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Nepal: CK Raut joins mainstream politics averting conflict?

Raut-led Alliance for Independent Madhes has been running a campaign for an independent state for the historically marginalised people from the southern region, also known as Terai, bordering India. The government offered him to surrender at once, he needs to support the sovereignty and integrity of the country," Deputy Prime Minister and Health Minister Upendra Yadav told Al Jazeera. One of the main agendas for Madhesi parties has been the amendment of the constitution passed in 2015 as part of Nepal's democratic transition following the end of the decade-long civil war in 2006. "Constitution amendment in Madhes is a genuine call. But Vijay Kant Karna, a political science professor at Tribhuvan University in the capital, Kathmandu, says "the agreement between Raut and the government has nothing to do with the issue of Madhes or Madhesis". "Madhesi parties refused to accept the constitution and protested against [it]. The people of Madhes have raised these issues since many years through several phases of movement. Some opposition parties have condemned the deal calling it "anti-national". "He would try to establish a party in Madhes to vouch for the rights of Madhes. However, this agreement between him and the government is not going to benefit Madhes.

Trump’s CIA pick attacked over Bush-era program; do gender politics matter?

The Washington Post scoop in yesterday's paper said Haspel "sought to withdraw her nomination Friday after some White House officials worried that her role in the interrogation of terrorist suspects could prevent her confirmation by the Senate, according to four senior U.S. Sanders took note in tweeting the following: "There is no one more qualified to be the first woman to lead the CIA than 30+ year CIA veteran Gina Haspel. Well, she is to some extent—just like politicians of both parties have regularly played gender and racial cards for decades when it's in their interest. When Bill Clinton named Janet Reno as first female attorney general and Madeleine Albright as the first female secretary of State, that status was touted, implicitly or otherwise, as an extra reason for supporting her. It's not that they weren't qualified, but the politics of opposing them became a little more complicated. Too tough on terror is a loaded formulation, since the obstacle to her confirmation is her involvement in the CIA's interrogation program, which included such techniques as waterboarding, which critics view as torture. It was, of course, the Bush administration that launched the controversial program after 9/11, when terror topped the nation's agenda. Haspel made the comment about Ronny Jackson—who was forced to withdraw as the VA nominee and then lost his job as White House physician—because she doesn't want to be a distraction, according to the Post. She is, by the way, supported by a number of national security officials from the Obama administration. Senators should ask tough questions of every high-level nominee.

Judge in Manafort case says Mueller’s aim is to hurt Trump

(CNN)A federal judge expressed deep skepticism Friday of special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation in the bank fraud case against former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort, at one point saying he believes that Mueller's motivation is to oust President Donald Trump from office. Although Mueller's authority has been tested in court before, Friday's hearing was notable for District Judge T.S. "That's what you're really interested in," Ellis said, citing how prosecutors regularly turn cooperators in drug cases. Manafort has asked the judge to review Mueller's authority to bring charges in an investigation that began well before the special counsel's appointment and focused on actions years before the campaign. Though he faces another criminal case in DC federal court, Manafort refused the prosecutors' earlier request to move these charges out of Ellis' district and combine them with the DC case. Though Ellis largely skewered the special counsel's office on Friday, he also acknowledged to Manafort's lawyer the Justice Department's internal oversight and the detailed August 2 memo commissioning Mueller to investigate Manafort for his Ukrainian ties, which the special counsel's office allege connect him to Russians. Manafort's charges in Virginia relate to bank fraud and other financial allegations from years ago. Mueller's prosecutors will have to turn over a full, unredacted version of the August 2 memo that Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein used to describe the criminal allegations Mueller's team could investigate, Ellis ordered. The judge said he would like to see the full memo, which prosecutors submitted to the court in Virginia and in Washington with more than a page of redactions. Manafort is charged in Virginia with financial violations related to his lobbying work in Ukraine prior to joining Trump's 2016 campaign.

This Week In Politics: U.S.-North Korea Relations

SIMON: President Trump tweeted that this news from North Korea is big progress. And he has a seat at the table of world nuclear powers, at least temporarily. You know, Kissinger was the national security adviser at the time. ELVING: Well, we know that Rand Paul of Kentucky has said he will not back Pompeo. SIMON: Ron, I don't know if you've heard, but James Comey wrote a book. And it's interesting - congressional Republicans have pressed to have his memos documenting his conversations with President Trump released to Congress. ELVING: These are the notes for Jim Comey's book. SIMON: NPR's Ron Elving, thanks so much. ELVING: Thank you Scott. NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by Verb8tm, Inc., an NPR contractor, and produced using a proprietary transcription process developed with NPR.