Access to Kabul’s airport has been mostly cut off by Taliban forces as the evacuation of Americans, other Westerners and Afghan allies approaches a final deadline on Tuesday.
The intent of the move was said to be to keep large groups from gathering and becoming targets for terror attacks.
According to the Associated Press, 117,000 people have been airlifted out of the Afghanistan capitol with around-the-clock flights since Aug. 15, when the Taliban gained control of most of the nation.
Another terrorist attack on the evacuation process is considered “highly likely in the next 24 to 36 hours,” said President Joe Biden.
Thursday’s suicide attack which resulted in the death of at least 169 Afghans and 13 American military personnel was the work of ISIS-K, a radical Islamic group that is an enemy not only of Western nations but also of the Taliban.
It was followed by a U.S. drone strike that the Pentagon said killed two leaders of the ISIS group, according to The New York Times.
It also reported that about 350 or so Americans were awaiting evacuation and another 280 people referring to themselves as Americans either don’t plan to leave or haven’t told U.S. authorities what their intentions are.
Protests over voter rights across U.S.
Calling for federal laws that will counteract state legislation they say amounts to “voter suppression,” thousands of people took to the streets in cities across the nation Saturday.
A crowd estimated at around 20,000 was in Washington, D.C. to urge Congress to pass the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act, which would override recent state laws – mostly approved in “red states” – that limit voting by mail, the use of drop boxes to cast ballots and longer voting periods.
According to reuters.com, the bill has passed the U.S. House of Representatives but is likely to stall in the Senate, where Republicans can block it using the filibuster.
Louisiana braces for Hurricane Ida
Hurricane Ida is expected to make landfall later today (Saturday) in Louisiana and the Federal Emergency Management Agency is preparing for its arrival by arranging for supples of meals, water and electrical generators.
According to United Press International, the agency has dispatched 500 staffers to Texas and Louisiana to assist the 2,000 FEMA employees already there.
The National Weather Service is saying that Ida will bring a “life-threatening storm surge [and] potentially catastrophic wind damage and flooding rainfall” across the Gulf of Mexico.
Categories: The Wider World