Global Review – 17th August

Taliban amnesty for state officials

The Taliban have announced a general amnesty for all state officials, urging them to return to work, two days after taking power in Afghanistan, thanks to a lightning offensive. “A general amnesty has been declared for everyone…so you should resume your lifestyle with full confidence,” the Taliban said in a statement.

Afghanistan: Biden defends US withdrawal

President Biden has strongly defended his decision to withdraw US troops from Afghanistan. Speaking to the nation from the White House, he said that the clear goals of the US mission there were focused on counter terrorism and

were never meant to be about “nation building” or “creating a unified, central democracy”. The US president claimed to have put “the national interest” of the US first and that the Americans “will not do what the Afghans do not do” – that is to fight and die for their country. He acknowledged Afghanistan had fallen “faster than expected”.

Kabul airport re-opens

Kabul airport has reopened after a closure of a few hours due to security problems that threatened the evacuation operations. Major General Hank Taylor, a logistics expert in the US General Staff, explained that a C-17 with marines on board landed at the Afghan airport, while the arrival of a second plane with an army unit was imminent to ensure the safety of the airport.

Guterres urges restraint

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has urged the Taliban to exercise the maximum restraint to protect lives. Speaking to the Security Council, Guterres called on the international community to make sure that the country was never again used as a safe haven for terrorist organisations. He said the UN was receiving chilling reports of severe restrictions of human rights.

Tropical storm makes landfall in Haiti

A tropical storm has made landfall in Haiti drenching the country with heavy rain as rescue workers deal with the aftermath of Saturday’s deadly earthquake,

rushing to locate survivors. At least 1,400 people are known to have died in the earthquake, an unknown number are still missing and at least 7,000 have been injured.

Salvini: record migrant landings

As of yesterday, the landings of migrants in Italy in 2021 are 34,455, more than those recorded in all of 2020 (34,154) and triple those of 2019 (11,471). Angry Italian Lega leader Matteo Salvini said, “And the arrivals do not stop, given that there are two NGO ships full of illegal immigrants ready to sail to Italy: one of them flies the Norwegian flag and has 214 people on board.” He expected thegovernment to tell Oslo that Italy was not the refugee camp of Europe.

NASA shrugs off claims that US astronaut drilled hole in space station

NASA has denied Russian claims that US astronaut Serena Aunon-Chancellor drilled a hole in the space station so she could get back to Earth quickly. As a result, the space station spun out of control. Tass had accused Serena of having intentionally caused damage to the Russian space module. NASA said: “We stand behind Serena and her professional conduct. We do not believe there is any credibility to these accusations.”

No spectators at Paralympics Games

Spectators will not be allowed at the Tokyo Paralympic Games because of the city’s ongoing struggle with coronavirus. The Japanese government has extended the country’s state of emergency, with the Paralympics beginning on 24 August. As well as stadia, fans were also requested not to attend road events.

Barcelona €1.35 billion in the red

Barcelona president Joan Laporta has revealed that the club is €1.35 billion in the red – a €200m increase from the figure reported in January. Years of overspending on wages and transfer fees have finally caught up with the club. Laporta blamed the dire situation on former president Josep Maria Bartomeu.

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