- The soldier who died near Mosul yesterday was a member of the 82nd Airborne, 1st Lieutenant Weston Lee of Bluffton, Georgia. He was killed by an IED.
- Adam Kredo totals the costs of the war in Afghanistan in terms of blood and treasure, and it’s grim:
U.S. taxpayers paid $48 million in the last year alone to fund ammunition for Afghan security personnel, and have paid $32.3 billion total on governance and economic development as of March 2017. The United States has spent more than $11 billion so far on other weapons, communications, aircraft, and vehicles for the struggling Afghan forces. The cost to U.S. taxpayers is unlikely to diminish over the coming years, as Taliban forces continue to control a large number of key territories.
Civilian casualties resulting from the war rose to 11,418 in 2016, the highest total of deaths since international observers began recording such statistics in 2009, according to the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction, or SIGAR. The oversight body provided an analysis of the war effort in its latest quarterly report, issued just weeks after the United States dropped one of the largest bombs ever on the country.
- Congressional negotiators agreed on a deal that spends $1.1 trillion to fund the federal government for five months. The spending bill is 1,665 pages long, which works out to $700 million per page. The bill is a freaking disaster that funds Planned Parenthood, includes only a modest increase in defense spending, increases the number of H–2B (temporary guest worker) visas issued, does not fund a border wall, and cuts the EPA budget by a whopping 1%. Trump gets next to nothing out of this, but he says he’ll sign it anyway. If you’re looking for a reduction in the federal budget, you need to look third party.
- Hungary quickly built a 96 mile double fence to stem illegal immigration across its border with Serbia and it’s working. They’ve also trained people to patrol the fence to catch anyone who makes it across.
- Selena Zito interviewed Donald Trump:
“President XI of China, who I think is a very good person, wants the best for his people,” he says. “… I think he is a fantastic person. Now, maybe he won’t do anything for the United States or maybe he will. But I think he is a very good person, and my opinion of that won’t change.”
- Donald Trump will host Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan at the White House later this month.
- A Japanese helicopter carrier, the Izumo, is escorting a U.S. Navy supply ship off Japan’s coast. This is the first time a Japanese naval vessel has done this since Japan enacted a law allowing it last year.
- SpaceX successfully launched its first satellite for the National Reconnaissance Office, and they managed to recover the first stage of the rocket.
- A University of Texas at Austin student, Kendrex J. White, decided to spend his afternoon stabbing people on campus, killing one person and injuring three.
- One of the reasons British Prime Minister Theresa May called a snap election is that UKIP’s electoral support is melting away in favor of the Tories. Right now it looks like the Conservatives will pick up enough support in key districts that they could pose a serious threat to Labour and the Liberal Democrats.
- Hamas dropped its call for Israel’s destruction, but still rejected Israel’s right to exist and endorsed “armed struggle” against it. Israel’s government says this change means nothing. Hamas also said it would drop its association with the Muslim Brotherhood, which may result in more money flowing in its direction from Persian Gulf states.
- India accused Pakistan’s military of killing and mutilating two of its soldiers near the Kashmir border.