BBC (UK), CHINA DAILY (China), CNN (US), XINHUA (China)

Worldcrunch

Two powerful earthquakes have killed at least 54 people and injured 337 in northwest China, according to state media.

The quakes hit along the border of two counties -- Min and Zhang -- at around 7:45 a.m. local time, according to state news agency Xinhua. The first earthquake (near Dingxi city) had a magnitude of 6.6. Just over an hour later, a magnitude 5.6 quake hit the same area.

Emergency services, including the Red Cross Society of China, are sending tents and supplies. There are also fears rescue efforts may be hampered by heavy rain, reports CNN.

Armed police troops and heavy machines have been dispatched to repair a highway and train services in the area have also been suspended, reports China Daily.

In 2008, an earthquake in Sichuan province left up to 90,000 people dead and millions homeless.

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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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