Jacquelyn Martin/AP, File
President Donald Trump is showing renewed interest in a proposal by Blackwater founder Erik Prince to privatize the war, current and former senior administration officials told NBC News.
The idea envisions replacing troops with private military contractors who would work for a special U.S. envoy for the war who would report directly to the president.
It has raised ethical and security concerns among senior military officials, key lawmakers and members of Trump's national security team.
But a year after Trump approved boosting the U.S. troop presence in Afghanistan, his advisers are worried his impatience with the Afghanistan conflict will cause him to seriously consider proposals like Prince's or abruptly order a complete U.S. withdrawal, officials said.
Prince, a staunch Trump supporter whose sister is Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, said he hasn't spoken directly to Trump about the plan, but told NBC News he plans to launch an aggressive media "air campaign" in coming days to try to get the president to embrace it.
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Aaron Montes, File
A federal judge on Friday called on the U.S. government and the American Civil Liberties Union to come up with a plan to address the rights of parents and children separated at the U.S.-Mexico border to seek asylum.
The request was made during a hearing a day after U.S. District Judge Dana Sabraw extended a freeze on deportations of recently reunified families, giving a reprieve to hundreds of children and their parents who want to remain in the United States.
AP Photo/Elise Amendola, File
The pep talk was short and to the point, a reminder to reigning world gymnastics champion Morgan Hurd that all was not lost.
The 17-year-old had just fallen off the beam at the U.S. Classic last month, ending any serious chance she had at making a run at Simone Biles in the Olympic champion's return to competition after a two-year break. In the moment, Hurd was frustrated.
And then Tom Forster came over. The newly appointed high-performance team coordinator for the embattled USA Gymnastics women's elite program pulled Hurd aside and put things in perspective.
The judge in Paul Manafort's financial fraud trial said Friday he has received threats and he fears for the "peace and safety" of the jurors deciding the fate of the former Trump campaign chairman.
U.S. District Judge T.S. Ellis III revealed his concerns when explaining why he doesn't intend to make jurors' names public at the end of the trial. Jury lists are presumed to be public unless a judge articulates a reason for keeping them secret.
A detained American pastor has become a symbol of a growing rift between Turkey and the United States, but problems in the Cold War-era alliance as well as Turkey's own financial crisis are unlikely to dissipate even if he is released and Washington eases economic penalties.
The fate of Andrew Brunson, charged with terror offenses by a Turkish court, also overshadows the predicament of a Turkish-American scientist from NASA and several Turkish workers for the U.S. diplomatic mission who were arrested in Turkey. Turkey, meanwhile, is frustrated by the refusal of the U.S. to extradite a Pennsylvania-based Muslim cleric accused by Turkish authorities of engineering a 2016 coup attempt.
Brenda Thiel and Alyssa Wachtler live on opposite sides of the country. But they've got at least one thing in common: both have sons with severe nut allergies. And when they made their usual back-to-school trips to the pharmacy to procure their EpiPens for the new year, they were told the same thing.
"The pharmacist literally walked up to me and said, 'I'm really sorry, we do not have any epinephrine here,'" Thiel, who lives in Tucson, Arizona, told CNBC. "He said there's a shortage, and you're not going to be able to find EpiPens anywhere."
New Haven Police Department
A decade after first appearing in the United States, the synthetic drug K2 is seen as a growing health danger.
Some marijuana smokers turned to it because it is relatively cheap and not detected in routine drug testing. More than 100 people in New Haven went to the hospital this week after overdosing on a batch of synthetic pot.
The Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery in Washington, D.C., has placed a poster of Aretha Franklin on display in the "in memoriam" section of the museum.
Luke Song, who made hats for Aretha Franklin for nearly 20 years, discusses what she was like and how his life changed after he made the hat she wore to President Barack Obama's 2009 inauguration.
Damian Dovarganes/AP (File)
The sales and marketing director of Backpage.com pleaded guilty Friday to conspiring to facilitate prostitution, acknowledging that he participated in a scheme to give free ads to prostitutes in a bid to draw them away from competitors and win over their future business.
Dan Hyer is the second Backpage.com employee to plead guilty in cases in Arizona in which the site has been accused of ignoring warnings to stop running prostitution ads, some of which involved children. Authorities say the site has brought in $500 million in prostitution-related revenue since its inception in 2004.
Evan Vucci/AP (File)
With all the concern over cybersecurity heading into the midterm elections, it's actually quite difficult for outsiders to directly manipulate votes. Unlike corporate networks and email systems, voting machines aren't connected to the internet, making them hard to access.
So as government officials prepare for the hotly contested congressional elections in November, their focus is more on protecting the integrity of the systems that support the pre- and post-voting periods than on the ballots themselves.
Andrew Harnik/AP, File
President Donald Trump has said he's yanking former CIA Director John Brennan's security clearance and threatened to do the same to other current and former officials tied to the federal investigation into Russian election interference.
Trump told The Wall Street Journal he made the move because he believes the probe is "rigged" and he felt he had to act. The decision has drawn sharp criticism as an extraordinary act of retribution. But what is the practical impact? And what can Brennan do about it?
Justin Sullivan/Getty, File
California lawmakers have killed a plan to create a state-backed bank to handle money associated with the recreational marijuana market.
California's legal recreational pot industry is the world's largest.
Most banks, though, won't handle money affiliated with the industry because marijuana is still illegal under federal law. That's forced marijuana growers, distributors and sellers to operate with cash.
Vigili Del Fuoco via AP
One survivor of the Genoa bridge collapse was in his car as it plunged 45 meters (150 feet) to the ground along with falling sections of highway and concrete. He says he immediately understood that the structure was collapsing.
"It came down, everything, the world came down," said 33-year-old Davide Capello, a firefighter and soccer player who walked away traumatized but physically unharmed from Tuesday's disaster.
Excavators on Friday began clearing large sections of the collapsed highway bridge in the Italian port city on the Mediterranean Sea, searching for people still missing three days after the deadly accident that Capello said ended with an "unreal silence."
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