Karzai Arranged Secret Contacts With the Taliban
President Hamid Karzai of Afghanistan cooperated with the Taliban in secret to reach a peace agreement. Karzai’s American and Western allies were not notified of such agreement, which further strains the delicate relations with the United States. The weeks building up to this revelation, President Karzai refused to sign a security agreement with Washington. Karzai originally negotiated the document planning the long-term security following the departure of Western troops. Further displaying his cooperation with the Taliban, Karzai pleaded to release Taliban militants from prison. American officials are concerned that his actions have tainted any chance of security cooperation with Karzai or his successors.
Read the full story at nytimes.com/ Feb. 4, 2014
Libya’s Cache of Toxic Arms All Destroyed
The United States and Libya joined forces to destroy the remaining arsenal of Muammar al-Qaddafi’s arsenal of chemical weapons on Jan. 26. Libyan contractors worked in an area of the Libyan desert since November to obliterate the weapons before they could be seized by terrorists. The region is inhabited by extremists with strong ties to Al Qaeda. Transportable oven technology aided in the process, and the technology could be implemented in the destruction of Syria’s massive stockpile.
Read the full story at nytimes.com/ Feb. 3 2014
Christie Linked to Knowledge of Shut Lanes
David Wildstein, the former Port Authority official, disclosed through a letter that the lane closings of the George Washington Bridge were the order of New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie. During a two-hour press release weeks prior, Christie vehemently denied knowledge of the lane closings and believed it was a traffic study. Wildstein included in the letter that there is evidence that Christie had knowledge of the lane closings throughout the operation.
Read the full story at nytimes.com/ Feb. 1, 2014
U.S. Is Seeking Death Penalty in Boston Case
The Boston bombing last April wounded almost 300 people and killed three, among them an innocent 8-year old boy. Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, the 20-year old responsible for the bombings, is pleading not guilty to the charges. The Justice Department is seeking the death penalty for this case, stating that Tsarnaev took unfair advantage of his refuge in the United States and issued a terrorist attack at an iconic American race filled with innocent civilians. Massachusetts has not utilized the death penalty since 1947.
Read the full story at nytimes.com/ Jan. 31, 2014
U.S. Says Russia Tested Missile, Despite Treaty
Russia tested a new ground-launched cruise missile, an egregious action that is not in accordance with the arms control accord. The treaty bans the use of medium-range missiles and was signed by President Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev in 1987. American officials believe that initial flight tests of the missiles began in 2008. However, President Obama and administration officials have not formally acknowledged the existence of the missiles. Officials stand on a precipice of trying to keep alliances with Russia while also following the treaty and committing to reducing nuclear arms. American and Russian officials have discrepancies regarding the issue of Edward Snowden’s temporary asylum, the fighting in Syria, and the crisis in Ukraine.
Read the full story at nytimes.com/ Jan. 29 2014