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All-Afghan confce brings country closer to peace
AP, Kabul
All-Afghan talks that brought together Afghanistan's warring sides ended Tuesday with a statement that appeared to push the country a step closer to peace, by laying down the outlines of a roadmap for the country's future and ending nearly 18 years of war.
Washington's Peace Envoy Zalmay Khalilzad has said he is hoping for a final agreement by Sept. 1, which would allow the withdrawal of U.S. and NATO troops. He will begin an eighth round of peace talks with the Taliban later on Tuesday also in Qatar's capital, Doha, where the two-day conference was held.
Clooney to join legal team of Philippine journalist Ressa
AFP, Manila
Prominent rights lawyer Amal Clooney has said she will join the legal team defending Philippine journalist Maria Ressa, whose news site has repeatedly clashed with President Rodrigo Duterte.
Ressa, who was named a Time Magazine "Person of the Year" in 2018 for her journalism, faces several criminal charges along with her website Rappler, in what press freedom advocates have branded an act of "persecution".

Ex-UN official jailed for child abuse in Nepal
AFP, Kathmandu
A former UN official has been jailed for sexually abusing children in Nepal, officials said Tuesday, following a trial underscoring the country's growing appeal for foreign paedophiles.
Peter John Dalglish, 62, from Canada, a former high-profile humanitarian worker, was sentenced on Monday to terms of nine and seven years in two cases after being convicted last month.
UAE reducing troops in war-torn Yemen
AFP, Dubai
The United Arab Emirates said Monday it was redeploying and reducing troops across war-torn Yemen and moving from a "military-first" strategy to a "peace-first" plan.
The UAE is a key partner in a Saudi-led military coalition which intervened in Yemen in 2015 to back the internationally recognised government of President Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi against Iran-aligned Huthi rebels.

Ukraine's President offers to meet Putin
AFP, Kiev
Ukraine's recently elected President Volodymyr Zelensky on Monday offered to meet his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin for their first talks, calling for Western leaders to mediate.
"Now I want to address the Russian President Vladimir Putin. We need to talk? We do. Let's do it," Zelensky said in a video address. The former comic actor who was elected with a landslide in April's presidential polls called for a meeting with the Russian strongman that would involve US President Donald Trump and other Western leaders.

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