

BUDAPEST, Hungary — Pope Francis will travel to Hungary’s capital in September where he will participate in the closing Mass of a multiday, international Catholic gathering, according to the cardinal of Hungary’s Roman Catholic Church.

The Archbishop of Esztergom-Budapest Peter Erdo told Hungarian news agency MTI on Monday that Francis was originally scheduled to appear at the 2020 International Eucharistic Congress, an annual gathering of Catholic clergy and laypeople, but it was canceled in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Francis will instead visit on the final day of the eight-day 52nd Congress in Budapest on Sept. 12, he said.

“The visit of the Holy Father is a great joy for the archdiocese and the entire episcopal conference, and it can give us all comfort and hope in these difficult times,” Erdo said.

In a Facebook post on Monday, Budapest’s liberal mayor Gergely Karacsony said it was “a pleasure and an honor” that the city would receive a visit from Francis.

Traveling back to the Vatican from a trip to Iraq on Monday, the pope told Italian media that following his visit to Budapest he may visit Bratislava, the capital of neighboring Slovakia. While that visit isn’t confirmed, Slovakia’s president, Zuzana Caputova, said she had invited the pontiff to visit during a meeting in the Vatican in December.

“I am looking forward to welcoming the Holy Father in Slovakia. His visit will be a symbol of hope, which we need so much now,” Caputova said Monday.

Spanish food delivery riders want right to be self-employed

Spanish food delivery riders want right to be self-employed

Food delivery workers have staged protests across Spain, saying they would support a planned new law regulating their sector only if it allows them to remain self-employed

ByThe Associated PressMarch 8, 2021, 6:13 PM• 2 min readShare to FacebookShare to TwitterEmail this articleThe Associated PressDelivery riders gather to protest outside the Spanish parliament in Madrid, Wednesday March 3, 2021. Food delivery workers have staged protests across Spain, urging the government to approve a promised law granting them the right to choose between being company staff or self-employed. Media reports said more than 2,000 delivery riders gathered to protest in at least 10 Spanish cities on Wednesday. (AP Photo/Paul White)

MADRID — Food delivery workers protested across Spain on Wednesday, saying they would support a planned new law regulating their sector only if it allows them to remain self-employed.

More than 2,000 delivery riders gathered to protest in at least 10 Spanish cities, including Madrid and Barcelona, private news agency Europa Press reported.

The Spanish government initially consulted groups representing the workers as it drew up the new law, known as “ley rider.” But those groups now complain they are being ignored and that the legislation is overdue.

The secretary of state for employment, Joaquín Pérez Rey, said Tuesday the government is putting the finishing touches to the law, which he called “an extremely complex matter,” and said its publication is “imminent.”

Spanish media reports say the government may give companies a three-month grace period to register their workers as employees.

Lebanon’s army chief warns economic crisis is hurting troops

Lebanon’s army chief warns economic crisis is hurting troops

Lebanon’s army chief has warned that soldiers are hurting from the economic crisis engulfing the country, voicing rare criticism from the military of a political class that is doing little to try to end the people’s misery

By BASSEM MROUE Associated PressMarch 8, 2021, 6:11 PM• 5 min readThe Associated PressA protester waves a Lebanese flag near burning tires set to block a main highway, during a protest in the town of Jal el-Dib, north of Beirut, Lebanon, Monday, March 8, 2021. The dayslong protests intensified Monday amid a crash in the local currency, increase of consumer goods prices and political bickering between rival groups that has delayed the formation of a new government. (AP Photo/Hussein Malla)

BEIRUT — Lebanon’s army chief warned Monday that soldiers are hurting from the severe economic crisis engulfing the country, voicing rare criticism from the military of a ruling class that has done little to try and resolve a monthslong political deadlock.

The protests come against the backdrop of a crash in the local currency, an increase of consumer goods prices and political bickering between rival groups that has delayed the formation of a new government. Lebanon’s currency has lost 85% of its value in the past year and a half.

In a rare statement, Aoun said the financial and economic crisis is hurting soldiers whose salaries have lost value, adding that “members of the military are suffering and getting hungry like the rest of the people.”

In unprecedent criticism of the political class, which is doing little to move the country out of the crisis, the general said: “We have warned more than once about the dangers of the situation and how things might blow up.”

Aoun referred to budget cuts to the army over the past few years but also vowed the army would protect civil peace and prevent acts of sabotage against public or private property.

“They don’t care about the army or the suffering of members of the military,” he said.

Before the currency crash, an enlisted soldier earned the equivalent of about $700 a month but that has dropped to about $100 per month. Officers receive higher salaries but currently make no more than $400 a month.

Earlier on Monday, President Michel Aoun, who is from the same family but not closely related to the general, blasted the road closures calling them “organized acts of sabotage that aim to undermine stability.” His comments came during a meeting attended by heads of the country’s security agencies and economic and financial officials.

The army and police “should fully perform their duties and implement the law without hesitation,” he said. His comments sparked concerns of a potential crackdown against the protesters to force them to open the roads. But by nightfall, many roads were still blocked.

Starting in the early morning hours, small groups of demonstrators blocked the southern, northern and eastern entrances to Beirut with burning tires and parked vehicles. In other parts of Lebanon, soldiers briefly opened some roads only to have protesters close them again shortly afterward.

In the southern village of Abbasiyeh, a man poured gasoline on his body and tried to set himself on fire before civil defense members and soldiers intervened and sprayed his body with water.

Tens of thousands have lost their jobs over the past year as the economic crisis, the worst in Lebanon’s modern history, was made worse by the spread of the coronavirus. According to the World Bank, the crisis is expected to drag more than half of Lebanon’s population into poverty.

Sleiman Haroun, president of the association that represents hospitals in Lebanon, told The Associated Press that after a two-day weekend in which there was no oxygen distribution, some hospitals were running low and in urgent need of supplies, especially to treat COVID-19 patients.

“This is not a joke. It is a matter of life and death,” Haroun said, urging protesters to allow vehicles carrying supplies of oxygen to pass. There are several oxygen plants around Lebanon and they supply hospitals throughout the country, including some in remote areas.

Cases of coronavirus remain high in Lebanon, with 2,283 new cases registered Monday, raising the total since February last year to nearly 400,000. The virus has also killed 5,090 people, including 43 on Monday.

The rapidly deteriorating situation in Lebanon prompted Pope Francis, who has just completed the first papal visit to Iraq, to say he is contemplating visiting the country, which has the largest percentage of Christians in the Middle East.

He said Lebanese Maronite Patriarch Bechara Boutros Rai had asked him to add a Beirut leg onto his Iraq trip, but he declined.

“It seemed too little, like a crumb considering the problems that the country is suffering. I wrote him a letter and I promised I’d go to Lebanon. But Lebanon in this moment is in crisis,” he told reporters on the flight back to Rome.

In October, former Prime Minister Saad Hariri was named to form a new Cabinet but five months later, disagreements between him and President Aoun on the shape of the Cabinet have stood in the way of a new government’s formation.

The local currency hit a record law against the U.S. dollar on Saturday, nearing 11,000 pounds on the black market.

———

Associated Press writer Nicole Winfield contributed from Rome.

Mexican president says poppy growing being studied

Mexican president says poppy growing being studied

Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador says the government is studying what to do with growers of opium poppies who have been hit by competition from synthetic opioids, suggesting that some sort of legalization scheme might be possible

ByThe Associated PressMarch 8, 2021, 6:06 PM• 3 min readShare to FacebookShare to TwitterEmail this article0:45

Mexico’s National Museum of Anthropology is open to residents and visitors after eight months of lockdown during the coronavirus pandemic.The Associated Press

MEXICO CITY — Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador said Monday the government is studying what to do about growers of opium poppies who have been hit by competition from synthetic opioids, suggesting that some sort of legalization scheme might be possible.

The government has tried introducing alternative crops, like timber and fruit orchards, in poppy-growing areas, but López Obrador clearly suggested the new study was in addition to those efforts.

He said farmers in remote mountain communities in Mexico had lost income because traffickers are switching to buying fentanyl from Asia, rather than paying people to grow poppies and harvest poppy gum needed to process heroin.

“We are in the stage of analysis and reflection about what will most benefit Mexico,” he said. “There are now unparalleled conditions to do what most benefits Mexico and our people, because the current government is completely free, it is not subordinated to any foreign government.”

That was an apparent reference to U.S. pressure to reduce Mexico’s production of opium, almost all of which is smuggled into the United States.

Studies of legal opium production have circulated in Mexican government circles since before López Obrador took office in December 2018. However, a number of factors meant those proposals were never adopted.

Production of medicinal opioids needed for operations and terminal patients — something that has been proposed in the past — would require a much stricter control over farmers than Mexico is ever likely to achieve in the mountain communities of northern Mexico and the Pacific coast state of Guerrero where illegal production is currently centered.

The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration said in a recent report that poppy and heroin production in Mexico both declined in 2019. It said “low opium prices paid to poppy farmers in Mexico, coupled with an increase in fentanyl use in the United States, likely impacted the decrease in cultivation.”

Dealers are increasingly cutting heroin with fentanyl to increase its potency, and “DTOs (drug trafficking organizations) may come to view heroin as simply an adulterant to fentanyl,” according to the report.

But even if marijuana growing is legalized and some solution is found for poppy growers, Mexico still faces an expansion of illicit drug crops.

In February, López Obrador said experimental plots of coca leaves, the raw material for cocaine, had been found in the southern Mexico state of Guerrero. The plant is native to South America and up to now has mostly been cultivated in Bolivia and Colombia.

“I want to tell the bad guys that we know that they are experimenting with coca production in Guerrero,” the president said. “We found some coca plots in Atoyac,” a conflictive township known for drug gang violence and drug production.

Any legalization of opium poppies would present yet another point of friction with U.S. authorities, already stung by Mexico’s decision to withdraw immunity for foreign agents and restrict their activities in Mexico.

Mexico also strong-armed the United States into releasing a former Mexican defense secretary arrested in Los Angeles in October on drug charges. Mexico cleared retired Gen. Salvador Cienfuegos after conducting only a cursory investigation of the U.S. evidence against him, and then published the whole case file.

Aid group: Syrians could be displaced for years to come

Aid group: Syrians could be displaced for years to come

A prominent humanitarian organization says hundreds of thousands of Syrians face continued displacement each coming year that the conflict continues and economic conditions deteriorate

ByThe Associated PressMarch 8, 2021, 4:53 PM• 3 min readShare to FacebookShare to TwitterEmail this articleThe Associated PressFILE – In this March 12, 2020 file photo, women walk in a neighborhood heavily damaged by airstrikes in Idlib, Syria. Hundreds of thousands of Syrians face continued displacement each coming year if the conflict continues and economic conditions further deteriorate, the Norwegian Refugee Council, a prominent humanitarian organization said Monday, March 8, 2021. The Syrian conflict, which marks 10 years later this month, has resulted in the largest displacement crisis since World War II, with an estimated 2.4 million people displaced in and outside Syria every year since the war begin in 2011, the council said. (AP Photo/Felipe Dana, File)

The Syrian conflict, which marks 10 years later this month, has resulted in the largest displacement crisis since World War II, with an estimated 2.4 million people displaced in and outside Syria every year since the war begin in 2011, the council said.

Secretary General of the Norwegian Refugee Council Jan Egeland called it a “decade of shame for humanity.”

The conflict has left Syria divided and in ruins. Nearly half a million people have been killed, a million children born in exile, and the fate of tens of thousands of people imprisoned or forcibly disappeared remains unknown.

In 2020, 1.8 million were newly displaced, according to the humanitarian organization, even though fighting subsided after the Syrian government restored control over most territories in military operations. In the same year, for every person that returned home, nearly four were newly displaced.

At least 60% of those newly displaced in January were forced to leave home because of deteriorating economic conditions and lack of services, the council said.

To reverse the stalemate in the conflict, the council called for a nationwide cease-fire and a political settlement.

Years of U.N.-sponsored peace talks have led nowhere. Presidential elections expected this spring feature a single candidate — President Bashar Assad, whose government and military forces oversaw the conflict.

Meanwhile, 23 million people, including 13.4 million Syrians and members of refugee-hosting countries are in need of humanitarian assistance, the largest number in the region to date, said Samah Hadid, head of advocacy and media at the Norwegian Refugee Council.

The coronavirus pandemic has only exacerbated needs and put strains on international assistance that has so far largely failed to keep up with the deepening crisis.

Major donors to Syria’s humanitarian programs, such as the United Kingdom, already plan to cut as much as 67% of their funding for the war-torn country, according to leaked documents last month.

“This is huge,” Hadid said. “The cuts just further indicate the world abandoned Syrians at a time when needs and suffering are growing across the country.”

Hadid said there is a need to consider more sustainable aid for Syrians, many of whom need help finding jobs. Some are returning to displacement camps because of lack of services or security.

“They are facing poverty, which is rising and they can’t flee for safety,” she said. “So they are completely stuck and they are going to be displaced for many years to come.”

Libya: Lawmakers begin consultations on new government

Libya: Lawmakers begin consultations on new government

Libyan lawmakers have begun consultations aimed at confirming a newly appointed government that would lead the war-wrecked country through elections late this year

By RAMI MUSA Associated PressMarch 8, 2021, 4:43 PM• 3 min readShare to FacebookShare to TwitterEmail this articleThe Associated PressFILE – In this Feb. 25, 2021 file photo, Libyan Prime Minister-designate Abdul Hamid Mohammed Dbeibah speaks during a news conference in Tripoli, Libya. Lawmakers in Libya have begun consultations aimed at confirming a newly appointed government that would lead the war-wrecked country through elections late this year. More than 130 members of the fractured House of Representatives were meeting Monday, March 8, 2021 in the coastal city of Sirte. Dbeibah presented his proposed Cabinet to Speaker Aguila Saleh last week.(AP Photo/Hazem Ahmed, File)

More than 130 members of the House of Representatives met in the coastal city of Sirte after Prime Minister-designate Abdul Hamid Dbeibah last week presented his proposed Cabinet to Speaker Aguila Saleh.

Dbeibah, a powerful businessman from the western city of Misrata, was appointed last month to lead the executive branch of an interim government that also includes a three-member Presidential Council chaired by Mohammad Younes Menfi, a Libyan diplomat from the country’s east.

“The crisis today is a crisis of conflict and war, a crisis of confidence and participation, a crisis of acceptance and support that requires realism and comprehension,” Dbeibah told lawmakers ahead of the meeting.

Dbeibah’s proposed Cabinet includes 33 ministers and two deputy prime ministers who he said are representative of Libya’s different geographic areas and social segments.

“These are critical times and we are taking into consideration that the Cabinet must genuinely achieve national unity and seek consensus and reconciliation,” he said.

Dbeibah said if parliament fails to confirm his Cabinet, it would hamper the political roadmap and prolong Libya’s years-long crisis.

Later on Monday, lawmakers finished their deliberations for the day and were secluded until convening again Tuesday morning when Dabaiba is set to address the parliament.

The parliament has till March 24 to confirm the newly appointed government, which would replace two rival administrations, one in the east and one in the west, with each backed by an array of militias and foreign governments.

The U.N. mission in Libya, or UNSMIL, called the session “historic,” urging lawmakers not to miss “this opportunity to open a new chapter for Libya.”

“This session is an important step towards meeting the long-standing aspiration of the Libyan people to reunify the country and all state institutions,” UNSMIL said.

The interim government has been facing allegations of corruption at meetings of a U.N.-picked 75-member political dialogue forum.

Dbeibah earlier this month refuted the allegations and called for the U.N. to reveal the conclusions of its investigations.

Jalel Harchaoui, a Libyan expert at the Clingendael Netherlands Institute of International Relations, said the debate over the corruption allegations was “highly political” and aimed at weakening Dabaiba by placing doubt on his legitimacy.

“This revived debate over the corruption allegations, although not proven, is hurting precisely this: his legitimacy. It may also delay the entire process and create a fog of confusion that persists for months,” he said.

Sirte, once a stronghold for the Islamic State group, has been controlled by forces of military commander Khalifa Hifter since they seized it from the U.N.-supported government last year during Hifter’s failed campaign to take control of the capital, Tripoli.

Libya descended into chaos following the 2011 uprising that ousted and killed longtime dictator Moammar Gadhafi.

—————————

Associated Press writer Samy Magdy in Cairo contributed.

As US mulls Afghan exit, activist sees long fight for women

As US mulls Afghan exit, activist sees long fight for women

Prominent activist Sima Samar has been fighting for women’s rights in Afghanistan for the past 40 years

By KATHY GANNON Associated PressMarch 8, 2021, 4:30 PM• 6 min readShare to FacebookShare to TwitterEmail this articleThe Associated PressSima Samar, a prominent activist and physician, who has been fighting for women’s rights in Afghanistan for the past 40 years, gives an interview to The Associated Press, at her house in Kabul, Afghanistan, Saturday, March 6, 2021. Samar, 64, believes her struggle is far from over — especially at a time when violence is on the rise, peace talks between rival Afghan groups are stuck and the U.S. mulls its departure. (AP Photo/Rahmat Gul)

“No one knows what will happen tomorrow,” she said in an interview at her home in the Afghan capital, Kabul, protected by blast walls, guards and a German shepherd, who races to his vantage point overlooking the street when a car even slows as it passes.

Yet much is at stake and “a lot of sacrifices have been made in these 20 years,” she said, reflecting the anxiety among civil society leaders as the U.S. searches for the best exit from its longest war.

Under a 2020 deal between the Taliban and the Trump administration, all U.S. troops are to leave Afghanistan by May 1. The Biden administration says it’s reviewing the deal, suggesting it may not meet the deadline.

Last week, Samar and other civil society representatives participated in a Zoom call with U.S. peace envoy Zalmay Khalilzad. He assured them that Washington stands with Afghanistan’s civil society to protect the gains made in the past 20 years.

The call seemed last-minute to Samar — held just before Khalilzad was leaving Kabul for Qatar to meet with Taliban negotiators, following two days of face-to-face meetings with political leaders and warlords-turned-politicians.

“I feel a little like history is repeating itself,” said Samar, questioning the prominence given again to warlords and a political leadership that struggles to win over the trust of Afghans.

When the Taliban regime was ousted in 2001 by the U.S.-led coalition she had pressed for justice — that those who had committed crimes in previous regimes should be punished, that accountability, equality and justice should be given priority.

At that time she warned in vain against having warlords — who had participated in the 1990s civil war and destroyed much of Kabul — in prominent roles in a post-Taliban administration. She received death threats and was targeted in a slander campaign as “Sima Samar, the Salman Rushdie of Afghanistan.”

“I am not saying everyone has to go to jail but a crime is a crime,” she said. “They should be at least brave enough to say ‘I am sorry.’ That’s a start.”

Samar said Afghanistan needs involvement by international community going forward, to make sure that promises made are kept and that cease-fires are monitored independently. Culprits should be punished, she said.

The immediate question on the minds of many is who is systematically targeting and killing members of civil society. The Islamic State group has claimed several attacks. The Taliban have denied involvement in most incidents. The government and the Taliban often blame each other.

The number of targeted killings tripled last year, according to Afghanistan’s Independent Human Rights Commission, which Samar launched and headed from 2002 to 2019.

Commission spokesman Zabihullah Farhang said 65 women were killed and 95 wounded in targeted attacks in 2020. Attackers hit a maternity hospital. Twice they struck educational institutions, killing 50 people, most of them students. Several of the victims were journalists, rights activists, young judges, lawyers.

“It is like taking the rarest pearls from our midst,” said Torek Farhadi, an analyst and former Afghan government adviser.

In recognition of International Woman’s Day on Monday, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken is awarding six Afghan women, who were among those killed last year, with the International Women of Courage award.

“These tragic murders underscore the alarming trend of increased targeting of women in Afghanistan and the United States condemns these acts of violence,” Blinken said ahead of the ceremonies.

Blinken also proposed steps to help jumpstart the stalled peace process between the government and the Taliban, according to his letter to Afghan President Ashraf Ghani published Sunday by Afghanistan’s TOLONews.

The letter calls for bringing the two sides together for a U.N.-facilitated conference with foreign ministers and envoys from Russia, China, Pakistan, Iran, India and the U.S. “to discuss a unified approach to supporting peace in Afghanistan.”

Samar said much has been gained in the 20 years since the Taliban were ousted. Schools for girls are open. Women entered the workforce, politics, became judges — they are even at the negotiating table where the Taliban and the Afghan government are struggling to find a way to end war.

But the gains are fragile and human rights activists have many enemies in Afghanistan — from militants and warlords to those who want to stifle criticism or challenges to their power.

Afghanistan is second only to Yemen as the worst place in the world to be a woman, according to the 2019 Women, Peace and Security Index, compiled by the Georgetown Institute for Women Peace and Security and the Peace Research Institute in Oslo. The illiteracy rate among Afghan women is 82% and most of the women in Afghan prisons are jailed for so-called “moral” crimes like seeking a divorce.

The road to justice and equality remains long, said Samar, who became an activist as a 23-year-old medical student with an infant son. At the time, the then-communist government arrested her activist husband, and she never saw him again.

Samar, who says discrimination based on ethnicity and gender is still widespread, is a member of Afghanistan’s minority Hazaras, who have faced discrimination for centuries. They are mostly Shiite Muslims in a majority Sunni Muslim Afghanistan and most often the target of Islamic State militants in recent years.

Despite the persistent challenges, Afghanistan of 2021 is different, said Samar, a recipient of numerous awards who during a recent visit wore a T-shirt proclaiming “this is what a FEMINIST looks like.”

Human rights, women’s rights and the rights of minorities are now at least being discussed. “At least we speak about violence against women now. Before it was not an issue in this country, except for some crazy ones like me,” she said.

Dozens of migrants scale fences into Spain’s Melilla enclave

Dozens of migrants scale fences into Spain’s Melilla enclave

Authorities say dozens of migrants have scaled a double fence and entered the Spanish enclave of Melilla from Morocco

ByThe Associated PressMarch 8, 2021, 4:14 PM• 1 min read

MADRID — Dozens of migrants scaled a double fence and entered the Spanish enclave of Melilla from Morocco early Monday, authorities said.

Melilla and nearby Ceuta are chosen by many sub-Saharan Africans as a gateway into Europe, although they often get stuck in either of the enclaves that fall outside the continent’s Schengen area of free mobility.

In mid-January, 87 people managed to scale the double fence at the border.

Despite the coronavirus pandemic, about 2,250 people attempted the risky crossing by land or in boats last year, according to Spain’s Interior Ministry, down from 7,900 in 2019.

EU commission ‘surprised’ by Belgium’s travel ban extension

EU commission ‘surprised’ by Belgium’s travel ban extension

The EU’s executive commission says it is surprised by the decision by Belgian authorities to extend a ban on all nonessential travel as part of measures to combat the coronavirus pandemic

By SAMUEL PETREQUIN Associated PressMarch 8, 2021, 3:29 PM• 3 min readShare to FacebookShare to TwitterEmail this articleThe Associated PressFILE – In this Wednesday, July 29, 2020 file photo, passengers, wearing full protective gear to protect against the spread of coronavirus, push their luggage to a check-in counter at Zaventem international airport in Brussels. The European Commission expressed its astonishment Monday, March 8, 2021, following the decision by Belgian authorities to prolong a ban on all non-essential travel as part of measures to combat the coronavirus pandemic. (AP Photo/Francisco Seco, File)

BRUSSELS — The European Commission expressed its astonishment Monday following a decision by Belgian authorities to prolong a ban on all non-essential travel as part of measures to combat the coronavirus pandemic.

The EU’s executive arm had previously warned six member states including Belgium that their travel-limiting measures aimed at slowing down the pace of new infections could undermine the principle of free travel within the 27-member bloc and the single market.

Prime Minister Alexander De Croo’s government introduced the ban at the end of January, first extended it until April 1 and further extended it last week until April 18 to cover the next school holidays.

Under the Schengen Code, member states can introduce border checks at their internal borders on grounds of a serious threat to internal security, but the Belgian ban goes well beyond the EU’s recommendations for a common approach to travel measures during the pandemic. The commission’s stance is that nonessential travel should only be discouraged.

“The commission’s position has not changed and is very clear,” Wigand said, insisting that restrictions should be proportionate. “We don’t believe that a ban on travel respects that principle and we have asked Belgium to replace it with more targeted measures.”

In addition to the letters sent to Germany, Belgium and Finland, the commission also wrote to Denmark, Hungary and Sweden.

“Our goal remains to find solutions as quickly as possible to guarantee the functioning of the single market and respect of European rights related to free movement,” Wigand told journalists. “We will analyze answers from the respective member states and examine quickly all options on the table.”

Wigand did not elaborate but the EU could decide to start proceedings for breach of EU laws that could eventually lead to sanctions against the six countries.

‘March, not celebrate’ on Int’l Women’s Day in Kosovo

‘March, not celebrate’ on Int’l Women’s Day in Kosovo

Hundreds of Kosovar women have marked International Women’s Day with a protest asking for more respect of their rights

ByThe Associated PressMarch 8, 2021, 2:55 PM• 2 min readShare to FacebookShare to TwitterEmail this article3:08

Catch up on the developing stories making headlines.The Associated Press

PRISTINA, Kosovo — Hundreds of Kosovar women on Monday marked International Women’s Day with a protest demanding more respect for their rights.

The protest titled “Marching, Not Celebrating” was also joined by men. Acting President Vjosa Osmani and Prime Minister-designate Albin Kurti also attended.

Participants held banners and banged kitchen utensils to protest against domestic violence, which is a major complaint in Kosovo, a patriarchal society that sees hundreds of cases registered by police every year.

Luljeta Aliu, a single mother of two children, spoke of how she suffered for more than three years due to the way the divorce court divided property. That prompted her to promote a draft law on women’s equal property rights.

“The most difficult obstacle to fight in Kosovo is not only society. It is the gatekeepers of that patriarchal mentality which can be found at the courts or the police or with the professors at the university,” she told The Associated Press.

Kosovo’s 1.8 million people, who are predominantly ethnic Albanian and Muslim, have a strongly patriarchal society in which women suffer domestic violence and societal discrimination.

Women’s presence as lawmakers in the parliament has increased since 2000 when a 30% quota for them was set, though that has not been fully respected and it is not clear whether it will be in the new parliament elected last month.

Osmani is expected to be elected by the new parliament in the next two months, becoming Kosovo’s second female president since the war.

Most Western nations have recognized Kosovo, but not Serbia or its allies Russia and China.

Cyprus, Israel, Greece sign deal on electric cable link

Cyprus, Israel, Greece sign deal on electric cable link

Plans to connect Israel, Cyprus and Greece with a 2,000 megawatt electricity cable have taken a key step forward after the three countries signed an agreement to speed up technical work on the project

ByThe Associated PressMarch 8, 2021, 2:28 PM• 2 min read

NICOSIA, Cyprus — Plans to connect Israel, Cyprus and Greece with a 2,000 megawatt undersea electricity cable took a key step forward on Monday, when the three countries signed an agreement to speed up technical work on the project.

Cypriot Energy Minister Natasa Pilides hosted a ceremony in the capital Nicosia on Monday with her Israeli counterpart Yuval Steinitz and Greek Minister Kostas Krekas participating via online link.

Pilides said that with the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding, the three ministers agreed on the need to expedite permits and approvals to conduct feasibility studies and to coordinate with their respective national electricity regulators on how best to proceed.

Pilides said the deal boosts cooperation “in supporting the planning, potential development and implementation of the EuroAsia Interconnector, as an additional element of the emerging Eastern Mediterranean Energy Corridor.”

Pilides called the project a “cornerstone” of the countries’ efforts to transition to a green economy that will protect the environment while promoting economic growth.

She said the cable will help the three countries meet their commitments under the Paris Agreement on Climate Change, which aims to limit carbon emissions, while helping to diversify the energy supply of fossil fuel-dependent Cyprus.

The project’s first phase is expected to be operational by 2025.

The European Union’s executive Commission has said the cable is a “key project of common interest” that makes it eligible for EU financing.

Pilides said some of the project’s additional benefits include enhancing energy supply security and allowing the three countries to be potential energy exporters.

Cyprus is working on a separate deal with Greece and Egypt on a similar cable connecting the three countries.

Israel, Cyprus and Greece have also teamed up for a planned $6 billion undersea pipeline to carry gas from new offshore deposits in the southeastern Mediterranean to continental Europe.

Jailed Ethiopian opposition leaders to end hunger strike

Jailed Ethiopian opposition leaders to end hunger strike

Attorneys for four jailed Ethiopian opposition figures say they will end their hunger strike on Monday after 39 days

By Associated PressMarch 8, 2021, 2:21 PM• 3 min read

JOHANNESBURG — Attorneys for four jailed Ethiopian opposition figures say they will end their hunger strike on Monday after 39 days.

The lawyers said the health of the politicians deteriorated in recent days, and there were fears for their lives.

“The four individuals have decided to end the hunger strike as of today,” attorney Tuli Bayissa told The Associated Press.

The prisoners agreed to end their protest after a plea from “elders and notable personalities,” another attorney, Ibsa Gemeda, said. The prisoners said they would not eat until the government released all Oromo political prisoners, authorization for political party offices in Oromia to open and operate freely, and an end to the alleged mistreatment of families of political prisoners during prison visitations, Gemeda said.

A request by the prisoners to be treated at a private hospital was recently implemented after weeks of denial despite a court order to its effect.

The jailed politicians include Ethiopia’s media mogul-turned-politician Jawar Mohammed, Bekele Gerba, Hamza Adane and Dejene Tafa. They were arrested along with at least 16 others following the killing of a renowned singer, Hachalu Hundessa, in June 2020. Amid outrage over the killing, violence targeting ethnic minorities claimed the lives of several dozen people, mainly in the Oromia region.

The jailed politicians face charges including conspiring to dismantle the constitution by force and other terror-related offenses. The politicians say the charges are politically motivated.

Some ethnic Oromos feel their quest for more democratic space and the freedom to choose their leaders has not been fulfilled since Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed came to power in 2018. They accuse Abiy of not honoring his promises by arresting some politicians who returned to Ethiopia from abroad, including Jawar.

In recent weeks, some opposition parties like the Oromo Liberation Front and the Oromo Federalist Congress party have hinted that they may boycott the election, citing “widespread harassment of members, the closure of offices and even killings.”

Abiy also faces pressure, including from the United States, to end hostilities in the region of Tigray, which has seen deadly fighting since November as federal forces and their allies hunt down fighters loyal to the local administration in Tigray.

No one knows how many thousands of civilians have been killed. Humanitarian officials have warned that a growing number of people might be starving to death in Tigray.

EU lawmakers to vote on fate of former Catalan president

EU lawmakers to vote on fate of former Catalan president

The European Parliament is voting on whether to lift the immunity of the former president of Spain’s Catalonia region, Carles Puigdemont, and two of his associates

ByThe Associated PressMarch 8, 2021, 1:51 PM• 2 min readThe Associated PressFILE – In this Monday Jan. 13, 2020 file photo, Catalan leader Carles Puigdemont reacts during a press conference at the European Parliament in Strasbourg, eastern France. Catalonia’s former regional president Carles Puigdemont says that he will continue to fight extradition back to Spain if, as he expects, the European Union Parliament strips him of his immunity as a continental lawmaker this week. On Monday March 8, 2021, Puigdemont, along with cohorts Toni Comín and Clara Ponsatí, face a vote by the European Parliament to lift their immunity as lawmakers as has been recommended by the parliament’s Legal Affairs Committee. (AP Photo/Jean-Francois Badias, File)

BRUSSELS — The European Parliament is voting Monday on whether to lift the immunity of the former president of Spain’s Catalonia region, Carles Puigdemont, and two of his associates, a move which could pave the way for their extradition.

Puigdemont and a number of his colleagues fled to Belgium in October 2017, fearing arrest over the holding of an independence referendum that the Spanish government said was illegal.

In 2019, he, former Catalan health minister Toni Comin and former regional education minister Clara Ponsati won seats in the European Parliament and were afforded protection in their positions as members of the EU assembly.

Last month, the parliament’s Legal Affairs Committee voted 15-8 with two abstentions to recommend waiving their immunity. The full assembly is likely to endorse that decision Monday evening, although the official result of the vote may not be known until Tuesday.

The process is common — around 60 such demands to lift the immunity of various lawmakers were made during the 2014-2019 parliamentary term.

The independence vote in favor of Catalonia breaking away won by a landslide in 2017. But those wanting the relatively rich northern region to remain part of Spain largely stayed home. The central government in Madrid had declared the vote illegal and unconstitutional. Hundreds of people were injured in a police crackdown on the day of the poll.

Spain has attempted to have Puigdemont returned for trial, but failed to convince Belgian justice authorities to extradite him. Any lifting of his parliamentary immunity could lead to a new effort to have him returned.

But Puigdemont has vowed to fight on.

“We contemplate all scenarios, obviously even that we will lose our immunity, which is the most likely,” Puigdemont told The Associated Press on Saturday from his residence in Waterloo, Belgium. “But we know that would not be the end of the road.”

Int’l court judges award $30M to Congolese warlord’s victims

Int’l court judges award $30M to Congolese warlord’s victims

International Criminal Court judges have awarded $30 million (25.3 million euros) in reparations to victims of crimes for which a Congolese warlord was convicted

ByThe Associated PressMarch 8, 2021, 1:35 PM• 2 min readShare to FacebookShare to TwitterEmail this articleThe Associated PressFILE – In this Thursday, Nov. 7, 2019 file photo, Congolese militia commander Bosco Ntaganda enters the courtroom of the International Criminal Court, or ICC, to hear the sentence in his trial in The Hague, Netherlands. International Criminal Court judges on Monday March 8, 2021, awarded $30 million (25.3 million euros) in reparations to victims of crimes for which Congolese warlord Bosco Ntagand was convicted including child soldiers and victims of rape and sexual slavery. (AP Photo/Peter Dejong, Pool, File)

THE HAGUE, Netherlands — International Criminal Court judges on Monday awarded $30 million (25.3 million euros) in reparations to victims of crimes for which a Congolese warlord was convicted including child soldiers and victims of rape and sexual slavery.

Bosco Ntaganda, known as “The Terminator,” was convicted in 2019 on 18 counts of crimes against humanity and war crimes and sentenced to 30 years’ imprisonment for his role in atrocities during a bloody ethnic conflict in a mineral-rich region of Congo in 2002-2003. He has appealed his convictions and sentence.

Those eligible for reparations include direct and indirect victims of “crimes against child soldiers, of rape and sexual slavery, and children born out of rape and sexual slavery,” the court said in a statement.

Judges said they were “collective reparations with individualized components” for victims, with the number of eligible victims possibly topping 100,000.

The panel of judges said that Ntaganda was liable for the reparations, but added that he is “indigent for the purposes of reparations” and urged the Trust Fund for Victims, an organization set up by the court’s Assembly of States Parties to help victims, to “complement the reparation awards” using its own funds and through additional fundraising efforts.

However, the court said that Ntaganda “remains liable” and said it will “continue exploring whether Mr. Ntaganda possesses any undiscovered assets and monitoring his financial situation.”

In a written statement, the trust fund called the ruling “an important step in responding to the long-lasting harm that victims in this case have suffered.”

Facing critics, Total to minimize oil work in Uganda park

Facing critics, Total to minimize oil work in Uganda park

The French oil company Total says it will limit its work to extract oil from a Ugandan national park to less than 1% of the protected area, seeking to assuage the concerns of activists who oppose the project

By RODNEY MUHUMUZA Associated PressMarch 8, 2021, 1:28 PM• 3 min read

KAMPALA, Uganda — The French oil company Total says it will limit its work to extract oil from a Ugandan national park to less than 1% of the protected area, seeking to assuage the concerns of activists who oppose the project.

Total said it would support funding a 50% increase in the number of game rangers in Murchison Falls National Park, the largest protected area in Uganda.

Total also announced that it would take steps to minimize damage to the lives of people disrupted by a pipeline that will run from Uganda to Tanzania. The oil company will give each of the 723 households whose primary residences are affected by the pipeline project either a new house in a new location or money, the company said in a statement on Monday.

Total acknowledged “significant social and environmental stakes” posed by oil wells and the pipeline, and pledged to respond responsibly.

“We are mobilizing substantial resources to ensure that these projects are carried out in an exemplary manner and create value for the people in both countries,” Total CEO Patrick Pouyanne said in the statement, referring to the oil extraction and pipeline projects.

The leaders of Uganda and Tanzania signed an agreement last September for the construction of what will be the world’s longest heated oil pipeline, linking Uganda’s planned oil fields in the country’s west to Tanzania’s Indian Ocean port of Tanga. Construction of the 897-mile pipeline is expected to begin this year.

The pipeline project has been heavily criticized by activists who say the rights of local residents are at risk and that the pipeline, crossing rivers and farmland, will damage fragile ecosystems. More than 12,000 families could lose their land to the project, according to the Paris-based International Federation for Human Rights.

Last week 263 groups from 49 countries urged banks not to finance the pipeline’s construction as Total and its partner in Uganda, the China National Offshore Oil Corporation, are nearing what is known as a final investment decision.

In an open letter warning the CEOs of 25 banks against backing a $2.5 billion loan needed to start construction, the organizations called the $3.5 billion pipeline project “manifestly irresponsible” because it is incompatible with the goals of the Paris climate accord.

Dickens Kamugisha, head of the Uganda-based Africa Institute for Energy Governance, told The Associated Press on Monday that Total’s offer to minimize activities in Murchison Falls National Park is simply not enough.

“It does not matter whether the central (processing) facilities are out of the park or in the middle of the park,” he said. “There are huge possibilities that the park will never be the same again.”

But local authorities are eager to see the start of oil production. Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni has expressed optimism that earnings from oil exports will launch the country into middle-income status.

Louis Tomlinson – LARRY AIN’T REAL Lyrics

Play this song

Bitch bitch bitches
Yeah yeah yeah
Larry ain’t real
Yeah yeah
This shit ain’t real

I ain’t fucking Harry (I ain’t fucking Harry oooooh)
Harry ain’t fucking me (ooooh)

Larry ain’t real, bitches
Larry ain’t real
Yeah yeah yeah
This shit ain’t real

I like lads (laaaadssss) but I ain’t like Harry (Harryyyy)

I ain’t fucking Harry (I ain’t fucking Harry oooooh)
Harry ain’t fucking me (ooooh)

Larry ain’t real, bitches
Larry ain’t real
Yeah yeah yeah
This shit ain’t real

I swear to God x20

Larry ain’t real, bitches
Larry ain’t real
Yeah yeah yeah
This shit ain’t real

Now fuck off

Britney Spears – Stronger (Miguel ‘Migs’ Vocal Mix) Lyrics

Play this song

[Intro]
(Baby)
(Baby)
(Baby)
(Baby)
(Baby)
Ooh, yeah, yeah

[Verse 1]
Hush, just stop
There’s nothing you can do or say (Baby)
I’ve had enough
I’m not your property as from today (Baby)

[Pre-Chorus]
You might think that I won’t make it
On my own

[Chorus]
But now I’m stronger than yesterday
Now it’s nothing but my way
My loneliness ain’t killing me no more
I, I’m stronger
Stronger
(Baby)
Stronger

[Verse 2]
Than I ever thought that I could be (Baby)
I used to go with the flow
Didn’t really care ’bout me

[Pre-Chorus]
You might think that I can’t take it
But you’re wrong

[Chorus]
‘Cause now I’m stronger than yesterday
Now it’s nothing but my way
My loneliness ain’t killing me no more
I, I’m stronger
(Baby)
(Baby)

[Bridge]
Here I go, on my own
I don’t need nobody, better off alone
Hеre I go, on my own now
I don’t need nobody, not anybody
Here I go, on my own
I don’t need nobody, bеtter off alone
Here I go, on my own now
I don’t need nobody, not anybody
No more
No more
I, I’m stronger
Stronger
Alright
(Here I go, here I go, here I go…)
(Here I go, here I go, here I go, here I go, here I go, here I go)
Here I go

Rick Ross – Gotti Family Lyrics

Play this song

[Intro: Rick Ross]
It’s family (fusiness)
Strictly Yayo
Fuckin’ moolies
Yo Gotti
I, I got work
I, I got work
I got work
I got work
Oh so much work baby
I, I got work
I got work
I got work
Oh so much work baby

[Verse 1: Yo Gotti]
I’m a boss nigga, you a lost nigga
(Cup a green shot, just to across nigga?)
I don’t [?], that’s how I floss nigga
You can wife the bitch, but there’s toast nigga
Cocain numbers, they’ll never lie
We Grade-A fish scale, we’ll never die
Fuck a hater too, (then make?) them multiply
Then [?] with the redeye (yeah)
Ain’t nobody bitch sideway
I had the kitchen, jumpin pots, cookin sideways
[?] work boi, I’m like the [?]ster
Yeah I rap now but bitch I’ve been served

[Chorus]
I, I got work
Yo Gotti (work)
I, I got work
I got work
I got work
Oh so much work baby
I, I got work
I got work
I got work
Oh so much work baby

[Verse 2: Rick Ross]
You niggas silver spoon, I shiver spurs
Sat on a corner had it poppin like it self-served
Octane talkin’ bout my block game
Boy the Glock make it so to help me with my lock game
Whipping concrete now a nigga [?]
Hard-headed they digits in my dry-wall
I run the street robbers won’t approach the boy
Take a picture of ya cause she knows you poster boy
Lamborghini, new picasso, pullin’ over boy
I’m wet niggas, yeah I take it overboard
Carnival cruise lines for me to choose mine
Duffle bag of hunnids, a new fit, and two nines

[Chorus]
I, I got work
I got work
I got work
Oh so much work baby
I, I got work
I got work
I got work
Oh so much work baby
I, I got work
I got work
I got work
Oh so much work baby
I, I got work
I got work
I got work
Oh so much work baby
I got work

Vicentico – Basta De Todo Lyrics

[Letra de "Basta de Todo"]

[Verso 1]
Hoy voy a esperar que se hagan las 2
Para soltar todo lo que soy
No quiero más, hoy voy a cambiar
Tengo que dejar el miedo atrás
Tengo que despertar, despertar

[Coro]
Basta de todo
No escuchemos nada más
Basta de todo
Cruzando la ciudad vuelvo a casa

[Verso 2]
Hoy que el viento lleve la electricidad

Que en cada radio suene la amistad
Como una onda la veo cruzar
La siento entrar en cada casa
Vamos a despertar, despertar

[Coro]
Basta de todo
No escuchemos nada más
Basta de todo
Cruzando la ciudad vuelvo a casa
[Outro]
Vuelvo a casa
(Basta de todo)
Vuelvo a casa
(Basta de todo)
Basta de todo

Monkey Majik – Headlight Lyrics

そうか・・・失せる sorry
No luck 途中で empty
今も never thought you'd bring me down
More wine 誰の真似
So wise ここに立って
これからどうなる change my life

It's never gonna bring me down
No, never gonna bring me down
昇って沈む日が笑っていた
(Hey, hey, no)
It's never gonna bring me down
No, never gonna bring me down
I got up and I changed my life

どうして 人はみんな
昨日に 寄り添うの
哀しみを 知っていながら
I've gotta live on 'cause now I'm moving on

世界は 囁いて
やさしさに つつまれた
ありがとう キミの声で
たちあがる
And now I'm moving on
Now I don't know where I need to go
(Uh, you got me on the headlights)
There's always kindness standing by your side
(Yo, I'm locked from the headlights)
I watch the rain fall
(Ain't you taken from me)
Just like I knew it would
(You don't wanna be in this situation)
There's room to go on
So now I'm living on
Last night I woke up in the night
たった一度きりの
いつも囚われ spider web
(Hey, hey, no, now)
ほら, すぐそこには straight line
がんじがらめ headlight, headlight
これからどうなる change my mind

It's never gonna bring me down
No, never gonna bring me down
昇って沈む日が笑っていた
(Hey, hey, no)
It's never gonna bring me down
No, never gonna bring me down
I got up and I changed my life

そうして 人はみんな
明日に 寄り添うの
喜びを 知っているから
I've gotta live on 'cause now I'm moving on

世界は 囁いて
やさしさに つつまれた
ありがとう キミの声で
たちあがる
And now I'm moving on

遠く古い記憶に怯えてた
今が強く高くなる程に
夜が明ければ全てなくして
迫りくる
When will it come again

世界は
煌めいて
さよなら
このひかりよ
だからもう
迷わないで
たちあがる
And now I'm living on

世界は 囁いて
やさしさに つつまれた
ありがとう キミの声で
たちあがる
And now I'm moving on
Now I don't know where I need to go
(Uh, you got me on the headlights)
There's always kindness standing by your side
(Yo, I'm locked from the headlights)
I watch the rain fall
(Ain't you taken from me)
Just like I knew it would
(You don't wanna be in this situation)
There's room to go on
So now I'm living on
Ooh-ooh-ooh-ooh ooh-ooh-ooh-ooh-ooh
Ooh-ooh-ooh-ooh ooh-ooh-ooh-ooh-ooh

I watch the rain fall just like I knew it would
There's room to go on
So now I'm living on