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Only ‘direct’ talks can bring peace: Afghan official

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WASHINGTON — An Afghan official said Thursday his government hopes peace talks can achieve “a political solution” with the Taliban movement, but stressed that any agreement must come from “direct” negotiations the two parties.

“Ultimately direct peace negotiations will have to be between Afghan partners,” said Afghan foreign ministry spokesman Janan Mosazai in a videoconference from Kabul with the Pentagon.

“There’s no alternative to that. We welcome the support and assistance of countries in the region and in the international community.”

The Taliban, ousted from power by a US-led invasion in the wake of the September 11, 2001 attacks, announced earlier this month that it planned to set up a political office in Qatar ahead of possible talks with the United States.

The Afghan government gave its blessing to that move as all sides eye a political solution to the conflict, but Kabul is reportedly wary of being sidelined in talks between the insurgents and Washington.

Mosazai said officials are “committed to a political solution in Afghanistan and that’s why President (Hamid) Karzai has expressed the Afghan government’s support of an address for the Taliban.”

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He added that the government is “fully committed” to the process but that “we want to make sure that any peace process that happens in Afghanistan is one that basically includes the preservation of our historic achievements over the past 10 years,” including a constitution and human rights.

He added that his government looks forward to a visit by US envoy Marc Grossman.

Talks with the Taliban broke down following the assassination of Kabul’s chief peace envoy Burhanuddin Rabbani in September.

Karzai accused Pakistan of responsibility for the murder and last month the Afghan president said Islamabad was sabotaging all negotiations with the Taliban.

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Mosazai said his government hopes talks can resume “but we want to make sure that the Afghan peace process is led and is owned by the Afghan government, because we want to make sure that the outcome of that peace process is a dignified, an inclusive, an endurable peace.”

US officials have cited support for a Taliban political office in Qatar, but said nothing has been concluded yet.

The United States wants to withdraw most forces from Afghanistan in 2014, ending more than a decade of war.

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John Oliver unleashes epic supercut of Fox News host who can’t stop bragging about learning German in high school

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Fox News host Brian Kilmeade took German as his foreign language in high school. If you didn't know that, then you likely don't watch Fox News, because the host has made a claim several dozen times.

HBO host John Oliver spent a few moments out of his Sunday episode of "Last Week Tonight" to mock Kilmeade for his desire to remind people of his three years of classes frequently.

Kilmeade has talked about it so many times that his co-hosts began preempting his comment every time the country of Germany is mentioned, or the German Chancellor Angela Merkel appears on the screen.

Watch the hilarious mockery below:

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Trump thinks he can create his own healthcare law that will take the issue off the table for Democrats

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One of the significant issues Republicans lost on in 2018 was their nearly decade-long crusade to unmake the Affordable Care Act, known as Obamacare.

This week Trump will announce that he's running for president again, and he promises a surprise announcement while there. While it's unclear what he intends for the surprise, one thing he is talking about is a better healthcare law than the Democratic one.

According to The New York Times, Trump is "vowing to issue the plan within a month or two, reviving a campaign promise with broad consequences for next year’s contest."

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Trump will go far-right in 2020 election because he thinks that’s why the GOP lost in 2018

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Donald Trump Tampa rally

An MSNBC panel speculated that one of the things President Donald Trump will do when he announces his reelection campaign this week is run a rerun of 2016. The reason, the panel explained, is he thinks it's the one thing that has worked for him.

Sunday, it was announced that Trump was so furious with his lousy poll numbers that he fired the team of pollsters. Trump apologists claimed that the anger had more to do with the leak of the poll numbers to the public.

Either way, Trump is in trouble, whether he's willing to admit it or not. But his solution is characteristically "Trump."

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