ON AIR NOW

LISTEN NOW

Weather

heavy-rain-night
85°
Partly Cloudy
H 93° L 75°
  • heavy-rain-night
    85°
    Current Conditions
    Partly Cloudy. H 93° L 75°
  • cloudy-day
    76°
    Morning
    Partly Cloudy. H 93° L 75°
  • partly-cloudy-tstorms-day
    88°
    Afternoon
    Sct Thunderstorms. H 89° L 75°
LISTEN
PAUSE
ERROR

The latest newscast

00:00 | 00:00

LISTEN
PAUSE
ERROR

The latest traffic report

00:00 | 00:00

LISTEN
PAUSE
ERROR

The latest forecast

00:00 | 00:00

National Govt & Politics
Envoy to Afghanistan says US not 'cutting and running'
Close

Envoy to Afghanistan says US not 'cutting and running'

Envoy to Afghanistan says US not 'cutting and running'
Photo Credit: AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin, File
FILE - In this Feb. 8, 2019, file photo, Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation Zalmay Khalilzad smiles at the U.S. Institute of Peace, in Washington. Amid talk of a U.S. troop withdrawal from Afghanistan, Khalilzad, the U.S. envoy talking to the Taliban said Thursday, July 11, that America is not “cutting and running” from its longest war and that women will continue to have seats in peace talks to end nearly 18 years of fighting. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin, File)

Envoy to Afghanistan says US not 'cutting and running'

Amid talk of a U.S. troop withdrawal from Afghanistan, the U.S. envoy talking to the Taliban said Thursday that America is not "cutting and running" from its longest war and that women will continue to have seats in peace talks to end nearly 18 years of fighting.

Zalmay Khalilzad addressed an audience in Washington on a video link from Qatar where a two-day all-Afghan conference concluded Tuesday with a statement that offered a roadmap for the country's future. The Washington event was heavily focused on raising the voices of women who fear any peace accord with the Taliban will rollback gains they've made and return them to the days of repressive Taliban rule,

"We would like to leave a very positive legacy here," said the U.S. envoy, who was born in Afghanistan. "We are not cutting and running. We're not looking for a withdrawal agreement. We're looking for a peace agreement. And we're looking for a long-term relationship and partnership with Afghanistan."

The Taliban refuses to meet with the current Afghan government, but there are ongoing discussions about peace.

Khalilzad has held eight rounds of U.S. talks with the Taliban and there have been all-Afghan meetings, including the last one in Doha, the capital of Qatar, where Afghans from all walks of life met to discuss grievances and find common ground about the future for their nation.

A statement released at the end of the conference said that a post-war Afghanistan would have an Islamic legal system, protect women's rights "within the Islamic framework of Islamic values," and ensure equality for all ethnic groups.

Alice Wells, acting assistant secretary of state for Central and South Asian Affairs, who attended the event at Georgetown University, said no current or future Afghan government should count on international donor support if it "restricts, represses or relegates Afghan women to second-class status."

In his talks with the Taliban, Khalilzad said there has been progress on four fronts: getting assurances from the Taliban that Afghanistan will not become a staging ground again for militant groups like al-Qaida or the Islamic State; the withdrawal of U.S. troops, which currently number 14,000; having an all-Afghan dialogue to reach agreement on a peaceful future; and a permanent ceasefire to end the fighting.

He wants the U.S. talks with the Taliban to reach fruition by Sept. 1, which would allow the withdrawal of U.S. and NATO troops. That would open the door to more difficult negotiations.

That's where the many sides of Afghanistan's protracted conflict would sit down to hammer out the details of what an Islamic system will look like, what constitutional reforms would be made and what would become of the many local militias affiliated with the country's powerful warlords. Those talks also would have to tackle how women's rights fit into the definition of the "Islamic values."

Roya Rahmani, Afghanistan's first female ambassador to the United States, expressed hope for peace, but said there's still no dialogue between the Taliban and the current Afghan government. She predicted tough periods of negotiation ahead and said whatever deal is made needed to be implemented by a "strong central government."

The talks have created both optimism and anxiety, especially among women.

Ghizaal Haress, assistant professor of law at the American University of Afghanistan who spoke via Skype from Kabul, said the Taliban must guarantee that the rights of women and minorities, which currently are protected in the Afghan constitution, are preserved.

"If we leave it to broad interpretation or to the broad idea of women's 'Islamic values' then we're going to be in trouble as we have experienced it" under Taliban rule in the past, she said.

Asila Wardack, a member of the Afghan peace council who attended the conference in Doha, said it appears the Taliban are embracing more modern views of women. Via Skype from Kabul, she said she still worries that they have not changed their hardline ideology and claimed a deeper trust between the parties was needed for the negotiations to be successful.

Doha was the first time Wardack had met the Taliban negotiating team.

"They approached us. They didn't shake hands," she said.

Later, Wardack said two of the Taliban representatives walked up to the women at the conference and said they had heard that a group of "dangerous women" were going to be at the meeting.

"They literally used the word 'dangerous women,'" Wardack said. She said one Taliban member then said: "Please don't give us a hard time."

Read More

The Latest Headlines You Need To Know

  • President Trump continues his public criticism of House democrats Ayanna Pressley, Rashida Tlaib, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Ilhan Omar. He tweets, “The “Squad” is a very Racist group of troublemakers who are young, inexperienced, and not very smart. They are pulling the once great Democrat Party far left, and were against humanitarian aid at the Border...And are now against ICE and Homeland Security. So bad for our Country!” These comments come after President Trump last week said those four freshman House Democrats should 'go back to the crime infested places' from which they came. This also comes after a crowd at a Trump campaign rally in North Carolina chanted 'send her back.
  • A California woman and her boyfriend have been charged in connection with their newborn son’s death after investigators learned they strangled the boy at the hospital shortly after he was born, authorities said. Andrea Torralba, 20, and David Villa, 21, both of Oxnard, are being held in the Ventura County Jail on suspicion of felony assault on a child causing death, Oxnard Police Department officials said. Jail records show Villa, who is described as a field worker, is being held in lieu of $5 million. ABC 7 in Los Angeles reported that Torralba’s bail was set at $1 million. >> Read more trending news  Oxnard police investigators said officers were called just before 8 a.m. Friday to St. John’s Medical Center, where they learned a newborn boy was in critical condition with serious injuries. The boy was found unresponsive and despite all medical efforts, he died of his injuries. Detectives from the department’s Family Protection Unit learned that Torralba and Villa strangled the newborn until he lost consciousness, police officials said. Oxnard police Sgt. Brandon Ordelheide told ABC 7 that the couple, when questioned by detectives, admitted they did not want the baby. Both were arrested and charged in the boy’s death.
  • Police have apprehended an Ohio man accused of stabbing and setting fire to two women in a Willoughby Hills home before leaving with three young children, authorities said. >> Read more trending news  According to WEWS-TV, 27-year-old Allen Crawford bound, stabbed and burned the women – one of whom is the mother of his children – Saturday afternoon at the Willoughby Hills Towers, police said. He then fled the scene with the children, who are 2, 4 and 5 years old, authorities said. Shortly after 5 p.m., one woman broke free and called police, the TV station reported. Both women, who suffered critical injuries, were flown to a nearby hospital, authorities said. Crawford took the children to his mother's Cleveland home before turning himself in around 9 p.m., police told WEWS. All three were safe.  Information about what charges Crawford may face was not immediately available. Read more here.
  • A tropical wave churning off shore has a low chance of developing further into a tropical system this upcoming week. This system could potentially bring a surge in moisture to Florida.  Considering its position, movement and forward speed, this tropical wave is expected to be near or at our latitude by Tuesday.  As for Monday's forecast, WFTV Channel 9 meteorologist Brian Shields said there's 50 percent chance of scattered rain and storms, mainly in the afternoon. The high temperature will still be toasty, clocking in at 93. By Tuesday, the few models currently available forecast the tropical system to be parallel to Central Florida. How close to Central Florida will it be? That will all depend on the high pressure system over the Atlantic Ocean.  Currently, we are monitoring this wave closely. The wave seems to be moving fast toward Florida, not giving it time to further develop as it gets close to Florida. We can expect high rain chances to start the week, especially Tuesday.  Temperatures will remain seasonably hot, with highs in the low 90s and lows in the mid-70s.
  • Bud Light is getting on the fun surrounding the 'Area 51 raid' that's been in the news recently. First, the brand distanced itself, tweeting, 'We'd like to be the first brand to formally announce that we will not be sponsoring the Area 51 raid' early last week. But on Thursday (July 17th) Bud Light changed its tune, tweeting, 'Screw it. Free Bud Light to any alien that makes it out.' They followed that by announcing a special edition beer, the Area 51 Special Edition. The top of the can reads, 'Greetings Earthlings. This is the famous Area 51. We know of no space beer by any other life form which is brewed and aged to be more refreshing. Our cryogenic aging produces a light-bodied space lager with a fresh tastes, a crisp, clean finish, and a smooth drinkability. Take us to your leader...for drinks.

Washington Insider

  • In a dramatic expansion of a process known as 'expedited removal' of illegal immigrants in the United States, the Trump Administration will start applying that everywhere in the United States - to anyone who has been in the U.S. illegally for less than two years - as critics quickly said they would challenge the change in federal court. 'The effect of that change will be to enhance national security and public safety,' the Department of Homeland Security states in a new rule set to go into effect on Tuesday, which the notice says will allow 'DHS to address more effectively and efficiently the large volume of aliens who are present in the United States unlawfully.' Up until this change, expedited removal was only used for illegal immigrants who were detained within 100 miles of the border - now it can be enforced anywhere in the U.S. Under the Immigration and Nationality Act, the Trump Administration argues the Acting Homeland Security Secretary has the 'sole and unreviewable discretion' to change 'the scope of the expedited removal designation,' shifting it from the 100 mile policy to one that applies nationwide. Critics denounced the immigration policy change, with some vowing to challenge the move in court. 'One of the major problems with expedited removal is that the immigration officer making the decision virtually has unchecked authority,' said the American Immigration Council, as the process does not involve an immigration judge or any type of court hearing. 'We will sue to end this policy quickly,' said Omar Jadwat of the American Civil Liberties Union, who charged that deportations could occur with 'less due process than people get in traffic court.' 'This is a massive and dangerous change,' said Aaron Reichlin-Melnick of the American Immigration Council, which is joining in the ACLU legal challenge to the new policy. The announcement marked the second straight week that the Trump Administration had rolled out a new immigration policy - last Monday, the feds announced a new plan to restrict asylum claims by migrants from Central America. Those plans are also facing a legal challenge from the ACLU and other groups.