1. World from mikenova (22 sites): Reuters: World News: Britain’s Prince Harry marks final day of Pacific tour with song in Maori language

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Britain’s Prince Harry led a song at a Maori meeting ground in New Zealand’s indigenous Te Reo language on Wednesday, the final day of his tour of the Pacific with his wife Meghan.

Reuters: World News

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1. World from mikenova (22 sites): FOX News: New Jersey legislature votes to investigate after Gov. Murphy hired staffer despite rape claim

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Both houses of New Jersey’s state legislature on Monday voted to commence a special commission to look into why a campaign aide to Democratic Gov. Phil Murphy scored a plum job in his administration despite an accusation he raped a woman in an apartment last year.

FOX News

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1. World from mikenova (22 sites): Deutsche Welle from mikenova (6 sites): Deutsche Welle: US, Europeans say planned Ukraine separatist vote illegal

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Russia looked isolated at a UN Security Council meeting that addressed eastern Ukraine rebels’ planned elections. The US, EU and a top UN official said the November 11 polls would violate the Minsk agreements.

Deutsche Welle

Deutsche Welle from mikenova (6 sites)

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1. Russia from mikenova (112 sites): Voice of America: Ocean Shock: Lobster’s Great Migration Sets Up Boom and Bust

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This is part of “Ocean Shock,” a Reuters series exploring climate change’s impact on sea creatures and the people who depend on them. 

A lobster tattoo covers Drew Eaton’s left forearm, its pincers snapping at dock lines connecting it to the American flag on his upper arm. The tattoo is about three-quarters done, but the 27-year-old is too busy with his new boat to finish it. 

Eaton knows what people here in Stonington have been saying about how much the boat cost him. 

“I’ve heard rumors all over town. Small town, everyone talks,” he says. “I’ve heard a million, two million.” 

By the time he was in the third grade, Eaton was already lobstering here on Deer Isle in Downeast Maine. By the time he was in the eighth grade, he’d bought his first boat, a 20-footer, from a family friend. The latest one, a 46-footer built over the winter at a nearby boatyard, is his fourth. 

Standing on the seawall after hauling lobster traps for about 12 hours on a foggy day this August, he says he’s making plenty of money to cover the boat loan. He’s unloaded 17 crates, each carrying 90 pounds of lobster, for a total haul of nearly $5,500. It’s a pretty typical day for him. 

Eaton belongs to a new generation of Maine lobstermen that’s riding high, for now, on a sweet spot of climate change. Two generations ago, the entire New England coast had a thriving lobster industry. Today, lobster catches have collapsed in southern New England, and the only state with a significant harvest is north in Maine, where the seafood practically synonymous with the state has exploded. 

The thriving crustaceans have created a kind of nautical gold rush, with some young lobstermen making well into six figures a year. But it’s a boom with a bust already written in its wake, and the lobstermen of the younger generation may well pay the highest price. Not only have they heavily mortgaged themselves with pricey custom boats in the rush for quick profits, they’ll also bear the brunt of climate change — not to mention the possible collapse of the lobstering industry in Maine as the creatures flourish ever northward. 

Shifts by 85 percent of species

In the U.S. North Atlantic, fisheries data show that at least 85 percent of the nearly 70 federally tracked species have shifted north or deeper, or both, in recent years when compared with the norm over the past half-century. And the most dramatic of species shifts have occurred in the last 10 or 15 years. 

Just in the last decade, for example, black sea bass have migrated up the East Coast into southern New England and are caught in the same traps that once caught lobsters. Back in the 1980s and 1990s, only 50 percent of lobster caught in the United States came from Maine. That started to shift in the 2000s, and this decade, nearly 85 percent of all lobster landings are in Maine. 

Pushed out of their traditional habitats by dramatically rising ocean temperatures and other fallout from climate change, the lobsters are part of a global dislocation of marine species that threatens livelihoods and cultures in the lands where they once thrived. 

On this island where two-lane roads twist around cedar-shingled houses and the rocky shore, lobstermen set the rhythm, often rising hours before dawn and resting not long after sunset. 

Although young guns like Eaton are flush with cash now, old-timers know that lobsters no longer thrive in warming waters to the south, and they’ve heard the talk about how fast the Gulf of Maine is warming. They fret that lobsters will start failing here, too, and Stonington will lose its mantle as lobster capital of the world to somewhere in Canada. And these days, there’s not much to fall back on if it does. 

They remember back when fishermen could catch plenty of cod, pollock and halibut if lobsters weren’t filling their traps. 

Until recently, shrimp was a reasonably reliable catch for local fishermen. But in 2014, regulators closed the shrimp fishery entirely. 

“Here you’ve got these coastal fishing communities that are totally based on what comes out of the water,” says Ted Ames, a commercial fisherman who became a scientist and co-founded the Maine Center for Coastal Fisheries. 

He sits in the research center’s main conference room overlooking Stonington harbor, where hundreds of lobster boats bob on their mooring balls and the docks bustle with fishermen and their traps. 

In coastal Maine, he says, there’s little to sustain a community other than lobster and tourism. 

“You eliminate lobsters, and you have an instant Appalachia, right here.” 

 

Lobstering over time 

Unlike kids in most fishing communities around the world, youngsters here in Stonington clamor to get on the water. The gold-rush fever has gotten so bad, the local high school even has a program that encourages students to graduate before heading off to make a living from fishing. 

The skippers program, as it is known, offers the allotment of traps as a reward for staying in school. And when the students graduate, it streamlines the process of getting a full Maine skipper license, gradually increasing the number of traps to the maximum of 800. 

Deer Isle-Stonington High life sciences teacher Seth Laplant sympathizes with the students who chafe at being in school. 

“We have students that, you know, run their own business during the summer and do very well, and then they come back here and they have to ask to go to the bathroom,” he says. “It’s like a completely different world for them, and some of them do struggle with that. They’re used to being their own boss, and they’re respected in the community and in their families as adults.” 

But like many teens, they still play the one-upmanship game. Only with these students, it revolves around the size of their boats or the number of traps they own. 

Colby Schneider tells the class he’s the part-owner of a 30-foot fishing boat. 

Alex Boyce can’t believe it. “Are you serious, you have a 30-foot Novi?” 

“Yes,” Colby shoots back. “Me, my brother and my mom went thirds on it.” 

Alex rolls his eyes. He’s still accumulating traps and owns about a third of the 150 traps that students in the program are permitted to use. And his boat is only 19 feet long. 

Later in the day, Alex gathers with his father and grandfather in his grandparents’ kitchen. 

“Every year he asks: ‘Do I have to go back to school? Can I go fishing?'” says his father, offshore lobsterman Theodore Boyce II. “He went one weekend and made $700 in two days. That’s a tough thing to say no to as a parent. … But if he doesn’t finish school, he doesn’t go fishing.” 

Alex interrupts his father: “I was going to say, you seem to have a pretty easy job saying no.” Theodore’s eyes dart toward his son, and Alex backs down. 

Alex’s grandfather, Theodore “Ted” Boyce, is a fisherman and retired teacher. The 69-year-old, who still fishes part time, hopes his grandson can make a decent living on the water, but he isn’t sure. 

Invasive creature

In the summer of 2017, chatter on the Stonington docks was that lobstering wasn’t going to be as lucrative as it had been in recent years. Lobstermen were pulling fewer lobsters, and the traps often came up coated with layers of slimy sea squirts — an invasive jellyfish-type creature. 

The arrival of the squirts may or may not be related to climate change or the size of the catch, but it seemed to be a harbinger. As autumn moved toward winter, many of the traps piled high near the docks were encrusted with squirt carcasses. 

And when the Maine fisheries released their 2017 landings numbers, the chatter on the docks turned out to be true: Maine lobstermen landed 15 percent less than the record haul in 2016, the lowest catch since the beginning of the decade. 

​Lobster rush 

The waters between the islands of Deer Isle, Isle au Haut and Vinalhaven tell the story of the lobster rush. 

Thousands upon thousands of colorfully painted buoys decorate the surface, marking the point where traps are strung below. Each fisherman has a color pattern: reds and whites, blacks and pinks, and yellows, oranges and greens. Most are striped horizontally, making them easier to identify when floating on their sides. 

Despite Maine’s reputation as a largely undeveloped state, it’s a thoroughly urban world under the water here. At the height of the summer, there are probably traps every 10 to 20 feet in the near-shore waters. 

To describe a lobster pot as a trap, though, is a bit insulting to most other traps. As a practical matter, this is free-range aquaculture. The traps are designed to allow smaller, younger lobsters to come and go as they please, feasting on rotten fish. Even larger lobsters come and go, although with a little more effort. 

The unlucky ones are snacking when the trap’s owner decides to check it. 

Lobster buoys like the ones off Stonington once punctuated waters along the entire New England coast. Between 1960 and 2000, Connecticut and Rhode Island in southern New England accounted for about 15 percent of the lobster harvest. Since 2010, however, lobster catches have collapsed in both states, with a combined haul of less than 2 percent. 

Dramatic drop

Even Massachusetts Bay, which sits on the southwestern edge of the Gulf of Maine, has seen the catch dip dramatically. In the 1980s and 1990s, when lobster’s popularity with U.S. diners exploded, Massachusetts boats accounted for 20 to 30 percent of the harvest. Today, their share hovers around 10 percent. 

Southern New England lobsters once were protected from the warm water temperatures in Long Island Sound by upwelling from the Labrador current that tucked in along the coast of eastern Connecticut, Rhode Island and southern Massachusetts. 

As the waters in the sound became warmer and warmer during the summer months, the cooling current couldn’t keep up, and cold-water species such as lobsters no longer thrived in southern New England. And what remained of the lobster stock was vulnerable to an unsightly shell disease that made them worthless at the market. 

But even as the lobster business boomed in Maine, the waters here were warming faster than almost any other body of water in the world. 

Since 1980, the waters in the Gulf of Maine have steadily heated up, but that warming accelerated in the last decade. In fact, the average sea-surface temperature has been between 1 and 4 degrees Fahrenheit above the norm for most of the 2010s. 

The warming is driven by direct and indirect effects of climate change, says Andrew Pershing, chief science officer of the Gulf of Maine Research Institute. 

He says oceans the world over are absorbing heat from the warming atmosphere. The gulf’s warming, however, is compounded by its position in the North Atlantic, which is close to the weakening Labrador current flowing from the north and a strengthening warm Gulf Stream current flowing from the south. 

“You know,” says Ames, the lobsterman turned scientist, “lobster is the best example of global warming we have.” 

‘Go-getters’ 

Perley Frazier has been working these waters for more than 50 years. And at 70 he still hauls the maximum permitted 800 traps. 

His buoys, black on top, white in the middle and red on the bottom, are usually found a mile or so from town, near islands that once were quarried for granite by Italian immigrants. The stone was used in the construction of the George Washington Bridge in New York and the John F. Kennedy memorial at Arlington National Cemetery. 

No one works in the quarries anymore, he says as he slows his boat, Jericho’s Way. 

The rising sun winks off the peaks of swells and the thousands of buoys ahead of him. Without checking his chart plotter, he picks out a string of his buoys from about 100 yards away. 

Behind Frazier, his daughter, Lindsay Frazier Copeland, and son-in-law, Brad Copeland, prepare to hook a buoy and haul up traps. After a haul of three keepers, Lindsay and Brad shove the traps back into the water. Frazier throttles up and spins the boat a few feet to the next buoy. It’s a well-practiced routine, and not much said is among the crew, called sternmen. 

“It’s hard work, this,” Frazier says during one of their smoke breaks. “It’s hard to find a good sternman who wants to work this hard.” Since this trip, in fact, Brad and Lindsay have moved to Florida, and Frazier has put his boat up for sale. 

On the way to the docks to unload his harvest, Frazier points to a trawler heading into port. It’s one of the few non-lobster boats in the town — a herring trawler that goes offshore to catch the small fish, which are used almost exclusively for bait. 

And they can’t land enough herring to satisfy the local need for lobster bait; it’s trucked in from New Jersey, among other places. There are even stories of frozen fish heads from Asia finding their way into Maine lobster traps. 

These days, Frazier is using cowhide and discarded fish carcasses as bait. Others are using menhaden, or pogies, which migrated north into these waters even as the herring population has dropped off. 

Not much else to catch

The truth is, apart from lobster, there’s not much to catch here. And certainly not in the numbers that fishermen could make a living on. 

Until this century, only about 50 percent of all fishing revenue in Maine came from lobstering, according to U.S. fisheries data. In the 2000s, that started to steadily rise until, in 2016, it topped 82 percent. 

Later, Frazier sits in his armchair at home, after saving the largest five lobsters he caught for dinner. He sips a Canadian whiskey and recalls the days when there were other ways to make a living on the water besides lobster. 

Take shrimp, for instance. “They always said shrimp needs cold water. Well, we haven’t had any cold water,” Frazier says. 

“That’s the biggest thing — my biggest worry is about global warming. I mean, I’ve seen different fish that’s supposed to be down south that’s up here already, right now.  

 

“We got like triggerfish and we’re gettin’ butterfish, and fella told me the other day … that he had a seahorse.” 

He looks at all the new boats being added to the local fishing fleet and isn’t sure lobster can sustain them. 

“These guys, they got three-quarters of a million just in the boat,” he says. “And the gear, another quarter-million dollars. They are a million.” 

Maine’s fishing fleet is the newest in the nation among states with more than 200 U.S. Coast Guard-documented commercial fishing vessels. And it’s not close. Maine’s boats are an average 24 years old. The average age of the next two states, Massachusetts and Louisiana, is 31. Alaskan boats’ average age is 37, Oregon, 45. 

Still, Frazier doesn’t begrudge the money that younger skippers on newer boats are making. 

“I mean, these guys work hard and they go hard and put a lot of time in,” Frazier says. “Young guys, go-getters. And they did it right at the exact right time.” 

Six-figure income 

Back when Drew Eaton was in grade school, it took him two years to buy that first boat, which a family friend’s daughter no longer used. 

“I could buy half the boat and the motor the same year,” he says. He worked for the lobsterman the next summer to pay off the balance. 

Eaton left Stonington after graduating from high school and went to Pennsylvania for a year to study automotive collision repair. He didn’t stay in that field for long. “I worked in a body shop for a year, and I was getting $12 an hour,” he says. 

So he returned to what he knew. 

The young lobsterman’s boat now easily produces a six-figure income before expenses. He doesn’t linger on doubts about the future of lobstering in Maine. He leaves that for others. 

When he bought his last boat, he says, his parents were skeptical. “They thought I was going too quick.”  

Eaton was 22 and it was the same type of boat his father had just bought. 

“And then I started catching more than Dad. And then I wasn’t moving so quick.” 

And besides, he says, “I am young enough that if I fail, I can start over again in something totally different.”

Voice of America

1. Russia from mikenova (112 sites)


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1. Russia from mikenova (112 sites): Voice of America: Google Spinoff to Test Truly Driverless Cars in California

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The robotic car company created by Google is poised to attempt a major technological leap in California, where its vehicles will hit the roads without a human on hand to take control in emergencies.

The regulatory approval announced Tuesday allows Waymo’s driverless cars to cruise through California at speeds up to 65 miles per hour. 

The self-driving cars have traveled millions of miles on the state’s roads since Waymo began as a secretive project within Google nearly a decade ago. But a backup driver had been required to be behind the wheel until new regulations in April set the stage for the transition to true autonomy. 

Waymo is the first among dozens of companies testing self-driving cars in California to persuade state regulators its technology is safe enough to permit them on the roads without a safety driver in them. An engineer still must monitor the fully autonomous cars from a remote location and be able to steer and stop the vehicles if something goes wrong.

Free rides in Arizona

California, however, won’t be the first state to have Waymo’s fully autonomous cars on its streets. Waymo has been giving rides to a group of volunteer passengers in Arizona in driverless cars since last year. It has pledged to deploy its fleet of fully autonomous vans in Arizona in a ride-hailing service open to all comers in the Phoenix area by the end of this year.

But California has a much larger population and far more congestion than Arizona, making it even more challenging place for robotic cars to get around.

Waymo is moving into its next phase in California cautiously. To start, the fully autonomous cars will only give rides to Waymo’s employees and confine their routes to roads in its home town of Mountain View, California, and four neighboring Silicon Valley cities — Sunnyvale, Los Altos, Los Altos Hills, and Palo Alto.

If all goes well, Waymo will then seek volunteers who want to be transported in fully autonomous vehicles, similar to its early rider program in Arizona . That then could lead to a ride-hailing service like the one Waymo envisions in Arizona.

Can Waymo cars be trusted?

But Waymo’s critics are not convinced there is enough evidence that the fully autonomous cars can be trusted to be driving through neighborhoods without humans behind the wheel. 

“This will allow Waymo to test its robotic cars using people as human guinea pigs,” said John Simpson, privacy and technology project director for Consumer Watchdog, a group that has repeatedly raised doubts about the safety of self-driving cars.

Those concerns escalated in March after fatal collision involving a self-driving car being tested by the leading ride-hailing service, Uber. In that incident, an Uber self-driving car with a human safety driver struck and killed a pedestrian crossing a darkened street in a Phoenix suburb.

Waymo’s cars with safety drivers have been involved in dozens of accidents in California, but those have mostly been minor fender benders at low speeds.

 All told, Waymo says its self-driving cars have collectively logged more than 10 million miles in 25 cities in a handful of states while in autonomous mode, although most of those trips have occurred with safety drivers.

Will Waymo save lives?

Waymo contends its robotic vehicles will save lives because so many crashes are caused by human motorists who are intoxicated, distracted or just bad drivers.

“If a Waymo vehicle comes across a situation it doesn’t understand, it does what any good driver would do: comes to a safe stop until it does understand how to proceed,” the company said Tuesday.

Voice of America

1. Russia from mikenova (112 sites)


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1. US Security from mikenova (86 sites): Defense One – All Content: Here’s the Real Value in the U.S.-South Korean Alliance

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Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis meets with Song Young-moo, minister of national defense for the Republic of Korea, in Seoul, South Korea, June 28, 2018.

Defense One – All Content

1. US Security from mikenova (86 sites)


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1. US Security from mikenova (86 sites): Lawfare – Hard National Security Choices: The Lawfare Podcast: U.S. Policy and the Crisis in Yemen

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Since 2011, Yemen has transitioned from the scene of a political crisis to one of the worst humanitarian disasters in the world, but how U.S. policy affects the situation is the subject of little discussion. The United States provides intelligence and logistical support to the Saudi- and Emirati-led coalition fighting against Iranian-backed Houthis in Yemen, and the conflict implicates the future stability of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the U.S.’s longest standing ally in the region.

To shed light on the complicated dynamic of the conflict, on October 25, the Center for Middle East Policy at the Brookings Institution hosted a panel discussion on U.S. policy in Yemen, featuring Brookings senior fellows Daniel Byman and Bruce Riedel, former Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Dafna Rand, and Arabia Foundation senior analyst Fatima Abo Alasrar. They talked about the U.S.’s role in the conflict, the extent of the humanitarian crisis, and how the dire conditions on the ground can be alleviated. 

 

Lawfare – Hard National Security Choices

1. US Security from mikenova (86 sites)


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1. World from mikenova (22 sites): Reuters: World News: Bolsonaro’s economic guru urges quick Brazil pension reform

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The future economy minister tapped by Brazilian President-elect Jair Bolsonaro insisted on Tuesday that he wanted to fast-track an unpopular pension reform to help balance government finances despite mounting resistance to getting it done this year.

Reuters: World News

1. World from mikenova (22 sites)


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Top Stories – Google News: Craziness that can happen between the first and final playoff rankings – ESPN

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ESPN

Craziness that can happen between the first and final playoff rankings
ESPN
Barring a complete surprise Tuesday, the 13 members of the College Football Playoff selection committee should reveal a top four that includes Alabama, Clemson, LSU and Notre Dame tonight at 7 ET on College Football Playoff: Top 25 on ESPN, though the …
Playoff rankings here: Why Bama starts No. 1 and what else to knowSB Nation
College Football Playoff rankings: Alabama, Clemson, LSU and Notre Dame are in the top fourUSA TODAY
PodcastOne: AP Top 25 College Football PodcastPodcastOne

all 693 news articles »

Top Stories – Google News


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1. US Security from mikenova (86 sites): Test Feed Using Fields: Nazi Germany’s Hs 129: Hitler’s Very Own A-10 Warthog?

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Paul Richard Huard

Security,

The Hs 129 wasn’t a Warthog. It was a turkey.

What’s more, the Hs 129’s French Gnôme-Rhône 14M engines were hypersensitive to dust and sand.  The engines would frequently seize during flight with no advance warning.

At first glance, you might think the Henschel Hs 129 was the perfect ground-attack airplane.

Twin engines. A heavily-armored cockpit that protected the pilot from small-arms fire. The aircraft even eventually had the heaviest and most powerful forward-firing cannon ever fitted to a production military aircraft during World War II.

The Hs 129 was supposed to be the Luftwaffe’s ultimate aerial tank-killer, dealing death from above to Soviet T-34s on the Russian front. In other words, it would be easy to see it as a World War II-forerunner of today’s formidable A-10 Warthog.

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There was just one problem: By all accounts, the Hs 129 was a questionable performer. In fact, the original Hs 129 A-1 series was so badthat the Luftwaffe refused to accept any of the A-1s for service.

The Hs 129 wasn’t a Warthog. It was a turkey.

Still, the aircraft occupies an interesting niche in aviation history. It’s an aeronautical also-ran that reminds us that despite their reputation for Teutonic technical superiority that included producing jet fighters and ballistic missiles, the Nazis could screw up, too.

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1. US Security from mikenova (86 sites)


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1. US Security from mikenova (86 sites): Washington Free Beacon: Taliban Spokesman: 5 Men Freed From Gitmo in Exchange for Bergdahl Join Insurgents in Qatar

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The five members of the Afghan Taliban who were released from the U.S. military prison at Guantanamo Bay in exchange for captured American Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl in 2014 have joined the Taliban’s political office in Qatar, according the insurgent group’s spokesman, Zabihullah Mujahid.

The five men will be among Taliban representatives negotiating for peace in Afghanistan, the Associated Press reported Tuesday. Some negotiators in Kabul say their presence is a sign that the Taliban desires a peace pact.

Others, however, believe that the the five men—who have close ties to the Taliban’s late founder and leader, Mullah Mohammed Omar—share the same fundamentalist interpretation of Islam that defined the group’s five-year rule that ended with the U.S.-led invasion in 2001.

 

“The Taliban are bringing back their old generation, which means the Taliban have not changed their thinking or their leadership,” said Haroun Mir, a political analyst in Kabul. “What we are more worried about is if tomorrow the Taliban say ‘we are ready to negotiate,’ who will represent Kabul? That is the big challenge because the government is so divided, not just ideologically but on ethnic lines.”

The AP reports:

Efforts to find a peaceful end to Afghanistan’s protracted war have accelerated since Washington appointed Afghan-American Zalmay Khalilzad as envoy to find a peaceful end to America’s longest war, which has already cost the U.S. more than $900 billion.

But Mohammed Ismail Qasimyar, a member of a government peace council, warned Washington against negotiating peace terms with the Taliban, saying Khalilzad’s only job is to set the stage for direct talks between the Afghan government and the Taliban, something the insurgents have so far refused, calling the government a U.S. puppet.

Taliban officials reported meeting with Khalilzad in Qatar earlier this month, calling the exchange preliminary but pivotal. Washington neither confirmed nor denied the meeting, but Khalilzad was in Qatar at the time.

A Taliban official familiar with the discussions told The Associated Press that talks ended with an agreement to meet again. Key among the Taliban’s requests was recognition of their Qatar office, said the official, who spoke on condition he not be identified because he was not authorized to speak to the media.

The Treasury Department announced last week that it is taking steps in cooperation with the Terrorist Financing Targeting Center (TFTC) to “expose and disrupt Taliban actors and their Iranian sponsors that seek to undermine the security of the Afghan Government.” The department announced sanctions against nine individuals who were identified as Taliban actors by the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) and the TFTC.

“The TFTC has again demonstrated its tremendous value to international security by disrupting and exposing key Taliban members who are involved in suicide attacks, and other lethal activities,” Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin wrote in a statement. “We are also targeting key Iranian sponsors providing financial and material support to the Taliban.”

President Barack Obama received backlash in 2014 when his administration orchestrated the prisoner swap for Bergdahl, prompting him to defend his decision.

“We have consulted with Congress for quite some time about the possibility that we might need to execute a prisoner exchange in order to recover Bergdahl,” Obama said at the time. “We saw an opportunity, and we were concerned about Bergdahl’s health. We had the cooperation of the Qataris to execute an exchange, and we seized that opportunity.”

Obama added that “the process was truncated because we wanted to make sure we would not miss that window.”

Bergdahl, who walked off his base in Afghanistan in 2009, was captured by the Taliban and imprisoned for five years until the Obama administration traded the five Taliban members for his release. In October 2017, Bergdahl pleaded guilty to desertion and misbehavior before the enemy.

The post Taliban Spokesman: 5 Men Freed From Gitmo in Exchange for Bergdahl Join Insurgents in Qatar appeared first on Washington Free Beacon.

Washington Free Beacon

1. US Security from mikenova (86 sites)


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1. US Security from mikenova (86 sites): Test Feed Using Fields: Report: How the West’s Research Aids China’s Military

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Alex Joske

Security,

Using Chinese-language sources and analysis of papers published by Chinese military scientists, the report presents the first detailed analysis of the nature and scale of this overlooked issue.

In 2016, Chinese student Huang Xianjun completed his PhD at the University of Manchester, working with the discoverers of graphene, a material with incredible strength, electrical conductivity and flexibility.

Then he returned to China to work on key projects for the People’s Liberation Army.

The European Defense Agency has described graphene as one of the materials with the highest potential for revolutionizing defense capabilities in the next decade.

The agency says graphene is light and flexible but 200 times stronger than steel and its electrical and thermal conductivity is extraordinary. Graphene also has remarkable properties in the so-called signature management field, meaning it can be used to produce radar-absorbent coatings that make military vehicles, planes, submarines or ships almost undetectable. ‘All this makes of graphene an extremely attractive material not only for civil industries but also for military applications in the land, air and maritime domains’, the agency says.

After impressive research on graphene antennas, Huang received lucrative job offers from Western companies and had the opportunity to stay on as a researcher at Manchester. But he ‘politely turned down each of them, speedily packing his bags and setting out on the journey back to China’, a Chinese military newspaper reported.

Huang is now a researcher at the PLA’s National University of Defense Technology (NUDT), which originally sent him abroad. The Chinese newspaper notes that ‘the goal towards which he strives is opening up graphene’s applications in fields like military [artificial] intelligence and electromagnetic shielding and creating a world-class innovation team working on graphene, while sticking close to the needs of the military’.

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1. World from mikenova (22 sites): Voice of America: Malala Yousafzai to Receive Harvard Award for Activism

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Nobel Prize Winner Malala Yousafzai is being honored by Harvard University for her work promoting girls’ education.

Harvard’s Kennedy School says Yousafzai will be awarded the 2018 Gleitsman Award at a Dec. 6 ceremony.

Yousafzai became the youngest person to win the Nobel Peace Prize in 2014 when she was recognized for her global work supporting schooling for all children.

As a teen in Pakistan, she survived an assassination attempt by the Taliban. She later founded the…

Voice of America

1. World from mikenova (22 sites)


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