Defense Secretary Mark Esper Visits Afghanistan to Chart a Path Forward

LOLITA C. BALDOR / AP (KABUL, Afghanistan) — U.S. Defense Secretary Mark Esper arrived Sunday in Afghanistan, where stalled peace talks with the Taliban and persistent violent attacks by the insurgent group and Islamic State militants have complicated the Trump administration’s pledge to withdraw more than 5,000 American troops. Esper told reporters traveling with him that he believes the U.S. can reduce its force in Afghanistan to 8,600 without hurting the counterterrorism fight against al-Qaida and the Islamic State group. But he said any withdrawal would happen as part of a peace agreement with the Taliban. The U.S. has about … Continue reading Defense Secretary Mark Esper Visits Afghanistan to Chart a Path Forward

U.S. Troops Leaving Syria Will Move to Western Iraq, Defense Secretary Says

LOLITA C. BALDOR / AP (KABUL, Afghanistan) — U.S. Defense Secretary Mark Esper says that under current plans all U.S. troops leaving Syria will go to western Iraq and the American military will continue to conduct operations against the Islamic State group to prevent its resurgence. Esper, who arrived in the Afghan capital on Sunday, did not rule out the idea that U.S. forces would conduct counterterrorism missions from Iraq into Syria. But he told reporters traveling with him that those details will be worked out over time. His comments were the first to specifically lay out where American troops … Continue reading U.S. Troops Leaving Syria Will Move to Western Iraq, Defense Secretary Says

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson Pushes for Brexit Delay, Even Though He Doesn’t Want One

MIKE CORDER and GREGORY KATZ / AP (LONDON) — British Prime Minister Boris Johnson pressed ahead Sunday with plans to try to win parliamentary backing for his new Brexit deal even as the European Union began considering his grudging request to extend the looming Brexit deadline. As the dust settled on a day of high drama in Parliament, the next steps in Britain’s divisive, tortuous Brexit saga became clear. Monday will feature more legal action, more arm-twisting, cajoling and veiled threats by Johnson and his ministers and more amendments designed by lawmakers to stymie Johnson’s plan to have Britain leave … Continue reading British Prime Minister Boris Johnson Pushes for Brexit Delay, Even Though He Doesn’t Want One

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi Visits Jordan to Discuss ‘Deepening’ Syria Crisis

Associated Press (AMMAN, Jordan) — House Speaker Nancy Pelosi led a group of American lawmakers on a surprise visit to Jordan to discuss “the deepening crisis” in Syria amid a shaky U.S.-brokered cease-fire. The visit came after bipartisan criticism in Washington has slammed President Donald Trump for his decision to withdraw the bulk of U.S. troops from northern Syria — clearing the way for Turkey’s wide-ranging offensive against the Kurdish groups, who had been key U.S. allies in the fight against the Islamic State group. Turkey agreed on Thursday to suspend its offensive for five days, demanding the Kurdish forces … Continue reading House Speaker Nancy Pelosi Visits Jordan to Discuss ‘Deepening’ Syria Crisis

Unrest Continues Unabated in Hong Kong as Tens of Thousands March on Rail Terminus

TIME Staff Tens of thousands of anti-communist protesters defied an official ban to march through one of Hong Kong’s prime tourist districts Sunday, to rally at the West Kowloon high-speed rail terminus. The showpiece transport facility, built at a cost of $10.7 billion, connects the former British colony to mainland Chinese cities, with some parts of the terminal subject to mainland customs and immigration laws. The terminus is therefore seen as a symbol of Beijing’s encroachment on semi-autonomous Hong Kong by many protesters, whose push for greater political freedom has taken on an increasingly anti-China tone over five months of … Continue reading Unrest Continues Unabated in Hong Kong as Tens of Thousands March on Rail Terminus

‘I Am Back’: Bernie Sanders Addresses 26,000 With Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

Abigail Abrams Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders addressed a raucous crowd on Saturday as he showcased two high-profile progressive endorsements, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and filmmaker Michael Moore, in his first rally since he suffered a heart attack earlier this month. “I am back!” he declared, to swelling cheers. Surrounded by nearly 26,000 supporters at Queensbridge Park in New York, Sanders seemed energized by the enthusiastic show of force. “I am more than ready to carry on with you the epic struggle that we face today. I am more than ready to assume the office of President of the United States,” … Continue reading ‘I Am Back’: Bernie Sanders Addresses 26,000 With Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

‘I Am Back,’ Bernie Sanders Tells Supporters at NYC Rally With Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

STEVE PEOPLES / AP NEW YORK — Basking in loud chants of “Bernie’s back,” Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders resumed campaigning weeks after being sidelined by a heart attack and told supporters he was ready to resume “the epic struggle” for the White House. Energized by thousands of backers gathered for a Queens rally, the 78-year-old Vermont senator said, “When I look at this huge crowd, brothers and sisters, I have no doubt that the political revolution is going to sweep this country, sweep Donald Trump out of office and bring the change that this country has long needed.” He … Continue reading ‘I Am Back,’ Bernie Sanders Tells Supporters at NYC Rally With Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez