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  1. #8491

    Re: World News Random, Random

    Here is an example of their reach, not just within the country, it goes further than that. From a photojournalist who does work for the NY Times


    Adam Dean‏
    Verified account
    @adamjdean

    I’m in Laos, a close ally of China, & whenever I “Like” a post on @instagram related to Tiananmen Square it comes up with a message saying “Action Blocked”. When I switch on my VPN it allow me to “Like” the images. I wonder if China provides internet infrastructure to Laos.
    Last edited by JazzNU; 06-04-2019 at 06:12 PM.

  2. #8492

    Re: World News Random, Random

    The comment about Laos made me check the Press Freedom Index, which has been updated to 2019 since I last checked. China is 4th from the bottom, which I think is a new low for them, but represents a drop of only one place from the spot they had occupied for 4 straight years. Laos is 10th from the bottom, also a drop of one place from last year, but Laos has long been about there.

    Internet freedom is not specifically one of the 7 criteria for determining the Press Freedom Index. But it affects several of the categories.

    Having done that small research project in one of my classes in 2014 about press freedom in Turkmenistan, I wasn't in the least surprised to see that Turkmenistan has achieved the very last place in press freedom, supplanting that perennial powerhouse, North Korea. Absolute lack of internet freedom is one of the reasons that Turkmenistan has been able to achieve last place.

    USA has fallen 3 spots to 48th (of 180, where 1 is good and 180 is bad). I know I predicted even more of a fall last year when we were 45th. There are several of the criteria on which this country does not look very good. That is especially true of the "abuse score", on which USA ranks 13th worst. Both Turkmenistan and North Korea had better abuse scores than USA.

    GH

  3. #8493

    Re: World News Random, Random

    I was disappointed that I didn't see any stories yesterday out of tennis media about Michael Chang. I guess there isn't a ton of mention of it anymore, but his heritage and watching the massacre all unfold and drawing inspiration to persevere and give Chinese around the world something to be happy about if only for a brief time was always part of the story that was told of him digging deep and pulling out that RG title. Seemed like a good opportunity to revisit that.

  4. #8494

    Re: World News Random, Random

    The cover of "TIME" magazine's international edition

    "Even if you dance for your enemy on the rock, he will accuse you of splashing water on him." ~ African Proverb




  5. #8495

    Re: World News Random, Random

    Exclusive: US intel shows Saudi Arabia escalated its missile program with help from China
    By Phil Mattingly, Zachary Cohen and Jeremy Herb, CNN

    Updated 6:01 PM ET, Wed June 5, 2019

    Washington (CNN)The US government has obtained intelligence that Saudi Arabia has significantly escalated its ballistic missile program with the help of China, three sources with direct knowledge of the matter said, a development that threatens decades of US efforts to limit missile proliferation in the Middle East.

    The Trump administration did not initially disclose its knowledge of this classified development to key members of Congress, the sources said, infuriating Democrats who discovered it outside of regular US government channels and concluded it had been deliberately left out of a series of briefings where they say it should have been presented.

    The previously unreported classified intelligence indicates Saudi Arabia has expanded both its missile infrastructure and technology through recent purchases from China.


    The discovery of the Saudi efforts has heightened concerns among members of Congress over a potential arms race in the Middle East, and whether it signals a tacit approval by the Trump administration as it seeks to counter Iran. The intelligence also raises questions about the administration's commitment to non-proliferation in the Middle East and the extent to which Congress is kept abreast of foreign policy developments in a volatile region.

    The development comes amid growing tensions between Congress and the White House over Saudi Arabia.

    Despite bipartisan criticism over the Kingdom's war in Yemen and its role in the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, the White House has sought an even closer relationship with the Saudis, as evidenced by its recent decision to sell the Kingdom billions of dollars in weapons and munitions despite opposition in Congress.

    While the Saudis' ultimate goal has not been conclusively assessed by US intelligence, the sources said, the missile advancement could mark another step in potential Saudi efforts to one day deliver a nuclear warhead were it ever to obtain one.

    The Kingdom's Crown Prince, Mohammed Bin Salman, has made clear that should Iran obtain a nuclear weapon, Saudi would work to do the same, telling 60 Minutes in a 2018 interview that, "Without a doubt, if Iran developed a nuclear bomb, we will follow suit as soon as possible."

    Though Saudi is among the biggest buyers of US weapons, it is barred from purchasing ballistic missiles from the US under regulations set forth by the 1987 Missile Technology Control Regime, an informal, multi-country pact aimed at preventing the sale of rockets capable of carrying weapons of mass destruction.

    Yet the Saudis have consistently taken the position that they need to match Iran's missile capability and have at times sought help on the side from other countries, including China, which is not a signatory to the pact.
    Saudi Arabia is known to have purchased ballistic missiles from China several decades ago, and public reports speculated that more purchases may have been made as recently as 2007. The Kingdom has never been assessed to have the ability to build its own missiles or even effectively deploy the ones it does have.
    Instead, the Saudis' arsenal of Chinese-made ballistic missiles was a way to signal its potential military strength to regional foes, primarily Iran.

    That, the sources told CNN, has shifted based on the new intelligence.

    (...)

    Beyond satellite imagery

    US intelligence agencies constantly monitor foreign ballistic missile development and the flow of materials around the world. Related intelligence is analyzed on a daily basis and any significant change would likely make it into the Presidential Daily Briefing, according to two former senior US intelligence officials.

    The Senate Intelligence Committee has been given access to the Saudi intelligence, though it has not received a specific briefing on the subject, according to two sources familiar with the matter.

    But the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, which has oversight of the State Department and US foreign policy broadly, learned about the Saudi intelligence earlier this year only after it was discovered by Democratic staff on the committee, including in one instance when a staff member on an unrelated trip to the Middle East was informed of details through a foreign counterpart, two of the sources told CNN.

    There had already been at least two classified briefings on issues related to the topic where the information could have been disclosed to senators, according to one source.

    When the staff brought the new information to the panel's top Democrat, Sen. Robert Menendez of New Jersey, he immediately requested-- and was granted-- a classified, senators-only briefing for committee members on the details, a rare occurrence that underscored the importance of the discovery and the administration's failure to initially brief the committee on the matter.

    Several sources said the analysis presented in the classified briefing, held on April 9, went far beyond the January Washington Post story about the satellite images, and provided concrete evidence that Saudi Arabia has advanced its missile program to a point that would run in direct conflict with long-established US policy to limit proliferation in the region.


    The day after the classified briefing, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo testified publicly in front of the committee as part of a routine hearing on the State Department budget.

    Over the course of a few hours, the dispute over intelligence sharing began to spill out into the open, turning a relatively benign budget hearing into a debate over a potentially crucial shift in US policy over missile proliferation in the Middle East.

    Though at the time, it was hard to notice.

    Without going into specifics, Menendez castigated Pompeo for the administration's decision not to share classified information with the committee until it was brought to the administration by the senator himself.
    "That's simply unacceptable," Menendez told the country's top diplomat, adding that if Congress is to perform its constitutional duties, the State Department "needs to do a better job of engaging with us, briefing us and responding to our requests."

    Later in the hearing, three other Democratic senators obliquely referenced the issue in their questions to Pompeo, citing public reports related to Saudi ballistic missile ambitions.

    Neither the senators nor Pompeo mentioned the previous day's briefing, or that their questions or answers were based on specific intelligence.

    But in hindsight, the exchanges shed light on the Trump administration's hardline position that countering Iran is the ultimate priority in the region -- regardless of long-held US non-proliferation positions.

    In his responses, Pompeo made clear the administration's preference that Saudi Arabia buy US technology, a possible nod, multiple US officials said, to internal opposition inside the Trump administration to restrictions on US sales of ballistic missiles to the Kingdom.

    "There've been those who've urged the United States to take a different posture with respect to Saudi Arabia, not to sell them technology," Pompeo said. "I think you see the risks that are created. It would be better if the United States was involved in those transactions than if China was."

    While Pompeo acknowledged under questioning that it is still US policy to oppose proliferation of ballistic missile technology in the Middle East, a telling exchange occurred later.

    Sen. Tom Udall, a New Mexico Democrat, citing the Washington Post report on the satellite images, asked what the US was doing to prevent foreign sales of ballistic missile technology to Saudi Arabia.

    Pompeo made clear, intentionally or not, a prevailing administration position that has guided much of its policy in the region -- including its knowledge of the expanding Saudi ballistic missile program.

    "This is certainly something that we all need to keep an eye on," Pompeo said, before adding that "most of the folks who are working to build out missile systems" were doing so in direct response to Iran's ability to continue to enhance its missile program under the 2015 nuclear accord.


    "Others are doing what they need to do to create a deterrence tool for themselves," Pompeo said. "It's just a fact."

    Udall, who a source confirmed had been in the classified briefing the day prior, responded after a pause by pressing the administration to stick to the long-held US policy to deter missile proliferation in Saudi "Well, I very much hope that the administration will push back in terms of what's happening in missiles across the Middle East."

    Tensions over Saudi policy

    Last year, as evidence of the Saudi government's role in the murder of Khashoggi emerged, GOP Senators including Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and then-Foreign Relations Chairman Bob Corker of Tennessee publicly condemned the Trump administration's timid response.

    "There's not a smoking gun, there's a smoking saw," Graham said after emerging from a classified briefing in December, referring to reports that the Saudi team had included a forensic expert who arrived in Turkey with equipment to dismember Khashoggi's body.

    In an interview with Axios on HBO that aired on Sunday, Trump's son-in-law and senior adviser Jared Kushner refused to go into details about his private conversations with the Saudi crown prince, and maintained that the Saudis are a key ally in helping the US contain Iran.

    Asked whether he would join Khashoggi's fiancée in calling on the Saudi government to release Khashoggi's body, Kushner demurred, saying the decision "would be up to the Secretary of State" and that "we'll do everything we can to try to bring transparency and accountability for what happened."

    (...)

    Tensions between the administration and lawmakers were again exacerbated by the administration's May 24 announcement that it would declare an emergency over escalating tensions with Iran in order to bypass Congress to complete an $8.1 billion sale of weapons, munitions, intelligence and maintenance to various countries including Saudi Arabia and UAE.

    A bipartisan group of seven senators, including Menendez and Graham, on Wednesday said they were introducing resolutions to block all 22 arms sales tied to the administration's move.

    There is also an ongoing bipartisan effort to finalize a new sanctions package targeting Saudi Arabia -- one opposed on its face by the Trump administration, which tends to cast its view of the Kingdom as a binary choice: you either support Saudi Arabia or you support Iran.

    For Sen. Chris Murphy, a Connecticut Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and sharp critic of the administration's Saudi policy, the choice is not that simple when it comes to ballistic missile proliferation.
    "I think it's a total misread of the region to think that the Saudis are the good guys in this equation. The Iranians do really awful things in the region. But so do the Saudis. "

    Murphy declined to comment on the Saudi missile intelligence he received during the April 9 briefing, but was willing to address the broader issue, including the long-term implications should the US abandon its policy of missile deterrence in the Middle East.

    "For decades the US has had a policy of trying to quell, not ignite an arms race in the Middle East, and for good reason," said Murphy. "It stands to reason we would want less weapons pointed at each other."

    'It was egregious'

    The whole incident puts the panel's Republican chairman, Sen. Jim Risch of Idaho, in a tricky spot. Compared to his predecessor Corker, an avid Trump critic, Risch has refrained from criticizing the administration, and has attempted to strike a balance between tending the concerns of angry committee members while also trying not to undercut Trump's foreign policy strategy.

    Risch, who also sits on the Senate Intelligence Committee, dismissed complaints that the intelligence omission was intentional and chalked it up to a simple oversight, given the sheer volume of information the intelligence community gathers each day.

    "There's no doubt that factual matters that the intelligence community has sometimes don't get into the hands of senators simply because there is too much of it," Risch told CNN, noting that he hadn't received any complaints from Republican members of the panel. "It's not intentional at all. It's just simply that it can't be done."

    Menendez doesn't buy into that theory.

    "You can't lose track of something like this," said Menendez, who would not discuss the topic of the underlying intelligence at issue. "It was egregious."

    Menendez is now pressuring the administration to provide a classified briefing on the issue for all 100 senators.


    (...)

    For at least one Democratic Senator who spoke on condition of anonymity even as he declined to address the underlying Saudi intelligence, it's all part of a broader trend of the administration refusing to share intelligence with Congress.

    The administration "has taken a position of: you don't need to know anything," the senator said. "Which, of course, is constitutionally inaccurate."


    https://www.cnn.com/2019/06/05/polit...ina/index.html
    "Even if you dance for your enemy on the rock, he will accuse you of splashing water on him." ~ African Proverb




  6. #8496

    Re: World News Random, Random

    UK economy shrinks by four times as much as predicted as Brexit paralysis takes hold
    Car production slumped 24% as manufacturers shut down plants temporarily in anticipation of no-deal exit that did not happen
    Ben Chapman

    The UK economy shrank 0.4 per cent in April as Brexit paralysis took hold following the proposed deadline for departure from the EU.

    The latest monthly fall was four times larger than analysts had forecast and marked the second consecutive month of contraction for the UK’s economy after a 0.1 per cent drop in March.

    Stockpiling of goods to deal with a disorderly Brexit on 29 March slowed down after deadline day was moved back to 31 October.

    Gross domestic product (GDP) figures for the earlier months of this year had been boosted as manufacturers in particular built up supplies.

    As that effect wore off, industrial production declined by 2.7 per cent in April compared to March while manufacturing slumped by 3.9 per cent – the sharpest drop since June 2002.

    The ONS put the slump down to a “dramatic fall in car production” which was down 24 per cent. A number of car plants shut down in April as manufacturers prepared for a no-deal Brexit by bringing forward annual shutdowns which typically take place in the summer.


    That effect is temporary but the slowdown in April was not limited to manufacturing. The construction sector also shrank by a more modest 0.4 per cent while services stagnated. Without car production shutdowns, GDP would have fallen 0.2 per cent in April.

    However, monthly economic growth figures tend to be volatile and are prone to revision when more detailed data come in.

    Underlying growth slowed to 0.3 per cent in the three months to April from 0.5 per cent in the three months to March. The services sector grew 0.2 per cent over the same period while construction was up 0.4 per cent.

    The National Institute of Economic and Social Research (NIESR) said the UK is now on course for a “marked slowdown” in the second quarter of 2019. The economy is now expected to shrink by 0.2 per cent, NIESR said.

    “The underlying picture is also quite weak, with Brexit-related uncertainty at home and trade tensions abroad dragging on investment spending and economic growth,” said Garry Young, head of macroeconomic modelling and forecasting at NIESR.

    The pound weakened against the US dollar following the disappointing figures, dropping 0.4 per cent to $1.27.

    The ONS’s head of GDP Rob Kent-Smith said: “GDP growth showed some weakening across the latest three months, with the economy shrinking in the month of April mainly due to a dramatic fall in car production, with uncertainty ahead of the UK’s original EU departure date leading to planned shutdowns.

    “There was also widespread weakness across manufacturing in April, as the boost from the early completion of orders ahead of the UK’s original EU departure date has faded.”

    Howard Archer, chief economic adviser to the EY Item Club, said it “looks like the economy continued to struggle in May – although there is likely to have been some rebound in car production as plants reopened”.

    “April’s dip in GDP and apparent ongoing softness in May reinforces our belief that the economy is headed for a markedly weakened performance in the second quarter,” Mr Archer said.

    “We had been expecting GDP growth to be no more than 0.2 per cent quarter on quarter in the second quarter but even this muted performance is now looking somewhat optimistic – as it is hampered by some unwinding of the major stockbuilding that occurred in the first quarter amid concerns of a disruptive Brexit occurring at the end of March.

    “Prolonged Brexit uncertainties, a fraught UK political situation and a challenging global economic environment are also weighing on economic activity in the second quarter.”

    Ruth Gregory, senior UK economist at Capital Economics, said the clear message is that underlying growth is “pretty sluggish”.

    “With the Brexit paralysis and a slowing global economy taking its toll, we doubt GDP will grow by much more than 1.5 per cent or so in 2019 as a whole and expect interest rates to remain on hold until the middle of next year.”


    https://www.independent.co.uk/news/b...mpression=true
    "Even if you dance for your enemy on the rock, he will accuse you of splashing water on him." ~ African Proverb




  7. #8497

    Re: World News Random, Random

    Japanese ship owner contradicts U.S. account of how tanker was attacked

    By Simon Denyer and Carol Morello June 14 at 1:20 PM

    TOKYO — The owner of a Japanese tanker attacked in the Gulf of Oman offered a different account Friday of the nature of the attack than that provided by the United States.

    Yutaka Katada, president of the Kokuka Sangyo shipping company, said the Filipino crew of the Kokuka Courageous tanker thought their vessel was hit by flying objects rather than a mine.

    “The crew are saying it was hit with a flying object. They say something came flying toward them, then there was an explosion, then there was a hole in the vessel,” he told reporters. “Then some crew witnessed a second shot.”

    The United States said the tanker was attacked by limpet mines and released a video that it said showed men aboard an Iranian boat removing an unexploded mine from one of the ships.

    But Katada offered an alternative version of how the events unfolded.

    “To put a bomb on the side is not something we are thinking,” he said. “If it’s between an explosion and a penetrating bullet, I have a feeling it is a penetrating bullet. If it was an explosion, there would be damage in different places, but this is just an assumption or a guess.”


    On Thursday, company officials said the vessel, which had been carrying methanol from Saudi Arabia to Singapore, was first hit by what appeared to be an artillery shell toward the stern, causing a fire in the engine room that crew members were able to extinguish.

    Three hours later, the ship was again attacked on the same side in the center of the hull, at which point the captain felt it was no longer safe and ordered the crew to take to the life boats, officials said.

    “When the shell hit, it was above the water surface by quite a lot,” Katada said Friday. “Because of that, there is no doubt that it wasn’t a torpedo.”

    One crew member was injured and was later treated by the U.S. military, he added.

    Company officials said Thursday that the ship was hit on the port side, but photos released by the United States showed damage and a suspected mine on the starboard side.

    The ship’s crew saw an Iranian military vessel in the vicinity Thursday night Japan time, Katada said, according to Reuters news agency.

    Declassified intelligence from the Defense Department details several tense moments when the captains of two rescue ships were surrounded by Iranian patrol boats whose captains asked for the rescued crew members to be handed over.

    According to the account, the Hyundai Dubai oil tanker rescued the seamen of a Norwegian ship, the Front Altair, that also came under attack Thursday, but it was soon surrounded by Iranian military vessels.

    The ship’s captain “felt like he had no choice but to comply with Iranian demands,” so the crew members were transferred to the Iranian vessels and taken to Iran, this account said.

    The document said that after the explosion aboard the Kokuka Courageous, a Dutch ship answered its distress call and rescued the crew.

    An Iranian navy ship raced to the rescue ship, even as the U.S. Navy’s guided missile destroyer USS Bainbridge was nearing, and asked to take the Kokuka Courageous crew aboard “so they could transfer personnel and render assistance to the crew,” the U.S. account said.

    The owner of the Japanese tanker instructed the crew not to get on the Iranian ship, so they boarded the Bainbridge instead, the Pentagon report said.

    Morello reported from Washington.


    https://www.washingtonpost.com/world...tml?tid=pm_pop
    "Even if you dance for your enemy on the rock, he will accuse you of splashing water on him." ~ African Proverb




  8. #8498

    Re: World News Random, Random

    Varadkar: Removing backstop 'is effectively no deal'

    The taoiseach (Irish prime minister) has said removing the backstop from the Withdrawal Agreement, would be "effectively the same as no deal".

    Leo Varadkar was responding to comments from some candidates seeking to replace Theresa May as prime minister.

    Many contenders have proposed changes to the backstop, even though the EU says it is not up for renegotiation.

    Mr Varadkar said: "If we don't have that (the backstop), there is no deal".

    It is an insurance agreement designed to avoid a hard border between the Irish Republic and Northern Ireland.

    Many Conservative MPs have concerns that it could "trap" the UK, leaving it unable to strike its own trade deals with the rest of the world.

    The Democratic Unionist Party (DUP), who prop up the government, also do not want to see Northern Ireland treated differently from the rest of the UK.

    'Time limit'

    Speaking on Irish National Broadcaster RTÉ's Marian Finucane programme, the taoiseach said it was "alarming" some leading Conservatives were suggesting a no-deal Brexit.

    "It's a legal guarantee and legally operable guarantee that we will never see a hard border again," Mr Varadkar said of the backstop.

    He also responded to calls for a time limit to be attached to the backstop.

    "The difficulties we have with a time limit, is effectively you are saying there will or could be a hard border once that time limit expires - that isn't a backstop," he said.

    "What we are open to, and always have been open to, is alternative arrangements that perhaps could avoid a hard border, through procedures and technologies and so on.

    "What we expect, and I don't think it's unreasonable - we want to see that fleshed out, we want to see it exist, it demonstrated before we are willing to give up the backstop.

    "What people are saying is, 'give up the backstop' which we know will work legally and operationally in return for something that doesn't yet exist but might exist in the future.

    "I can't do that to the border communities."

    Mr Varadkar also said he was "concerned at the idea, and there is an idea there in Westminster, in London, that somehow Theresa May was a bad negotiator and got a bad deal.

    "That's not true. She was a good negotiator, she had a good team.

    "She probably got the best deal that she could get given that a country leaving the EU doesn't have much leverage.

    "The fact that the failure of the House Of Commons to ratify the Withdrawal Agreement somehow means they are going to get a better deal, that is just not how the European Union works," he said.


    https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europ...alflow_twitter
    "Even if you dance for your enemy on the rock, he will accuse you of splashing water on him." ~ African Proverb




  9. #8499

    Re: World News Random, Random

    SMH.

    The Taliban claimed an attack on U.S. forces. Pompeo blamed Iran.

    By Siobhán O'Grady June 15 at 1:40 PM

    On May 31, a suicide bomber targeted a U.S. convoy in eastern Kabul, killing four Afghan passersby and slightly wounding four U.S. servicemen and at least three civilians.

    At the time, the Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack, with spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid telling the Associated Press in a phone interview that 10 U.S. troops were killed — a common exaggeration for the militant group.

    But two weeks later, amid growing animosity between Washington and Tehran, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo pointed to the Kabul bombing as an example of one “in a series of attacks instigated by the Islamic Republic of Iran and its surrogates against American and allied interests.”

    Speaking to reporters on Thursday, Pompeo mentioned a number of recent incidents he alleged were linked to Iran, including a rocket landing near the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad and what he called Iranian surrogates launching a rocket into the arrival terminal of an airport in Saudi Arabia.

    His comments came as tensions between Tehran and Washington escalated this week after the Trump administration doubled down on accusations that Iran was responsible for explosions on Norwegian and Japanese-owned tankers in the Gulf of Oman.

    “Taken as a whole, these unprovoked attacks present a clear threat to international peace and security, a blatant assault on the freedom of navigation, and an unacceptable campaign of escalating tension by Iran,” Pompeo said.

    The secretary’s vague allegation of Iranian involvement in the Kabul attack surprised regional experts and a former U.S. diplomat, who said it would be unusual for Iran to launch an attack inside the Afghan capital. When asked to clarify the accusation that Iran was somehow linked to the attack in Kabul, the State Department declined to comment.

    “If there was clearly a belief that Iran had hit troops in Afghanistan, it would have been huge news right away,” said Michael Kugelman, deputy director of the Wilson Center’s Asia program.

    “This administration is itching for a fight with Iran,” he said. “Unfortunately that sometimes entails making some accusations against Iran that are somewhat questionable.”

    For Tehran to be behind “an actual attack being carried out in Kabul targeting U.S. personnel — to me that seems like a bit of a stretch,” he said.

    Alex Vatanka, a senior fellow at the Middle East Institute said that just because Iran has “lines of communication open with the Taliban doesn’t mean [they have] operational control.”

    Pompeo “has a long list of grievances,” against Iran, Vatanka said, and he now needs to “convince people that this isn’t just a long list of events happening to coincide with the maximum pressure campaign on Tehran."

    James Schwemlein, a nonresident scholar at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and former senior adviser to the State Department’s Afghanistan and Pakistan envoy said he “really was kind of confused by where [the allegation] came from.”

    The relationship between Iran and the Taliban has evolved since the mid-1990s, when the Taliban ruled Afghanistan and clashed with Tehran, he said. Recently, as both the Taliban and Iran have sought to counter the Islamic State’s influence in the region, they have developed more shared interests.

    “The Iranians are looking for groups that will combat the Islamic State, and the Taliban have been very willing to,” Schwemlein said, making it “not entirely out of the question that [in Afghanistan] there was some operational cooperation” between the Taliban and Iran.

    But the location of last month’s attack in the Afghan capital, which came immediately after a Taliban delegation met for peace talks in Moscow and declined to declare a cease-fire, raised questions about the possibility of Iranian involvement for Schwemlein, who said Kabul was somewhat outside of Iran’s operational space.

    “It doesn’t strike me as an attack that serves an Iranian political purpose,” he said.


    https://www.washingtonpost.com/world...ebf9&tid=sm_tw
    "Even if you dance for your enemy on the rock, he will accuse you of splashing water on him." ~ African Proverb




  10. #8500
    Everyday Warrior MJ2004's Avatar
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    Re: World News Random, Random

    There's an election coming up.
    You do know you could find yourself charged with being a dominant species while under the influence of impulse-driven consumerism, don't you?” - Terry Pratchett











  11. #8501

    Re: World News Random, Random

    Quote Originally Posted by Ti-Amie View Post
    SMH.

    The Taliban claimed an attack on U.S. forces. Pompeo blamed Iran.

    ...

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/world...ebf9&tid=sm_tw
    "Blah, Iran, Taliban, you say tomato I say tomatoe"
    (Somewhere in corners of the fossilized mind of Tiny's administration)
    Starry starry night

  12. #8502
    Forum Director
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    Re: World News Random, Random

    Doesn't the Taliban have a fairly illustrious history of claiming responsibility for attacks they actually had nothing to do with?

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