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Afghan security force members in Jalalabad, Nangarhar Province, Afghanistan. Photo: Saifurahman Safi/Xinhua via Getty Images

The United Kingdom will send 600 troops to Kabul to help with logistical support and protection of British nationals, the defense secretary announced Thursday.

Why it matters: The Taliban has stepped up attacks since the U.S. began withdrawing troops in an attempt to retake Afghanistan. The terrorist group captured Kandahar, Afghanistan's second-largest city and the birthplace of their movement, earlier Thursday.

  • Around 4,000 British nationals are believed to be in Afghanistan, per PBS.
  • UK troops will be on hand to assist with relocation where required, such as cases involving former Afghan staff who "risked their lives serving alongside us," per Defense Secretary Ben Wallace.

What they're saying: "The security of British nationals, British military personnel and former Afghan staff is our first priority," Wallace said in a statement. "We must do everything we can to ensure their safety.

  • The UK affirmed its commitment to supporting Afghanistan and noted that it will provide more than £100 million ($117.4 million) for improving critical health and education services.

The big picture: The Pentagon will also deploy troops to Afghanistan's international airport to facilitate a partial evacuation of the U.S. Embassy in Kabul, according to the State Department.

Go deeper

Pentagon: About half of Afghan evacuees at U.S. bases are children

U.S. Navy soldiers helping evacuate Afghans. Photo: Cristina Quicler/AFP via Getty Images

Roughly half of the Afghan refugees housed temporarily at U.S. military bases are children under the age of 18, according to a letter from Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin to Sen. James Inhofe obtained by Axios.

Why it matters: This is among the many challenges when it comes to the government's Afghan resettlement effort.

Study: Fear of debt keeps Latinos out of college

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Fear of never being able to pay off school loans is keeping many young Latinos in the U.S. from going to college or completing a degree, according to a report published in September.

State of play: Latinos tend to have more difficulty repaying school debt than white student borrowers, according to Federal Reserve data, at the same time that they need more loans in order to afford tuition.

1 hour ago - World

Scoop: Biden administration objects to Israeli settlements plan

Israeli PM Naftali Bennett (L) meets with Secretary of State Tony Blinken. Photo: Olivier Douliery/Pool/AFP via Getty

The Biden administration has privately protested to the Israeli government over its plan to approve the planning and construction of more than 3,000 new housing units in the Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank, sources briefed on the issue tell me.

Why it matters: The approvals for new homes in the settlements will be the first since President Biden assumed office, and come after Biden and his top aides personally pressed Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett to restrain settlement activity and decrease the number of new housing units.

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