FROM William Dalrymple
Hamid Karzai Does It Again Just last night, Secretary of State John Kerry announced a deal to keep some American troops in Afghanistan after next year's withdrawal. "The agreement will speak for itself when the agreement is approved…We have agreed on the language that would be submitted to a loya jirga, but they have to pass it." Today, the President of Afghanistan said it might not be signed until next year. It's all about the continued presence of some American soldiers after most foreign troops leave the country. Is this another of Hamid Karzai's diplomatic maneuvers? Will the traditional meeting of 2500 tribal elders that's meeting on Afghan security, approve the troop deal? How many soldiers are needed to hold off the Taliban and protect Afghanistan's regional interests, and how long will the US be willing to pay the bills?
Is the threat from Russia missing from the Russia meddling probe? There's much being made about the Trump administration's possible ties with Russia. But the bottom line is Russia's effort to influence American democracy. Do the President and his aides care enough to take action before voters go back to the polls?
Terrorism and tweets, hate speech and murder Just days before an election, Britain is coping with a rash of deadly terrorism, and Prime Minister Theresa May is on the defensive. And again today, President Trump has tweeted criticism of the Mayor of London. Later, a double murder in Portland, Oregon has revealed the ugly past of a supposedly “progressive” city. One immediate question: is “hate speech” protected by the First Amendment?
Will the Senate write a healthcare bill in secret? While Democrats and Republicans argue White House relations with Russia, another question is being decided behind closed doors: who gets help buying health insurance and who doesn't? We hear how the pros and cons are being shrouded in secrecy.
Replacing Obamacare: Now you see it… now you don’t As the Senate deliberates replacing Obmacare, health coverage for millions of people is at stake. There've been no public hearings, and a draft measure won't be made public. Is the House version so unpopular that that Senate is hiding a version that looks much the same?