Civilian deaths, Taliban attacks rising as full U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan looms, report says

  WASHINGTON — Civilian casualties and  Taliban  attacks in Afghanistan are mounting as the U.S. withdrawal nears completion and the  Afghan  military continues its collapse, according to a new quarterly report from a U.S. government watchdog that describes a country ravaged by Covid-19 and violence. The report by the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction, or SIGAR, found a "dramatic increase in enemy-initiated attacks" from January through March of this year compared to the same time in previous years. There were 10,431 attacks this year, up from 7,620 last year and 6,358 in 2019. Attacks have been increasing  since the U.S.-Taliban agreement on Feb. 29, 2020, with more attacks in each three-month period since the agreement than in the same quarters in the previous year. The number of  attacks against the Afghan military and civilians  has increased significantly this year, the report says, with many attacks coming during  the Taliban offensive  now sweepi

The FBI didn't investigate Brett Kavanaugh. We deserve to know why.

In recent days,   we learned that the 4,500 tips reported to the FBI   about Brett Kavanaugh's suitability to serve as a Supreme Court justice largely went uninvestigated. Worse, the FBI handed the tips over to President Donald Trump's White House, the administration determined to get Kavanaugh confirmed by pretty much any means necessary. The FBI handed the tips over to President Donald Trump’s White House, the administration determined to get Kavanaugh confirmed by any means necessary. Needless to say, presidents get to nominate whomever they want to the Supreme Court. But once the nominee is selected, the normal rules of governmental convention typically kick in:  The FBI does a background investigation ; the  American Bar Association rates the nominee  on a scale from "fully qualified" to "not qualified"; the Senate goes about fulfilling its constitutional  "advice and consent" responsibilities ; etc. On  July 9, 2018, Trump nominated Kavanaugh

Twitter is testing out a feature that allows users to shop directly from a brand's profile

Twitter is doubling down on its dive into e-commerce with   the launch on Wednesday of its Shop Module,   which allows users to purchase items directly from a user's profile. The new feature allows brands to add a shopping carousel at the top of their profile, and is currently available only for users with iOS devices, Twitter said. “We've come to appreciate that people do a lot of research on Twitter before they buy something,” Twitter CFO Ned Segal said at an investor presentation in May. “They want to hear what experts say about a phone, about a pair of shoes, about a coffee mug." Shop Module, Twitter's new pilot shopping tool. Twitter The new feature is the social platform's latest experiment in leveraging its vast U.S. user base to churn retail sales. In the last three months of December, the company had 37 million active daily users,  according  to its annual report. “We're still in the learning phases,” Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey told investors in an earnin