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T.V. trucks sign of waste in Afghanistan

Waste in afghanistanIn yet another sign of wasted U.S. money in Afghanistan, $3.6 million T.V trucks sit unused in Kabul after a delay of two years.

The State Department contract is only the latest example of a project that has come under fire by the U.S. special inspector general who watchdogs the rebuilding of Afghanistan.

The three trucks were supposed to be used for covering live sporting events, such as soccer, cricket and Buzkashi, which according to Wikipedia is a sport in which “horse-mounted players attempt to drag a goat carcass toward a goal.”

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In Iraq, Blackwater verdict provides no relief from bitterness

Blackwater murdersLike most Iraqis, Ali Abbas Mahmoud didn’t know when he awoke Thursday that a jury in Washington had found four former Blackwater security guards guilty the previous day in one of the most infamous episodes of the U.S.-led occupation. That’s because the verdicts weren’t widely reported by the Iraqi media.

“They killed my elder brother and his son, but can this conviction bring them back?” asked Mahmoud, who learned about the outcome of the 10-week trial from an American journalist only hours before speaking to McClatchy.

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4 Blackwater guards convicted in Iraq killings

Balckwater guards guiltyFour former employees of the US security company Blackwater have been convicted of almost every charge related to the shootings of more than 30 unarmed Iraqi civilians in Baghdad seven years ago.

The jury in Washington found Nicholas Slatten guilty of first-degree murder, and the three other ex-security guards - Paul Slough, Evan Liberty and Dustin Heard - were convicted on Wednesday of committing multiple counts of voluntary manslaughter at a Baghdad traffic circle in 2007.

The trial focused on the killings of 14 Iraqis and the wounding of 17 others.

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IS fighters seize weapons airdrop meant for Kurds

Isis seize weapons meant for KurdsISIS fighters seized at least one cache of weapons airdropped by U.S.-led coalition forces that were meant to suppy Kurdish militiamen battling the extremist group in a border town, activists said Tuesday.

The cache of weapons included hand grenades, ammunition and rocket-propelled grenade launchers, according to a video uploaded by a media group loyal to ISIS. The video appeared authentic and corresponded to The Associated Press' reporting of the event. The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the militants had seized at least once cache, but may have seized more.

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U.S. Air-Drops Arms to Kurds in Kobani

US air drops to KurdsdTurkey said on Monday it would allow Iraqi Kurdish fighters to reinforce fellow Kurds in the Syrian town of Kobani, while the United States air-dropped arms for the first time to help the defenders resist an Islamic State assault.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said Washington had asked Ankara to help "get the peshmerga or other groups" into Kobani so that they could help defend the town on the Turkish frontier, adding that he hoped the Kurds would "take this fight on".

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Rights group: Airstrikes on IS oil facilities killed civilians

Air strikes kill civiliansAt least 10 civilians were killed when U.S. airstrikes against Islamic State targets struck an oil facility and a gas processing plant in Syria on Friday, an observer group reports.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said seven civilians were killed at a Konoco gas factory in Der-Ezzor province, and three were killed in similar strikes on oil fields in the countryside around Shadadi. One was reportedly below age 18.

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Turkey denies new deal reached to open airbases to US in fight against Isis

Turkey denies bases agreement with USTurkey has not reached a new agreement to let the US use its Incirlik airbase in the fight against Islamic State (Isis) militants, and talks are continuing on the subject, the Turkish prime minister’s office has said, in comments that run contrary to a statement made by US national security adviser Susan Rice on Sunday.

The prime minister’s office said an agreement had been reached to train moderate Syrian rebels on Turkish soil, but it was not yet clear “where [and] in what way” that would happen.

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