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Foreign Policy

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CBS News

A portion of American taxpayer dollars slated for development projects in Afghanistan is alleged to end up in the hands of the Taliban, the GlobalPost reports. The United States Agency for International Development is investigating if its funds are being used by contractors to pay the Taliban for protection – from itself.

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Open Market

Comment mine Birds of a Feather! The Obama Administration has decided to block travel by the people of Honduras to the United States to punish their country for its Supreme Court’s refusal to back the return to power of Honduras’s ex-president and would-be dictator, Manuel Zelaya, who is backed by left-wing Latin American dictators like Castro and Chavez. The Obama Administration is now blocking the issuance of nearly all visas, meaning that a Honduran grandma who wants to visit her grandkids in the United States can’t. Obama’s decision came in response to a recent ruling by the Honduras Supreme Court, ruling that the removal of the country’s would-be dictator was a perfectly lawful “constitutional succession,” and that he must face criminal charges for the crimes he committed as president. Obama’s action will further destabilize a country whose economy has been pushed to the brink by recent turmoil, and which is the third-poorest country in the Western Hemisphere. (Honduras has

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AP

U.S. officials denied American troops were violating Philippine laws by engaging in combat against Muslim militants, saying they were only training Filipino soldiers and their mission was temporary.

Allegations that U.S. troops in the southern Philippines are building permanent structures and joining the fight against al-Qaida-linked Abu Sayyaf militants have roiled nationalist and left-wing forces opposed to the American presence.

 

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Washington Post

Time is running out for [some] wealthy Americans with secret Swiss bank accounts, as they weigh whether they want to turn themselves in to the Internal Revenue Service or gamble that their names are not among the thousands set to be exposed in one of the U.S. government's most aggressive efforts to hunt down international tax cheats.

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Washington Post

The cost of building and operating the controversial U.S. ballistic missile sites in Europe could substantially exceed the original estimate of more than $4 billion, the Government Accountability Office has told Congress.

The Defense Department's original estimate of $837 million for constructing the sites in Poland and the Czech Republic "did not fully account for the cost of power and utilities at the sites, among other things," the GAO said.

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Spiegel.de/international/

 Even the prime minister of the largest country in the world needs a little time off. And for Vladimir Putin, this involves a testosterone-fuelled, adventure-holiday in the south of Siberia, including everything from campfires to boat excursions. Apparently Russia's best known action-man is even spending his nights this week in a tent.

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spiegel.de/international/

 In the latest installment of Vladimir Putin's action man adventures, the Russian prime minister has been seen tramping, boating and riding bare-chested in Siberia. He's there to talk about the endangered snow leopard, but the macho image also serves his political needs. Even the prime minister of the largest country in the world needs a little time off. And for Vladimir Putin, this involves a testosterone-fuelled, adventure-holiday in the south of Siberia, including everything from campfires to boat excursions. Apparently Russia's best known action-man is even spending his nights this week in a tent.

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