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Expected head of Afghanistan’s new government is Taliban co-founder Baradar

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According to sources on this inside, Taliban co-founder Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar is set to lead the new Afghan government. A source spoke to Reuters on condition of anonymity.

“All the top leaders have arrived in Kabul, where preparations are in final stages to announce the new government,” a Taliban official told the news organization.

Reportedly Baradar will also be joined by Mullah Mohammad Yaqoob, who is the son of the late Mullah Omar. Omar is another Taliban co-founder. The last time the Taliban was in power was in 1996. As a result of U.S. military occupying Afghanistan in 2001, they lost their seats in the government.

Now British Foreign Minister Dominic Raab announced he will not recognize Baradar as leader. Raab said so when he landed in Pakistan Friday.

“The approach we’re taking is that we don’t recognize the Taliban as a government,” Raab said.

Meanwhile, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki assured reporters a week ago that the United States would likewise not recognize a Taliban government.

“I want to be really clear: there’s no rush to recognition of any sort by the United States or any international partners we have talked to,” Psaki told reporters then.

Read the full article here.

You can follow Jenny Goldsberry on Twitter @jennyjournalism.

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Americans should brace for ‘real pain’ at the gas pump

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A spike in gas prices will likely begin in March, according to Patrick De Haan, the head of petroleum at GasBuddy. De Haan says all Americans may soon be facing California-esque gas prices.

Biden’s rising inflation could push gas prices for regular unleaded fuel to above $4 a gallon. “We’ll start to see gasoline demand surge, along with refiners doing maintenance ahead of the summer driving season, creating a squeeze” De Haan told Fox Business.

Earlier this month, GasBuddy projected the national average price for a gallon of gasoline could climb to a high of $4.13 in June. California cities could have average costs of over $5. Currently the nationwide average is $3.314 per gallon according to the American Automobile Association.

The highest-priced gas averages are $4.650 in California, and Texas sits at the lowest average of $2.942. Nonetheless, U.S. drivers are being warned to expect “real pain” at the pump when the spring travel surge begins.

Inflation is currently at the highest level in almost 40 years. Last week the Labor Department said the consumer price index has risen 7 percent over the last year. President Biden has called inflation “a global challenge” and attempted to claim the latest numbers are good news, point to a monthly rate of price increases around December.

After the report came out, Biden said, “Today’s report—which shows a meaningful reduction in headline inflation over last month, with gas prices and food prices falling—demonstrates that we are making progress in slowing the rate of price increases.”

“At the same time, this report underscores that we still have more work to do, with price increases still too high and squeezing family budgets” Biden did admit.

Daily Mail reports “nationwide, gas prices did drop 2.2 percent in December from the prior month, but remained 50 percent higher than a year ago. Food prices were up 0.5 percent on the month and 6.3 percent higher than a year ago, making it unclear what falling food prices Biden was referring to.”

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