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Your Wednesday Briefing

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Taliban leaders provided assurances on-line and to the information media that they might not perform reprisal killings or seize property after their takeover in Afghanistan. However there have been ominous indicators that their guarantees didn’t match the state of affairs on the bottom. Here are the latest updates and scenes from Kabul — and an overview of the group and its historical past.

On the Taliban’s first information convention, a spokesman stated they might permit girls to work and research — however “throughout the bounds of Islamic legislation.” Regardless of this extra reasonable entrance, Afghan women expressed deep anxiety as they attempt to assess their future beneath Taliban management. Thousands and thousands are afraid of a return to the repressive previous, by which girls had few alternatives or freedoms.

Categorised experiences from American spy businesses main as much as Kabul’s collapse had painted a grim picture of the prospect of a Taliban takeover of Afghanistan, even because the Biden administration stated publicly that the takeover was unlikely to occur imminently.

From Opinion: Malala Yousafzai, who survived a Taliban assassination try in Pakistan after talking out about her proper to go to high school, writes, “Like many women, I fear for my Afghan sisters.”

Resettlement: Britain and Canada introduced that they might every take 20,000 Afghan refugees who had fled the nation. Sweden stated it will divert support from Afghanistan in order that it will not contribute to Taliban rule.

View from overseas: Afghans who’ve settled within the U.S. previously 20 years described anguished conversations with family members and the piercing concern that the Taliban may retaliate in opposition to their kin.

Information evaluation: The determined scenes at Kabul’s airport will now give Afghanistan a spot in America’s nationwide reminiscence as another failed attempt to reshape a far-off land.


At the very least 1,941 people are dead, and 9,900 injured, after a 7.2-magnitude earthquake in Haiti over the weekend was adopted by the arrival of Tropical Storm Grace, which soaked survivors as they struggled to maintain protected in makeshift shelters.

The storm has difficult an already tenuous earthquake aid effort, disrupting an air bridge run by humanitarian teams and the U.S. Coast Guard between affected areas of southern Haiti and the capital, Port-au-Prince.

Efforts to get better victims of the quake have been gradual and have been hampered additional by heavy rain, which had largely stopped yesterday. Folks in troubled areas looked for family members and provides and tried to get support from humanitarian teams. Many had sought refuge within the few public buildings spared by the quake.

Quotable: “In a state of affairs like this, you’re feeling you’re powerless,” stated Abiade Lozama, an Anglican archdeacon based mostly within the south of the nation. “Many individuals are in want, and there’s nothing you are able to do.”


With the arrival of the extremely contagious Delta variant, Covid-19 hospitalizations and deaths among vaccinated People might also have elevated, in response to preliminary figures from seven states.

In six of these states, breakthrough infections in vaccinated individuals accounted for a minimum of one in 5 newly identified instances, in response to figures gathered by The New York Occasions. Absolute numbers stay very low, nevertheless, and there’s little doubt that the vaccines stay powerfully protecting.

The figures come as Biden administration officers plan to suggest that most Americans receive coronavirus booster vaccinations eight months after their second photographs. Well being employees hope the boosters will help relieve overwhelmed Covid wards — one in 5 intensive care models within the U.S. has almost each mattress occupied.

Listed below are the latest updates and maps of the pandemic.

In different developments:

  • Getting vaccinated in opposition to Covid-19 is “an act of affection,” Pope Francis says in a public service advert that will start circulating online and on tv at present.

  • New Zealand is beneath a three-day lockdown, and Auckland is beneath a seven-day lockdown, after a coronavirus case was found within the metropolis. The cluster has now reached seven instances.

  • Cuba’s well being care system, lengthy a supply of nationwide pleasure, is in acute misery after the Delta variant swept across the country.

  • India’s Covid numbers have fallen, however a third wave still looms.

The heirs of Edvard Eriksen, the artist who created the “Little Mermaid” statue in Copenhagen, are taking a Danish village of 1,200 people to court over the same statue.

Whereas Copenhagen’s mermaid is bronze, the village of Asaa’s model, above, is carved from granite. The Asaa mermaid can also be plumper, her facial options coarser, although her posture is identical. “How else is she going to sit down?” requested Mikael Klitgaard, the native mayor. “She’s a mermaid. You may’t put her in a chair.”

Maki Kaji, the “Godfather of Sudoku,” died at his residence in Tokyo. A college dropout, he turned a numbers sport into one of many world’s hottest logic puzzles.

OOF is a brand new gallery devoted to artwork about soccer, in a constructing hooked up to the Premier League membership Tottenham Hotspur’s stadium reward store in London. Its opening present, “Balls,” options 17 items of up to date artwork made utilizing soccer balls, or representing them. There’s one made out of concrete, and one other in silicon that appears as if it’s lined in nipples.

The worlds of artwork and soccer don’t essentially combine, reports Alex Marshall. One of the best-known current work that mixes each is a bust of the Portuguese player Cristiano Ronaldo that made headlines for its poor resemblance to him. Different items, like Andy Warhol’s acrylic silk-screens of Pelé, are little greater than easy tributes to nice athletes.

Eddy Frankel, an artwork critic and a co-founder of the gallery, stated he needed to point out that artwork about soccer, as soccer is understood in Britain, might be thrilling, advanced and thought-provoking.

“We’re utilizing soccer to precise concepts about society,” Frankel stated. “If you wish to discuss racism, bigotry, homophobia, or if you wish to discuss group and perception and fervour: All of that, you possibly can with soccer.”