Germany: SPD supasses CDU in polls
The German Social Democratic Party has surpassed, for the first time in the polls, the Christian Democrats of outgoing Chancellor Angela Merkel with 23% against 22%. According to a Forsa poll,in view of the federal elections in September, the Greens are at 18%, the FDP at 12%, the Afd at 10% and the Linke at 6%.
Biden sticks to his guns: US withdrawal by August 31
US President Joe Biden has not given in to the pressure of the other G7 leaders, and confirmed that US troops will permanently withdraw from Kabul on August 31 as planned. Seven minutes were enough for the American president to quash any desire to postpone what the other leaders were clamouring for, telling them that it would be dangerous to keep US troops in Afghanistan after the end of the month. The White House quoted him as saying there was a growing risk of attacks by militants affiliated to the Islamic State group.
According to the Washington Post and CNN, the evacuations will have to finish a few days before August 31 because the evacuation of the troops and their equipment will take a few days. Some 5,800 soldiers are still at Kabul airport.
Summary executions by the Taliban
Skynews reports the that UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet, has said she had received reports from “reliable sources” that the Taliban in Afghanistan were committing “summary executions of Afghan civilians and soldiers”. Bachelet did not go into detail but asked the UN Human Rights Council to create as soon as possible a mechanism to closely monitor the actions of the Taliban.
WFP: ‘14 million Afghans face starvation’
The World Food Programme is warning that 14 million Afghans face the threat of starvation. It said years of drought, conflict and economic mismanagement had been compunded by the pandemic.
COVID: ‘breakthrough not before spring 2022’
According to US virologist Anthony Fauci, the Biden Administration’s chief medical advisor, a breakthrough in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic is not foreseeable before the spring of 2022, and to do this, skeptics and opponents must be persuaded to get vaccinated. “If most of the approximately 90 million Americans who have not been vaccinated do so by next winter, we will have good control by spring,” he told CNN.
12 die in Colombia mine explosion
At least 12 miners died and another one was injured in an explosion in an illegal coal mine in Colombia. The explosion was caused by a mixture of methane gas and coal dust. Colombia, which is the world’s fifth-largest coal producer, recorded 171 deaths last year from mining accidents.
Five Italian cities vie for Eurovision 2022
Milan, Turin, Bologna, Rimini and Pesaro are the five finalist cities to host the 2020 edition of the Eurovision Song Contest which Italy will organise next year thanks to the victory of Maneskin. Seventeen cities had initially expressed interest.
Rolling Stones drummer dies
The death of Charlie Watts, legendary drummer and co-founder of the Rolling Stones has been announced. He was 80. Watts had to cancel the last tour of the Stones in recent days due to a worsening of his health condition, following an emergency heart operation.
UEFA rewards doctors for saving Eriksen
Doctors who saved Christian Eriksen’s life at the European Football Championships and Danish national team captain Simon Kjær will receive the 2021 UEFA President’s Award. The award goes to the people who saved the life of the Danish Inter player from cardiac arrest during Denmark-Finland played at Parken Stadium in Copenhagen on June 12. Thanks to the promptness and experience of the medical staff, Eriksen was revived on the pitch and today he is heading towards recovery.
Paralympics open in empty stadium
The Paralympics began on Tuesday in the same empty National Stadium as the opening and closing ceremonies of the recently completed Tokyo Olympics. The opening ceremony featured the national flags of 162 delegations, which included refugees. In addition, the flag of Afghanistan was carried by a volunteer despite the delegation not being on hand in Tokyo.