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The US military has decided it will no longer release facts and figures about its costly effort to assist Afghan security forces, declaring the information top secret, officials said Thursday. The move marks an about-face for the Pentagon, which for the past six years has proudly reported a range of data about the $65 billion program to build up the Afghan National Security Forces. "After six years of being publicly reported, Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF) data is now classified," said John Sopko, the special inspector general for Afghanistan reconstruction or SIGAR. "The decision leaves SIGAR unable to publicly report on most of the $65 billion US-taxpayer-funded efforts to build, train, equip and sustain the ANSF," Sopko's report said.
By Robin Emmott and Pavel Polityuk BRUSSELS/KIEV (Reuters) - European Union foreign ministers agreed on Thursday to extend existing sanctions against Russia by six months but were still debating whether to impose new measures, with the new government in Greece sowing uncertainty that exasperated its allies. The worst fighting for five months raged on in eastern Ukraine, with pro-Russian rebels who have disavowed a ceasefire pressing to encircle a government-held garrison town. Britain said it scrambled fighters after Russia flew long-range bombers near its air space, disrupting civilian aviation. It summoned the Russian ambassador for an explanation.
AMMAN, Jordan (AP) — A young Jordanian fighter pilot, a female al-Qaida recruit who tried to blow up a hotel ballroom in Amman and a veteran Japanese war correspondent are at the center of a life-and-death standoff with the Islamic State group.