PARIS—The Washington Post’s vast investigative report about the delusions and lies of successive American administrations in Afghanistan reads almost like a celebration of superpower humiliation. Drawing on hundreds of internal U.S. government interviews about “lessons learned,” it would reinforce anyone’s belief the best lesson would be to get the fuck out. Like, yesterday already. Certainly the documents dovetail with U.S. President Donald J. Trump’s promise that he’ll be the one to end this “endless war.” Amb. Ryan Crocker, one of the diplomats quoted extensively in the articles, told me after the series came out, “the Post has just helped [Trump] immensely.” And sure enough, NBC and other media reported Saturday night that Trump is preparing a drawdown of 4,000 more troops, to a level of 8,000 to 9,000 boots on the ground, with the aim of "ending" the war (for Americans) before the 2020 election. But is complete … [Read more...] about Trump, Afghanistan, and ‘The Tweet of Damocles’
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Claressa Shields warms up with Team USA boxer Jajaira Gonzalez during a workout session at The Gym Boxing and Fitness in Pembroke Pines, Fla., earlier this year. Claressa Shields warms up with Team USA boxer Jajaira Gonzalez during a workout session at The Gym Boxing and Fitness in Pembroke Pines, Fla., earlier this year. Photo: Washington Post Photo By Toni L. Sandys Photo: Washington Post Photo By Toni L. Sandys Image 1 of / 12 Caption Close Image 1 of 12 Claressa Shields warms up with Team USA boxer Jajaira Gonzalez during a workout session at The Gym Boxing and Fitness in Pembroke Pines, Fla., earlier this year. Claressa Shields warms up with Team USA boxer Jajaira Gonzalez during a workout session at The Gym Boxing and Fitness in Pembroke Pines, Fla., earlier this year. … [Read more...] about She keeps winning boxing titles. She is still fighting for visibility.
Anthony Rendon and agent Scott Boras had just wrapped up the third baseman’s $245 million deal to join the Los Angeles Angels last Wednesday when Mike Trout began blowing up his phone. “Based on his exclamation points in his texts, he seemed really excited,” Rendon said with a grin. Two of the majors' best hitters are forming a well-paid partnership in Orange County, and they are both excited to reward Angels owner Arte Moreno’s largesse with postseason success. The Angels formally introduced Rendon at Angel Stadium on Saturday, welcoming the championship-winning slugger to their star-studded lineup. Rendon left the Washington Nationals to team up with Trout, Shohei Ohtani, Albert Pujols, Andrelton Simmons and Justin Upton in the Angels’ loaded lineup. But the World Series star insisted his lavish new contract — a seven-year deal with the biggest average annual value ever given to a third baseman— wasn’t as important as the words he heard … [Read more...] about Anthony Rendon eager to team up with Trout in Angels’ lineup
PARIS—I was 19 when it rained and Marlon Brando told me he was at the end of his career, "making a fuck movie in Paris." It was November, largely grey and Bertolucci's crew had been sneaking around Passy in Paris' 16th arrondissement, filming Last Tango commando-style for a week, perhaps 10 days. They'd been spotted picking up exteriors: along the Seine, a shopping high street... A few days earlier, a classmate claimed to have seen Jean-Pierre Léaud running down rue de Passy. Another heard scenes were planned for some soon-to-be-demolished dance hall. On this particularly wet Wednesday morning, they hadn't yet been inside the large vacant apartment just downhill from the school I was nominally attending: the apartment where the film's obsessions play out. This Wednesday, there were klieg lights under wet canvas on the pedestrian bridge at Rue d'Alboni and a small white panel truck beside the Kennedy Eiffel Bar, the dingy corner café where I gave the odd English … [Read more...] about With Brando, Maria Schneider, and Bertolucci on the Scandalous Set of ‘Last Tango in Paris’
STATE DEPARTMENT - Top American officials say the U.S. is hopeful that the recent prisoner exchange will lead to a broader discussion on consular affairs between the U.S. and Iran. In an interview with VOA on Wednesday, Brian Hook, the U.S. special representative for Iran, recalled some of the emotional moments of witnessing the release of Xiyue Wang, a Chinese American detained in Iran, and said Wang will be “working with us and doing everything we can to get out people like Bob Levinson and then the Namazis and others.” Wang was freed Saturday after being held in Iran since 2016 on spying charges, in return for the U.S. releasing Iranian scientist Masoud Soleimani. Hook said Wang is “in excellent condition” and is at Ramstein Air Force Base with his wife and son. While the top U.S. envoy said the rare prisoner exchange between the two nations is “a good first step” toward more dialogue, he called Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif’s … [Read more...] about US Hopes Prisoner Exchange Will Lead to Broader Discussion with Iran