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News Analysis: Trump Seeks a Clear Victory in a Murky War

Mr. Tillerson endorsed that approach on Tuesday, arguing that the president had laid out a strategy “intended to put pressure on the Taliban.” Video Trump’s Changing Stance on Afghanistan Before he became a candidate for president, Donald J. Trump was clear about Afghanistan. But during his campaign, he switched views. By CHRIS CIRILLO and MARK SCHEFFLER on Publish Date August 21, 2017. Photo by Stephen Crowley/The New York Times. Watch in Times Video » The idea, Mr. Tillerson said during a rare appearance in the State Department briefing room, was…

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Louise Linton Goes From the Lap of Luxury to the Center of a Social Media Storm

It was too late to stop critics from defacing her Wikipedia page, usually the first sign of any true social media frenzy. And it was too late to go back to her relatively under-the-radar Washington life. She even managed to upstage President Trump, a man who had just stared directly into the sun. The debacle started after Ms. Linton took a day trip to Kentucky with Mr. Mnuchin and the Senate majority leader, Mitch McConnell. Ms. Linton, a spun-sugar blond who cuts an over-the-top glamorous figure in Washington, posted an…

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Right and Left React to Trump’s Afghanistan Speech

_____ • Daniel DePetris in The Washington Examiner: “The notion that a continued U.S. military presence in Afghanistan would prevent these kinds of self-radicalized or remotely-directed attacks from being carried out is like a doctor prescribing major surgery for a common cold: the remedy is not only unnecessary but a waste of resources and a misunderstanding of the problem at hand.” Does the U.S. need to prolong its longest war to protect itself from the threat of terrorism? The “de facto assumption,” writes Mr. DePetris, is that the collapse of…

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Economic Scene: Labor Wants to Make Nafta Its Friend. Here’s the Problem.

“Stipulating that countries must pay above-market wages when producing export goods for the U.S. feels like outrageous economic imperialism,” said David Autor, an economist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. “Should Germany also impose this rule on the U.S., since our manufacturing workers surely make less than their German counterparts who are working under industry-level labor agreements?” It is not the first time organized labor has thought along these lines. In the early ’90s, when Nafta had yet to become law, the union-backed Alliance for Responsible Trade argued that minimum…

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Best of Late Night: Trump Looks Directly at the Eclipse, and Conan O’Brien Spies an Opening

Photo Conan O’Brien suggested that if reverse psychology worked well on the president, someone should tell him not to resign. Credit TBS Welcome to Best of Late Night, a rundown that lets you sleep — and lets us get paid to watch comedy. What do you think of it? What else are you interested in? Let us know: thearts@nytimes.com. ‘Whatever You Do, Don’t Resign’ Conan O’Brien and Trevor Noah said President Trump refused to listen to his staff on what seemed like a very small matter on Monday: whether to…

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Trump Administration Moves to Expand Deportation Dragnet to Jails

The tactic would be a major step toward marrying local and federal law enforcement, a centerpiece of Mr. Trump’s plan to thwart illegal immigration and one that immigrant advocates have scrambled to block at every opportunity. If enough sheriffs participated, the approach could lead to many more immigration arrests, which have already risen more than 40 percent since last year. Since Mr. Trump was inaugurated, ICE has issued roughly 11,000 detainers a month, a 78 percent increase over the previous year. The agency declined to make data available on the…

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Trump Settles on Afghan Strategy Expected to Raise Troop Levels

American military commanders have argued during the monthslong policy assessment that the additional troops would enable the United States to reverse gains made by the Taliban and militant groups like the Islamic State’s Afghan affiliate, the Islamic State in Khorasan. Administration aides, under orders to let Mr. Trump announce the details, hinted that any American commitment to increase force levels would require steps by the Afghans, like doing more to fight corruption. Mr. Trump’s Monday evening speech will be his first nationally televised prime-time address since he spoke before Congress…

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In Tennessee, Promoting Enrollment in Tenuous Health Care Plans

All of this has Ms. Barker and other Obamacare enrollment counselors around the nation, many of whom rely on federal grants to carry out their work and to keep their jobs, revving up earlier than usual, and bracing for the strange new challenge of promoting coverage that the president is attacking at the same time. They are not even certain the law’s mandate that most Americans have health insurance or pay a tax penalty will be enforced. Photo Sharon Barker’s fliers about open enrollment, which starts Nov. 1. With the…

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