Dec 31, 2018

CIA undermining the U.S. mission in Afghanistan with abuse, torture

A protest in Kabul over the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan. Photo: Noorullah Shirzada/AFP/Getty Images

"C.I.A.'s Afghan Forces Leave a Trail of Abuse and Anger," writes Mujib Mashal, the New York Times' senior correspondent in Afghanistan.

Details: "The fighters hold the line in the war's toughest spots, but officials say their brutal tactics are terrorizing the public and undermining the U.S. mission."

  • "[T]he units have ... operated unconstrained by battlefield rules designed to protect civilians, conducting night raids, torture and killings with near impunity."

The big picture: "Those abuses are actively pushing people toward the Taliban."

  • "And with only a relatively small American troop contingent left ... the strike forces are increasingly the way that a large number of rural Afghans experience the American presence."

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House Democrats lose appeal to force McGahn testimony

Photo: Alex Wong / Staff

Democrats in the House lost an appeal to force former White House counsel Don McGahn to comply with a subpoena, Politico was the first to report.

Why it matters: McGahn was seen as a crucial witness in the House investigation into whether President Trump tried to obstruct the Mueller inquiry. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit ruled 2-1 on Friday that it did not have the authority to resolve the dispute between the executive and legislative branches.

The Americans who can't hide from coronavirus

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

The stock markets are in bad shape, but for the millions of Americans who aren’t invested in stocks, coronavirus is presenting a far more imminent concern.

Why it matters: Quarantines usually work with at least 90% participation, but many Americans lack the flexibility to work remotely, take a sick day or absorb having schools close.

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Wall Street notches worst week for stocks since 2008

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. Photo: Scott Heins/Getty Images

Stocks closed down about 1% on Friday, ending the worst week for Wall Street since the financial crisis.

Why it matters: The stretch of declines came after a spike in coronavirus cases around the world earlier this week. The steep losses prompted questions about the fate of the record-long economic expansion, as well as a rare statement from the Federal Reserve.

Go deeper: The growing coronavirus recession threat