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Iran’s President Ebrahim Raeisi (C) addresses the parliament in Tehran on August 21, 2021, as the legislative body begins debate on his new cabinet picks. (Photo by IRNA)

Iran new government

Iranian lawmakers have begun reviewing the qualifications of the ministers proposed by President Ebrahim Raeisi, who says his administration is following a multipronged approach to improve the country. Addressing the parliament, Raeisi added that justice and progress are the central plank of all the programs offered by the nominated ministers. The president noted his administration aims to present solutions and strategies to tackle the existing challenges. He added, his top priority is to tackle the coronavirus pandemic and spur the economy. Raeisi also underlined that the executive branch is planning to pursue its programs in cooperation with the legislature and judiciary. He said his administration plans to give a bigger role to the people.

Taliban co-founder in Kabul

The Taliban say they are willing to present a new governing framework for Afghanistan in the next few weeks. A Taliban official, who spoke with the media on the condition of anonymity, said the group aims to keep up consultations with former Afghan leaders. The official also revealed that Taliban co-founder Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar is also in Kabul for talks on forming a new government. He added that the withdrawal of western forces from the country on amicable terms is also on the agenda. Regarding the chaos at Kabul airport, the Taliban official said the group did not create the mess and blamed it on evacuation plans by the west. The official noted that the Taliban would also investigate potential cases of atrocity and crime by its members against civilians.

Australia Covid clashes

Australia has reported a record high number of daily coronavirus cases, despite nearly two months of lockdown in its epicenter of the disease. Officials reported a total of 886 cases in New South Wales and Victoria states. The bulk of the infections were registered in the capital of New South Wales, Sydney. The state also reported three deaths in the past 24 hours. Sydney has been under a lockdown since late June, after a Delta variant-fuelled outbreak. On Friday, state authorities extended the stay-at-home order until the end of September. The extension sparked anger among Sydney residents, who hit the streets despite a ban. Similar protests were also held in Melbourne. Police clashed with protesters in both cities, making hundreds of arrests.

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