US service member killed in Afghanistan

15 US military personnel have been killed, in action, in Afghanistan, this year. (Reuters)
Updated 30 August 2019

US service member killed in Afghanistan

  • The death comes as the US and the Taliban continue to seek an agreement in Doha
  • President Donald Trump said Thursday that the United States will keep a permanent presence in Afghanistan, with 8,600 troops initially

KABUL: An American service member was killed in Afghanistan Friday, the US-led NATO mission said, the latest US fatality as talks between the US and the Taliban continue.
“A US service member died during combat operations in Afghanistan, August 29, 2019,” NATO’s Resolute Support mission said in a statement.
The death brings to at least 15 the number of members of the US military to be killed in action in Afghanistan this year, just as Washington is seeking a way out of its longest war.
NATO did not immediately provide any additional information. On August 21, two US Army commandos were killed in action in Afghanistan.
The death comes as the US and the Taliban continue to seek an agreement in Doha that would see thousands of American troops leave Afghanistan in return for various security guarantees.
There are currently approximately 13,000 US troops in Afghanistan.
President Donald Trump said Thursday that the United States will keep a permanent presence in Afghanistan, with 8,600 troops initially, even after a deal is reached with the Taliban.
Trump also warned that if another attack on the United States originated from Afghanistan, “we would come back with a force like ... never before.”
Washington has been talking to the Taliban since at least 2018, with the main sticking point being how to get sufficient guarantees that Taliban territory will not be used by Al-Qaeda or other international militant groups to plot attacks on America.


Amazon indigenous leaders accuse Brazil of ‘genocide’ policy

Updated 18 January 2020

Amazon indigenous leaders accuse Brazil of ‘genocide’ policy

  • Hundreds of elders gathered this week at Pairacu, deep in the rainforest, to form a united front against Bolsonaro’s environmental policies
  • “We do not accept mining on our lands, loggers, illegal fishermen or hydroelectricity. We are opposed to anything that destroys the forest,” a leader said

PIARACU: Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro’s pledge to open up the Amazon to mining companies was tantamount to “genocide,” indigenous leaders said Friday at a meeting to oppose the government’s environmental policies.
Hundreds of elders gathered this week at Pairacu, deep in the rainforest, to form a united front against Bolsonaro’s environmental policies, which have seen deforestation in the jungle nearly double since the Brazilian leader came to power a year ago.
“Our aim was to join forces and denounce the fact that the Brazilian government’s political policy of genocide, ethnocide and ecocide is under way,” the group said in a draft manifesto drawn up at the end of the summit.
“We do not accept mining on our lands, loggers, illegal fishermen or hydroelectricity. We are opposed to anything that destroys the forest,” the text said.
They also said that “government threats and hate speech” had encouraged violence against Amazon communities and demanded punishment for the murder of indigenous leaders.
At least eight indigenous leaders were killed last year.
Brazil’s leading indigenous chief, Raoni Metuktire, said Thursday he would personally travel to the capital Brasilia to present the meeting’s demands to Congress.
“Over there, I’m going to ask Bolsonaro why he speaks so badly about the indigenous peoples,” said the 89-year-old leader of the Kayapo tribe.
Preliminary data collected by the National Institute for Space Research showed an 85 percent increase in Amazon deforestation last year when compared to 2018.