What’s it got,

An audit by the U.S. Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction released this past week revealed that a Department of Defense task force to support economic development squandered hundreds of millions of American taxpayer dollars. The audit of the Task Force for Business and Stability Operations was first requested in 2016 by Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, and then-Sen. Kelly Ayotte, R-N.H., after it was reported by SIGAR that the TFBSO had spent over $40 million to build "what is likely to be the world's most expensive gas station" in Afghanistan, as Special Inspector General John Sopko put it.

GOP governor sides with Indonesians facing deportation

In this Friday, Dec. 1, 2017 photo, Poppy Sombah, left, and Freddy Sombah listen to an Indonesian community leader at their home in Somersworth, N.H. The couple fled Indonesia to escape harassment from their Muslim neighbors following Poppy's conversion to Christianity after marrying. After word spread earlier this year that the Indonesian community in New Hampshire faced deportation they receive unexpected support from Republican Gov. Chris Sununu.

Ap Photos: Associated Press editors pick best of 2017

2017 AP YEAR END PHOTOS - President-elect Donald Trump waits to step out onto the portico for his Presidential Inauguration at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, on Jan. 20, 2017. 2017 AP YEAR END PHOTOS - Donald Trump is sworn in as the 45th president of the United States by Chief Justice John Roberts, as Melania Trump and his family looks on during the 58th Presidential Inauguration at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, on Jan. 20, 2017.

Trump deflects on whether Roy Moore should quit Senate race

President Donald Trump on Saturday deflected questions about whether Alabama Republican Senate candidate Roy Moore should drop out of the race because of sexual misconduct allegations against him. Trump, who has been traveling in Asia, said he's been too busy reading documents and hasn't had time to catch up on television news coverage about Moore.

Tillerson to make first trip to Myanmar amid Rohingya crisis and proposed sanctions by senators


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U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson as he delivers remarks Wednesday from the briefing room of the State Department in Washington. Tillerson will go to Myanmar next week, the State Department said, becoming the most senior U.S. official to visit since the start of the Rohingya crisis.

Little U.S. pressure amid talk of ethnic cleansing in Myanmar

Don't expect the United States to step in and resolve what is increasingly being describing as an ethnic cleansing campaign against Myanmar's downtrodden Rohingya Muslims. Not wanting to undermine the Asian country's democratic hero, the U.S. is cautiously criticizing what looks like a forced exodus of more than a quarter-million Rohingya in the last two weeks as Myanmar's military responds with hammer force to insurgent attacks.

The Risk of Nuclear War with North Korea

The Risk of Nuclear War with North Korea - On the ground in Pyongyang: Could Kim Jong Un and Donald Trump goad each other into a devastating confrontation? - 1. The Madman Theory - The United States has no diplomatic relations with North Korea, so there is no embassy in Washington The day's must-read political news and opinion pieces are scattered across hundreds of news outlets and blogs, too many for any one person to read. Fortunately, memeorandum arranges all of these links in a single, easy-to-scan page.

Rights group: China must stop pressuring advocates at UN

Human Rights Watch says in a new report Tuesday that China has tried to intimidate, blacklist and squelch the voices of rights advocates who operate within the U.N. system, calling on Beijing to stop such pressure and urging U.N. agencies to resist. Announcing the report , HRW Executive Director Kenneth Roth said that China's influence and crackdown on civil society at home "make it a model of bad faith that challenges the integrity of the U.N. rights system."

Correction: China-Space Setback story

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In Afghanistan, US senators call for coherent policy from Trump

A bipartisan delegation of U.S. senators visiting Afghanistan on Tuesday called for a new strategy from the Trump administration to turn the tide against an increasingly strong Taliban insurgency and end the longest war in U.S. history. KABUL: A bipartisan delegation of U.S. senators visiting Afghanistan on Tuesday called for a new strategy from the Trump administration to turn the tide against an increasingly strong Taliban insurgency and end the longest war in U.S. history.

In Afghanistan, U.S. senators call for coherent policy from Trump


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A bipartisan delegation of U.S. senators visiting Afghanistan on Tuesday called for a new strategy from the Trump administration to turn the tide against an increasingly strong Taliban insurgency and end the longest war in U.S. history. The delegation led by Senator John McCain was in Kabul on a regional trip that included two days in neighboring Pakistan.

Obama pushes tolerance, respect in childhood home Jakarta

Following another week of dust-ups between the media and President Donald Trump, his predecessor shared a bit of wisdom from the other side of the world about tolerance and taking the daily news cycle in stride. "I wasn't worried about what was in the newspapers today," former President Barack Obama said Saturday during a nostalgic visit to Indonesia's capital, his childhood home.

Obama pushes tolerance

Former U.S. President Barack Obama waves prior to delivering his speech during the 4th Congress of Indonesian Diaspora Network in Jakarta, Indonesia on Saturday. Following another week of dust-ups between the media and President Donald Trump, his predecessor shared a bit of wisdom from the other side of the world about tolerance and taking the daily news cycle in stride.

Obama pushes tolerance, respect in childhood home Jakarta

Following another week of dust-ups between the media and President Donald Trump, his predecessor shared a bit of wisdom Saturday from the other side of the world about tolerance and taking the daily news cycle in stride. "I wasn't worried about what was in the newspapers today," former President Barack Obama said during a nostalgic visit to Indonesia's capital, his childhood home.

Washington moves to ban citizens’ travel to N. Korea

South Koreans staged a memorial rally for Otto Warmbier near the U.S. Embassy in Seoul, South Korea on Friday. The U.S. State Department urges Americans to avoid traveling to more than three dozen nations, including such troubled locales as Libya, Cameroon and Venezuela.

Dalai Lama not the reason for Foreign Minister’s decision not to attend RIC meet in India: China

The Dalai Lama's meetings with Trump's predecessor Barack Obama and former US presidents have drawn protests from China. China today dismissed reports that its foreign minister put off his visit to New Delhi last month to attend a RIC meeting to protest India's decision to allow the Dalai Lama to travel to Arunachal Pradesh, which Beijing claims as part of Southern Tibet.

What on Earth might a Trump-Kim Jong Un meeting look like?

In one corner: the unpredictable dictator, the third-generation family ruler whose nation has a seven-decade reputation of being erratic, quick to take umbrage and insistent that it is powerful enough to upend the planet. In the other corner: a sandpaper-tongued American president like no other, barely past his first 100 days as leader of the free world, liable to say just about anything - including a handful of conciliatory words at the most unexpected of moments.

Afghans hit special-visa snags

Afghans who worked for the U.S. military and government are being told that they cannot apply for special visas to the United States, even though Afghanistan is not among the countries listed in President Donald Trump's new travel ban, according to advocates for Afghan refugees. As of Thursday, Afghans seeking to apply for what are known as special immigrant visas were being told by the U.S. Embassy in Kabul, the capital, that applications would no longer be accepted, according to U.S. Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H. Officials at the embassy did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

China Says it Followed Law in Approving 38 Trump Trademarks

A worker removes letters from a Trump logo in Atlantic City, N.J.China has granted preliminary approval for 38 new Trump trademarks, fueling concerns about conflicts of interest and preferential treatment of the U.S. president. China on Thursday defended its handling of 38 trademarks it recently approved provisionally for President Donald Trump, saying it followed the law in processing the applications at a pace that some experts view as unusually quick.

US, China diplomats discussed North Korea following coal ban

US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Chinese State Councillor Yang Jiechi affirmed the importance of a constructive bilateral relationship during a phone call, a statement from the US State Department said on Tuesday . A day before the announcement of the coal import suspension, Tillerson urged China to "use all available tools to moderate North Korea's destabilizing behavior" during his first talks with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi since taking office.

US to Send Admiral to Thailand for Military Exercises

Royal Thai armed forces General Sommai Kaoteera and U.S. Ambassador to Thailand Glyn Davies shake hands during the opening ceremony for Cobra Gold military exercise in Chonburi, east of Bangkok, Feb. 9, 2016. The highest ranking U.S. officer to visit Thailand since a 2014 coup will attend a military exercise next month in what the Thai army hailed Wednesday as a sign of improving relations.

Russia Calls U.S. Move To More Easily Arm Syrian Rebels A ‘Hostile Act’

Syrians walk over rubble of damaged buildings, while carrying their belongings, as they flee clashes between government forces and rebels in Tariq al-Bab and al-Sakhour neighborhoods of eastern Aleppo towards other rebel held besieged areas of Aleppo, Syria November 28, 2016. REUTERS/Abdalrhman Ismail/File Photo Moscow accused the U.S. Tuesday of a "hostile act" for taking action to more easily arm the Syrian rebels, Reuters reported Russia Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova as saying.

Mamata flight scare: Pilots lie about running out of fuel to skip traffic, get priority landing

Airport congestion is increasingly becoming a serious issue in India as carriers struggle to maintain their on-time performance, a key selling point to low-cost customers. Pilots of at least three flights, including one operated by market leader IndiGo, lied to air traffic controllers about being short on fuel to get priority landing at an airport, according to an investigation by the country's aviation safety regulator.

Asia Is Of Pivotal Importance For US Administration

By Manik Mehta NEW YORK, Nov 4 -- Regardless of who gets elected - Republican Donald Trump or Democrat Hillary Clinton - on Nov 8, as the next US President, Asia will continue to remain a very important region for the United States. Daniel Russel, the US Assistant Secretary of State ; fresh from his trip to the Philippines, Thailand and Cambodia, underscored at the Department of State's Foreign Press Center the importance of the Asia pivot of President Barack Obama's administration.

Clinton more liked than Trump in China, according to survey

A survey released Wednesday found that Hillary Clinton is better liked than Donald Trump in China, where the U.S. presidential election - and the criticisms both candidates have made of Chinese policy - have generated intense attention. Clinton was seen favorably by 37 percent of respondents in a survey in mainland China conducted by the Washington, D.C.-based Pew Research Center, while just 22 percent saw Trump favorably.

Asian stock markets turn lower after Wall Street gains

Major Asian stock markets were lower Tuesday after investors were reassured by trade-friendly Hillary Clinton's performance in a U.S. presidential debate with rival Donald Trump. KEEPING SCORE: Tokyo's Nikkei 225 index fell 1.5 percent to 16,426.61 and Hong Kong's Hang Seng lost 0.6 percent to 23,440.18.

80 million unexploded bombs: Obama pledges help for Laos

Laotian President Bounnhang Vorachit, left, and U.S. President Barack Obama toast during an official state luncheon at the Presidential Palace in Vientiane, Laos, on Tuesday. VIENTIANE, LAOS >> Declaring a "moral obligation" to heal the wounds of a secret war, President Barack Obama on Tuesday pledged help to clear away the 80 million unexploded bombs the U.S. dropped on Laos a generation ago - more than 10 for every one of the country's 7 million people.

Obama aide to meet with missing Laotian activist’s wife

A top aide of President Barack Obama said Tuesday he will meet with the wife of a missing Laotian activist, whose case has been repeatedly highlighted by human rights groups as an example of authoritarian excesses of Laos' one-party Communist government. Deputy National Security Adviser Ben Rhodes told reporters he will meet with Shui Meng Ng on Thursday while Obama is visiting Laos.

Obama becomes first sitting US president to visit Laos

Barack Obama became the first US president to visit Laos in office, touching down in Vientiane Monday for a summit of East and South East Asian leaders. Obama arrived in the capital, where the tropical rain did not prevent a large number of airport workers coming out to greet him and cheering -- before being hushed by an official.

G20 – staircase snub’ for Obama was United States’ decision, reveals Chinese official

Foreign ministry official says Washington turned down Beijing's proposal to provide rolling red-carpet stairway for US leader when he arrived at Hangzhou airport for G20 summit It was Washington's decision to have US President Barack Obama disembark his plane from a small bare metal stairway instead of the usual rolling red-carpet staircase that state leaders get, a Chinese foreign ministry official has revealed. Speculations have been flying about whether China was deliberately snubbing Obama since media reports on Saturday showed the US leader exiting the Air Force One through the small stairway.

Indonesians keep pride in Obama link even as high hopes dim

As Barack Obama's presidency nears its end, Indonesians still speak with pride of the childhood years he spent in their country, though much of the enthusiasm has faded along with the impossibly high expectations of what the first African-American president would achieve. A fan club, books, a statue, a cafe and even a movie were all part of the mania for Obama in the world's most populous Muslim nation after he was elected president in 2008.

Little precedent for $400M cash to Iran

In this Jan. 17, 2016 file photo, President Barack Obama speaks about the release of Americans by Iran, in the Cabinet Room of the White House in Washington. A $400 million cash delivery to Iran to repay a decades-old arbitration claim may be unprecedented in recent U.S. history, according to legal experts and diplomatic historians, raising further questions about a payment timed to help free four American prisoners in Iran.

Matta: Airport security must stop – molesting’ passengers

PETALING JAYA: Malaysian airport authorities should invest and upgrade its screening technology for passengers instead of frisking them like "common criminals", said Malaysian Association of Tour and Travel Agents . Its president Datuk Hamzah Rahmat said he had observed such practices at Malaysian airports, which he claimed were not leaving a good impression of the country on visitors.

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The Jakarta administration will establish two new parks that Jakartans can use to voice their aspirations , Governor Basuki "Ahok" Tjahaja Purnama said on Thursday. One park will be located on the northwest side of the Monument National Park, 100 meters from the State Palace in Central Jakarta.

Scoop: Criminal Minds: Beyond Borders on CBS – Saturday, June 18, 2016

"The Harmful One" - Unit Chief Jack Garrett and his International Response Team travel to Thailand when three American volunteers go missing during a trek to Bangkok, and reconnect with former colleague Clara Seger , who helps them rush to gather evidence leading to the UnSub before a storm threatens to wash it away, on a rebroadcast of the series premiere of CRIMINAL MINDS: BEYOND BORDERS, on a special night and time, Saturday, June 18 on the CBS Television Network. Gary Sinise, Alana De La Garza, Daniel Henney, Tyler James Williams and Annie Funke star.

Obama uses light moment with rapper to espouse free speech

In this image made from pool video, U.S. President Barack Obama listens as Vietnamese rapper Suboi raps during a town-hall style event for the Young Southeast Asian Leadership Initiative at the GEM Center in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, Wednesday, May 25, 2016. Obama is wrapping up his visit to Vietnam before traveling to Japan for the G-7 summit and a visit to Hiroshima.

Obama uses light moment with rapper to espouse free speech

In this combination of images made from pool video, U.S. President Barack Obama, left, listens as Vietnamese rapper Suboi raps during a town-hall style event for the Young Southeast Asian Leadership Initiative at the GEM Center in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, Wednesday, May 25, 2016. Suboi rapped and asked Obama about the importance of governments promoting the arts and culture.

Diplomatic outreach: Barack Obama to be first U.S. president to visit Hiroshima

In 1983, President Ronald Reagan decried the totalitarian repression of the Soviet Union by calling it the “focus of evil in the modern world.” Yet in 1988 while visiting with Mikhail Gorbachev in Russia, Mr. Reagan felt the need to soft-pedal his rhetoric when asked by a reporter if he still considered the Soviet Union to be an “evil empire.” The president said he was referring to a “different era” when he used that term. Our elected leaders must sometimes walk diplomatic tightropes while traveling around the world.