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Bomb kills three NATO troops in Afghanistan

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A roadside bomb attack killed three NATO troops in easternAfghanistan, one of the deadliest flashpoints in the 10-year war against Taliban insurgents, according to the military.

NATO’s US-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) did not release the nationalities of the troops or give further details of the incident, which happened on Tuesday.

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The deaths take to 561 the number of foreign troops killed in Afghanistan so far this year, according to an AFP tally based on figures from independent website iCasualties.org.

A total of 711 foreign troops were killed in Afghanistan last year, the highest annual total since the US-led invasion in 2001 ousted the Taliban from power.

There are about 130,000 international troops in Afghanistanfighting the Taliban-led insurgency, with 91,000 of them from the United States.

Much of the worst fighting takes place in the east of the country, close to the border with Pakistan, where US and Afghan officials say the Taliban use rear bases to regroup and plot attacks.

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Pakistan closed its supply routes to NATO after US air strikes killed 24 Pakistani soldiers on November 26 close to the mountainous, porous border.

Amid declining support for the war and a gloomy economy in the West, all foreign combat troops are due to withdraw from Afghanistan by the end of 2014, by which time Afghan forces and officials are supposed to take full control.

On Tuesday, President Hamid Karzai called on NATO to disband an irregular security force operating in northern provinces, saying it had been set up “unilaterally” without coordination with the Afghan government.

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NATO said Wednesday that all such security programmes are being disbanded or shifted to Afghan government control.

ISAF said the Critical Infrastructure Protection Programme, which involves more than 1,500 personnel, had been one of several units set up to bolster security while regular Afghan forces were building to full strength.

Human rights groups warn that US-funded local armed groups sometimes used to fill the void in security have been linked to abuses, violence and extortion.

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Trump wishes ‘Happy Birthday to the US Navy’ — with a picture of a Russian battlecruiser

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Adding to President Donald Trump's Russia obsession was an awkward misfire in a simple happy birthday message.

Sunday morning, before Trump set out on another day of golf, he tweeted a celebratory message to the U.S. Navy, which was officially established in 1775. Instead of showing photos of historic Navy ships or courageous sailors or decorated admiral, Trump posted a battleship, that isn't even an American ship.

According to Politico defense editor Dave Brown, the photo used in the graphic was Russian battlecruiser, the Pyotr Velikiy.

Democrats have alleged that Trump has an unnaturally close relationship to Russia, giving President Vladimir Putin whatever foreign policy demands he has.

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Former George W. Bush aide reveals why Republican talking points on Syria are complete crap

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During the weekend news shows, President Donald Trump's aides and allies took to televisions to justify the United States allowing Turkey to kill U.S. Kurdish allies.

"New Trumpist talking point," former George W. Bush speechwriter David Frum began. "The only way to stop Turkey['s] massacre of Kurds is to go to war against Turkey."

That's an inaccurate framing, Frum explained.

"Turkey never believed that: that's why they asked Trump's permission to invade," he said. "All he had to do was say No. He said, Yes. Why? All the plausible answers are corrupt."

https://twitter.com/davidfrum/status/1183446682492637184

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John Dean laments Trump probably should be registered as a foreign agent

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While many of President Donald Trump's campaign staffers, advisers or friends have been outed for doing foreign work while being an unregistered foreign agent, one former White House counsel thinks Trump should also probably register.

"In addition to other impeachable offenses, Trump should be charged with failing to register as a foreign agent under FARA," said Twitter user Connie Gruen.

Dean noticed the tweet and retweeted with his own note that it's "sadly" probably true.

"Sadly, this is probably true," agreed Dean. "Mueller did not investigate if Trump is, in fact, a Russian agent. Barr does not believe a POTUS can be investigated for anything, so the FBI is not. Because he acts like a RU agent Congress should be investigating his consistently pro-RU behavior!"

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