By Asad Hashim and Tommy Wilkes ISLAMABAD (Reuters) - Delegates from Afghanistan, Pakistan, China and the United States held talks on Monday to try to resurrect efforts to end nearly 15 years of bloodshed in Afghanistan, even as fighting with Taliban insurgents intensifies. The officials met in the Pakistani capital, Islamabad, to launch a process that they hope will lead to negotiations with the Taliban, who are fighting to re-impose their strict brand of Islamist rule and did not attend Monday's talks. The Pakistani prime minister's foreign affairs adviser, Sartaj Aziz, said the primary goal should be to convince the Taliban to come to the table and consider giving up violence. "It is therefore important that preconditions are not attached to the start of the negotiation process. This, we argue, will be counterproductive," he said. "The threat of use of military action against irreconcilables cannot precede the offer of talks to all the groups." Afghan Deputy Foreign Minister Hekmat Karzai and Pakistani Foreign Secretary Aizaz Chaudhry were joined by Richard Olson, the U.S. special representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan, and General Anthony Rock, the top U.S. defense representative in Pakistan, as well as China's special envoy on Afghan affairs, Deng Xijun. "Participants emphasized the immediate need for direct talks between representatives of the Government of Afghanistan and representatives from Taliban groups in a peace process that aims to preserve Afghanistan’s unity, sovereignty and territorial integrity," the Pakistani Foreign Ministry said in a statement. It said the group would discuss a road map at its next meeting, on Jan. 18 in Kabul. YEAR OF BLOOD Last year was one of the bloodiest on record in Afghanistan, following the withdrawal of most foreign troops at the end of 2014. In recent months, the Taliban have won territory in the southern province of Helmand, briefly captured the northern city of Kunduz, and carried out a series of suicide attacks in the capital, underlining how hard Afghan government forces are finding fighting on their own. Peace efforts stalled last year after the Taliban announced that their founder, Mullah Mohammad Omar, had been dead for two years, throwing the militant group into disarray. The Taliban, who were ousted from power in 2001, remain split on whether to participate in talks. Senior members of the movement said last week that Taliban leader Mullah Akhtar Mansour's faction had shown signs of warming to the idea, and other groups were considering it. But a splinter group headed by Mullah Mohammad Rasool Akhund, which rejects Mansour's authority, has dismissed any talks under the mediation of the United States or China or of Pakistan, which observers say has significant sway among Taliban commanders holed up near its border with Afghanistan. "We have a very clear-cut stance about peace talks: all the foreign occupying forces would need to be withdrawn," Mullah Abdul Manan Niazi, Rasool's deputy, told Reuters on Monday. "The issue is between the Afghans, and only the Afghans can resolve it. We would not allow any third force to mediate." (additional reporting by Jibran Ahmed in Peshawar; Writing by Tommy Wilkes; Editing by Robert Birsel and Kevin Liffey)
Christina Bobb's comments on Fox News sounded more like an admission to some of Trump's critics.
Ex-official who investigated Hillary Clinton's emails said there would be evidence if Trump declassified documents: 'It can't just be an idea in his head'
"Programs and officials would have been notified," former DOJ official David Laufman said of Trump's claim he declassified all the Mar-a-Lago docs.
- Business Insider
Former Trump aide Stephanie Grisham thinks there's nothing surprising on Mar-a-Lago surveillance tapes: 'I think what we would see is hardworking FBI agents doing their jobs'
Stephanie Grisham said she's not "surprised" Trump hasn't released the footage yet "only because I don't think there is anything there."
- In The Know by Yahoo
American woman dumbfounded by plate after ordering ‘chips and salsa’ in Italy: ‘I’ll never get over it’
A word to the wise: "Chips and salsa" doesn't mean the same thing everywhere.
The right has used this phrase for others, but doesn't think it should apply to them.
- The Daily Beast
Photo Illustration by Kelly Caminero / The Daily Beast / GettyAt the risk of awarding the title prematurely, we think we’ve found the weirdest study published in 2022. Scientists strapped GoPro cameras to the bodies of six dolphins trained by the U.S. Navy, and recorded them hunting for food and consuming their prey in grisly detail. According to the study, there was a purpose behind this potential invasion of dolphin privacy; namely, to learn more about how the mammals hunted and ate.Scientists
- Chicago Tribune
R. Kelly’s former goddaughter breaks down at his federal trial, telling jury he filmed them having sex while she was a minor
The woman had been testifying for more than four hours Thursday about her clandestine sexual relationship with R&B superstar R. Kelly as an impressionable young teenager when she was asked about one of the central mysteries in the case. Why, after two decades of silence, did she finally decide to come forward and speak out? There was a lengthy, silent pause in the Chicago federal courtroom. ...
- The Recount
Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-FL) announces FL has “charged and is in the process of arresting 20 individuals … for voter fraud.”
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis held a presser in a courthouse to announce that the state’s new Office of Election Crimes and Security, which began on July 1, has discovered 20 instance of voter fraud. DeSantis says the 20 individuals will be charged and arrested for their crimes. The state of Florida will continue to monitor voter fraud in the upcoming election as well as review the 2020 election results.
- USA TODAY
Frederick Woods, now 70, was 24 when he and two other men kidnapped 26 school children and their bus driver in Northern California and buried them.
- Good Housekeeping
Singer Jessie James Decker shared some of her latest designs from her line Kittenish on Instagram and fans are in complete awe of how fit she looks.
This one may not help the former president's case.
"There's no way Trump wrote that," said "The Daily Show" host.
I'm a former college teacher. I wish parents would teach their kids these 3 life skills before they're done with high school.
The author taught in college for nine years and shares three things all parents should be teaching their kids before they head out to college.
- ProFootball Talk on NBC Sports
When someone fully and completely embraces a public life, there really are no personal issues. That dynamic is becoming abundantly clear with Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady. Brady, who has fully embraced and cultivated a platform that has resulted in the aggressive pursuit of multiple business interests, has had his football career plunge into mystery with [more]
A San Jose fire captain is grappling with an unthinkable tragedy after all three of his children were killed in a car crash Sunday evening. The children's mother and ex-wife of the firefighter also died in the crash.
- The New York Times
The ads are everywhere — as are the inflated claims: Special shampoos and treatments, sometimes costing thousands of dollars, will make hair grow. But many dermatologists who specialize in hair loss say that most of these products do not work. “There is an endless array of useless hair-growth remedies,” often at “significant cost,” said Dr. Brett King, a dermatologist at Yale School of Medicine. Yet, he added, “because people are desperate, such hair growth remedies continue to abound.” But ther
- Miami Herald
“Yesterday my world ended.”
- The Recount
Fox News’ Steve Doocy explains the real-world consequences of Republicans' FBI-bashing to Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY).
Fox News host Steve Doocey took Senator Rand Paul to task over his accusations that the FBI search was illegitimate, pointing out that the attacks on the agency are putting agents there at risk. DOOCEY: Well, and Senator absolutely Congress has oversight over the FBI and the Department of Justice and everything else. The problem is over the last week or so there's been so much violent rhetoric directed at the FBI and I heard somebody printed FBI stands for Fascist Bureauof Investigation or something like that.
- Women's Health
Lili Reinhart flaunted her epic abs and underboob in a green, sheer dress in "Look Both Ways" premiere photos. She exercises with a trainer and by dog walking
NFL wide receiver Calvin Johnson retired from the league in 2016 after nine seasons playing for the Detroit Lions. Johnson, whose first job was bagging groceries, had a lot to learn about finance when...