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US Intelligence Chief warns of deteriorating security in Afghanistan

US Intelligence Chief warns of deteriorating security in Afghanistan

Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats in the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, May 11, 2017.

North Korea must still overcome "important shortfalls" in developing a nuclear-armed intercontinental ballistic missile before it can field a weapon capable of hitting the US, according to the Pentagon's intelligence agency.

Gen. Vincent Stewart and National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency Director Robert Cardillo at Thursday's Senate hearing.

Coats appeared before the committee along with other intelligence agency leaders, including Central Intelligence Agency Director Mike Pompeo and National Security Agency Director Mike Rogers. But much of the attention turned to acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe, making his first public appearance in that role since Trump fired James Comey on Tuesday.

The security situation in Afghanistan will continue to deteriorate and the Taliban will make ongoing gains, especially in rural areas.

President Donald Trump is now weighing an increase of 3,000 to 5,000 USA troops in Afghanistan in an effort to stabilize the fight against the Taliban and terror groups there.

The prosecutors called for the arrests and extraditions of those they say led or were involved with "the disgusting state-sponsored crime".

Abbas says talks with Trump positive, if short on specifics
Trump did directly implore the Palestinian leadership to end what Israel and the United States say is anti-Israel rhetoric. "Mr. Three Republican senators urged a halt to such payments in a letter to Trump that reflected widespread opinion in Congress.

Risks on Belt & Road loans controllable: Bank officials
The Belt and Road initiative should not just be a "China solution" for the world, a Chinese think tank said on Wednesday. China will host the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation in Beijing on May 14-15.

UK's Labour Party stung by early leak of election platform
Labour election coordinator Andrew Gwynne said the leaked document was not the final manifesto but "a draft of policy ideas". Jeremy Corbyn's day took another dramatic turn when the auto he was travelling in ran over a BBC cameraman's foot.

Iran "continues to leverage cyber espionage, propaganda, and attacks to support its security priorities, influence events and foreign perceptions, and counter threats-including against US allies in the region", Coats testified.

The director of national intelligence says Russian Federation and other countries, including China, North Korea and Iran, are using cyberspace to target US and its allies, and will do so in future.

USA officials are unsure if Iran will build nuclear weapons, but it is likely this intention would dictate Tehran's future adherence to the nuclear deal, which the administration of former President Barack Obama framed in such a way as to leave out the issue of ballistic missiles.

The threat assessment also said "a small number of foreign-based Sunni violent extremist groups will also pose a threat to the United States homeland". He said that as ISIS is pushed from its stronghold of Mosul, it is preparing to regroup and continue an insurgency. The performance of Afghan national security forces will worsen because of weak military leadership, desertions and combat casualties, he predicted.

Despite continued progress on North Korea's weapons program, missiles capable of reaching the U.S.

"Outside Iraq and Syria ISIS is seeks to foster interconnectedness among its global branches and networks, align their efforts to a strategy and withstand counter-ISIS efforts".

Challenges of slow economic growth, security threats and "irregular migration" will confront European leaders, and Brexit will prove a distraction. He says such activity has diminished since U.S.

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