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Islamic State jihadists get beheaded by Afghan militia group

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Militiamen loyal to an influential Afghan lawmaker beheaded four Islamic State fighters and publicly displayed their severed heads, officials said Sunday, highlighting an increasingly brutal conflict as the jihadist group makes inroads in Afghanistan.

The killings in volatile Nangarhar province bordering Pakistan provoked horror and condemnation in a country that has witnessed four decades of bloodshed and war.

The militia force loyal to Haji Zahir, deputy speaker of parliament, has been battling self-styled IS militants in Achin district in the province for weeks.

Zahir said the group captured and beheaded four of his fighters, prompting his men to retaliate.

“If they behead you, behead your son, do you expect us to cook sweets for them?” the firebrand politician told reporters.

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“Sweets are not distributed during war. People die.”

Zahir’s men placed the severed heads of four militants atop stacks of stones on the side of a main road in Achin, district officials said.

“If they were criminals then they should have been punished by the judiciary, not by a kangaroo court,” district chief Haji Ghaleb said in comments cited by the local media.

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“This barbaric incident should not have happened.”

Nangarhar faces an emerging threat from loyalists of IS, which controls territory across Syria and Iraq and is making gradual inroads in Afghanistan, challenging the Taliban on their own turf.

The jihadists have managed to attract disaffected Taliban fighters increasingly lured by the group’s signature brutality that has made them notorious.

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In a sign of their growing reach in Afghanistan, the group has taken to the airwaves in a 90-minute Pashto-language radio show called “Voice of the Caliphate”.

The government has said it is trying to block the broadcast, beamed from an undisclosed location, that is aimed at winning new recruits.


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Republican analyst says Trump is ‘threatened by’ being challenged by women: ‘It hurts his ego’

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According to one Republican commentator, President Donald Trump's decision to lash out at four Congresswomen of color stems from his inability to handle being challenged by women.

In a segment with MSNBC host Ali Velshi, Rina Shah, who runs Republican Women for Progress, said that she's been the target of racist attacks from Trump supporters ever since she announced she wouldn't support him.

"I believe that what this president is doing is fanning the flames," she said. "He cannot denounce white supremacy, white nationalism. This is a moment in which he could have kept his mouth shut. You know, this tit-for-tat with [Speaker Nancy] Pelosi (D-CA) and 'The Squad,' he didn’t need to engage in it. If I was advising the president, if I were one of his advisers, I would have said stay out of it. But he doesn't listen to anyone around him."

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Mitt Romney blames democratic women for Trump’s racism: Their views ‘are not consistent with my experience’

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Little more than six months ago Senator-elect Mitt Romney (R-UT) promised voters he would "speak out" against President Donald Trump's racism. On Monday, Senator Mitt Romney blamed the targets of President Donald Trump's two-day racism fest for the President's own racism.

"I will speak out against significant statements or actions," by President Trump, "that are divisive, racist, sexist, anti-immigrant, dishonest or destructive to democratic institutions," Romney said in a New Year's Day 2019 Washington Post op-ed.

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Facebook needs ‘very high standard’ for Libra coin: Mnuchin

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Facebook will need to meet "a very high standard" before it moves ahead with its planned digital currency Libra, US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said Monday.

Mnuchin said US regulators have already expressed concerns to Facebook about the plan for a global cryptocurrency, noting that these kinds of virtual coins have in the past been associated with money laundering and illicit activities.

"Whether they're banks or non-banks, they're under the same regulatory environment," Mnuchin told reporters at the White House, adding that Facebook "will have to have a very high standard before they have access to the financial system."

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