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The Times, Jan. 28, 2015

A photo of former Russian spy Alexander Litvinenko was allegedly used by Russian special forces for target practice, says The Times on Wednesday's front page. An inquiry into the dissident's death began in London Tuesday, with claims made by Ben Emmerson QC — the lawyer acting on behalf of Litvinenko's widow — that Litvinenko was assassinated on the orders of the Kremlin, to stop him from exposing Vladimir Putin's links to Russian organized crime at a trial in Spain.

Litvinenko died in 2006 after two Russian hitmen laced his tea with a lethal dose of polonium-210 at a London hotel.

ABOUT THE SOURCE: The Times is a British daily national newspaper based in London. It began in 1785 under the title The Daily Universal Register and became The Times on Jan. 1 1788.

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Geopolitics

Taliban Redux, Cleaned-Up Image Can't Mask Their Cruel Reality

Twenty years later the Islamist group is back in power in Afghanistan, but trying this time to win international support. Now that several months have passed, experts on the ground can offer a clear assessment if the group has genuinely transformed on such issues as women's rights and free speech.

The Taliban have now been in power for almost five months

Atal Ahmadzai and Faten Ghosn

The international community is closely monitoring the Taliban, after the group re-seized power in Afghanistan in August 2021.

There is legitimate reason for concern. The Taliban are again ruling through fear and draconian rules.

The Taliban’s last regime, in the mid-1990s, was marked by human rights violations, including massacres, mass detentions and rape. The regime collapsed on Nov. 14, 2001, shortly after the U.S. launched its global war on terrorism.

Even after the Taliban officially fell from power, their subsequent two decades of insurgency produced various gross human rights violations, an encompassing term under international human rights law.

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