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Daily Skimm: Taliban Peace Talks, Bosnia Protests, and New Walkman, Who This?

Taliban Peace Talks
Getty Images
Sep 9, 2019


The Story

Peace talks between the US and the Taliban are over.

Background, please.

For almost a year now, the two sides had been working on a peace deal in an effort to end the nearly 18-year war in Afghanistan. Last week, they seemed to reach a deal "in principle": the US would reportedly withdraw all remaining 14,000 troops from the country. And in exchange, the Taliban wouldn't let terror groups use Afghanistan as a base to launch attacks abroad.


The deal is off. Over the weekend, President Trump took to Twitter to say that he'd called off peace talks. And canceled a secret meeting with Taliban leaders and the Afghan president at Camp David in Maryland.

Camp David...that sounds familiar.

It should. The presidential retreat was used to help set up a peace treaty between Egypt and Israel in the '70s, among other major peace talks. So it has a ton of history to it. But Trump canceled the meeting after the Taliban claimed responsibility for last week's attack in Kabul that killed 12 people, including a US soldier. Trump took issue with the Taliban's use of violence as an apparent negotiating tactic, asking "what kind of people would kill so many in order to seemingly strengthen their bargaining position?"

How are people reacting?

Many were outraged that the Trump admin would even allow Taliban leaders on US soil in the first place, especially days before the 18th anniversary of 9/11. The Taliban said that canceling the meeting will show the US's "anti-peace stance" – all while the group threatened more attacks. And Afghanistan's gov blamed the Taliban for the canceled meeting, saying the violence was making peace talks difficult.


The US invaded Afghanistan after 9/11 to end the Taliban's rule and take down al-Qaeda there. It's the US's longest war – and it now shows no sign of stopping.


Where people have been rallying…

Hong Kong. Yesterday, tens of thousands of protesters marched to the US Consulate there. Since June, protesters have been calling on Hong Kong's leader to resign after she supported a bill that would have allowed some criminals to be extradited to mainland China. She's since said she'll withdraw that bill. Now protesters are asking for the US's support. Specifically, they want Congress to pass a bipartisan bill that would punish China if it messes with freedoms in Hong Kong. The bill has been intro'd in the House, but it's unclear if Congress – which is back in session this week – will take it up.

Bosnia. Yesterday, the conservative country held its first Pride parade. Unlike dozens of countries, Bosnia doesn't criminalize homosexuality – but anti-gay sentiment is still widespread. This weekend, thousands defied threats of violence and showed up for the parade, while hundreds turned out to counter-protest. More than 1,000 police officers were on hand to ensure no one got hurt – and no one did. It's seen as a big win for LGBTQ+ rights there, and also for Bosnia's government – which is trying to join the EU. This event in particular was largely seen as a test of whether Bosnia's gov can protect minority rights.

What the sports fans in your life are texting each other about…

Bianca Andreescu. The 19-year-old Canadian beat Serena Willams in the US Open final. Not only did Andreescu take down the GOAT – she also became the first Canadian to win a Grand Slam singles title…ever.

Rafael Nadal. He took down Daniil Medvedev in the US Open final and won his 19th Grand Slam. That puts him one behind the men's record for the most Grand Slam singles titles (psst...Roger Federer holds that record right now).

Antonio Brown. In recent weeks, the wide receiver has been in the headlines for all sorts of drama. That includes: getting frostbite on his feet from cryotherapy, losing a battle over his vintage (read: unsafe) helmet, and posting a video online of his private phone call with the Oakland Raiders' coach. Over the weekend, the team said 'k we're done' and dropped him. But don't cry(otherapy) for Brown: hours later, he signed with the New England Patriots. And you thought your weekend trying to cope with the White Claw shortage was crazy.

…Oh and another thing the sports world (and Twitter) can't get over: the new University of Tennessee T-shirt design.

Who felt left out of the 2020 race…

Mark Sanford (R). The former South Carolina governor and congressman announced he's joining the 2020 presidential race, bringing the total number of candidates to 1,000,001 (read: 24).

Skimm More: Read up on the other candidates in the race and where they stand on the issues.

What's the closest we can come to time travel…

Walk(man) down memory lane.

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