Panetta: Afghans Taking Reins On Reconciliation

Defense Secretary Leon Panetta told reporters Wednesday that Afghan President Hamid Karzai’s recent statement indicating three-way talks between the Taliban, the U.S. and Afghanistan shows that his country is taking a lead role in reintegrating Taliban forces into Afghan society.

“It’s always been important for us to make clear that reconciliation has to be Afghan led,” Panetta said in the Pentagon briefing room during an appearance alongside German Defense Minister Thomas de Maizière

The German official added, “These talks will be better the less we talk about them.”

The Wall Street Journal reported Thursday that Karzai told them the secret talks were underway. The Taliban has since denied taking part in any negotiations.

 

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News updates from on and around Capitol Hill.

Click here for: Friday, October 31

● Shrimp origins are questioned

● IRS adjusts taxes for inflation

● Gerber’s baby food doesn’t prevent allergies

● Charity accused of electioneering

● Coalition seeks restoration of whistleblower rights

● Divestiture ordered for media deal

LISTEN: The Day Ahead – October 31, 2014

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The Obamas celebrate Halloween, the UN dispatches its West African envoy to Burkina Faso and San Francisco celebrates its third World Series in five years.

Interview: Racial Inequality “A Major Factor” In South Carolina

Dr. Lonnie Randolph, Jr., President of the South Carolina NAACP spoke to TRNS after two former police officers pleaded guilty to excessive force by repeatedly tasering a 40-year-old black woman with mental disabilities.

Hagel Denounces Assisting Assad Regime

While immediate U.S. airstrikes in Syria have weakened the Assad regimes’ enemies, Secretary Hagel reaffirmed the Pentagon’s long term battle against the Assad regime

Interview With Rob Maness: Republican Candidate For Louisiana

While many Republicans have been endorsing Rep. Bill Cassidy, Maness says that they have also been launching a smear campaign against him.

DoD: The Scale Of Deployment Determined Monitoring Policy

The duration of deployment and number of troops to West Africa is driving the decision for a 21-day controlled Ebola monitoring policy, the Department of Defense said.