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At least 16 Afghan provinces including Kabul province, which contains the nation’s capital city of Kabul, suffered electricity blackouts on Thursday, Afghanistan’s online news service Khaama Press reported.

Afghanistan’s state power monopoly, Da Afghanistan Breshna Sherkat (DABS), issued a statement on January 12 confirming “a shortage of electricity and blackout in 16 provinces including the Afghan capital Kabul.

DABS attempted to blame the power outages on Afghanistan’s neighbor, Uzbekistan, which it said had “decreased” the amount of electricity it usually supplies to Afghanistan by “60 percent” in recent days. Afghanistan’s state-run power company neglected to mention on Tuesday that the Taliban, which seized control of Afghanistan’s government on August 15, 2021, has failed to pay bills owed to its electricity suppliers, including those in Uzbekistan, since coming to power. Afghanistan does not have its own national power grid and thus relies on foreign imports for roughly 78 percent of its electricity supply.

“Electricity imports from Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and Turkmenistan account for half of Afghanistan’s power consumption nationwide, with Iran providing additional supplies to the country’s west,” the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) reported on October 3, 2021.

“Domestic production, mostly at hydropower stations, has been affected by this year’s drought,” the business-focused newspaper noted of Afghanistan’s power supply at the time.

“Afghanistan usually pays $20 million to $25 million a month in total to Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Iran and now unpaid bills stand at $62 million,” Safiullah Ahmadzai, then-acting C.E.O. of DABS, told Bloomberg on October 6, 2021.

Taliban terrorists in Kabul have started painting over murals, including one of George Floyd, with "victory slogans" applauding themselves. https://t.co/iC36GinBXQ

— Breitbart News (@BreitbartNews) September 8, 2021

Afghanistan’s neighbors could cut their power supplies to Kabul “any day they want,” Ahmadzai said, foreshadowing the capital’s current electricity blackout.

The DABS C.E.O. said at the time he had recently asked the United Nations (U.N.) for assistance in paying Afghanistan’s overdue power bills but had not received a response.

“We’ve asked the UNAMA in Kabul to assist the people of Afghanistan to pay the country’s power suppliers as part of their humanitarian aid,” Ahmadzai told Bloomberg by phone on October 6, 2021. He referred to “UNAMA,” or the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan.

Just 38 percent of Afghanistan’s population of 38 million have access to electricity under normal circumstances. The Taliban’s seizure of power last August prompted an ongoing period of political instability in Afghanistan that has affected its power situation.

The country was already beleaguered by decades of war and relied almost entirely on foreign sources — such as the United Nations and the U.S., which backed its previous government in Kabul from 2001 through August 15, 2021 — for financial support.

A burqa-clad woman carrying a child begs for alms on a street in Kabul on January 14, 2022. (MOHD RASFAN/AFP via Getty)

“At the time of the Taliban takeover, DABS had some $40 million in cash in its accounts,” WSJ recalled on Ocotber 3, 2021.

“The Taliban, starved of funds because of international sanctions, haven’t approved the use of that money to pay invoices from power suppliers,” the newspaper revealed.

“DABS liabilities have since grown to more than $90 million and are rising,” Ahmadzai told WSJ at the time.

“Collection from customers, meanwhile, shrunk by 74 percent last month, with only $8.9 million in revenue since Aug. 15,” the newspaper reported, citing DABS officials.

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Former Tampa Bay Buccaneers receiver Antonio Brown says team tried to pay him $200K to receive mental health care

(CNN)Former Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Antonio Brown has said that the team offered to pay him $200,000 to step away from the team and commit himself to a mental health facility.

Speaking weeks after he removed his uniform and shoulder pads, waved to the crowd and walked off the field in the middle of the Bucs' game against the New York Jets, Brown said the team tried to send him to the "crazy house." "These guys at the Tampa Bay Bucs tried to make an agreement with me to give me $200,000 to go to the crazy house so these guys could look like they know what they were talking about," Brown said on the season debut of HBO's "Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel" which aired on Tuesday.
    Brown's attorney Sean Burstyn explained: "The offer was Antonio would basically sit on the sidelines, go on some list and commit himself to some form of intensive mental health treatment, and we were specifically told in writing by the general manager twice: 'Don't spin this any other way.'"
      Burstyn also added: "To the extent any of that is coming from a spin that Antonio had a spontaneous mental episode, it's resentful and it's hurtful and it's a disservice to people who do suffer from mental health challenges. We all have our difficulties." Read MoreWhen asked by Gumbel whether Brown thinks he needs mental health help, Brown responded: "I have mental wealth. I know a lot of people may not understand me, know how I look at things or don't know how I react to emotional things, but it's not for them to understand me. "I've got a beautiful family, kids and people all across the world that look up to me. And there's no reason I'm in this position at this point." Brown previously said in a statement that he left the game because of an ankle injury. He said the team knew about his injury, something the Bucs have denied. Brown is tackled by Rodney McLeod of the Philadelphia Eagles.Brown also told Gumbel that head coach Bruce Arians is lying when he says he wasn't told about Brown's injured ankle during the Jets game. When asked about the accusations, the team referred CNN to previous statements released on Brown -- none of which addressed the payment for mental health treatment. Visit CNN.com/sport for more news, features, and videosBrown was released by the Bucs shortly after the incident.
        In the days following the incident, Arians claimed that Brown left the field because he was angry about not getting the ball enough in his eyes. Brown, however, disputed those claims. "I'm not worried about the ball," Brown said. "Tom Brady is my guy. He's the reason I'm on Tampa Bay, so I know I'm gonna get the ball."

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