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Trump tells American military to ‘surrender’ large swaths of Afghanistan as US negotiates directly with Taliban: report

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President Donald Trump’s diplomatic team is reportedly negotiating directly with Taliban officials as he surrenders large swaths of the country to the Islamists who gave safe-haven to the terrorists responsible for the September 11th attacks.

The New York Times reports that Trump’s State Department is negotiating directly with the Taliban, with no involvement by Afghanistan’s government. Negotiations with the group, which is waging a civil war against the government that the United States has supported since the fall of the regime, reportedly took place in Qatar last week.

At the same time, Trump has the American military surrendering large parts of the country to the Islamic extremists who led a campaign of terror against the Afghan people and cooperated with Al Qaeda in the 9/11 attacks.

“The Trump administration is pushing Afghan commanders to surrender rural and sparsely populated areas of the country and focus on protecting cities,” the Times reports. [Trump’s surrender strategy] will effectively ensure that the Taliban and other insurgent groups will hold on to territory that they have already seized, leaving the government in Kabul to safeguard the capital and cities such as Kandahar, Kunduz, Mazar-i-Sharif and Jalalabad.”

Trump’s surrender in the country comes as an acknowledgement that he cannot lead the American military to victory over the terrorists responsible for the most traumatic attack ever launched against the U.S. government on American soil.

Trump had previously claimed to have a strategy to defeat the group, saying that the Taliban “need[s] to know they have nowhere to hide, that no place is beyond the reach of American might and American arms.”

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Current figures say that 2,372 members of the U.S. military have died in the attempt to liberate Afghanistan from the Taliban following the 9/11 attacks.

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Senator Elizabeth Warren leads Democrats in spirited first 2020 debate

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Ten Democrats clashed in the first debate of the 2020 presidential race Wednesday with Elizabeth Warren cementing her status as a top-tier candidate and several underdogs using the issue of immigration to clamor for the limelight.

The biggest American political debate since the 2016 presidential campaign is occurring over two nights in Miami, climaxing Thursday with former vice president Joe Biden squaring off against nine challengers, including number two candidate Bernie Sanders.

But Wednesday's first take was a spirited encounter between Democrats like ex-congressman Beto O'Rourke, Senator Cory Booker, former San Antonio mayor Julian Castro and New York Mayor Bill de Blasio on subjects as varied as health care, economic inequality, climate action, gun violence, Iran and immigration.

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Here are 4 winners and 9 losers from the first 2020 Democratic primary debate

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With ten candidates on stage Wednesday, the opening debate of the 2020 Democratic primary in Miami was a packed mess. And this was only the first course in a two-part event — 10 more candidates will debate on the following night.

A crowded field makes it difficult to stand out, and that means that even after a big night like a debate, the most likely result is that not much changes. But the debate was still significant, giving candidates the chance to exceed, meet, or fall below expectations for their performances.

Here's a list — necessarily subjective, of course — of the people who came out on the top when the dust was settled, and those who came out on the bottom.

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Here are 3 ways Julián Castro stood out in the first Democratic Debate

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There were many predictions going into the first Democratic debate on MSNBC, but no one predicted that Julián Castro would break out from the crowd.

Check out the top three ways Castro stood out from the crowd.

Immigration:

The former Secretary of Housing and Urban Development was the outright winner of the immigration section of the debate

It should "piss us all off," Castro said about the father and his little girl who were found face-down in the shores of the Rio Grande River this week. “It’s heartbreaking."

Castro is a second generation American who got into specifics on immigration policy, calling for an outright "Marshall Plan" style of action for Guatemala and Honduras. He joined with other Democrats calling for an end to President Donald Trump's family separation policy, but he then suggested ending the "metering" of legitimate asylum seekers.

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