Thousands try to flee Afghanistan
President Biden’s decision not to begin a mass evacuation of interpreters, guides and their relatives from Afghanistan earlier has left thousands in the dark. Women, in particular, are frantically erasing their ties to the US for fear of being targeted by the Taliban. The US has evacuated 2,000 people, mostly Afghans and NATO personnel, from Kabul in 24 hours.
Even going to the Kabul airport to try and get a seat on a departing flight has become a life or death decision. The Taliban have blocked entrances, fired guns and beat some people in the crowd. Inside, 5,000 American troops were stationed to evacuate people. Taliban fighters have acted swiftly against demonstrations elsewhere in the country.
The scenes in Afghanistan have panicked European politicians, who fear a new mass movement of Muslim asylum seekers will stir the embers of the far-right and populist movements that reshaped European politics in the mid-2010s. Afghans face a lack of compassion in Europe that may be insurmountable.
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Financial pressure: The US blocked the Taliban from accessing billions of dollars from the Afghan central bank.
British-American relations: The US’s rapid withdrawal has embittered some British lawmakers over what they see as a lack of coordination over timing and tactics, ignoring Britain’s role in the war.
Israel battles wave of coronavirus cases
A fourth wave of infections in Israel is fast approaching the worst days of the pandemic in the country last winter. The daily number of confirmed new virus cases has more than doubled in the past two weeks, reaching a six-month high of more than 8,000 new cases on Monday. At least 230 people have died from Covid this month.
Some experts fear that Israel’s high rate of infections among early vaccine recipients may indicate a decline in vaccine protection over time, especially against the highly contagious Delta variant. The government has reintroduced restrictions on gatherings and is now considering a new lockdown.
Since March, the country had nearly returned to its prepandemic normal, with concerts and sporting events open to the vaccinated. “The vaccinations were supposed to solve everything,” said a public health expert. Now, he added, it is clear that masks and crowd restrictions must be part of the approach.
Related: New studies from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show that while vaccines remain highly effective against hospitalizations and deaths, the bulwark they provide against infection has weakened in recent months.
Here are the latest updates and maps of the pandemic.
In other developments:
‘We’re on our own’
Days after a 7.2 magnitude earthquake devastated part of Haiti’s southern peninsula and killed at least 2,180 people, some areas, including the village of Toirac, had yet to be visited by emergency services or aid agencies.
After at least 20 people died in Toirac attending a funeral at the time of the quake, villagers exhumed the dead, buried them in mass graves and built makeshift shelters for their collapsed houses as Tropical Storm Grace pelted the area with heavy rain. Here’s how it happened.
The UN, the US and a range of international aid agencies have mobilized to send aid, but the effort has been patchy and limited, mostly limited to providing emergency medical care and basic supplies to key population centers near airstrips.
citable: “I don’t expect any help; we’re on our own,” said Michel Milord, a farmer in Toirac, who lost his wife and house in the earthquake. “Nobody trusts this government here.”
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The science of food
J. Kenji López-Alt, a food columnist for The Times, approaches home cooking like a scientist. He spoke to Times Insider about how his kitchen is also a laboratory. Here’s an excerpt.
How would you describe your way of cooking?
I try to explain the science and technique behind home cooking. My thought is always that understanding science can help you get better at something.
How did you get to that view?
I’ve always been involved in science. My father is a scientist. My grandfather is a scientist, so that was part of my upbringing. After college, I cooked in restaurants and had a lot of questions about why certain things worked the way they did. I eventually switched to recipe development at Cook’s Illustrated.
What kind of meals or recipes are you drawn to?
There is a big difference between what I write about and what I cook at home. I cook based on how much time I have and what I have left, and I adjust it right away.
So you’re not a meal planner or a Sunday meal prepper?
No, I don’t know what we’re eating tonight.
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That’s it for today’s briefing. Have a nice day. — Natasha
PS A fight between writers Ernest Hemingway and Max Eastman ended 84 years ago this month in The Times. Hemingway said he punched Eastman, who claimed to have thrown Hemingway over a desk.
The latest episode of “The Daily” is about the earthquake in Haiti.
You can reach Natasha and the team at [email protected].