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In brief: Soldiers scrutinized after spate of insider attacks

Kabul, Afghanistan – Afghan authorities have detained or removed hundreds of soldiers in an investigation into rising insider attacks against international service personnel who are their supposed partners in the fight against Taliban insurgents and other militants, officials said Wednesday.

The crackdown is the result of the Afghan Defense Ministry’s effort to re-evaluate soldiers to stem the attacks, which are complicating plans to train Afghan forces so that most foreign troops can withdraw from the country by the end of 2014.

The U.S. military is taking precautionary measures too and recently stopped training about 1,000 members of the Afghan Local Police, a controversial network of village-defense units that is growing but remains a fraction of the country’s army and police force.

So far this year, 45 international service members, most of them Americans, have died at the hands of Afghan soldiers or policemen or insurgents wearing their uniforms. There were at least 12 such attacks in August alone, resulting in 15 deaths.

Deal allows construction of three private cities

Tegucigalpa, Honduras – Investors can begin construction in six months on three privately run cities in Honduras that will have their own police, laws, government and tax systems now that the government has signed a memorandum of agreement approving the project.

An international group of investors and government representatives signed the memorandum Tuesday for the project that some say will bring badly needed economic growth to this small Central American country and that at least one detractor describes as “a catastrophe.”

The project’s aim is to strengthen Honduras’ weak government and failing infrastructure, overwhelmed by corruption, drug-related crime and lingering political instability after a 2009 coup.


 

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Trump-Putin II: Planning fall event in aftermath of Helsinki

Unbowed by swirling criticism of his summit encounter with Vladimir Putin, President Donald Trump swiftly invited the Russian leader to the White House this fall for a second get-together. Cleanup from the first has continued with no letup and Trump belatedly decided Putin’s “incredible offer” of shared U.S.-Russia investigations was no good after all.