‘There is no way out’
Thousands of Afghan soldiers have fled to countries like Iran and Uzbekistan in recent weeks as the Taliban quickly took over. Tens of thousands more are now on the run, hiding and hunted by the Taliban. “There is no way out,” said one commando, who was hiding in the mountains of eastern Afghanistan. “I pray to be saved.”
The soldiers were all part of the sudden atomization of the national security forces that the US and its allies had spent tens of billions of dollars on arming and training to face the Taliban, a two-decade institution-building effort. that in just a few days.
Militants are stepping up their search for people they believe have worked with US and NATO forces, including among the mob of Afghans at Kabul airport, and have threatened to kill or arrest their relatives if they cannot find those they seek , according to a confidential document prepared for the UN
In Kabul, hundreds of protesters against the Taliban takeover took to the streets for a second day. About 200 people had gathered at a demonstration in the city before the Taliban violently broke it up. A curfew has been imposed in the southeastern city of Khost following protests. Here are the latest updates.
Evacuations: How news organizations like The Times pulled their Afghan colleagues out of Kabul in a global bailout involving the Pentagon and Qatar.
‘A mockery of vaccine equality’
Plans in some rich countries to allow Covid booster injections even if much of the world has yet to receive a first injection have been criticized by some at WHO. said Dr. Matshidiso Moeti, WHO Africa director.
The organization had called for a moratorium on booster shots until the end of September to free up supplies for low-income countries. But many countries are ignoring that appeal: The US wants to start booster shots on September 20; France and Germany have similar plans; and over a million people in Israel have already had them.
African countries lag far behind those on other continents in vaccinations, with only 2 percent of Africa’s 1.3 billion people fully vaccinated against the virus. Although vaccine shipments have accelerated in recent weeks, African countries are still far from getting enough to meet their needs.
Biden’s response: “We are offering the rest of the world more than the rest of the world combined,” President Biden said. “We are keeping our part of the bargain.”
Here are the latest updates and maps of the pandemic.
In other developments:
The clear plastic barriers that have become commonplace in indoor environments during the pandemic are doing little to stop the spread of the coronavirus – and could make things worse.
Three vaccinated US senators have tested positive for the coronavirus, adding to the number of breakthrough cases among lawmakers.
Drought and wildfires in the US
The severe drought that grips much of the western US is likely to continue into late fall. Follow live updates on extreme weather here.
Above average temperatures are likely to be expected across most of the West, while precipitation is expected to be lower than normal. All in all, that’s bad news for a region already experiencing major drought effects, including dwindling water supplies, crop failure, barren grazing lands and exploding wildfires.
Fires continue to burn in Northern California. About 23,000 residents of El Dorado County have fled or are prepared to evacuate. Air pollution was expected to remain at unhealthy levels — above 150 on the air quality index — in Sacramento and other cities near the Caldor wildfire.
THE LAST NEWS
News from USA
Chuck Close, who found success with his large-scale photorealistic portraits and became one of the leading artists of his generation, has passed away at the age of 81.
ART AND IDEAS
An Afghan author reflects on his birthplace
Khaled Hosseini’s novels have provided a picture of Afghan life that was not limited to war and destruction. He spoke to The Times about the pain and frustration of seeing it happen remotely in his country.
How has your view of Afghanistan’s future changed over the year?
I was in Afghanistan in early 2003 and at that time there was virtually no insurgency. There was a very intoxicating optimism about where the country was going: gender equality, rights for girls and women, people who can participate in an open and representative political process.
Over the years we have adjusted our expectations, and over time we have come to expect that, well, that was all a pipe dream, but at least what we can hope for is a compromised form of democracy, with corruption and all sorts of problems . That hope has waned in recent years. And the past few days they have been utterly crushed.
What should people read now to better understand Afghanistan and the Afghan people?
They should read history books. They should read people who really know and know Afghanistan well. A lot of people have relied on my books to get a sense of what Afghanistan is like, and that’s fine, but it was never my intention for my books to be representative of what Afghan life is like. I hope people dig much deeper than that and read history books and learn more about Afghanistan that way.
But the demand for your books has increased. Is there anything you want people to know when they’re picking up one of them for the first time?
These are stories. This is the perspective of someone living in exile since 1980. But I do have a perspective, and I have a deep affection and a deep emotional connection with the people there, with the country, with the culture, with the history and the heritage.
Afghanistan has so much more to offer. It is a beautiful country with a beautiful, humble, friendly, hospitable, hospitable and charming people. Anyone who’s been to Afghanistan says, “I’ve been to many places in the world, but I’ve never been to a place like Afghanistan.”
PLAY, WATCH, EAT
What to cook?
This one-pot meal, topped with walnuts and fresh mint and pomegranate seeds, is inspired by pilaf-style rice dishes made around the world.
what to watch
After months of delay, Andrew Lloyd Webber’s “Cinderella” finally premiered in London. It’s fun, says our critic.
What to listen to?
New Zealand singer Lorde is releasing her third album today. It’s what happens when a pop star stops making hits, writes our culture reporter in this profile.
Now time to play
Here’s today’s mini crossword and a clue: emerald or diamond (three letters).
And here’s the Spelling Bee.
Here you will find all our puzzles.
That’s it for today’s briefing. Have a quiet weekend. — Natasha
PS The Times Afghan journalists and their families got it to safety and will now begin their transition to a new life abroad.
The latest episode of “The Daily” is about the Afghan interpreters who left the US behind.
You can reach Natasha and the team at [email protected].