SHOTLIST DOHA, QATARSEPTEMBER 12, 2020SOURCE: AFPTV 1. SOUNDBITE 1 - Mike Pompeo, US Secretary of State (male, English, 19 sec): "We will undoubtedly counter many challenges during the talks over the coming days, and weeks and months. When you do, remember that you are acting not only for this generation of Afghans but for future generations as well, your children and your grandchildren." 2. Cutaway: US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo arriving for his meeting with the Taliban delegation 3. SOUNDBITE 2 - Mike Pompeo, US Secretary of State (male, English, 23 sec): "I cannot strongly enough urge you: seize this opportunity, protect this process, respect each other, be patient, remain focused on the mission. We're prepared to support your negotiations, should you ask, but this time is yours. I pray that you will seize the moment." 4. Cutaway: Taliban delegation arriving for their meeting with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo 5. Cutaway: US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo meeting with the Taliban delegation ///-----------------------------------------------------------2 DEPECHES DE CONTEXTE: URGENT ¥¥¥ Pompeo urges Afghan talks to 'seize opportunity'Doha, Sept 12, 2020 (AFP) - US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Saturday urged the rival sides at Afghan peace talks to "seize the opportunity" to secure peace for the sake of future generations."We will undoubtedly counter many challenges in the talks over the coming days, weeks and months. Remember you are acting not only for this generation of Afghans but for future generations as well, your children and your grandchildren," he said at an opening ceremony. gw-sls/kir ------------------------------------------------------------- newseriesHistoric talks begin between Taliban, Afghan government By Gregory Walton with Emal Haidary in Kabul =(File Picture+File video+Graphic)= ATTENTION - UPDATES with start of talks ///Doha, Sept 12, 2020 (AFP) - Historic peace talks opened between the Taliban and the Afghan government on Saturday, with the warring parties meeting face to face in Qatar even as violence continued on the ground in Afghanistan.Abdullah Abdullah, the former chief executive for Afghanistan who is heading the peace process for Kabul, called for an immediate ceasefire and highlighted the ongoing toll of the war, saying 12,000 civilians have been killed and another 15,000 wounded since the US and the Taliban signed a deal in February."We have to use this exceptional opportunity for peace," Abdullah said at the talks' opening ceremony in Doha."We have to stop violence and agree on a ceasefire as soon as possible. We want a humanitarian ceasefire."Abdullah was joined at the opening ceremony by Taliban co-founder Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar and US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.The US-backed negotiations come six months later than planned owing to bitter disagreements over a controversial prisoner swap agreed in February.The talks come a day after the 19th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks which prompted the US to invade Afghanistan and topple the Taliban regime that had been sheltering Al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden.The two sides must flesh out "how to move their country forward to reduce violence and deliver what the Afghan people are demanding -- a reconciled Afghanistan with a government that reflects a country that isn't at war," Pompeo said ahead of the opening ceremony.The talks are being held in a large hotel conference room where chairs were dotted at socially distanced interval facing a banner emblazoned with the words "Afghan Peace Negotiations" in four languages.Delegates began to arrive from dawn at the luxury venue, which hosted the signing of a US-Taliban deal in February that paved the way for the talks.President Donald Trump, up for re-election in November, has pushed hard to end the United States' longest war and wants all foreign forces to leave Afghanistan by next year.But a comprehensive peace deal could take years, and will depend on the willingness of both sides to tailor their competing visions for the country.The Taliban, who have refused to recognise President Ashraf Ghani's government, will push to reshape Afghanistan into an Islamic "emirate".Ghani's administration will seek to maintain the Western-backed status quo of a constitutional republic that has enshrined many rights including greater freedoms for women. - Ending the war - "My beard was black when the war began, it is snow white now and we are still in war," said Kabul resident Obaidullah, 50."I don't believe the war will end that soon, I am sceptical about the talks because both sides want their full agenda and their system enforced," added the retired civil servant.Many Afghans fear any Taliban return to power -- partial or in full -- could lead to a return of Islamic sharia law.Human Rights Watch called on all participants in the talks to pledge to uphold basic rights as they chart the nation's future.Patricia Gossman, associate Asia director at the advocacy group, said that "all participants in any future Afghan government should commit to institutions and processes to uphold women's rights and a free press, end torture in custody and ensure justice for abuses".The insurgents claimed victory in February after signing the Qatari-mediated deal with Washington that laid out a timetable for talks.Qatar has quietly guided the process which has been complicated by violence in Afghanistan and the coronavirus crisis, with Doha's chief negotiator Mutlaq al-Qahtani stressing on Thursday "the power of diplomacy".Doha invited the Taliban to open a political office in 2013 and helped broker February's troop withdrawal deal between Washington and the Taliban.The arrangement has led to tense moments like when the Taliban raised their flag above the office, sparking fury in Kabul.burs-gw-wat/dv -------------------------------------------------------------
- Yahoo News
Fresh off his inauguration Wednesday, President Biden began his term with executive orders on measures ranging from curbing the coronavirus pandemic to addressing racial inequality, many of which roll back measures enacted by former President Donald Trump’s administration.
- Yahoo News
Republicans built up QAnon backer Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, but now are they afraid of what they created?
On the eve of President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration, freshman Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, the combative Georgia Republican known for her association with QAnon, was back on Twitter after a 12-hour suspension, and back to making waves.
Capt. Scott Moss, who led the NOSC in Knoxville, was relieved of command by Capt. Dale Maxey.
- FOX News Videos
Rep. Crenshaw: 'I'd be frustrated if I were' Trump, watching the press 'go right back to the Obama-era'
Texas Congressman Dan Crenshaw argues Republicans need to unify and show voters that Democrats 'mean what they say' and 'will change your life fundamentally.'
- Architectural Digest
800 feet up in the sky, the Dreamy 6,000 square foot space offers panoramic views from the East River to the HudsonOriginally Appeared on Architectural Digest
The United States on Tuesday sanctioned a network of oil trading firms, individuals and vessels that have helped Venezuelan state-run oil company PDVSA sell crude mainly to Asia despite Washington's sanctions on the South American nation. The measure targets a network that the U.S. Treasury Department says helped the administration of President Nicolas Maduro, whose 2018 re-election Washington called a sham, broker the sale of hundreds of millions of dollars in Venezuelan oil.
- The Telegraph
Donald Trump spent his first night as a private citizen settling into his new home at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida, where he has reportedly already begun preparing for his upcoming impeachment hearing. Mr Trump’s final engagement in Washington DC as president was attending his farewell at Joint Base Andrews in DC, which was attended only by some 250 of his most loyal aides and supporters. Notably absent were close White House aides and his own vice president Mike Pence. The former president then left for Florida as President Joe Biden was being sworn in, where he received a much warmer welcome. Supporters lined Mr Trump’s route to Mar-a-Lago, waving “Trump 2020” flags and signs reading “welcome home!”, while others screamed “I love you” as his motorcade drove past. Some still refused to accept the results of the election.
The United Nations Office for Coordination for Humanitarian Affairs said on Wednesday it has halted programs in Venezuela that provide cash transfers to the poor via local nonprofit organizations. The U.N. office known as OCHA is asking the government of President Nicolas Maduro to establish clear rules regarding cash transfers. "We're working with pertinent authorities so that the (cash transfer programs) are in line with the country's financial/banking regulatory framework with the aim of reactivating them, guaranteeing the safety of humanitarian workers and continuing to support ... vulnerable people," OCHA said in an email.
- The Week
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) is genuinely undecided on how he will vote in former President Donald Trump's second Senate impeachment trial, his close allies say, but a faction of Senate Republicans are warning him if he votes to convict, the backlash will be swift and severe, CNN reports. "If he does, I don't know if he can stay as leader," one senior GOP senator told CNN, portraying that as a sentiment shared by several of his colleagues. Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) said he could not support McConnell if he voted against Trump.McConnell has publicly shifted against Trump since a pro-Trump mob ransacked Congress on Jan. 6. "The mob was fed lies," McConnell said Tuesday. "They were provoked by the president and other powerful people." McConnell is part of "a small but notable faction of high-profile Republicans are taking a stronger stance against Trump or distancing themselves from him," The Associated Press notes, but "Trump is expected to remain politically active, including trying to exact revenge by backing primary challenges against Republicans he believed scorned him in his final days," especially the 10 House Republicans who voted to impeach him."In the House, a group of Trump loyalists are seeking to strip Wyoming Rep. Liz Cheney of her GOP leadership post for supporting impeachment," CNN reports, "a predicament some Republican senators privately believe could hound McConnell if he seeks to end Trump's political career."The logistics and timing of Trump's impeachment trial are up in the air, though multiple Capitol Hill sources tell Politico's Playbook team it could end up being as short as three days, barring Trump calling witnesses. In the end, CNN reports, "Republicans who know McConnell well believe he will take the temperature of the Senate GOP conference and ultimately make a decision based in part on the views of his colleagues and the mood of the country when it comes time to cast the key vote."More stories from theweek.com 7 brutally funny cartoons about Trump's White House exit Bernie Sanders steals the inauguration with his grumpy chic outfit Joe Biden needs to get real
- Associated Press
China imposed sanctions on nearly 30 former Trump administration officials moments after they left office on Wednesday. In a statement released just minutes after President Joe Biden was inaugurated, Beijing slapped travel bans and business restrictions on Trump’s secretary of state, Mike Pompeo, national security adviser Robert O’Brien and U.N. ambassador, Kelly Craft. Others covered by the sanctions include Trump’s economic adviser Peter Navarro; his top diplomat for Asia, David Stilwell; health and human services secretary, Alex Azar; along with former national security adviser John Bolton and strategist Stephen Bannon.
A British prosecutor hired by the Hong Kong government to lead a case against democracy activists has pulled out after coming under pressure in Britain including 'disgraceful' comments by its foreign minister, city authorities said on Wednesday. David Perry, a Queen's Counsel, was due to lead the case against tabloid media magnate Jimmy Lai and several others, including veteran democracy activists Martin Lee and Margaret Ng. But Hong Kong's Department of Justice noted "growing pressure and criticism" of Perry in Britain for taking the case, adding in a statement that he had "concerns about such pressures and the exemption of quarantine" and "indicated that the trial should proceed without him".
- The Telegraph
Joe Biden’s daughter Ashley has said she will not have a job in her father's administration, unlike Ivanka Trump, in her first interview since the election. The only child of President-elect Biden and wife Jill, Ashley, a 39-year-old social worker in Delaware, said she instead wanted to use her new platform to ”advocate for social justice and mental health.” “I will not have a job in the administration,” she told NBC's Today Show, in what could be seen as a jibe at the current First Daughter, who, along with husband Jared Kushner, had adviser roles in the White House. “I do hope to bring awareness and education to some topics, subjects that are, you know, really important.” Ms Biden, who is married to plastic surgeon Howard Krein, was active in her father's presidential campaign, speaking at the 2020 Democratic National Convention, and hosting an event for women in Wisconsin.
Former California Rep. Randall "Duke" Cunningham was convicted of taking bribes from defense contractors.
- Business Insider
A former Army captain has been arrested after the FBI said he uploaded a Facebook video saying he 'stormed' the Capitol
"We just went ahead and stormed the Capitol. It's about to get ugly," said Gabriel Augustin Garcia according to an FBI document.
- Associated Press
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who has spent much of his long career casting Israel's Arab minority as a potential fifth column led by terrorist sympathizers, is now openly courting their support as he seeks reelection in the country's fourth vote in less than two years. The Joint List, an alliance of Arab parties that secured a record 15 seats in the 120-member Knesset last March, is riven by a dispute over whether it should work with Netanyahu's right-wing Likud at a time when less objectionable center-left parties are in disarray.
- The Week
In the wake of the deadly riot in the U.S. Capitol building earlier this month, the FBI had warned that armed protests were being planned in every state capital. But though it was still early in much of America as President Biden was sworn in just before noon Eastern time, the handful of pro-Trump demonstrators who actually showed up were largely disappointed by the turnout, to say the least:> Mark Leggiero is the one lone Trump supporter out in front of the NYS Capitol. He says he expected a few thousand ppl here and is disappointed. He said he drove 45 minutes for a peaceful protest pic.twitter.com/hDtCLYFpLq> > -- Morgan Mckay (@morganfmckay) January 20, 2021> So far, two protesters are here at the Kansas State Capitol to protest the election. pic.twitter.com/huii3mpjIS> > -- Nolan Roth KAKE (@NolanRothKAKE) January 20, 2021> At the State Capitol in Sacramento, a lone Trump supporter wearing a red MAGA hat protested as President Biden took the oath of office Wednesday. > > : @dustingardiner> > Live InaugurationDay updates >> https://t.co/WowWEMPI7l pic.twitter.com/QaSrlvomgd> > -- San Francisco Chronicle (@sfchronicle) January 20, 2021> Greetings from Concord, N.H. https://t.co/jD3k47cLIc pic.twitter.com/MxFe4bqROF> > -- Ruth Graham (@publicroad) January 20, 2021> At 12 Noon the scene outside of the Michigan State Capitol is a quiet one. Just a handful of demonstrators out along S. Capitol Avenue. @WWJ950 pic.twitter.com/JCedFflugr> > -- Jon Hewett (@JonHewettWWJ) January 20, 2021In other states, nobody showed up at all:> As ceremonies continue in DC, all quiet at the Washington state Capitol in Olympia. Zero demonstrators. InaugurationDay pic.twitter.com/fwxolDsLDt> > -- Drew Mikkelsen (@drewmikkelsenk5) January 20, 2021> There's a large presence of law enforcement and members of the Ky. National Guard at the Kentucky state Capitol in Frankfort - but so far, all is quiet. @heraldleader pic.twitter.com/EugXcLLKbO> > -- Ryan C. Hermens (@ryanhermens) January 20, 2021> All is quiet at the Utah State Capitol. No protesters that I've seen. The @UTNationalGuard is here again to respond, if needed. So far, I'm told no chatter of any local Inauguration related protests. @fox13 utpol Utah pic.twitter.com/ym9pCyFyuD> > -- Ben Winslow (@BenWinslow) January 20, 2021Meanwhile, in Montana, the only protester to show up ... was a counterprotester. > INAGURATION DAY: So far, a quiet morning at the Montana State Capitol. pic.twitter.com/KXsy7DdB2w> > -- KFBB (@KFBB) January 20, 2021More stories from theweek.com 7 brutally funny cartoons about Trump's White House exit Bernie Sanders steals the inauguration with his grumpy chic outfit Joe Biden needs to get real
President Emmanuel Macron opened the door on Tuesday to withdrawing some troops from Africa's Sahel region, saying France could "adjust" its operations after successes against Islamist militants and the arrival of more European forces. France, the former colonial power, has the West's largest military presence waging counter-insurgency operations in Mali and the wider Sahel, an arid region of west Africa just below the Sahara desert. "The results obtained by our forces in the Sahel, combined with the greater intervention of our European partners, will allow us to adjust our effort," he said, referring to the arrival of special forces from various European Union countries in recent months.
- Associated Press
Thai officials on Wednesday filed criminal charges against a popular former politician, accusing him of defaming the monarchy by broadcasting criticism of government efforts to secure supplies of coronavirus vaccines. The action against Thanathorn Juangroongruangkit came just a day after Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha told reporters that that his government will prosecute anyone who shares false information about coronavirus vaccines. Thanathorn, former leader of the dissolved Future Forward Party, accused the government of acting too slowly in procuring the vaccines.
- Yahoo News
The fantasy ended at noon on Jan. 20, when President Biden took the oath of office, while the erstwhile QAnon hero, now just Donald Trump, ex-president, skulked off to his estate in Florida without even a Twitter account to his name.
- The Week
Fox News contributors choke up talking about the importance of Kamala Harris being the first Black woman VP
Liberal Fox News contributor Richard Fowler choked up during an appearance on the network as he marveled at the numerous glass ceilings broken by Vice President Kamala Harris on Wednesday."One part [of the inauguration] that caused me to get real emotional was, we've been a country for 243 years, and in all those 243 years, we have had women citizens but we have never had a woman hold national office," Fowler said, his voice breaking as he went on. "So to see Kamala Harris put her hand on the Bible today -- also being her and I are of Jamaican descent, and I just think about my grandmother and my mom and so many other women who saw this, and so many young girls who can finally believe that they can be president, too, because of what we did as a country back in November."> Fox News contributor Richard Fowler gets emotional when talking about Kamala Harris being the first woman VP, and how it makes him think about his grandmother and mom, who like Harris are of Jamaican descent pic.twitter.com/Wdlo8Ca3uh> > -- Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) January 20, 2021Fowler was not the only contributor on Fox News on Wednesday to be audibly moved by the significance of Harris' oath. Political analyst Juan Williams also emotionally explained, "It's visceral, and I'll tell you why. I have granddaughters, I'm the son of a Black mother -- you think about American history, you think about the status of Black women in this country for most of our history. And the idea that a Black woman would assume such power in this moment as a national leader -- truly inspiring." > Fox News' Juan Williams gets choked up talking about Kamala Harris:> > "You think about the status of Black women in this country for most of our history. And the idea that a Black woman would assume such power in this moment as a national leader, truly inspiring." pic.twitter.com/K13K0Q1vVX> > -- Parker Molloy (@ParkerMolloy) January 20, 2021More stories from theweek.com 7 brutally funny cartoons about Trump's White House exit Bernie Sanders steals the inauguration with his grumpy chic outfit Joe Biden needs to get real