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Pentagon confirms US general shot in Afghanistan Taliban attack

US General shot in AfghanistanThe Pentagon has confirmed that a US general was shot and wounded in a Taliban attack that killed two Afghan leaders in Kandahar province this week.

Violence has increased around the Afgan elections. Army Brig Gen Jeffrey Smiley was shot, Department of Defense spokesman Cmdr Grant W Neeley said on Sunday, providing no other details.


Khashoggi murder exposes Trump administration's dependency on Saudis

Saudi Prince and Donald TrumpThe murder of Saudi dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi has come at time when the Trump administration is at its most dependent on Riyadh for the success of both its foreign and domestic policies.

Donald Trump has spoken repeatedly about US arms sales to Saudi Arabia, hugely overstating the actual figures. The president also benefits personally by Saudi royals and officials spending freely at his luxury hotel.

But he is reliant on Riyadh for more urgent and consequential reasons.


Amnesty International calls for UN investigation into Khashoggi's death

Amnesty International calls for investigation into Khashuggi death

Amnesty International on Saturday reiterated its call for a United Nations investigation into the death of dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi after Saudi Arabia acknowledged that he died inside its consulate in Istanbul.

The international human rights watchdog said that the Saudi government's explanation that Khashoggi died during a fight inside the consulate was not credible.

“The investigation findings by the Saudi authorities claiming that Khashoggi died as a result of a ‘fist-fight’ inside the consulate are not trustworthy," Samah Hadid, director of Amnesty International’s Middle East campaigns, said in a press release.

Russia: U.S. Withdrawal From Nuclear Treaty Would Be A ‘Very Dangerous Step’

Putin warns about US withdrawal from arms treatyThe risks to global security could be severe if the U.S. pulls out of the landmark Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty with Russia, as President Donald Trump has pledged to do,  the Kremlin warned on Sunday.

Sergei Ryabkov, Russia’s deputy foreign minister, said a unilateral U.S. withdrawal from the pact “would be a very dangerous step” that would “provoke serious condemnation” from the international community.

Ryabkov also accused the Trump administration of using the Cold War-era treaty to “blackmail” Russia.


EPA on U.N. Climate-Change Report: ‘What Report? Haven’t Heard of It’

EPA on UN Climate Report: What Report???

On Oct. 6, United Nations policy makers approved a report presenting a “dire” picture of the coming changes to the planet, including the extinction of coral reefs, spikes in extreme weather events like hurricanes or drought, and widespread food and water shortages that would multiply the risks of mass migration, political instability, and global war.

The report warned that the effects of global climate change could become irreversible by 2040, and that preventing them would require an immediate global effort, “unprecedented in terms of scale.”

But in the nearly two weeks since the report’s release, the federal government has avoided the subject or declined to discuss it at length.


Trump Administration Pushes for New Legal Definition of Gender

Trump seeks legal definition of genderThe Trump administration has reportedly moved to establish a legal definition of gender as a biological condition determined by genitalia at birth, a move that would essentially undo the protection and recognition of transgender people granted by federal civil rights law.

Citing a memo reportedly sent out by the Department of Health and Human Services, The New York Times reports that the agency is pushing for key government agencies to adopt a definition of gender as something determined “on a biological basis that is clear, grounded in science, objective and administrable.” The definition suggested by the agency would rigidly define sex as unchangeable, either male or female, and determined by genitalia at the time of birth, according to the Times.


Migrant caravan re-forms in Mexico, members vow to reach US

Migrant caravan reaches MexicoDespite Mexican efforts to stop them at the border, about 2,000 Central American migrants swam or rafted across a river separating that country from Guatemala, re-formed their mass caravan in Mexico and vowed to resume their journey toward the United States.

The migrants, who said they gave up trying to enter Mexico legally because the asylum process was too slow, gathered on Saturday at a park in the border city of Ciudad Hidalgo. They voted by a show of hands to continue north en masse, then marched to the bridge crossing the Suchiate River and urged those still on it to come join them.


ICE Appears To End Use Of Federal Prisons For Immigrant Detainees

ICE ends use of Fededral Prisons

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement has all but abandoned its use of federal prisons to house detainees.

In early June, the agency announced it was sending up to 1,600 immigrant detainees to five federal prisons in Texas, Oregon, California, Washington, and Arizona.

But now, a total of only three ICE detainees remain across the five prisons that once held hundreds of immigrants. Immigrant detainees left the federal prisons either because they were deported, transferred to civil detention facilities, or were granted bail


Republicans break ranks with Trump over Saudi dissident’s death

Republicams break rans with Trump over Khoshaggi

Scorn and disbelief at Saudi Arabia’s official explanation of the death of dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi mounted over the weekend, despite US president Donald Trump dubbing Riyadh’s belated confession that he had died “credible”.

Speaking to reporters in Nevada, Trump said that it was possible that the Saudi leader, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, had been unaware of the death.

In America it became increasingly clear that top Republicans did not share their president’s view of Saudi claims. Riyadh said the journalist was killed in a “fist fight” as part of a rendition attempt gone wrong, after denying for weeks that he had come to any harm in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.


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