Global Review – 18th August

Afghanistan not to be used as a haven for terrorism

The Talaban have said they would not let Afghanistan to be used as a haven for terrorism. Addressing his first news conference in Kabul, Taliban spokesman, Zabihullah Mujahid, insisted that women woud be able to work, study and be actively involved in society as long as they complied with Sharia law. In other developments:

  • The White House said the US has been in contact with the Taliban to ensure “the safe passage of people to the airport”. The US military has evacuated more than 3,200 people from Afghanistan, including US personnel, using military aircraft. Also, nearly 2,000 Afghan refugees have been evacuated to the United States.
  • Three US Senate commissions (Intelligence, Foreign Affairs and Armed Forces) are intent on investigating the execution of the US withdrawal, saying they were “witnessing the horrific results of many years of political and intelligence failures”. Former President Donald Trump said the US “had been humiliated”.
  • The EU said that it too will “engage in dialogue” with the militants in order to extract hundreds of Afghan families after the Taliban “won the war”.
  • NATO has suspended all aid to the country now that it is under Taliban control.
  • Afghanistan will not be represented in the Paralympic Games in Tokyo after the Taliban victory.

Spain gets €9 billion under Recovery Plan

The European Commission has disbursed €9 billion in pre-financing to Spain, equivalent to 13% of the country’s financial envelope under the Recovery and Resilience Facility. Payment of the first installment will help kickstart the implementation of key investments and reform measures outlined in Spain’s National Recovery and Resilience Plan. EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen tweeted that the ambitious plan would provide a crucial push to make the green transition a reality, further digitise the economy and make Spain more resilient than ever.

7,000 affected by fire on the Côte d’Azur

Some thousand firemen on the Côte d’Azur, are battling to control the biggest fire of the summer of 2021 in France, a day after it broke out in a motor service area. The wind has dropped but the fire is still not completely under control. Firefighters worked all night with 225 vehicles to put out the flames, while about 7,000 people spent a second night away from home, welcomed in an accommodation facility in the area.

Jihadists kill 37 in western Niger

At least 37 civilians, including a dozen women and children, were killed in western Niger during the attack by suspected jihadists on a village in the Tillabéri region, near Mali. Local sources reported theattack was committed by “gunmen on motorcycles” who shot people working in the fields.

Nuns killed in South Sudan

Two nuns, Sister Mary Abbud and Sister Regina Roba, of the congregation of the Sisters of the Sacred Heart, were killed along with three civilians in an ambush on the road that connects the South Sudanese capital Juba to Nimule, on the border with Uganda. The nuns were traveling on a bus that was attacked by unidentified gunmen. Several other people were injured.

“Godfather of Sudoku” dies

Maki Kaji, the Japanese man known as the “Godfather of Sudoku”, has died at the age of 69. Kaji gave the number puzzle its name after publishing it in his magazine Nikoli in the 1980s. Since then the popular game – involving placing the numbers one to nine in each row, column and square of a nine by nine grid – has spread around the globe.

Unique tomb discovered in Pompei

A very particular tomb has been descovered in Pompei. It is enclosed, with a facade decorated with green plants on a blue background and a chamber for burial at a time when bodies of adults were always incinerated in the city. There is also a marble inscription from which comes the first confirmation that in the theatres of the Roman colony, at least in the last decades before the eruption of 79 AD, was also recited in Greek.


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