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Russian intelligence officers offered cash prizes to Taliban fighters to kill US, British troops in Afghanistan, sources said

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Russian intelligence officers offered cash prizes to Taliban fighters to kill US, British troops in Afghanistan, sources said

The official was unclear about Russia’s precise motivation, but said incentives, in their judgment, caused coalition casualties. The official did not specify the date of the accident, their number or nationality, or whether this was a casualty or injury.

“This callous approach by GRU is shocking and despicable. Their motivation is confusing,” the official said.

US intelligence concluded last month that Russian military intelligence offered the prize, amid peace talks, the New York Times reported Friday.

Quoting officials explaining the matter, the Times reported that President Donald Trump was briefed on intelligence findings and that the White House National Security Council held a meeting about it at the end of March.

White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany said in a statement Saturday that President and Vice President Mike Pence were not briefed “about alleged intelligence of the Russian gift.”

McEnany said his statement “did not speak of the supposed intelligence allegation but for the inaccuracy of the New York Times story,” which said Trump had been briefed.

McEnany did not deny the validity of US intelligence reportedly that Russian intelligence units offered gifts to militants linked to the Taliban to carry out attacks on coalition forces in Afghanistan.

National Intelligence Director John Ratcliffe said in his own statement late Saturday that he had “confirmed that neither the President nor the Vice President had been briefed on intelligence alleged by the New York Times in his report yesterday.”

He added: “The White House statement which addressed this issue earlier today, which denied such directives were happening, was accurate. The New York Times report, and all subsequent news reports about the alleged directing were inaccurate.”

CNN has contacted the Office of the Director of National Intelligence for additional comments. CNN has also contacted the Department of Defense, the Department of Foreign Affairs, and the CIA, and did not receive comments.

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According to the Times, the Trump administration held an expanded briefing on intelligence assessment this week and shared information about it with the British government, whose troops are also believed to have been targeted.

The newspaper reported that officials thought of possible responses, including starting with diplomatic complaints to Moscow, requests to stop, and sanctions – but the White House had not yet permitted any action.

The Russian Embassy in Washington, DC, on Friday denounced the Times report as “baseless accusations” which had led to death threats against Russian diplomats in Washington and London.

“With no reason to #BlameRussians,” the Times created “new false stories,” the embassy wrote Indonesia.

The Taliban also rejected the Times report that they were offered gifts from Russia to target US troops in Afghanistan.

“We strongly reject this accusation. The nineteen-year jihad of the Islamic Emirate does not owe a favor to the good of the intelligence organs or foreign countries and the Islamic Emirate does not need anyone to set goals,” a spokesman for the militant group Zabihullah Mujahid said in a statement Saturday.

In its covert operation, Russian spy units inside the GRU intelligence agency had offered prizes for the successful attack last year, and Islamic guerrillas, or armed criminal colleagues, are thought to have collected prize money, the Times reported.

The European official told CNN that Russian intelligence officers worked for the GRU unit known as 29155, which had previously been blamed by European intelligence officials for the attempted assassination of Sergei Skripal, a former KGB agent who had been recruited years before by British intelligence, and his daughter in 2018 in Salisbury, England, and other prominent attacks in Europe.

The US concluded that the GRU was behind interference in the 2016 US elections and cyber attacks on the Democratic National Committee and high-ranking Democratic officials. Russian military agencies have also been accused by the West for attempting to kill and poison attacks in Europe in recent years.

The Times reported that the motivation behind the operation was unclear and there was uncertainty about how far in the Kremlin the operation was authorized.

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The US intelligence assessment is said to be based in part on interrogations of captured militants and Afghan criminals, according to the newspaper.

Former Vice-President Joe Biden on Saturday called Trump’s presidency a “gift” for Putin, referring to the New York Times report at a town hall focused on Asia Pacific Pacific issues. “This is the betrayal of every American family with loved ones on duty in Afghanistan or anywhere abroad. I am frankly angry with the report, and if I am elected president, don’t make mistakes about it, Vladimir Putin will be confronted . ”

New Jersey Senator Bob Menendez, the top Democrat on the Foreign Relations Committee, on Saturday call for The Senate Majority Leader, Mitch McConnell, will pass a law sanctioning Russia for voting on the floor of a room.

Texas Rep. Michael McCaul, Republican member of the Parliament’s Foreign Affairs, said in a statement on Saturday that he “immediately contacted the Administration,” adding that if the allegations in the New York Times report were true, the government “must act quickly and take serious action to hold the regime accountable Putin. “

Rep. Rep. Adam Kinzinger from Illinois, an Air Force veteran who served in Afghanistan and Iraq, tweeted that “Russia is not a partner, and should not be negotiated with” and that Trump “needs to immediately uncover and deal with this, and stop Russia’s shadow war.”
Trump has sought to improve relations between Washington and Moscow and share an unusual warm relationship with its Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin.

But Trump and his administration point to US sanctions against Russia, arguing that he is tougher on the country than the previous president.

During a 2018 press conference with Putin in Helsinki, Finland, Trump, in an amazing move for an American president, refused to accept US intelligence that Russia was meddling in the 2016 presidential election, instead appearing to harmonize with Putin’s rejection.
Last month, Trump said he wanted to invite Russia to the G7 summit, even though Russia was suspended in 2014 from a working group of leading industrialized nations for its annexation of Crimea.
In February, the US and the Taliban signed a historic agreement in Dohar, Qatar, moving the possibility of a full withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan and the longest-running potential of the American war.

US forces are currently serving in Afghanistan as part of a US-led NATO mission to train, assist and advise Afghan forces and focus on counterterrorism operations targeting local ISIS affiliates and al Qaeda.

The Trump administration has almost completed its decision to withdraw more than 4,000 troops from Afghanistan in the fall, according to two administration officials. This move will reduce the number of troops from 8,600 to 4,500 and will be the lowest number since the earliest days of the war in Afghanistan.

This story has been updated with additional reactions, statements from the White House press secretary, information from European intelligence officials and statement from the Director of National Intelligence.

Karen Smith, Sarah Mucha, Nicky Robertson and Jeremy Diamond from CNN contributed to this report.

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Portuguese historical films will premiere on 29 December.

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Portuguese historical films will premiere on 29 December.

Method Media Bermuda will present the documentary FABRIC: Portuguese History in Bermuda on Thursday, December 29 at the Underwater Research Institute of Bermuda.

A spokesperson said: “Method Media is proud to bring Bermuda Fabric: Portugal History to Bermuda for its 5th and 6th showing at the Bermuda Underwater Observatory. In November and December 2019, Cloth: A Portuguese Story in Bermuda had four sold-out screenings. Now that Bermuda has reopened after the pandemic, it’s time to bring the film back for at least two screenings.

“There are tickets Ptix.bm For $ 20 – sessions at 15:30 and 18:00. Both screenings will be followed by a short Q&A session.

Director and producer Milton Raboso says, “FABRIC is a definitive account of the Portuguese community in Bermuda and its 151 years of history, but it also places Bermuda, Acors and Portugal in the world history and the events that have fueled those 151 years.

“It took more than 10 years to implement FABRIC. The film was supported by the Minister of Culture, the Government of the Azores and private donors.

Bermuda Media Method [MMB] Created in 2011 by producer Milton Raposo. MMB has created content for a wide range of clients: Bermuda’s new hospital renovation, reinsurance, travel campaigns, international sports and more. MMB pays special attention to artistic, cultural and historical content.

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CRISTANO RONALDO CAN MAKE UP A GIANT IN CARIOCA AND PORTUGUESE TECHNICIAN SAYS ‘There will be room’

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CRISTANO RONALDO CAN MAKE UP A GIANT IN CARIOCA AND PORTUGUESE TECHNICIAN SAYS 'There will be room'

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Maestro de Braga is the first Portuguese in the National Symphony Orchestra of Cuba.

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Maestro de Braga is the first Portuguese in the National Symphony Orchestra of Cuba.

Maestro Filipe Cunha, Artistic Director of the Philharmonic Orchestra of Braga, has been invited to conduct the Cuban National Symphony Orchestra, as announced today.

According to a statement sent by O MINHO, “he will be the first Portuguese conductor to conduct this orchestra in its entire history.”

In addition to this orchestra, the maestro will also work with the Lyceo Mozarteum de la Habana Symphony Orchestra.

The concerts will take place on 4 and 12 March 2023 at the National Theater of Cuba in Havana.

In the words of the maestro, quoted in the statement, “these will be very beautiful concerts with difficult but very complex pieces” and therefore he feels “very motivated”.

From the very beginning, Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 2 will be performed by an Italian pianist (Luigi Borzillo), whom the maestro wants to bring to Portugal later this year. In the same concert, Mendelshon’s First Symphony will be performed.

Then, at the second concert, in the company of the Mexican clarinetist Angel Zedillo, he will perform the Louis Sfora Concerto No. 2. In this concert, the maestro also conducts Tchaikovsky’s Fifth Symphony.

“This is an international recognition of my work. An invitation that I accept with humility and great responsibility. I was surprised to learn that I would be the first Portuguese member of the Cuban National Symphony Orchestra. This is a very great honor,” the maestro said in a statement.

“I take with me the name of the city of Braga and Portugal with all the responsibility that goes with it, and I hope to do a good job there, leaving a good image and putting on great concerts. These will be very special concerts because, in addition to performing pieces that I love, especially Rachmaninov and Tchaikovsky, I will be directing two wonderful soloists who are also my friends. It will be very beautiful,” concludes Filipe Cunha.

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