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I Share In Pain And Anger, After Afghanistan Withdrawal – Top U.S General

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I Share In Pain And Anger, After Afghanistan Withdrawal - Top U.S General
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I Share In Pain And Anger, After Afghanistan Withdrawal – Top U.S General

The top U.S. general on Wednesday said he shared the “pain and anger” and mixed emotions of many in the military after the United States completed its withdrawal from Afghanistan, which included an evacuation effort that cost the lives of 13 service members.

Nearly 2,500 Americans were killed in the United States’ longest war, including 13 service members in a suicide bombing by Islamic State last week outside Kabul’s airport. Many of them were just babies when the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks took place, triggering the conflict nearly 20 years ago.

The Taliban, who America toppled from power at the start of the war and fought for two decades, took control of the country last month after the U.S.-trained Afghan military crumbled.

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“My pain and anger comes from the same as the grieving families, the same as those soldiers that were on the ground,” said the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Army General Mark Milley, speaking to reporters for the first time since the U.S. military completed its withdrawal on Monday.

I Share In Pain And Anger, After Afghanistan Withdrawal – Top U.S General

Milley made his comments at a news conference that was somber rather than celebratory. In his opening remarks, Milley noted: “There are no words that I or the secretary (of defense) or the president or anyone else will ever do to bring the dead back.”

In addition to the 13 service members killed on Thursday, more than a dozen were injured and medically evacuated from Kabul.

“This is tough stuff,” Milley said. “War is hard. It’s vicious. It’s brutal. It’s unforgiving.”

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Milley added that he was a professional soldier and he would “contain” his pain and anger.

Some active-duty troops and veterans have questioned what their tours of duty in Afghanistan were worth after the Taliban took over Afghanistan.

U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin stressed the importance of respecting all perspectives, as he honored the services of generations of veterans.

“I will always be proud of the part that we played in this war. But we shouldn’t expect Afghan war veterans to agree any more than any other group of Americans,” Austin told reporters at the same news conference.

“I’ve heard strong views from many sides in recent days, and that’s vital. That’s democracy. That’s America.”

In images that have been painful for service members, the Taliban have posed for photos in recent days at military bases built by the U.S.-led military coalition, which were handed over to Afghan forces which crumbled even before the American military could even finish its withdrawal.

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Many troops and veterans are also bothered by the estimated thousands of at-risk Afghans who have been left behind, including some who worked as interpreters for the military.

Over the years, 800,000 Americans deployed to Afghanistan as the mission morphed from punishing the Taliban for sheltering al Qaeda into a vast, ambitious nation-building exercise.

As many as 20 percent of veterans of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq have symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), which can include irritability or outbursts of anger, according to the Department of Veterans Affairs.

Reuters.com

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China Releases Two Canadian Detained For Morethan 1000 Days

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China Releases Two Canadian Detained For Morethan 1000 Days
Michael Kovrig (left) and Michael Spavor (right), two Canadian citizens detained in China on espionage charges, have been released after nearly three years, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said.
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China Releases Two Canadian Detained For Morethan 1000 Days

Two Canadians detained by China for nearly three years have been released, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced Friday night.

Trudeau said Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor boarded a plane headed for Canada at about 7:30 p.m. ET Friday night and would land in Canada sometime Saturday.

“These two men have gone through an unbelievably difficult ordeal for the past 1,000 days, they have shown strength, perseverance and grace and we are all inspired by that,” said Trudeau at a late evening news conference in Ottawa.

Trudeau would not discuss details about how their release came about but he thanked Canadian
Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor have been held in China since late 2018. They were arrested on espionage charges in China shortly after the arrest of Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou on a US warrant related to the company’s business dealings in Iran. However, China has consistently denied that the cases were in any way connected.

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Earlier Friday, the United States Department of Justice and Meng reached an agreement to defer prosecution of US charges against her until late 2022, after which point the charges could be dropped.

China Releases Two Canadian Detained For Morethan 1000 Days

The US case centered on whether Meng misled HSBC bank about Huawei’s relationship with an Iranian subsidiary, Skycom, which the US alleges would have violated US sanctions against Iran.

Meng appeared virtually in a court in Brooklyn, New York, and pleaded not guilty to charges of conspiracy to commit bank fraud, bank fraud, conspiracy to commit wire fraud, and wire fraud.

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However, as part of the deal, Meng confirmed the statement of facts in the deferred prosecution agreement are true. Those facts include that she misrepresented Huawei’s relationship with Skycom to HSBC, according to court documents. If she says or implies otherwise, it could violate the terms of the deal and result in her prosecution.
CNN affiliate CTV News says it has confirmed that Meng left Canada aboard a private jet Friday evening.

Cnn.com

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UNGA: Boko Haram Still Functional in Nigeria But Too Weak Now – Buhari Tells World Leaders

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UNGA: Boko Haram Still Functional in Nigeria But Too Weak Now - Buhari Tells World Leaders
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UNGA: Boko Haram Still Functional in Nigeria But Too Weak Now – Buhari Tells World Leaders

The President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), has said that Nigeria will spare no efforts at getting rid of Boko Haram terrorists, especially in the North-East part of the West African nation.

Buhari also said that though the insurgent group has been weakened by the defence forces, it is still active in the country, preying on soft targets.

He stated this on Friday while addressing over 80 world leaders at the 76th session of the United Nations General Assembly in New York.

Addressing the world leaders including the new UNGA President, Abdulla Shahid of Maldives, Buhari said, “Mr President, terrorism continues to dominate security discourse worldwide. In Nigeria, Boko Haram terrorist group though fragmented by internal strife and weakened by our defence forces is still active and preying on soft targets.

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UNGA: Boko Haram Still Functional in Nigeria But Too Weak Now – Buhari Tells World Leaders

“Nigeria will continue to work closely with the UN Counter-Terrorism bodies and entities with a view to bringing this scourge to an end.

“Nigeria has spared no efforts in addressing the challenges of terrorism posed by the activities of Boko Haram in North-East Nigeria, the Lake Chad region as well as banditry in the North-West and the North-Central. The Nigerian Security Forces have recorded considerable success in the fight against terrorism. As a result of the renewed vigour of our military, many terrorist fighters are voluntarily surrendering to our security forces.”

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The President lamented that Nigeria was concerned about illicit trading and movement of small arms which he said has been increasing criminality and insurgency in the country.

Buhari added, “Mr President, Nigeria remains deeply concerned about the illicit transfer and circulation of small arms and light weapons. Their excessive accumulation and uncontrolled spread in many regions of the world have had socio-economic consequences, especially on the continent of Africa.

“It is on this note that my delegation calls for the worldwide application of the arms trade treaty to curb and define accountability in conventional arms trading which is critical to the security of nations.

“This is in recognition of the need for a broad-based global partnership in the ongoing battle against trans-border crimes including terrorism and piracy.

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“Mr President, we must deal not only with the symptoms of conflict but also the causes that started the conflict in the first place. These include poor and undemocratic governance, human rights abuses, poverty, ignorance, injustice and inequality.

“There are no easy solutions to these problems, they require long-term investments and more effective international cooperation.”

Buhari also said that the democratic gains recorded in West Africa are now being eroded by the activities of power grabbers in the region, a thinly veiled reference to recent military takeovers in Mali and Guinea, both in West Africa.

He, however, restated that Nigeria supports the efforts of the continental and regional blocs including the African Union and the Economic Community of West African States at solving the issue.

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Boris Johnson Warns World Leaders They Have 1000 Hours To Tackle Climate Change

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Boris Johnson Warns World Leaders They Have 1000 Hours To Tackle Climate Change
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Boris Johnson Warns World Leaders They Have 1000 Hours To Tackle Climate Change

He told them they face “the most important period in the history of the planet” as he prepares to get them to thrash out an agreement to save the world.

The PM faces an uphill struggle ahead of his summit as India, the US, China and dozens of our own allies are still failing to do enough to tackle climate change – or cough up enough cash to stop it.

Top experts slammed big beasts for dragging their heels in setting tough emissions targets to stop the planet changing beyond all recognition.

Mr Johnson turned his fire on his own pals in the G20, urging them “show the leadership the world needs” and “do our duty by others less fortunate than ourselves” to make his COP26 summit a roaring success.

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He told the Major Economies Forum yesterday they must come together with “rock solid commitments” to “protect our planet and protect humanity for a thousand years to come”.

And rich nations must “get serious about filling the $100billion pot that the developing world needs to do its bit”, he demanded, after it was revealed it was still $20billion short.

Boris Johnson Warns World Leaders They Have 1000 Hours To Tackle Climate Change

Experts at the UN said that the goals set so far this year will not close the emissions gap – meaning the world is likely to miss targets to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees.

Under countries’ current pledges, global emissions will be 16 per cent higher in 2030 than they were in 2010 – far off the 45 per cent reduction by 2030 that scientists say is needed to stave off disastrous and irreversible climate change.

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Iran, Russia, Saudi Arabia, India and China were among a handful of countries rated “critically insufficient” or “highly insufficient” by a recent climate tracker.

Even the EU, Germany and Norway were rapped as not doing enough to meet the Paris agreement goals.

The PM and President Biden will twist arms at the UN General Assembly summit in New York next week, where climate change is expected to be the number one issue on the agenda for the UK, which is hosting the global summit.

The PM and climate tsar Alok Sharma have been rallying countries to raise cash and submit new plans in the run up to the summit, where 100 world leaders have said they will attend, but efforts have been hampered by big nations dragging their feet.

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Mr Sharma said yesterday the frank reports were a “stark reminder of how urgent our work is ahead of COP26”.

He stressed: “This is a clear wake-up call for all of us – we need to act.” Downing Street said the PM was “disappointed there hasn’t been as much progress recently as there should have been”.

The Prime Minister also set out that the UK will be among the first signatories of the Global Methane Pledge, a US-EU initiative to reduce global methane emissions by 30% by 2030 compared to levels during the 2020s.

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