The Wider World

Biden stands by Afghan pullback

PRESIDENT JOE BIDEN and Vice President Kamala Harris in a video conference on the situation in Afghanistan (White House photo).

President Joe Biden stood by his decision to withdraw American military forces from Afghanistan as the Taliban insurgents took control of the central Asian nation.

“Here’s what I believe to my core,” he said. “It is wrong to order American troops to step up when Afghanistan’s own armed forces would not. How many more generations of America’s daughters and sons would you have me send to fight Afghanistan’s civil war? I will not repeat the mistakes we made in the past,” according to the Associated Press.

The unexpectedly swift conquest of the country by the Islamic fundamentalist forces led to a chaotic situation in the capital city of Kabul, where U.S. forces were evacuating American diplomatic personnel and some Afghan allies.

Desperate to escape the Taliban, whose previous control of the nation had been violent and oppressive – especially to women – people mobbed the airport area. According to The New York Times, at least a dozen people died, some of them falling to their deaths from airplanes they were clinging to. Two armed men who approached the airport security perimeter with weapons were fatally shot by U.S. troops.

The State Department said that 1,600 people were evacuated from Afghanistan since Friday, bringing the total to 3,600 over the last month. A goal of 5,000 persons per day was announced. Great Britain is also seeking to move 3,000 of its citizens from the country.

Haiti death toll now close to 1,500

DEVASTATION in Haiti (Wikipedia/VOA).

The roll call of people dead in the aftermath of the earthquake that struck Haiti is now close to 1,500 and expected to continue to rise as rescue efforts go on.

According to USA Today, the number of people injured has been placed at 6,000 by the nation’s Civil Protection Agency. Complicating their efforts of relief workers is the approach of Tropical Depression Grace, which was inflicting “torrential rains” on the island of Hispaniola, which also includes the Dominican Republic.

Sustained winds of 35 miles an hour have been reported. As many as 15 inches of rain could fail, according to the U.S. National Hurricane Center, possibly leading to flooding and mudslides.

Western water shortage is declared

LAKE MEAD in 2019 (Wikipedia).

There will be less water allocated to Arizona, Nevada and Mexico from the reservoir at Lake Mead, the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation said in declaring an official water shortage on Monday.

According to Reuters.com, the declaration allows for reductions of annual apportionments of water of as much as 18 percent for Arizona, 7 percent for Nevada and 5 percent for Mexico.

Lake Mead was formed by the construction of dams on the Colorado River. It supplies water to about 25 million people, including some in Southern California.

“We are seeing the effects of climate change,” said an Interior Department spokesperson.

“Daily News” is a summary of major news stories, posted Monday through Sunday.

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