The Wider World

Biden defends Afghan pullout

U.S TROOPS involved in the evacuation from Kabul completed on Monday (Department of Defense photo).

President Joe Biden defended the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan on Tuesday, calling it “an extraordinary success.”

United Press International reported that Biden said, “Last night in Kabul, the United States ended 20 years of war in Afghanistan. The longest war in American history.”

He praised the military for its evacuation of an estimated 120,000 people, including about 5,500 Americans. “We did it today. The extraordinary success of this mission was due to the incredible skill, bravery and selfless courage of the United States military and our diplomats and intelligence professionals.”

Although polls indicate that a majority of Americans support the end of military intervention in Afghanistan, the chaos that accompanied the pullout following the unexpectedly swift collapse of Afghan forces in the face of attacks by the Taliban were reflected in a decline in Biden’s approval ratings.

The death of 13 American military personnel in a suicide bombing attack also had an impact on public opinion.

Controversial Texas voting bill passes

VOTING CENTER at central library in Austin, Texas (Shutterstock).

Overcoming weeks of resistance from Democrats, the Texas state legislature on Tuesday passed a new elections law that supporters say will improve security, but which opponents call an attempt at “voter suppression.”

Governor Greg Abbott, a Republican, has promised to sign the bill, according to the New York Times. The bill bans drive-through polling places, sending unsolicited absentee ballots to voters, 24-hour voting and other measures.

It also gives greater latitude to poll watchers – who may be partisan – and imposes legal sanctions against poll workers in some cases.

Democrats in the legislature sought to block passage by leaving the state, preventing the formation of a quorum necessary to do business. But after six weeks, enough returned to Austin, the state capital, for the bill to pass.

This law would be the latest in the wake of the unsupported claim of widespread election fraud in the 2020 presidential election.

Power out for a month after Ida?


Reliable electric and water service may be out for a month in parts of Louisiana in the wake of Hurricane Ida. is reporting that about 1.3 million customers in the southern part of the state were without power for 48 hours after Ida struck the area. The rebuilt levees around New Orleans kept the death toll and damage far below that inflicted 16 years ago by Hurricane Katrina, but suffering continues, exacerbated by heat – up to 95 degrees – and high humidity in a situation where most air conditioning systems are not functioning.

According to Gov. John Bel Edwards, power might not be restored for anywhere from two weeks to a month.

Angels, Dodgers both post wins

The Dodgers moved to within a half-game of the NL West lead as they edged the Atlanta Braves 3-2. Corey Seaver drove in Mookie Betts with the game-winning run in the eighth. The Dodgers are 84-49 and benefitted from the San Francisco Giants’ 6-2 loss to the Milwaukee Brewers.

The Angels moved to within a game of .500 with their 6-4 win over the New York Yankees Tuesday night. It was their third straight victory and improved their record to 66-67. Shohei Ohtani stole home to provide the Halos with an insurance run.

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