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Report: U.S. starts shipping equipment out of Afghanistan



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The United States has commenced moving equipment out of Afghanistan as it begins to withdraw troops and wind down its longest-ever war, three defense officials told CNN in a Friday report.

One of the officials told the news outlet that the immediate focus is to continue shipping out unnecessary equipment and supplies that will neither be destroyed nor provided to Afghan forces. Equipment deemed to be “obsolete” will be destroyed, the official also said.

Although the withdrawal of personnel will not begin “for a few weeks,” the U.S. will “retain our ability to defend the force and provide support” to Afghan units, the official said.

In order to safeguard U.S. and NATO forces—plus contractors—as they pull out of Afghanistan, the Pentagon has authorized the deployment of hundreds of maritime, air, and land forces to the region, the defense officials told CNN.

Furthermore, the Pentagon also approved maintaining an aircraft carrier in the region, to protect troops with fighter jets as they pull out, CNN mentioned. The USS Dwight D. Eisenhower, the carrier currently stationed in the region, will likely stay put and have its return home delayed, the officials said.

Last week, President Joe Biden announced his plan to withdraw all U.S. troops from the country by September 11 of this year, the 20th anniversary of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, which caused the U.S. to initially invade Afghanistan.

“War in Afghanistan was never meant to be a multigenerational undertaking,” Biden said last week in the White House Treaty Room, the same room from which President George W. Bush had announced the war’s start in October 2001. “It’s time to end the forever war.”

“We were attacked. We went to war with clear goals. We achieved those objectives,” Biden also said. “Bin Laden is dead and al Qaeda is degraded in Afghanistan and it’s time to end the forever war.”

RELATED: ‘It’s time to end America’s longest war’: Biden announces plan to withdraw US troops from Afghanistan

About 2,500 U.S. troops are posted in Afghanistan, on top of the hundreds of special operations forces.

No more than 1,000 ground troops, under the Defense Department approval, will also be deployed to Afghanistan to offer “force protection” for troops exiting the country, the outlet also reported.

MORE ON AFGHANISTAN: Trump: ‘I wish Joe Biden wouldn’t use September 11th as the date to withdraw our troops from Afghanistan’

MORE ON AFGHANISTAN: ‘I could not disagree more’: Graham slams Trump’s support of Biden’s proposed U.S. troop withdrawal from Afghanistan

You can follow Douglas Braff on Twitter @DouglasPBraff.

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Rupert Murdoch Steps Down as Chairman of Fox Corporation and News Corp



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Rupert Murdoch, the 92-year-old media tycoon, announced his decision to step down from his roles as Chairman of Fox Corporation and Executive Chairman of News Corp on Thursday. The transition is set to take effect in November, with his son, Lachlan Murdoch, assuming the position of sole chairman for both media conglomerates.

According to reports from Fox News, Murdoch addressed his colleagues in a letter, where he explained that his decision was prompted by a desire to embrace new roles while recognizing the capable leadership of his son, Lachlan. He stated, “For my entire professional life, I have been engaged daily with news and ideas, and that will not change. But the time is right for me to take on different roles, knowing that we have truly talented teams and a passionate, principled leader in Lachlan who will become sole Chairman of both companies.”

Despite the transition, Rupert Murdoch made it clear that he would remain actively involved in the “contest of ideas,” highlighting the intensifying battle over freedom of speech and freedom of thought. He criticized elites and the media for prioritizing narratives over the pursuit of truth.

“In my new role, I can guarantee you that I will be involved every day in the contest of ideas,” he wrote.

Lachlan Murdoch issued a statement, congratulating his father for his remarkable 70-year career and acknowledging his enduring impact on the companies he founded. He expressed gratitude for Rupert Murdoch’s vision, pioneering spirit, and steadfast determination, assuring that he would continue to provide valuable counsel in his role as Chairman Emeritus.

Rupert Murdoch’s media empire includes FOX News Channel, which has been a dominant force in 24-hour news coverage since its launch in 1996. Under his leadership, it became one of the world’s most influential news sources. Additionally, Murdoch served as the CEO of 21st Century Fox from 1979 until 2015 and as its Chairman from 1991 to 2015.

Murdoch’s career began in 1954 when he assumed control of News Limited, a public corporation in Australia previously led by his father. He expanded his media holdings internationally, acquiring major UK publications like News of the World and The Sun in 1969, as well as U.S. newspapers including the New York Post and The Village Voice.

His impact extended to television with the launch of the FOX Broadcasting company in 1986 and the subsequent establishment of FOX Sports. In 2019, Fox Corporation emerged as a standalone, publicly traded entity following the separation of 21st Century Fox, redefining the U.S. media landscape.

Rupert Murdoch’s contributions to the media industry have earned him numerous accolades, including the Companion of the Order of Australia (A.C.) and induction into the Television Academy Hall of Fame. Alongside his family, he has supported various charitable organizations across the U.S., the U.K., Australia, Asia, and Israel.

The transition of leadership marks a significant moment in the media world, as Rupert Murdoch’s enduring legacy continues to influence the future of media and journalism.

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