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Reuters Select: How much is an Afghan life worth? That depends.
March 20, 2017 / 2:58 PM / 8 months ago

Reuters Select: How much is an Afghan life worth? That depends.

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Hugs all around in the rain

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Incoming German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier and his wife Elke Buedenbender and President Joachim Gauck and his partner Daniela Schadt at the presidential Bellevue Palace in Berlin. REUTERS/Fabrizio Bensch

How much is an Afghan life worth? That depends.

Nearly 16 years since invading Afghanistan, the United States has no standardized process for making compensation payments to the families of thousands of Afghan civilians killed or injured in U.S.-led military operations. It first started paying the families of Afghan victims as a way to counter Taliban militants who were doing the same. The approach is arbitrary by design as it tries to negotiate Afghanistan’s cultural and regional sensitivities as a foreign military force, but civil activists say the system is unfair and confusing for often poor and uneducated Afghans. Reuters’ Idrees Ali reports.

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The return of the ‘dumb’ refugee deal

U.S. officials have begun taking fingerprints of asylum seekers in an Australian-run camp on the Pacific island of Nauru, signaling that vetting of applicants for resettlement in what President Donald Trump called a “dumb deal” has restarted. Interviews with more than half a dozen detainees on Nauru confirmed that U.S. Homeland Security officials arrived on Saturday, Reuters’ Colin Packham and Aaron Bunch report.

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Special Report: Russia’s $100 million, inside Trump’s buildings

During the 2016 presidential campaign, Trump downplayed his business ties with Russia. And since taking office, he has been even more emphatic. But in the United States, members of the Russian elite have invested in Trump buildings. A Reuters review has found that at least 63 individuals with Russian passports or addresses have bought at least $98.4 million worth of property in seven Trump-branded luxury towers in southern Florida, according to public documents, interviews and corporate records. Reuters tells you who these elites are and what they’re doing.

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Mnuchin: They like him

Wary of their first official encounter with Trump’s blustery trade agenda, the world’s top finance officials were relieved to find new Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin polite and business-like over the weekend. They also ceded a fair amount of ground to him on free trade and climate change. Reuters’ David Lawder reports from the G20 meeting in Baden Baden.

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Don’t trouble me with numbers

Reuters’ Jeremy Gaunt notes how Americans, the Britons and very nearly the Dutch voted in recent elections on how they feel about their lot in life and not about what the numbers say is true about their economic conditions. And he looks ahead to whether France will do the same. The gist: voters indeed are more likely to vote their feelings than their country’s GDP and unemployment rate.

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Mass graves in central Congo bear witness to growing violence

The increasingly brutal nature of fighting in central Congo between the army and local militia is on display in the village of Tshienke, where the bodies of rebel fighters last month were dumped into a mass grave following intense clashes. A visit to this site this month was the first time that journalists including Reuters have been able to see the toll that the Congolese military has exacted on fighters of the Kamuina Nsapu militia, whose insurgency poses the most serious threat to the rule of President Joseph Kabila. Reuters’ Aaron Ross provides the story as well as photographs.

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The golden escalator of Saudi’s investment in Asia is going up

Saudi King Salman’s lavish tour of Asia, arriving in each country on a golden escalator with 400 tonnes of luggage, had a hardnosed marketing mission - to cement the kingdom’s place as leading oil supplier to the world’s biggest consumer region. The string of deals inked on his three-week tour to Malaysia, Indonesia, Japan and China also point to a fresh strategy, one to increase Saudi leverage over refined product and petrochemical markets, known as the downstream sector. Reuters’ Henning Gloystein reports.

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