Kabul Peace Talks with Taliban Expected This Month

Afghan special forces stand guard at the site of an October 2013 suicide attack in Kabul. (AFP/Massoud Hossaini)

Direct peace talks between Kabul and the Taliban are "expected to take place" by the end of the month, representatives from four countries involved in precursor road map negotiations said in a joint statement issued Saturday in Islamabad. The statement by delegates from Afghanistan, Pakistan, China and the United States came after a third rou... more

Syrian Refugees Flee Russian Bombs, Push Turkey to Open Borders

Syrians gather inside a truck on Feb. 6 to protect themselves from the cold weather at Syria's Bab al-Salam border gate with Turkey. (AP)

BEIRUT -- Turkey came under mounting pressure to open its border Saturday as tens of thousands of Syrians fleeing a government onslaught sought entry and the European Union called on Ankara to grant them refuge. As many as 35,000 Syrians have massed along the closed border, according to Suleyman Tapsiz, governor of the Turkish border province o... more

Carter Seeks 1.6% Pay Increase, Funds to Counter Russia and China

pentagon closer 600x400

The Pentagon's $582.7 billion budget proposal for Fiscal Year 2017 includes a modest 1.6 percent pay increase, more funding to counter ISIS, Russia and China, and projects to develop an "arsenal plane" and swarming "microdrones" while keeping the A-10 Thunderbolt attack aircraft in the inventory. In an address Tuesday to the Economic Club o... more

4 Ex-Blackwater Contractors Appeal Convictions in Iraq Shootings

In this June 11, 2014 file photo, former Blackwater Worldwide guard Nicholas Slatten leaves federal court in Washington. Slatten, found guilty for his role in a deadly Baghdad shooting has appealed his murder conviction. (AP Photo/Cliff Owen, File)

WASHINGTON -- Four former Blackwater security contractors found guilty in a deadly Baghdad shooting appealed their convictions on Monday, saying a key witness against them had changed his testimony after the trial and that prosecutors lacked jurisdiction to even bring the case. The appeals, long expected, represent the latest legal volley in a ... more

Judge Overturns Demotion of Second VA Official Accused in Job Scam

Philadelphia VA Director Diana Rubens. Cliff Owen/AP

The demotion of Department of Veterans Affairs' director for the Philadelphia region has been reversed by an administrative law judge. The VA demoted Diana Rubens from director of the Philadelphia office to assistant director and reassigned her elsewhere after concluding she forced out her predecessor and then moved into the Pennsylvania job... more

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