Ghani rejects foreign interference as talks advance

KABUL: Afghanistan’s President on Sunday rejected foreign interference as the United States and the Taliban appear to be closing in on a peace deal without the Afghan government at the table. President Ashraf Ghani spoke during the Muslim holiday Eid-al-Adha and as US and Taliban negotiators continue their work in the Gulf nation of Qatar, where the insurgents have a political office. Ghani insisted that next month’s presidential election is essential so that Afghanistan’s leader will have a powerful mandate to decide the country’s future after years of war. AFP

Director made me sit on his lap during audition: Davis

Los Angeles: Celebrated actor Geena Davis has revealed that during her initial days in the entertainment industry a director asked her to sit on his lap during an audition. The 63-year-old actor, who has been a vocal advocate of gender equality, said earlier it was common to get subjected to sexual misconduct by powerful men but things have drastically changed for good. The “Thelma &Louise” star, who founded the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media, added that such actions would likely be received differently “in the time of #MeToo and Time’s Up.” PTI

FBI, US Justice Department probe Epstein suicide 

Washington: The FBI and the US Justice Department have launched investigations into the death of jailed New York billionaire financier Jeffrey Epstein, who was found dead in his federal prison cell. Epstein, 66, was found hanging in his cell on Saturday morning, and soon afterwards the Office of Chief Medical Examiner of the City of New York confirmed him dead, though the autopsy was still pending. Epstein’s death occurred several weeks after he was found unconscious in his cell on July 23 with marks on his neck. Authorities were investigating whether he had tried to commit suicide. IANS

Guatemala elects Prez to inherit Trump migration bind

GUATEMALA CITY: Guatemalans elect a new President who will face a major challenge after the country agreed with Washington to act as a buffer against illegal immigration under pressure from US President Donald Trump. Threatened with economic sanctions if it said no, the outgoing government signed an agreement in July to make Guatemala a so-called safe third country for migrants despite the endemic poverty and violence plaguing the Central American nation. Voters must choose between conservative Alejandro Giammattei and his center-left rival, former first lady Sandra Torres. Reuters

Humanitarian gesture

A member of the Medecins sans Frontieres registers the details of a rescued migrant onboard the Ocean Viking rescue ship after 81 migrants were rescued from their dinghy in the Mediterranean Sea. The rescue operation comes as the dispute escalates over which countries will take in migrants rescued by different charity ships operating in the area. AFP