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Defense Minister Rejected as Taliban Battle Near Kabul

Afghanistan's parliament rejected a second nominee for defense minister on Saturday, leaving a vacuum that has already lasted nine months, while government forces battled the Taliban just 30 miles west of the capital, Kabul. The president's failure to nominate a full cabinet since he took office in September has sown great discontent among Afghans, and Saturday's vote was seen as a test of his government's influence over parliament. As the Afghan army remained without...

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