The Global Security News: 1. World from Michael_Novakhov (25 sites): Voice of America: Sudan Party Officials Arrested as Bashir Inquiry Begins

Sudanese authorities have arrested several top members of the former ruling party of ousted President Omar al-Bashir, in a move that could bolster military rulers who are under mounting pressure by protesters to hand power to civilians.

In another part of a widening crackdown designed to remove remnants of Bashir’s rule, the transitional military council (TMC) said it will retire all eight of the officers ranked lieutenant general in the National Intelligence and Security…

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The Global Security News: 1. Russia from Michael_Novakhov (115 sites): Voice of America: Sudan Party Officials Arrested as Bashir Inquiry Begins

Sudanese authorities have arrested several top members of the former ruling party of ousted President Omar al-Bashir, in a move that could bolster military rulers who are under mounting pressure by protesters to hand power to civilians.

In another part of a widening crackdown designed to remove remnants of Bashir’s rule, the transitional military council (TMC) said it will retire all eight of the officers ranked lieutenant general in the National Intelligence and Security Service.

Opposition groups had demanded that the security agencies be restructured.

Sudan’s public prosecutor has begun investigating Bashir on charges of money laundering and possession of large sums of foreign currency without legal grounds, a judicial source said earlier on Saturday.

​Suitcases loaded with cash

The source said military intelligence officers who searched Bashir’s home found suitcases loaded with more than $351,000 and 6 million euros, as well as 5 million Sudanese pounds.

“The chief public prosecutor … ordered the (former) president detained and quickly questioned in preparation to put him on trial,” the judicial source told Reuters.

“The public prosecution will question the former president in Kobar prison,” the source said. Bashir has not been questioned yet, the source added. Two of his brothers were also detained on allegations of corruption, the source said.

Relatives could not immediately be reached Saturday for comment about the investigation.

Separately, a source in Bashir’s National Congress Party said authorities arrested the acting party head Ahmed Haroun, former first vice president Ali Osman Taha, former Bashir aide Awad al-Jaz, the secretary general of the Islamic movement Al-Zubair Ahmed Hassan and former parliament speaker Ahmed Ibrahim al-Taher.

The source also said parliament speaker Ibrahim Ahmed Omar and presidential aide Nafie Ali Nafie were under house arrest.

High-security prison

Bashir, who is also being sought by the International Criminal Court (ICC) over allegations of genocide in Sudan’s western Darfur region, was ousted April 11 by the military following months of protests against his rule and had been held at a presidential residence.

His family said this week that the former president had been moved to the high-security Kobar prison in Khartoum.

Hassan Bashir, a professor of political science at the University of Neelain, said the measures against Bashir are intended as a message to other figures associated with his rule that they are not above the law.

“The trial is a step that the military council wants to take to satisfy the protesters by presenting al-Bashir for trial,” he said.

Bashir survived several armed rebellions, economic crises, and attempts by the West to turn him into a pariah during his 30-year rule before he was toppled in a military coup.

At a sit-in outside Sudan’s Ministry of Defense that began on April 6, protesters, who sleep on the pavement, stood besides posters of Bashir that called on the ICC to put him on trial.

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The Brooklyn News: The Global Security News: 1. World from Michael_Novakhov (25 sites): Voice of America: Sudan Party Officials Arrested as Bashir Inquiry Begins

Sudanese authorities have arrested several top members of the former ruling party of ousted President Omar al-Bashir, in a move that could bolster military rulers who are under mounting pressure by protesters to hand power to civilians.

In another part of a widening crackdown designed to remove remnants of Bashir’s rule, the transitional military council (TMC) said it will retire all eight of the officers ranked lieutenant general in the National Intelligence and Security…

Voice of America

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Blogs from Michael_Novakhov (21 sites): The FBI News Review: Moberly police arrest fugitive after being alerted by FBI – Columbia Missourian

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April 20, 2019
Moberly police arrest fugitive after being alerted by FBI – Columbia Missourian
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Sarah Sanders admitted to providing media baseless information about Comey: Mueller report – CNN
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The Tell-All Book That Could Trump Them All: The Mueller Report – WAMU 88.5

Moberly police arrest fugitive after being alerted by FBI – Columbia Missourian

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A lone bicycle stands in the rack outside East High School, Wednesday, April 17, 2019, in Denver. Denver-area public schools closed Wednesday as the FBI hunted for an armed young Florida woman who was allegedly “infatuated” with Columbine and threatened violence just days ahead of the 20th anniversary of the attack.
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Sarah Sanders admitted to providing media baseless information about Comey: Mueller report – CNN

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Rep. Matt Shea, R-Spokane, speaks at a gun-rights rally, at the Capitol in Olympia, Wash. in 2017. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren) A Washington State Republican representative is accused of covertly organizing surveillance and violence against people and groups with liberal politics.
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April 20, 2019
Moberly police arrest fugitive after being alerted by FBI – Columbia Missourian
Colorado schools reopen as FBI examines teen suspect’s past – Fox News
Sarah Sanders admitted to providing media baseless information about Comey: Mueller report – CNN
“fbi surveillance” – Google News: Report: Washington Rep. Matt Shea allegedly used app to discuss surveillance of liberals – MyNorthwest.com
The Tell-All Book That Could Trump Them All: The Mueller Report – WAMU 88.5

Moberly police arrest fugitive after being alerted by FBI – Columbia Missourian

Columbia Missourian
The Moberly Police Department arrested a man wanted on sex trafficking charges Friday after being alerted by the FBI he was in the area, according to a department news release.
Read More

Colorado schools reopen as FBI examines teen suspect’s past – Fox News

Fox News
A lone bicycle stands in the rack outside East High School, Wednesday, April 17, 2019, in Denver. Denver-area public schools closed Wednesday as the FBI hunted for an armed young Florida woman who was allegedly “infatuated” with Columbine and threatened violence just days ahead of the 20th anniversary of the attack.
Read More

Sarah Sanders admitted to providing media baseless information about Comey: Mueller report – CNN

CNN
The report released Thursday stated that Sanders conceded to the special counsel’s office she had a “slip of the tongue” when she told the media that “countless members of the FBI” had lost faith in Comey.
Read More

“fbi surveillance” – Google News: Report: Washington Rep. Matt Shea allegedly used app to discuss surveillance of liberals – MyNorthwest.com

FBI from Michael_Novakhov (27 sites)
Rep. Matt Shea, R-Spokane, speaks at a gun-rights rally, at the Capitol in Olympia, Wash. in 2017. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren) A Washington State Republican representative is accused of covertly organizing surveillance and violence against people and groups with liberal politics.
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The Tell-All Book That Could Trump Them All: The Mueller Report – WAMU 88.5

WAMU 88.5
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The Global Security News: 1. US Security from Michael_Novakhov (88 sites): Stars and Stripes: SpaceX capsule suffers ‘anomaly,’ smoke seen for miles

SpaceX’s Crew Dragon successfully flew without a crew to the International Space Station in March. Officials had previously said the first flight with astronauts could be as early as this summer, but the schedule is under review.

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The Global Security News: 1. US Security from Michael_Novakhov (88 sites): Eurasia Review: Hysteria Over School Safety Won’t Keep Us Safe – OpEd

By James Bovard*

Numerous Indiana elementary school teachers were shot in January as part of a “safe schools” training program. According to the Indiana State Teachers Association, sheriff deputies ordered teachers “into a room four at a time, told them to crouch down and then shot them execution-style with pellets in rapid succession,” leaving several of them bloodied and many of them screaming in terror. The teachers union is “is lobbying lawmakers to add language prohibiting teachers from being shot with any sort of ammunition” during school safety drills, according to the Indianapolis Star.

The Indiana program was part of the school lockdown drills occurring
across the nation spurred in part by a Colorado massacre that occurred
twenty years ago on April 20. Twelve students and one teacher died in a
shooting spree by two students at Columbine High School. The Columbine
carnage helped inspire subsequent school shootings, especially a
Newtown, Connecticut attack in 2012.

While the media is vividly reminding Americans of the Colorado
killings, few people remember how the Clinton administration rushed to
exploit the killings. Attorney General Janet Reno praised the local
police response as “extraordinary” and “a textbook” example of “how to
do it the right way.” President Bill Clinton declared that “we look with
admiration at the… the police officers who rushed to the scene to
save lives.” Clinton invoked the Columbine killings almost every day
from April 20 through mid-June 1999, when the House of Representatives
narrowly defeated Clinton-championed gun control legislation.

In reality, “No efforts were made to stop the assault,” concluded
William Erickson, a former Colorado Supreme Court justice who headed a
commission that issued a damning 2001 report on the Columbine killings.
Instead, hundreds of police waited outside until long after the two
perpetrators had committed suicide.

Appalling police failures turned a multiple homicide into a historic
massacre. A SWAT team had entered the building early on but Jefferson
County Sheriff John Stone ordered it to withdraw. Police spokesmen said
most of the SWAT teams were not sent in “for fear that they might set
off a new gunfight,” the New York Times reported. SWAT teams
did not enter the room where the killers lay until hours after the
shooting stopped. A badly wounded school teacher, Dave Sanders, bled to
death because the SWAT team took four hours to reach the room he was in –
even though students placed a large sign announcing “1 Bleeding to
Death” in the window.

Jefferson County Sheriff John Stone later explained: “We had initial
people there right away, but we couldn’t get in. We were way outgunned.”
However, SWAT team members had flak jackets and submachine guns – far
better protection and weaponry than the unreliable TEC-9 handgun,
semiautomatic rifle, and shotguns that the killers touted.

Fears for “officer safety” paralyzed the police response. Steve
Davis, spokesman for the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Department, said,
“We had no idea who was a victim and who was a suspect. And a dead
police officer would not be able to help anyone.” Evan Todd, a Columbine
student who was wounded in the initial attack, escaped outside and then
explained to a dozen policemen exactly what was happening inside; he
was told “to calm down and take my frustrations elsewhere.” After the
2001 report was released, Randy Brown, the father of a Columbine
student, scoffed in the Rocky Mountain News: “When children are
being murdered… it is important that you establish a perimeter. Do
not intervene in the shooting. Officer safety is a priority”?

Unfortunately, law enforcement learned too little from Littleton. At
the Parkland school in Florida last year, eight sheriff’s deputies
cowered outside while the shooting rampage left 17 dead. A local cop who
arrived during the shooting was urged not to enter the building: “Hey,
be careful. The guy’s got a rifle,” a deputy told him. After the
killings, the local sheriff’s department put out a deluge of false
claims that were debunked by later revelations. Nikolas Cruz should have
been arrested numerous times because of violence and threats at school
and elsewhere but school authorities may have avoided charging him
because of an Obama administration school grant program that sought to
curb the “school-to-prison” pipeline for minority students. The FBI also
dropped the ball despite receiving at least two explicit calls warning
about Cruz.

Unfortunately, school safety policies have long been dominated by
institutional hysteria fanned by politicians, bureaucrats, and much of
the media. The federal Education Department reported last year that
“nearly 240 schools … reported at least 1 incident involving a
school-related shooting” in the 2015-16 school year. National Public
Radio investigated and found that the feds had exaggerated school
shootings by twenty-fold; NPR could confirm only 11 incidents. Cleveland
was credited with 37 shooting incidents when in reality it was simply a
report of 37 schools noting “possession of a knife or a firearm.” One
school system was listed as a shooting locale for an incident involving a
pair of scissors. But fanning hysteria over school hysteria is mother’s
milk for politicians who want to confiscate private firearms.

The #NeverAgain movement that arose after last year’s Parkland
shootings ignores how government officials cannot be trusted to behave
honestly or responsibly to save student lives. New gun control laws will
do nothing to boost either the competence or courage of the police when
every second counts. Unfortunately, there is also no cure for the
political exploitation of such tragedies.

*About the author: James Bovard is the author of ten books, including 2012’s Public Policy Hooligan, and 2006’s Attention Deficit Democracy. He has written for the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Playboy, Washington Post, and many other publications.

Source: This article was published by the MISES Institute

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The Global Security News: 1. Podcasts from Michael_Novakhov (19 sites): NPR News Now: NPR News: 04-20-2019 10PM ET

The Global Security News: 1. US Security from Michael_Novakhov (88 sites): Test Feed Using Fields: Check Out These Dangerous Looking Chinese Assault Rifles (There’s A Problem)

War Is Boring

Technology, Asia

By Elvin Lazo - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=21166573

Too big, too bulky.

To hear Chinese state media tell it, the soldiers of the People’s Liberation Army will go into battle in the future wearing an array of high-tech gizmos. In their hands will be enormous weapons combining a rifle with a 20-millimeter grenade launcher akin to the old — and cancelled — American OICW. On top of that, they will have heads-up displays and networked positioning systems so Chinese troops can monitor each other digitally, almost like a video game.

It looks impressive, and Chinese announcements of the system have circulated in the press with varying degrees of skepticism and hyperbole. A more skeptical take recently came from the military news wire Shephard Media, which pointed out that China is claiming the 20-millimeter hybrid weapon, dubbed QTS-11, can fire airbursting grenades lethal within a radius of 7.7 meters.

Be wary of such claims. The U.S. version of this weapon from years ago, the OICW, also included a 20-millimeter grenade launcher but the U.S. military found it to be ineffective. A grenade’s lethality primarily comes from shrapnel, but the pieces of flying metal were often too light and often dispersed upwards and away from the target. Ultimately, the U.S. military lost interest, though the OICW did inspire the M320 grenade launcher and the problematic — and now cancelled — XM25.

South Korea developed its own tricked-out future rifle called the K11 and adopted it into service. But the K11 was plagued with problems from the fire-control system to the optics and the barrel — it wobbled. Another issue is that the K11 is huge and heavy at 13 pounds unloaded. So like the OICW, the result is a big, bulky rifle with an underpowered grenade launcher. And like the American version, it’s expensive.

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The Global Security News: 1. US Security from Michael_Novakhov (88 sites): Eurasia Review: ‘The Hummingbird Project’ Leaves Jesse Eisenberg In Awe Of Salma Hayek

By William Mullally

At 35, Jesse Eisenberg has already had an accomplished career, including
an Academy Award nomination for Best Actor, a published book of short
stories and nearly defeating both Superman and Batman in “Dawn of
Justice” (2016). Still, when Salma Hayek walked on the set of “The
Hummingbird Project” (2019), his latest film directed by Kim Nguyen,
Eisenberg did not know what to do with himself.

“To be frank, she’s intimidating to me. Not only did I grow up watching
her, but she’s one of the actresses who transcends the profession. She’s
almost more iconic than she is an actor, even though she’s a wonderful
actor,” Eisenberg told Arab News.

The feeling was mutual. The Lebanese-Mexican actor, who has also found
success as a producer, CEO, and activist, including spearheading an
animated adaptation of Khalil Gibran’s “The Prophet,” saw something in
Eisenberg as well.

“In person, she came up to me and said, ‘I suspect you have other
ambitions, don’t you?’ I said, ‘yeah, I write plays, books, and I’m
involved in other stuff.’ She said, ‘Yes, I can tell. You remind me of
myself.’”

“I thought it was so nice, and I really admire what she’s doing. In
fact, she’d written a piece for the New York Times about Harvey
Weinstein that was coming out the next day and she asked me to take a
look at it… It was phenomenal. She was able to write not just about
assault, but the humiliating and constant whittling away of her own
agency by this horrible person,” Eisenberg explained.

In “The Hummingbird Project,” Eisenberg and Hayek’s characters are
competing to create a direct connection to the New York stock market, in
order to get a competitive edge in high frequency trading. Hayek plays
Eisenberg’s former boss, someone his character is still intimidated by,
as art imitates life.

 “My character thinks of her as this icon. The fact that she personally
carries so much power was very helpful to me and for the scene,”
Eisenberg said. 

Eurasia Review

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The Global Security News: 1. US Security from Michael_Novakhov (88 sites): Eurasia Review: Bees Living On Notre-Dame Cathedral Roof Survive Fire

Notre-Dame’s smallest residents have survived the devastating fire which destroyed most of the cathedral’s roof and toppled its famous spire, the BBC reports.

Some 200,000 bees living in hives on the roof were initially thought to have perished in the blaze.

However Nicolas Géant, the cathedral’s beekeeper, has confirmed that the bees are alive and buzzing.

Géant has looked after the cathedral’s three beehives since 2013, when they were installed.

That was part of an initiative to boost bee numbers across Paris.

The hives sit on top of the sacristy by Notre-Dame’s south side, around
30m (98 ft) below the main roof. As a result, Géant says they remained
untouched by the flames.

European bees – unlike other species –
stay by their hive after sensing danger, gorging on honey and working to
protect their queen.

High temperatures would have posed the biggest risk, but Géant explained that any smoke would have simply intoxicated them.

“Instead of killing them, the carbon dioxide makes them drunk, puts them to sleep,” he told AP.

Beekeepers commonly use smoke to sedate the insects and gain access to their hive.

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The Global Security News: 1. US Security from Michael_Novakhov (88 sites): Stars and Stripes: Trump’s legal team breathes a sigh, takes a victory lap

The aftershocks from the Mueller report released Thursday will help shape the next two years of Trump’s administration. But while the report may cause some Democrats to take a renewed look at impeachment despite long odds of success in Congress, the legal threat to Trump that seemed so dangerous upon Mueller’s appointment in May 2017 has waned.

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The Global Security News: 1. US Security from Michael_Novakhov (88 sites): Eurasia Review: Afghanistan Trade Policy Achievements and Issues – Analysis

Introduction

In this article, it has been tried to present an argument about trade policy development in Afghanistan. Initially, providing a brief background, then summarising key policy achievements and issues in the post and pre Afghanistan WTO membership, arguing how WTO membership has worked out, existing institutional challenges to policy development and finally presenting conclusion and recommendation.

Background

Afghanistan is a landlocked country with its economy mostly dependent on aids. The inflow of billions of US dollars to Afghanistan from donor countries has been the key source of trade since 2001. This is happening despite the fact that the country is rich in natural resources such as Lithium, Iron, Copper, Cobalt and so on which according to The Telegraph (2010) it is estimated to have the worth of 3 trillion US dollars. Afghanistan’s failure to extract its resources has always been criticized by the economists however these institutional voids can turn into great business opportunities for international firms that not only have the financial resources but also have the capacity and experience to successfully explore such resources that would not only benefit them but the whole stakeholders in the country.

Likewise, the country is located in the heart of Asia, connecting three important regions: South Asia, Central Asia and both of these regions with the Iranian plateau in the west to Europe. Afghanistan’s geography has set the course of Afghan history for millennia as the gateway for both invaders and traders. However very little has been done to modernize or expand this connectivity with the needs of the 21st century. Failure to achieve this has resulted in the subcontinent to be one of the least connected regions of the world.

Policy Achievement

Afghanistan’s post-Taliban economic and the political era is a much different one than it was before the year 2001 (i.e. during Taliban regime) which the improvement is recognized by a great level of interdependence dominating all walks of life in the country. With these positive notes, it is believed that Afghanistan has started moving towards right directions in order to become a geo-economically and geopolitically a strategic nation in the region by connecting all of the six countries that Afghanistan shares a border with; Pakistan, China, Iran, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, and Turkmenistan.

The importance of international trade is realized in Afghanistan National Development Strategy (MoFA, 2013) which under the said strategy (ANDS) the government has so far signed multiple bilateral agreements such as the South Asian Free Trade Area (SAFTA) (SAARC, n.d), Preferential Trade Agreement (PTA) with India (MoCI, n.d)) and Afghanistan and Pakistan Trade and Transit Agreement (APTTA) (ACD, 2011). Afghanistan National Peace and Development Framework (ANPDF), Chabahar Trade and Transit Route, new trade ports established with Turkmenistan and China.

All these agreements were giving the optimism that the country was a pro-free trade country and that was finally proved when Afghanistan formally became the 164th WTO member in 2016 (WTO, 2016).  Since then, importantly, Afghanistan has recently launched the 2000 years old Lapis Lazuli Trade/ Transport Route with Turkmenistan, Azerbaijan, Georgia, and Turkey to reach European markets by road and the sea.

Additionally, considering the security and geopolitical issues of the region, Afghanistan has so far launched over 11 air cargo corridors from Afghanistan to Asian and European countries to diversify its connectivity with regional and international countries.

The Post-WTO Membership Era

The all-time high exports in Afghanistan is achieved in the post-WTO membership accession era. According to trading economics, exports in Afghanistan increased to 831.93 USD million in 2017 from 596.46 USD million in 2016. Exports in Afghanistan averaged 385.21 USD million from 2000 until 2017, reaching an all-time high of 831.93 USD million in 2017 and a record low of 69.10 USD million in 2002.

Overall it is commonly believed in Afghanistan that the country would benefit from more market access, international supply chains, lesser tariffs, significant FDI for vast natural resources, transport of  energy through pipelines from surplus energy of  Central Asia countries  to emerging markets in South Asia, like India, Pakistan, China and beyond (CASA, 2017).

Afghanistan’s WTO membership has given the current administration a clearer direction for the Afghan economy to become more liberalized with a vibrant private sector that is difficult to repeal. WTO membership has pushed the Afghan government to normalize tariffs and implement structural and administrative reforms for private sector development. It has helped the government to improve the weakened economic policies and reduce corruption in the country.

The Afghanistan WTO membership has helped Afghanistan to become top improver with record reforms to improve the business climate in Afghanistan. With the five major reforms, Afghanistan ranked top improver in the World Bank doing business report  in the year 2017/18. As a result, Afghanistan has improved its position from 183rd to 167th position in the global ease of doing business rankings.

Trade Policy Processes in Afghanistan

Within the first decade (2001-2010), the Afghan government free trade policy-making process has had a complicated (many approaches) process due to the fact that the government was newly established, had to meet different donor’s conditions and the overall knowledge about the understanding of the market economy system by the Afghan masses including the civil servant was very limited.

It was further mixed as Afghanistan was experiencing not an organic transition from a traditional and controlled economy to a market economy defined in the Afghan constitution. The (2001-2014) policies were not aligned with the private sector and Afghanistan economic potentials for development and most of them found out to fall short of the commitments those policies used to hold.

Nevertheless, the policy-making in current government generally follows through the following key steps in Afghanistan:

  • I. Policy direction is usually obtained from ANDPF or given by the President who himself was a former economic advisor to the World Bank, Afghanistan Commitment to the WTO, and receive inputs of the private sector directly.
  • II. The sector minister is tasked by the president either in the cabinet meeting or High Council of Economics to develop the concept.
  • III. The ministry launches the dialogue with the policy stakeholders (including international partners) which finally lead to the development of the draft policy concept.
  • IV.  The draft policy concept is discussed and draft the concept gets approved (or rejected) in High Council of Economic or Cabinet Meeting.
  • V.  If the proposed policy does not require the legislative process, then it is implemented by sector ministry.
  • VI. Otherwise, based on cabinet/council decision, the sectoral ministry submits the refined policy proposal to Afghanistan Institute of Law which is operating under the Ministry of Justice.
  • VII. The Ministry of Justice then analyze it with regard to all laws, regulations, and guidelines then submits it to the Cabinet for approval.

Once approved, the proposed legislation will be handed over to the Afghan parliament for debate and approval. Once it is passed, it is finally approved by President of Afghanistan then sectoral ministry starts implementations.

Policy Implementations and Challenges in Afghanistan

With having all the pre-WTO membership challenges to trade policy development in Afghanistan, the current administration has come a long way and has managed to overcome some of the challenges and open up the Afghan air cargo routes and land borders with Central Asian countries for trade development in Afghanistan, however, challenges to policy development and implementation still remains.

  • There are 18 government entities dealing directly or indirectly with international trade development in Afghanistan. Every entity gives importance to its own policies making it very hard for coordination, cooperation, and collaboration.
  • Policymaking and implementation in Afghanistan has failed to form a coalition for implementation, particularly at political levels, for instance, the deputy minister(s) representing a different political party than the minister in the same ministry.
  • The love of every new politician at minister and deputy minister levels, coming up with a new policy initiative while side-lining the implementation of the already approved and developed ones which could have achieved some outcomes.
  • During the past two decades, policy development and implementation lacked not only the political will but also the political action so that it could create an authorizing environment for policy implementations in Afghanistan.
  • The weak legal analysis and research by the Ministry of Justice of Afghanistan
  • The existence of political patronage and governance in policymaking and implementation.
  • The international community representation by different funding agencies with their different approaches and conditionality’s, which still form the basis of their continued practical engagement and financial support, have made it harder for the government of Afghanistan. They are still spending a big sum of money through off-budget leading to inaccurate aggregate data about financial resources to allow policymaking through the available budget.
  • Policy failure in Afghanistan is also strongly interlinked with insecurity, corruption and inadequate technical capacities in trade policy development.

Conclusion

The recent outcomes show that the current administration is better experienced in trade policy development and implementation than the previous administrations. However, the Afghan government lacks a strong system of trade policy development relying on one specialized institution with strong cooperation, coordination, and collaboration between all stakeholders so that the know-how, know-what, and know-why capitalize in one specialized entity. And the need to continue with  Deputy for Policy and Strategic Planning in almost every of 18 government institution dealing with the trade policies appears to be in some or another way obsolete.

Recommendation

Considering the above mentioned contextual challenges, coming up with recommendation would be difficult. However, the lessons learned in the past two decades suggest that it is better for policy development in Afghanistan to establish an independent specialist entity such as Afghanistan Institute of Economic Policy Development under the umbrella of the Ministry of Finance which has the budget at its disposal. This initiative will allow the rest of the entities to specialize in the implementations of the policy developed by the Institute. The capacity and skills will capitalize on one specialized entity, make it easy for the private sector to keep dialogue mostly with one entity, limit politicians to start developing new policy again and reduce corruptions and the institute will be free from conflict of interest in policy-making too.

The institute shall also monitor and evaluate the lead implementing partner of the policy and report to the Office of the President of The Islamic Republic of  Afghanistan.

*Shokrullah Amiri is a private sector development specialist with more than 10 years of work experience. He is currently working as Head of Private Sector Development and Outreach Department at the Administrative Office of the President of Afghanistan (AoP).

References:

  • Afghanistan Custom Department (2011) Afghanistan Pakistan Transit Trade Agreement(APTTA) [Online]. Available from:http://customs.mof.gov.af/en/page/1007/1009/1010 (Accessed: 9-December-2017).
  • CASA (2017) CASA-1000 [Online]. Available from:http://www.casa-1000.org/ (Accessed: 9-December-2017).
  • International Taste & Quality Institute (2013) http://www.itqi.com/en/about-itqi/press-archives/afghan-saffron-company-superior-taste-award-2013/ (Accessed: 13- Dece-2017).
  • Ministry of Foreign Affairs (2013) Islamic Republic of Afghanistan: Afghanistan National Development Strategy [Online]. Available from:http://mfa.gov.af/Content/files/Volume%205%20ENG.pdf (Accessed: 10-Dec-2017).
  • Ministry of Commerce India (n.d) India & Afghanistan, Preferential Trade Agreement [Online]. Available from: http://commerce.nic.in/trade/international_ta_indafg.asp (Accessed: 16-Dec-2017).
  • The Telegraph (2010) Afghanistan claims mineral wealth is worth $3trillion [Online]. Available from:http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/asia/afghanistan/7835657/Afghanistan-claims-mineral-wealth-is-worth-3trillion.html (Accessed: 15-Dec-2017).
  • Trading Economics (2016) Afghanistan Balance of Trade [Online]. Available from:http://www.tradingeconomics.com/afghanistan/balance-of-trade (Accessed: 18-Dec-2017).
  • South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (n.d) South Asian Free Trade Area (SAFTA) [Online]. Available from: http://saarc-sec.org/areaofcooperation/detail.php?activity_id=5 (Accessed: 18-Dec-2017).
  • World Trade Organization (2017) WTO Country Profile: Afghanistan [Online]. Available from: http://stat.wto.org/CountryProfiles/AF_e.htm (Accessed: 20-December-2017).
  • World Trade Organization (2016) WTO Accession: Afghanistan [Online]. Available from: https://www.wto.org/english/thewto_e/acc_e/a1_afghanistan_e.htm (Accessed: 24-Dec-2017).
  • Afghanistan Research and Evaluation Unit (2014) E governance-in-Afghanistan [online] Available from:
  • https://areu.org.af/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/1402EGovernance-in-Afghansitan.pdf (accessed: 20-December 2017

Eurasia Review

1. US Security from Michael_Novakhov (88 sites)

The Global Security News

The Global Security News: 1. US Security from Michael_Novakhov (88 sites): “fbi” – Google News: Anti-migrant group member arrested by FBI – UPI.com

Anti-migrant group member arrested by FBI  UPI.com

Larry Mitchell Hopkins, a 69-year-old New Mexico resident, was arrested for possessing a firearm has a felon. “If migrant families are made to feel threatened, …

“fbi” – Google News

1. US Security from Michael_Novakhov (88 sites)

The Global Security News

Blogs from Michael_Novakhov (21 sites): The FBI News Review: “fbi and trump” – Google News: FBI arrests member of rightwing militia accused of detaining migrants – The Guardian

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April 20, 2019
“fbi and trump” – Google News: FBI arrests member of rightwing militia accused of detaining migrants – The Guardian
Texas cancer center ousts 3 over Chinese data theft concerns – WRAL.com
Alerta de Google: fbi: Armed vigilante arrested by the FBI in southern New Mexico
Alerta de Google: fbi: FBI arrests member of armed civilian group that detained migrants
Alerta de Google: fbi: FBI Arrests Leader of New Mexico Militia That Detained Migrants at Border

“fbi and trump” – Google News: FBI arrests member of rightwing militia accused of detaining migrants – The Guardian

FBI from Michael_Novakhov (27 sites)
A member of an armed rightwing militia group accused of illegally detaining migrants at the US-Mexico border has been arrested, officials said on Saturday. Videos appear to show armed militia detaining migrants at US-Mexico border The FBI arrested Larry Mitchell Hopkins, 69, for alleged unlawful possession of firearms and ammunition , days after his group posted videos that appeared to show armed men stopping migrants at the border in New Mexico, ordering them to sit on the ground and coordinating with US border patrol agents to have them taken into custody.
Read More

Texas cancer center ousts 3 over Chinese data theft concerns – WRAL.com

WRAL.com
Business Texas cancer center ousts 3 over Chinese data theft concerns Posted 2:57 p.m. today Updated 2:58 p.m. today HOUSTON — A prominent cancer center in Houston has ousted three of five scientists whom federal authorities identified as being involved in Chinese efforts to steal American research.
Read More

Alerta de Google: fbi: Armed vigilante arrested by the FBI in southern New Mexico

FBI from Michael_Novakhov (27 sites)
Christina Rodriguez April 20, 2019 05:36 PM ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — The FBI has arrested one of the armed vigilantes who was patrolling the border for migrants near New Mexico’s southern border.
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Alerta de Google: fbi: FBI arrests member of armed civilian group that detained migrants

FBI from Michael_Novakhov (27 sites)
“Viper” and “Stinger,” of the United Constitutional Patriots-New Mexico Border Ops, patrol where the bollard fence in Anapra, N.M., ends. The group has been camped out on the border for a few months.
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Alerta de Google: fbi: FBI Arrests Leader of New Mexico Militia That Detained Migrants at Border

FBI from Michael_Novakhov (27 sites)
Photo: Justin Sullivan (Getty Images)The next time a MAGA cult member whines about criminals flocking to the southern U.S. border, point them to this story. Just days after videos surfaced of a right-wing, conspiracy-theory-peddling militia called the United Constitutional Patriots detaining hundreds of migrants near the border, the FBI has arrested the group’s 69-year-old leader, Larry Mitchell Hopkins.
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The FBI News Review

Blogs from Michael_Novakhov (21 sites)

The Global Security News: “fbi and trump” – Google News: FBI arrests member of rightwing militia accused of detaining migrants – The Guardian

Feedly Logo
April 20, 2019
“fbi and trump” – Google News: FBI arrests member of rightwing militia accused of detaining migrants – The Guardian
Texas cancer center ousts 3 over Chinese data theft concerns – WRAL.com
Alerta de Google: fbi: Armed vigilante arrested by the FBI in southern New Mexico
Alerta de Google: fbi: FBI arrests member of armed civilian group that detained migrants
Alerta de Google: fbi: FBI Arrests Leader of New Mexico Militia That Detained Migrants at Border

“fbi and trump” – Google News: FBI arrests member of rightwing militia accused of detaining migrants – The Guardian

FBI from Michael_Novakhov (27 sites)
A member of an armed rightwing militia group accused of illegally detaining migrants at the US-Mexico border has been arrested, officials said on Saturday. Videos appear to show armed militia detaining migrants at US-Mexico border The FBI arrested Larry Mitchell Hopkins, 69, for alleged unlawful possession of firearms and ammunition , days after his group posted videos that appeared to show armed men stopping migrants at the border in New Mexico, ordering them to sit on the ground and coordinating with US border patrol agents to have them taken into custody.
Read More

Texas cancer center ousts 3 over Chinese data theft concerns – WRAL.com

WRAL.com
Business Texas cancer center ousts 3 over Chinese data theft concerns Posted 2:57 p.m. today Updated 2:58 p.m. today HOUSTON — A prominent cancer center in Houston has ousted three of five scientists whom federal authorities identified as being involved in Chinese efforts to steal American research.
Read More

Alerta de Google: fbi: Armed vigilante arrested by the FBI in southern New Mexico

FBI from Michael_Novakhov (27 sites)
Christina Rodriguez April 20, 2019 05:36 PM ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — The FBI has arrested one of the armed vigilantes who was patrolling the border for migrants near New Mexico’s southern border.
Read More

Alerta de Google: fbi: FBI arrests member of armed civilian group that detained migrants

FBI from Michael_Novakhov (27 sites)
“Viper” and “Stinger,” of the United Constitutional Patriots-New Mexico Border Ops, patrol where the bollard fence in Anapra, N.M., ends. The group has been camped out on the border for a few months.
Read More

Alerta de Google: fbi: FBI Arrests Leader of New Mexico Militia That Detained Migrants at Border

FBI from Michael_Novakhov (27 sites)
Photo: Justin Sullivan (Getty Images)The next time a MAGA cult member whines about criminals flocking to the southern U.S. border, point them to this story. Just days after videos surfaced of a right-wing, conspiracy-theory-peddling militia called the United Constitutional Patriots detaining hundreds of migrants near the border, the FBI has arrested the group’s 69-year-old leader, Larry Mitchell Hopkins.
Read More
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GooglePlay Store App

The Global Security News

The Global Security News: 1. Russia from Michael_Novakhov (115 sites): “Turkey and Russia” – Google News: The Daily Brief 2019-04-19 – AMN Al-Masdar News

The Daily Brief 2019-04-19  AMN Al-Masdar News

This is a summary of 14 AMN articles on the following subjects: France, Kurds, Macron, Syria, Hezbollah, Israel, Lebanon, Crimea, Houthi, Saudi, Yemen,

“Turkey and Russia” – Google News

1. Russia from Michael_Novakhov (115 sites)

The Global Security News

The Global Security News: 1. Russia from Michael_Novakhov (115 sites): Voice of America: FBI Arrests Member of Armed Group Stopping Migrants at Border

The FBI on Saturday said it had arrested Larry Hopkins, a member of an armed group of U.S. citizens who have been stopping migrants illegally crossing the U.S.-Mexico border in New Mexico. 

Hopkins, 69, also known as Johnny Horton, was arrested in Sunland Park, N.M., on a federal complaint charging him with being a felon in possession of firearms and ammunition, the Federal Bureau of Investigation said in a statement. 

Hopkins had represented himself as the commander of the United Constitutional Patriots (UCP), a volunteer group camped out near Sunland Park since late February. The UCP has posted videos showing its members holding migrants, many of them Central American families with children seeking asylum, until U.S. Border Patrol arrives to arrest them. 

Migrants’ surrender on video

The group drew a complaint from the American Civil Liberties Union, and widespread media attention, after an April 16 video showed a group of around 300 migrants surrendering to the UCP at its camp. 

New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham on Friday said citizens had no authority to arrest or detain anyone and police and justice officials were looking into the UCP’s activities.

Hector Balderas, New Mexico’s attorney general, described Hopkins as “a dangerous felon who should not have weapons around children and families.” 

“Today’s arrest by the FBI indicates clearly that the rule of law should be in the hands of trained law enforcement officials, not armed vigilantes,” Balderas said in a statement. 

Hopkins, of Flora Vista, N.M., is expected to have an initial appearance in U.S. District Court in Las Cruces, N.M., on Monday, the FBI said.

Earlier Saturday, Mexican officials said they had “deep concern” about armed groups that intimidate and extort migrants on the border, shortly after the American Civil Liberties Union and Democratic U.S. senators called for a probe into such citizen efforts to block migrants from crossing.

“These types of practices can drive human rights abuses of people who migrate or request asylum or refuge in the United States,” Mexico’s Foreign Relations Ministry said in a statement, referring to “militia groups” in New Mexico. 

It added that patrols “on the margins” of the law create risks for the safety of migrants. 

On Thursday, the ACLU of New Mexico condemned the United Constitutional Patriots as a “fascist militia organization” operating outside the law.

Dressed in camouflage

The group has posted videos showing members dressed in camouflage and armed with semiautomatic rifles holding groups of migrants for pickup by Border Patrol agents.

Along with the ACLU, New Mexico Democratic Sens. Martin Heinrich and Tom Udall called for an investigation into the border group. 

“Threatening innocent children and families fleeing violence and seeking asylum is unacceptable and flies in the face of our values as a state and a nation,” they said in a joint statement on Twitter on Friday.

Voice of America

1. Russia from Michael_Novakhov (115 sites)

The Global Security News

The Global Security News: 1. World from Michael_Novakhov (25 sites): FOX News: Columbine memorial ceremony shines a light on community strength: a ‘senseless tragedy indelibly imprinted in our minds’

As the small suburban town of Littleton, Colo., gathered on Saturday to honor the 20 year anniversary of the Columbine High School shooting, the message community leaders shared was one of remembrance, reflection and forgiveness.

FOX News

1. World from Michael_Novakhov (25 sites)

The Global Security News

The Global Security News: Counterintelligence from Michael_Novakhov (51 sites): Eurasia Review: Discovered Sustainable Way To Increase Seed Oil Yield In Crops

Nanyang Technological University, Singapore (NTU Singapore) scientists have developed a sustainable way to demonstrate a new genetic modification that can increase the yield of natural oil in seeds by up to 15 percent in laboratory conditions.

The new method can be applied to crops such as canola, soybean and
sunflower, which are in a multi-billion dollar industry that continues
to see increasing global demand.

The research team led by Assistant Professor Wei Ma from NTU’s
School of Biological Sciences genetically modified a key protein in
plants which regulates the amount of oil they produce. This results in
larger oil reserves in the seed that primarily serves as an energy
source for germination.

The team’s patent-pending method involves modifying the key protein
known as “Wrinkled1” or “WRI1”, which regulates plants’ oil production.
After modification, the seeds have a wrinkled appearance, which is the
basis for its scientific codename.

In the lab, these modified seeds have successfully displayed seed oil increase that is able to produce up to 15 percent more natural oils. The research findings were published in the scientific journal Plant Signaling & Behavior.

“Plant seed oil is an essential component in our daily diet and the
agricultural industry is seeking ways to maximise plants’ yield while
reducing environmental effects of crop cultivation, especially land use.
Our research helps to increase the production of seed oil in a
sustainable and cost-effective way, and it also opens up new doors in
agriculture research,” said Asst Prof Ma.

The ability to increase oil yield in a sustainable manner is
expected to result in higher economic gain. Past research has shown
that a small 1.5 per cent increase in oil yield (by dry weight) in
soybean seeds equates to a jump of US$ 1.26 billion in the United States
market.

Discovery a boost for biofuel production

The increased yield in seed oil would also benefit the production of
biofuel, which is a form of clean fuel produced from organic sources,
such as vegetable oils.

Biofuel is being used in various applications, including powering
machines in protected forests to reduce fossil fuel contamination and
fuelling long-distant transportation by automobiles, ships, and
airplanes.

“Global demand for vegetable oil is increasing very rapidly, and it
is estimated to double by 2030. In addition, research is also ramping up
in the use of biofuels in various applications, which can provide a
cleaner and more sustainable source of fuel than petroleum. Increasing
oil production of key crops such as soybean, sunflower, and canola is
thus essential for a more sustainable and greener future,” said Asst
Prof Ma.

He is currently exploring industrial collaboration to commercialise and further develop the technology.

The NTU team is also studying other ways to maximise plants’ oil
reserves, for example, using other plant parts such as stems, for oil
production.

Sustainable way to increase oil yield

Previous research efforts to improve seed oil yield involved
increasing the number of the WRI1 protein – known as overexpression –
but this did not succeed in increasing the oil yield stably and
consistently.

Asst Prof Ma used the Arabidopsis plant – a small flowering
plant related to cabbage and mustard. It contains all the
characteristics of crops such as sunflower, canola and soybean, which
serves as an ideal model plant for research.

He and the NTU research team developed a patent-pending method that
stabilises the key WRI1 protein which also improves its ability to
interact with other proteins. This enhances its effectiveness in
producing natural oils and the method can be easily done on other crops.
This also encourages a more sustainable way for industries to produce
natural oils instead of simply increasing the amount of land used for
agriculture.

Dr. Bo Shen, a Senior Manager at DuPont Pioneer, a US-based
international producer of hybrid seeds for agriculture who is not
involved in the NTU team’s research said, “Vegetable oil is an important
renewable resource for biodiesel production and for dietary consumption
by humans and livestock. The total production of vegetable oil
worldwide reached about 185 million tons in 2017. Wrinkled1 (WRI1) is a
ubiquitous regulator controlling oil biosynthesis in maize, soybean,
canola, and palm. With increasing demand for vegetable oil, Asst Prof
Wei Ma’s research on WRI1 can have global importance. A better
understanding of how WRI1 regulates oil biosynthesis could inform how we
breed plants that produce more oil.”

Providing another independent view, Dr. Eric Moellering, a Senior
Scientist from Synthetic Genomics, a California company focusing on
synthetic biology, said, “Asst Prof Ma’s research on the plant
transcriptional factor WRI1 has greatly advanced our understanding of
how seed oil biosynthesis is regulated. While the WRI1 gene has been
known for some time, Asst Prof Ma’s research has revealed key insight
into the structural features of the WRI1 protein that are critical for
its function, WRI1 interactions with other regulatory proteins, and the
role of WRI1 in processes outside of seed oil regulation.

“These discoveries will undoubtedly contribute to the optimisation
of seed oil yield in a variety of crops. As such, Asst Prof Ma’s
research is helping to address some of the major 21st century challenges
we face in feeding a growing global population and developing renewable
transport energy.”

Eurasia Review

Counterintelligence from Michael_Novakhov (51 sites)

The Global Security News

The Global Security News: FBI from Michael_Novakhov (27 sites): “fbi” – Google News: FBI arrests member of armed civilian group that detained migrants – USA TODAY

FBI arrests member of armed civilian group that detained migrants  USA TODAY

The group declared an “emergency” on their Facebook page, stating that their commander had been arrested and asking for donations.

“fbi” – Google News

FBI from Michael_Novakhov (27 sites)

The Global Security News

1. New York and Brooklyn from Michael_Novakhov (111 sites): “Downtown Brooklyn” – Google News: NY: WOMAN HACKED TO DEATH IN BROOKLYN APARMTNET – Emporia Gazette

NY: WOMAN HACKED TO DEATH IN BROOKLYN APARMTNET  Emporia Gazette

When is the city going to open its eyes and admit that it’s time to build several parking structures around downtown area. More people are liv… Gary Lukert said:.

“Downtown Brooklyn” – Google News

1. New York and Brooklyn from Michael_Novakhov (111 sites)

1. New York and Brooklyn from Michael_Novakhov (111 sites): “Brooklyn NY” – Google News: WATCH: Chesapeake’s Mike Scott nails game-winning shot against Nets – WTKR News 3

WATCH: Chesapeake’s Mike Scott nails game-winning shot against Nets  WTKR News 3

After former UVA teammate Joe Harris gave Brooklyn the lead, Scott responded with one of his strong suits.

“Brooklyn NY” – Google News

1. New York and Brooklyn from Michael_Novakhov (111 sites)

1. New York and Brooklyn from Michael_Novakhov (111 sites): News 12 – Home: Armed civilian border group member arrested in New Mexico

Authorities say a New Mexico man belonging to an armed group that has detained Central American families near the U.S.-Mexico border was arrested Saturday on a criminal complaint accusing him of being a felon in possession of firearms and ammunition.

News 12 – Home

1. New York and Brooklyn from Michael_Novakhov (111 sites)