World leaders, from left, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Morocco's Prince Moulay Hassan, Moroccan King Mohammed VI, U.S. President Donald Trump, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, French President Emmanuel Macron and his wife Brigitte Macron, Russian President Vladimir Putin and Australian Governor-General Peter Cosgrove attend a ceremony at the Arc de Triomphe as part of the commemorations marking the 100th anniversary of the November 11, 1918, armistice, which ended World War I in Paris November 11, 2018.
The Group of 20 (G20) has agreed to work together to avoid a humanitarian disaster in Afghanistan, even if it means having to coordinate efforts with the Taliban, Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi said after hosting an emergency summit. The European Union opened the talks on Tuesday by pledging one billion euros ($1.2bn), which will go to urgent humanitarian needs and also to assist neighbouring countries taking in Afghans who have been fleeing since the Taliban took control of the country on August 15. "There has basically been a convergence of views on the need to address the humanitarian emergency," Draghi told reporters at the end of the special video conference. United States President Joe Biden, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and many European leaders joined the virtual summit, which took place as the Taliban held its first face-to-face talks with a US-EU delegation in Qatar. China's President Xi Jinping and Russia's President Vladimir Putin sent representatives rather than attending themselves.
G20 leaders gathered Tuesday for a virtual summit focused on addressing the looming humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan, with the EU kicking off proceedings by announcing a one-billion-euro ($1.2-billion-euro) aid package. US President Joe Biden and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi were among those dialling in to the meeting hosted by Italy, although Chinese President Xi Jinping and Russian President Vladimir Putin sent representatives. As the talks started, European Commission chief Ursula von der Leyen announced an aid package to help "avert a major humanitarian and socio-economic collapse" in Afghanistan. The money adds 250 million euros to a 300-million-euro sum previously announced by the EU for urgent humanitarian needs, with the remainder going to Afghanistan's neighbouring countries taking in Afghans fleeing the Taliban, a statement said. It stressed that the EU funds are "direct support" for Afghans and would be channelled to international organisations working on the ground, not to the Taliban's interim government which Brussels does not recognise.
That's a fundamental truth about the federal government. State and local governments provide a lot of services to people -- schools, highways, water, sanitation and the like are all state and local responsibilities. The federal government handles a few huge benefit programs, which, as we noted, are not affected. But most of what the federal government does in domestic policy -- overseeing grants and contracts and regulating businesses, for example, remains at least one step removed from everyday life.