The sweltering U.S. air base in Qatar was awash with loose feces and urine and a rat infestation.Aug 24, 2021 - Politics & Policy
The Taliban says that's a red line.Updated Aug 24, 2021 - World
An earthquake struck western Afghanistan on Monday — killing at least 26 people, officials said, per AFP.
Details: The 5.3 magnitude quake caused fatalities in the Qadis district in the western province of Badghis after roofs collapsed, province spokesperson Baz Mohammad Sarwary told the news agency.
Afghanistan faces a "tsunami of hunger," Mary-Ellen McGroarty, a senior official at the United Nations World Food Program (WFP), warned Thursday in an interview with AP.
Driving the news: More than 22 million people in Afghanistan face food shortages and more than 8 million people in Afghanistan are close to starvation, per AP.
The U.S. announced a new contribution of more than $308 million in humanitarian assistance for Afghanistan on Tuesday, bringing the total U.S. aid for the country and Afghan refugees to nearly $782 million since October.
Why it matters: Millions of Afghans face a harsh winter and rapidly dwindling food and fuel reserves, and the Taliban, which reclaimed the country in August after the U.S. ended its military presence there, lack resources to respond to the growing humanitarian crisis, according to the Washington Post.
Why it matters: U.S. officials had initially claimed the strike successfully "disrupted an imminent ISIS-K threat" but an investigation later found that it killed an aid worker along with nine members of his family.
President Biden will award the Medal of Honor to Sgt. First Class Alwyn C. Cashe, who will become the first Black service member to receive the nation's highest medal for valor in combat for events during the war on terror.
Why it matters: Cashe will be honored alongside two other soldiers who displayed "conspicuous gallantry" while deployed in Afghanistan and Iraq, the White House announced Friday.
The pandemic, natural disasters and response to other tragedies spurred giving in 2021, according to GoFundMe's annual report.
Why it matters: The crowdfunding platform says one donation is made every second to help people across the globe. One in three fundraisers is started for someone else.
The U.S. government's Afghanistan watchdog on Friday slammed the State Department and Pentagon for withholding what he said was crucial information about U.S. operations during the 20-year war.
Why it matters: The details "almost certainly would have benefited Congress and the public in assessing whether progress was being made," special inspector general for Afghanistan reconstruction John Sopko said at an annual conference for military reporters and editors in Arlington, Virginia.
The Afghan resistance is boosting its D.C. lobbying operation, records show.
Why it matters: U.S. financial and military aid could be crucial to efforts to oppose Taliban rule in Afghanistan. But opposition forces must convince the Biden administration to stay engaged to some degree in a conflict from which the president is determined to extricate the United States.
First lady Jill Biden on Monday will visit the military base that's home to pilots and aircrews who helped conduct the airlift out of Kabul to thank the service members and their families for their support in ending the 20-year war in Afghanistan.
Why it matters: When she stops at the crews' home at Joint Base Charleston in South Carolina, the first lady will be their most high-profile member from the Biden administration since the airlift ended on Aug. 31.
Zalmay Khalilzad, who stepped down last week as special envoy for the Afghan peace talks, shared few regrets about the deal he brokered between the United States and the Taliban, pushing back against former military brass and other critics who have described it as a "surrender agreement" that set in motion the Taliban takeover this summer.