Cooperative Competition Is Possible Between China and the U.S.

A former vice foreign minister of China proposes a way forward for the world’s two leading powers.

#afghanistan, #china, #far-east-south-and-southeast-asia-and-pacific-areas, #international-relations, #iraq, #libya, #national-peoples-congress-china, #politburo-standing-committee-of-the-communist-party-of-china, #taiwan, #territorial-disputes, #tiktok-bytedance, #united-states, #united-states-defense-and-military-forces, #united-states-international-relations, #united-states-navy

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‘I Forget About the World:’ Afghan Youth Find Escape in a Video Game

The game’s cultlike following in Afghanistan inhabits a real-life version of its violent virtual reality.

#afghanistan, #computer-and-video-games, #kabul-afghanistan, #pubg-video-game, #taliban, #terrorism, #violence-media-and-entertainment, #youth

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Where the Pomegranate Harvest Is Life, the Taliban Brought Ruin

An incursion that devastated a prized crop shows the loss and uncertainty that many Afghans endure.

#afghanistan, #afghanistan-war-2001, #agriculture-and-farming, #arghandab-district-afghanistan, #civilian-casualties, #mines-explosive, #pomegranates, #taliban, #terrorism

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Rockets Strike Kabul as Mike Pompeo Plans to Meet with Taliban

The strikes on the Afghan capital, which killed at least five people, comes on the heels of an already bloody month for the city.

#afghanistan, #afghanistan-war-2001, #civilian-casualties, #doha-qatar, #islamic-state-in-iraq-and-syria-isis, #kabul-afghanistan, #kabul-university, #politics-and-government

0

Australian Troops Unlawfully Killed 39 Afghans, Report Finds

The findings of a long-awaited inquiry painted a scathing picture of the culture inside the Australian special forces.

#afghanistan, #afghanistan-war-2001, #australia, #civilian-casualties, #deaths-fatalities, #defense-and-military-forces

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The Rise, Fall and Resurrection of the Taliban

A Times correspondent reflects on what he’s learned from growing up with and reporting on the extremists in Afghanistan for some 25 years.

#afghanistan, #afghanistan-war-2001, #kabul-afghanistan, #taliban

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U.S. Troops Are Packing Up, Ready or Not

The Pentagon has announced a reduction down to 2,500 U.S. troops in Afghanistan before President-elect Biden takes office. Afghan officials fear the cuts will encourage the Taliban to keep fighting.

#afghanistan, #afghanistan-war-2001, #iraq, #united-states-defense-and-military-forces, #united-states-international-relations

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Trump Is Said to Be Preparing to Withdraw Troops From Afghanistan, Iraq and Somalia

Facing the end of his time in power, the president is pushing to accelerate withdrawals from counterterrorism conflicts. He campaigned on ending the longstanding wars.

#afghanistan, #afghanistan-war-2001, #al-qaeda, #defense-department, #iraq, #iraq-war-2003-11, #islamic-state-in-iraq-and-syria-isis, #obama-barack, #shabab, #somalia, #taliban, #terrorism, #trump-donald-j, #united-states-defense-and-military-forces, #united-states-international-relations, #united-states-politics-and-government

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Trump Pentagon Purge Could Accelerate His Goal to Pull Troops From Afghanistan

President Trump’s supporters hope he is the president to end America’s longest war.

#afghanistan, #afghanistan-war-2001, #biden-joseph-r-jr, #concerned-veterans-for-america, #defense-department, #esper-mark-t, #koch-charles-g, #miller-austin-scott-1961, #miller-christopher-c-1965, #national-counterterrorism-center, #obrien-robert-c-1952, #presidential-election-of-2020, #taliban, #trump-donald-j, #united-states-defense-and-military-forces, #veterans, #votevets-political-action-committee

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Trump Stacks the Pentagon and Intel Agencies With Loyalists. To What End?

So far, there is no evidence the appointees harbor a secret agenda or arrived with an action plan. But their sudden appearance amounts to a purge of the Pentagon’s top civilian hierarchy without recent precedent.

#afghanistan, #afghanistan-war-2001, #appointments-and-executive-changes, #biden-joseph-r-jr, #central-intelligence-agency, #classified-information-and-state-secrets, #cohen-watnick-ezra, #defense-department, #esper-mark-t, #haspel-gina, #iran, #joint-chiefs-of-staff, #miller-christopher-c-1965, #milley-mark-a, #national-counterterrorism-center, #national-security-agency, #pompeo-mike, #presidential-election-of-2020, #putin-vladimir-v, #russia, #russian-interference-in-2016-us-elections-and-ties-to-trump-associates, #trump-donald-j, #united-states-defense-and-military-forces

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The End of ‘America First’: How Biden Says He Will Re-engage With the World

Those who have known President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr. for decades say they expect him to move carefully, providing reassurance with a few big symbolic acts.

#afghanistan, #afghanistan-war-2001, #arms-control-and-limitation-and-disarmament, #arms-trade, #biden-joseph-r-jr, #blinken-antony-j, #china, #cyberwarfare-and-defense, #iran, #nuclear-weapons, #obama-barack, #presidential-election-of-2020, #presidents-and-presidency-us, #russia, #russian-interference-in-2016-us-elections-and-ties-to-trump-associates, #trump-donald-j, #united-states-defense-and-military-forces, #united-states-international-relations, #united-states-politics-and-government

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String of Attacks Have People in Kabul Pointing a Finger, at the Government

The assaults not only highlight a city under siege, they have exposed a growing, and very public, discontent with an Afghan government unable to protect its people.

#afghanistan, #afghanistan-independent-human-rights-commission, #afghanistan-war-2001, #civilian-casualties, #doha-qatar, #ghani-ashraf, #saleh-amrullah, #terrorism

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Deadly School Assault Catapults Kabul into Even More Despair

With the Americans scheduled to leave Afghanistan under a deal with the Taliban, the carnage at Kabul University seemed to erase the nation’s hope.

#afghan-national-security-forces, #afghanistan, #afghanistan-war-2001, #islamic-state-in-iraq-and-syria-isis, #kidnapping-and-hostages, #politics-and-government, #school-shootings-and-armed-attacks, #terrorism

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On Afghan Highways, Even the Police Fear the Taliban’s Toll Collectors

As the U.S. retreats and peace talks stall, the Taliban have increasingly taken over Afghanistan’s highways, raising millions in unofficial taxes and strengthening their hand at the negotiating table.

#afghan-national-police, #afghanistan, #afghanistan-war-2001, #bribery-and-kickbacks, #extortion-and-blackmail, #helmand-province-afghanistan, #kabul-afghanistan, #roads-and-traffic, #taliban

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An Ancient Hill and Forgotten Dead: Afghanistan’s Haunted Outpost

Its name was Observation Post Rock. The outpost is the backdrop for a ghost story, and is known for strange voices, radio static and the creeping fear of being watched.

#afghanistan, #afghanistan-war-2001, #helmand-province-afghanistan, #politics-and-government, #poppies, #taliban, #united-states-defense-and-military-forces, #united-states-marine-corps

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After 12 Years, Arrest in Abduction of Former Times Journalist David Rohde

A former Taliban commander was arrested in the November 2008 kidnapping of Mr. Rohde and two others in Afghanistan. He was brought to the United States to face charges.

#afghanistan, #afghanistan-war-2001, #kidnapping-and-hostages, #pakistan, #rohde-david, #terrorism

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Al Qaeda Feels Losses in Syria and Afghanistan but Stays Resilient

American drones and U.S. allies killed several Qaeda leaders and operatives in the past week. But the organization has “ingrained itself in local communities and conflicts,” according to the U.N.

#afghanistan, #afghanistan-war-2001, #al-nusra-front, #al-qaeda, #bin-laden-osama, #central-intelligence-agency, #defense-department, #drones-pilotless-planes, #hurras-al-din, #islamic-state-in-iraq-and-syria-isis, #khorasan, #national-counterterrorism-center, #national-directorate-of-security-afghanistan, #shabab, #somalia, #syria, #taliban, #targeted-killings, #united-nations, #united-states-defense-and-military-forces, #united-states-special-operations-command, #zawahri-ayman-al

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How an Afghan Political Crisis Derailed Payments to War Victims

Sometimes money is the only form of justice for those who lost loved ones in Afghanistan’s unending war.

#abdullah-abdullah, #afghanistan, #afghanistan-war-2001, #civilian-casualties, #ghani-ashraf, #kunduz-afghanistan, #taliban, #united-states-defense-and-military-forces

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Deadly Explosion Hits Kabul Tutoring Center

At least 10 people were killed and 20 wounded in latest attack, which happened as peace talks are at an impasse and as violence rises across Afghanistan.

#afghanistan, #afghanistan-war-2001, #civilian-casualties, #kabul-afghanistan, #taliban, #terrorism

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A Radical Cleric Ignites an Islamist Resistance in Afghanistan

The cleric’s supporters in Herat are enforcing harsh Shariah law reminiscent of the Taliban’s. Women are alarmed, and the government has been able to do little.

#afghanistan, #afghanistan-war-2001, #clergy, #herat-afghanistan, #muslims-and-islam, #shariah-islamic-law, #womens-rights

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Afghanistan Stampede Leaves at Least 12 Dead

At least 12 people died as thousands crowded a soccer stadium. Many were seeking medical care in Pakistan, which recently eased its pandemic border restrictions.

#afghanistan, #afghanistan-war-2001, #deaths-fatalities, #immigration-and-emigration, #pakistan, #stampedes, #visas

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A Storied Female Warlord Surrenders, Taliban Say, Exposing Afghan Weakness

She was undefeated in decades of war, but her decision was an act of survival. A government that has come to depend on unreliable militias finds itself vulnerable.

#afghan-national-police, #afghanistan, #afghanistan-war-2001, #ghani-ashraf, #kabul-afghanistan, #kunduz-afghanistan

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This Ex-Taliban Commander Is Now the Face of Afghan Security

Rahmatullah Andar once fought the government and then turned against the Taliban. Now he is a prominent spokesman, and his story is an example of the long war’s many plot twists.

#afghanistan, #afghanistan-war-2001, #muslims-and-islam, #politics-and-government, #taliban, #terrorism, #united-states-defense-and-military-forces

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Trump’s Tweets on Troop Withdrawals Unnerve Pentagon

The president’s demands to draw down forces in Afghanistan, Somalia and Syria seek to fulfill a campaign promise. But officials warn rapid troop reductions could bolster adversaries.

#afghanistan, #al-qaeda, #china, #defense-department, #islamic-state-in-iraq-and-syria-isis, #milley-mark-a, #obrien-robert-c-1952, #presidential-election-of-2020, #russia, #shabab, #somalia, #syria, #targeted-killings, #terrorism, #trump-donald-j, #twitter, #united-states-africa-command, #united-states-defense-and-military-forces, #united-states-international-relations, #united-states-politics-and-government

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Taliban Test Afghan and U.S. Resolve in Talks by Attacking a City

The insurgents have opened an offensive against the capital of Helmand Province even as their negotiators remain at the table in Qatar.

#afghanistan, #afghanistan-war-2001, #civilian-casualties, #helmand-province-afghanistan, #lashkar-gah-afghanistan, #qatar, #taliban, #united-states-defense-and-military-forces

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An Afghan Boy’s Rape and Death Prompt a Rare Response: Arrests

Villagers confronted officials, and seven police officers are now in jail, in a rare official action to investigate child sexual abuse accusations in Afghanistan.

#afghan-national-security-forces, #afghanistan, #afghanistan-independent-human-rights-commission, #afghanistan-war-2001, #child-abuse-and-neglect, #defense-and-military-forces, #ghani-ashraf, #human-rights-and-human-rights-violations, #kandahar-afghanistan, #murders-attempted-murders-and-homicides, #sex-crimes, #special-inspector-general-for-afghanistan-reconstruction, #united-states-defense-and-military-forces

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Data Shows Fewer Afghan Women Than Men Get Covid. That’s Bad News.

The number of women reported to have tested positive for the virus is so far below the male average that experts believe it is likely the result of gender inequalities that shut women out of the health care system.

#afghanistan, #afghanistan-war-2001, #coronavirus-2019-ncov, #medicine-and-health, #taliban, #women-and-girls

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Whose Islam? The New Battle for Afghanistan

Finding common ground on the role of Islam is the most decisive task in the peace talks between the Taliban and the Afghan government.

#afghanistan, #afghanistan-war-2001, #constitutions, #doha-qatar, #ghani-ashraf, #muslims-and-islam, #taliban, #womens-rights

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Stanley McChrystal, a Top General Fired Over Insults to Biden, Says He’ll Vote for Him

Fired after an article portrayed him and senior aides as disrespectful of Obama administration officials, General McChrystal added a coda to the story: He endorsed Joe Biden to be the next commander in chief.

#afghanistan, #afghanistan-war-2001, #biden-joseph-r-jr, #defense-department, #mcchrystal-stanley-a, #obama-barack, #presidential-election-of-2020, #rolling-stone, #trump-donald-j, #united-states-defense-and-military-forces, #united-states-politics-and-government

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In Proud Corners of Afghanistan, New Calls for Autonomy

In Panjshir, one of the last holdout regions against the Soviets and the Taliban, some would prefer to go their own way rather than support a government negotiating peace with the insurgency.

#afghan-national-security-forces, #afghanistan, #afghanistan-war-2001, #fahim-muhammad-qasim, #ghani-ashraf, #northern-alliance, #politics-and-government, #taliban

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Her Study Center Was Bombed. She Still Topped Afghanistan’s National University Exam.

Shamsea Alizada’s story of persistence is a reminder of advances in girls’ education in Afghanistan — and their vulnerability as the government negotiates with the Taliban.

#afghanistan, #colleges-and-universities, #islamic-state-in-iraq-and-syria-isis, #shamsia-alizada, #taliban, #terrorism, #women-and-girls

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Killing of 2 Marines in 2011 Almost Derailed Afghan Peace Talks

Even as they pushed for the release of other Afghan prisoners as part of a deal with the Taliban, U.S. officials privately dug in over freeing a man who had killed Americans.

#afghan-national-police, #afghanistan, #afghanistan-war-2001, #prisons-and-prisoners, #taliban, #united-states-defense-and-military-forces, #united-states-marine-corps

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Violent Attacks Plague Afghanistan as Peace Talks in Doha Slow

More than a dozen civilians are feared dead in an airstrike, as talks go on to finalize rules for negotiations.

#afghanistan, #afghanistan-war-2001, #civilian-casualties, #doha-qatar, #taliban

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To Get to Afghan Talks, Lots of Last-Minute Deals — and Nose Swabs

Months of delays over issues as big as prisoner swaps and as small as haircuts, with extra coronavirus complications, made the Afghan flight to meet the Taliban no sure bet.

#abdullah-abdullah, #afghanistan, #afghanistan-war-2001, #doha-qatar, #taliban

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Afghanistan Peace Talks to Open in Qatar, Seeking End to Decades of War

The Afghan government and the Taliban are finally coming to the table, after repeated delays. But the violence continues, and the challenges are vast.

#afghanistan, #afghanistan-war-2001, #doha-qatar, #ghani-ashraf, #khalilzad-zalmay, #taliban, #united-states-international-relations

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WildType is opening up a pre-order list for select chefs as it focuses on sushi-grade salmon

WildType, the startup making lab-grown salmon, is opening up a pre-order list for select chefs.

Although the company is as much as five years out from commercial production, according to founders, the company is looking to partner with select chefs around the country who want to incorporate their sushi-grade salmon product into their menus .

“We’re not launching right now. We’re releasing the news that we have the next iteration of the product,” said co-founder Justin Kolbeck, a former US diplomat who launched the company to address issues of food insecurity he’d seen firsthand while stationed in Afghanistan.

“[It’s] sushi or nigiri or sashimi that you would order at a sushi restaurant,” he said. So the product that WildType hopes to ship will be equivalent to the saku blocks of fish meat that sushi chefs carve to prepare salmon. “Chefs will take a fish apart into saku blocks which are ten to fourteen ounces of fish,” said Kolbeck. “They’ll cut out bits that go on nigiri and the bits that are left over are made into rolls. We’ve designed an initial product release that can serve all three of those form factors.”

The process is more difficult than simply culturing cells. According to Kolbeck and WildType’s other co-founder Arye Elfenbein, the company has developed its own technology for developing the scaffolding on which both the muscle tissue and fats can grow to replicate the taste and texture of wild caught salmon.

“We’re developing the cell lines ourselves, we’re developing the scaffolding, and we’re developing the nutrients that we need to grow and we’re developing the cultivators that the cells need to grow in,” said Kolbeck.

Image of WildType’s sushi-grade, lab-grown salmon. Image Credit: Arye Elfenbein/WildType

For the cultivated meat industry to reach its full potential, companies may need to differentiate their businesses to focus on a single element of the supply chain going forward, the founders said.

Already, companies like Future Fields are raising money to focus on specific examples of the cultivated food supply chain, and WildType considered going down that road itself, according to Elfenbein.

“What we’ve created is special in its ability to provide cells with the right signals to organize and mature,” said Elfenbein. “This is applicable to other species than the salmon that we have worked on… we basically create a scaffold that provides the right guidance in different places for cells to take up fats in different places or become more striated.”

Already WildType has created sushi-grade salmon that achieves equivalence when it comes to nutrition and when it comes to the healthy omega 3 fats that make salmon a healthier option for consumers.

WildType is already working with restaurants in San Francisco, Portland, and Seattle and is looking for chefs in other parts of the country.

Kolbeck thinks the timing is right for the company’s cultivated product. Consumers right now are coming to the realization that the supply chain for seafood is broken even as more shoppers are gravitating from the meat aisle to seafood in greater numbers.

From mislabeling of fish to the problems associated with factory fish farming, aquaculture and environmental degradation — along with the risks of chemically contaminated fish — shoppers who want seafood are also increasingly looking for more information about the provenance of the food they’re eating.

“The news is that we’re placing our bet on sushi as an industry where we can launch and make a big splash… pun intended,” said Kolbeck.

#afghanistan, #co-founder, #fish, #food, #food-and-drink, #food-supply-chain, #menu, #portland, #san-francisco, #seattle, #sushi, #tc, #united-states

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The Other Way Covid Will Kill: Hunger

Worldwide, the population facing life-threatening levels of food insecurity is expected to double, to more than a quarter of a billion people.

#afghanistan, #afghanistan-war-2001, #coronavirus-2019-ncov, #food, #food-insecurity, #shortages, #south-africa, #south-sudan

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Afghan Peace Talks Begin This Week. Here’s What to Know.

The Afghan government and the Taliban are to meet on Saturday to open negotiations about power sharing after years of relentless war. The differences on major issues are vast.

#afghanistan, #afghanistan-war-2001, #doha-qatar, #international-relations, #politics-and-government, #trump-donald-j, #united-states-defense-and-military-forces

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Afghan Vice President, Staunch Opponent of Taliban, Survives Blast

At least 10 bystanders were killed in the attack in Kabul, the second in just over a year aimed at the senior vice president, Amrullah Saleh.

#afghanistan, #afghanistan-war-2001, #amrullah-saleh, #ghani-ashraf, #politics-and-government, #taliban, #terrorism, #united-states-international-relations

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At Least 37 Million People Have Been Displaced by America’s War on Terror

A new report calculates the number of people who fled because of wars fought by the United States since Sept. 11, 2001.

#afghanistan, #afghanistan-war-2001, #defense-and-military-forces, #internal-displacement-monitoring-center, #refugees-and-displaced-persons, #september-11-2001, #shabab, #somalia

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Fighting Patriarchy, and Fearing Worse From the Taliban

A new generation of career-minded women in Afghanistan fear that all they have fought for will be swept away if the Taliban negotiate a return.

#afghan-national-police, #afghanistan, #afghanistan-war-2001, #discrimination, #kabul-afghanistan, #taliban, #women-and-girls, #womens-rights

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Afghan Peace Talks Set to Begin as Prisoner Swap Is Nearly Done

Afghan officials say that the last of thousands of Taliban prisoners are set to be freed, and that talks with the insurgents in Qatar will start soon.

#afghanistan, #afghanistan-war-2001, #prisons-and-prisoners, #taliban

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After Afghan Women Asked #WhereIsMyName, a Small Victory

Mothers’ names will be printed on national identification cards, a step in normalizing women’s public presence in a country where it remains taboo.

#afghanistan, #identification-devices, #women-and-girls, #womens-rights

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Taliban Violated Afghan Deal With Shelling of American Bases, U.S. Officials Say

Rockets that U.S. officials say were fired by the insurgent group have landed around two bases used by American forces. A Taliban commander denied involvement.

#afghan-national-security-forces, #afghanistan, #afghanistan-war-2001, #al-qaeda, #taliban, #united-states-defense-and-military-forces

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C.I.A. Uncensors Memoir of F.B.I. Agent Who Protested Torture of Terrorists

Nine years after the C.I.A. blacked out parts of Ali Soufan’s book, the agency has finally allowed a more complete version of his story to be published.

#afghanistan, #al-qaeda, #attash-walid-muhammad-salih-bin, #books-and-literature, #censorship, #central-intelligence-agency, #classified-information-and-state-secrets, #detainees, #federal-bureau-of-investigation, #interrogations, #september-11-2001, #shibh-ramzi-muhammad-abdullah-bin-al, #soufan-ali-h, #terrorism, #torture, #united-states-politics-and-government, #zubaydah-abu

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R.N.C. Skims Over Trump’s ‘Unfinished Business’ in Foreign Policy

From Iran to North Korea, President Trump has failed to achieve many of his stated foreign policy goals. He is asking for a second term to get them done.

#afghanistan, #afghanistan-war-2001, #arms-control-and-limitation-and-disarmament, #china, #diplomatic-service-embassies-and-consulates, #embargoes-and-sanctions, #international-trade-and-world-market, #iran, #israel, #north-korea, #nuclear-weapons, #pompeo-mike, #presidential-election-of-2020, #republican-national-convention, #russia, #syria, #targeted-killings, #trump-donald-j, #united-states-defense-and-military-forces, #united-states-international-relations, #united-states-politics-and-government

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Floods Bruise a War-Weary Afghanistan

Flooding has left more than 150 dead and 200 others injured in recent days, battering a country already torn asunder by violence and the coronavirus.

#afghanistan, #deaths-fatalities, #floods

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Afghanistan Floods Leave Dozens Dead

The toll in Charikar was expected to rise as rescue workers sift through the wreckage of dozens of destroyed homes.

#afghanistan, #afghanistan-war-2001, #deaths-fatalities, #floods, #ghani-ashraf

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Afghan Soccer Official, Charged With Sexual Abuse, Evades Arrest

The unsuccessful operation against Keramuddin Keram, whom players accused of rape and other abuses, showed the limited reach of the national government.

#afghanistan, #fugitives, #international-federation-of-association-football-fifa, #keram-keramuddin, #sex-crimes, #soccer, #tajiks-ethnic-group

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With Delay in Afghan Peace Talks, a Creeping Sense of ‘Siege’ Around Kabul

Instead of mass-casualty attacks, the Taliban are carrying out targeted assaults in the capital and neighboring districts. The country’s security forces seem unable to control them.

#afghanistan, #afghanistan-war-2001, #assassinations-and-attempted-assassinations, #politics-and-government, #taliban, #terrorism

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