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US envoy seeks means to ‘finish the job’ in Iraq

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WASHINGTON – The US ambassador in Baghdad, James Jeffrey, on Tuesday urged the Senate for the means to “finish the job” in Iraq after the complete withdrawal of American troops at the end of the year.

“The Department of State is ready to take the lead. But we need the support and resources to finish the job,” Jeffrey told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

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He evoked “a historic opportunity” to find in Baghdad a “strategic partner and a force for stability” in the region, but warned a sudden drop in the US effort could allow Al-Qaeda and other “dangerous” influences to fill the void.

“We need to have platforms around the country to carry out key transitional missions for the next three to five years,” Jeffrey said.

“These include work, political, economic, security and other officials throughout the country, especially in key areas, such as Kirkuk and Mosul.”

Jeffrey said the State Department budget for Iraq would continue to increase but that it was far less than the military budget, which is now decreasing with its declining role.

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The committee, chaired by John Kerry, a former presidential candidate, published a report on Iraq raising questions about the transition from the US military to civilian presence.

“It is unclear whether the State Department has the capacity to maintain and protect the currently planned diplomatic presence without a degree of US military support,” it concluded.

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“Uncertainty about the nature of US military presence in Iraq after 2012 is complicating all other aspects of the transition and must be clarified,” it said.

“The bureaucratic integration between the Departments of Defense and State remains incomplete, and the unity of effort in Baghdad has not been matched in Washington,” it said.

“A creative and sustainable funding mechanism is needed to pay for the diplomatic mission in Iraq,” it added.

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Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. Like you, we here at Raw Story believe in the power of progressive journalism — and we’re investing in investigative reporting as other publications give it the ax. Raw Story readers power David Cay Johnston’s DCReport, which we've expanded to keep watch in Washington. We’ve exposed billionaire tax evasion and uncovered White House efforts to poison our water. We’ve revealed financial scams that prey on veterans, and efforts to harm workers exploited by abusive bosses. We’ve launched a weekly podcast, “We’ve Got Issues,” focused on issues, not tweets. Unlike other news sites, we’ve decided to make our original content free. But we need your support to do what we do.

Raw Story is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. We’re not part of a conglomerate, or a project of venture capital bros. From unflinching coverage of racism, to revealing efforts to erode our rights, Raw Story will continue to expose hypocrisy and harm. Unhinged from corporate overlords, we fight to ensure no one is forgotten.

We need your support to keep producing quality journalism and deepen our investigative reporting. Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Invest with us in the future. Make a one-time contribution to Raw Story Investigates, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you.



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Trump suggests hitting France with 100 percent tariff on wine over dispute with Macron

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According to a report from Bloomberg, President Donald Trump publicly suggested that he would consider a 100 percent tariff on wines coming from France.

The report states that the president recently made the suggestion as part of his trade war that has crippled American manufacturers and farmers while at the same time hitting American consumers' wallets.

Trump's comments came during a recent Long Island fundraiser and were tied to his unhappiness with President Emmanuel Macron and his tax on multinational technology companies.

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Gun found in FedEx package sent from US to China

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Chinese authorities have found at least one firearm in a FedEx package sent from the US, local police said Sunday, in the latest incident to befall the logistics firm in China.

Police in Fuzhou, eastern Fujian province, said "in recent days" they had received a tip about a package sent to a Fujian-based sporting goods company.

The parcel was sent by a US client and contained at least one firearm, said Jin'an district police through their official Twitter-like Weibo account.

The firearm has been seized and officers are investigating, they added, without specifying the number of weapons in the package.

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The language gives it away: How an algorithm can help us detect fake news

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Have you ever read something online and shared it among your networks, only to find out it was false?

As a software engineer and computational linguist who spends most of her work and even leisure hours in front of a computer screen, I am concerned about what I read online. In the age of social media, many of us consume unreliable news sources. We’re exposed to a wild flow of information in our social networks — especially if we spend a lot of time scanning our friends’ random posts on Twitter and Facebook.

My colleagues and I at the Discourse Processing Lab at Simon Fraser University have conducted research on the linguistic characteristics of fake news.

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