Friday, August 27, 2021

Wake-Up Call: 13 U-S Troops, 60 Others Killed in Kabul Terror Attack

Thirteen U.S. troops and at least 60 Afghans were killed in a terrorist attack on the airport in Kabul, Afghanistan, yesterday carried out by two suicide bombers and gunmen. Eighteen servicemembers were injured as were more than 140 Afghans. The attackers struck in the crowds outside the airport, which have been chaotic scenes of people trying to get in as the U.S. has been carrying out the airlift evacuation of Americans and at-risk Afghans. One blast took place near one of the airport gates, and the other at or near the Baron Hotel nearby, where many were told to gather in recent days before going to the airport.

The U.S. and other Western officials had warned hours earlier of a possible attack, and U.S. officials had repeatedly spoken about the threat on the airlift operation from ISIS-K, the Islamic State (ISIS) affiliate in Afghanistan. ISIS in fact claimed responsibility for the attack. The Taliban, which has taken over Afghanistan, is not believed to have been involved and condemned the terror attack.

President Biden spoke emotionally from the White House, calling the U.S. troops who died "heroes," and vowing reprisals, saying to the attackers, "We will not forgive. We will not forget. We will hunt you down and make you pay." The president also said that the U.S. wouldn't be intimidated from its mission, and that the evacuation would continue. He has said an August 31st deadline. Biden held a moment of silence during his remarks, and has ordered U.S. flags to half-staff across the country.

➤SEVERAL STATES HAVE RECORD NUMBER OF HOSPITALIZED COVID PATIENTS: Kentucky and Texas have joined a growing number of states that now have a record number of hospitalized Covid-19 patients, more than at any other time since the pandemic began. At least six other states -- Arkansas, Florida, Louisiana, Hawaii, Mississippi and Oregon -- have already broken their hospitalization records, and New Mexico health officials warned on Wednesday that the state is about a week away from having to ration health care. Deaths nationwide are now at more than 1,100 a day, the highest since mid-March, and new cases per day are around 152,000, numbers last seen at the end of January.

➤SUPREME COURT ALLOWS EVICTIONS TO RESUME: The Supreme Court is allowing evictions to resume, blocking a temporary ban yesterday that had been instituted by the Biden administration due to the ongoing pandemic. The high court said that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention lacked the authority to reimpose the eviction moratorium on August 3rd without congressional authorization after it had expired days earlier. The three liberal justices dissented from the unsigned opinion. The administration has called on state and local officials to more quickly distribute $46.5 billion in rental assistance approved by Congress, only about 11 percent of which has been given out, and for state and local courts to issue their own moratoriums.

➤SEVEN CAPITOL POLICE OFFICERS SUE TRUMP, ALLIES, EXTREMISTS OVER JANUARY 6TH ATTACK: Seven U.S. Capitol police officers who were attacked and beaten during the January 6th attack on the Capitol filed suit yesterday against former President Donald Trump, his allies, including Roger Stone, and members of far-right extremist groups, including the Proud Boys and Oath Keepers. The suit accuses its targets of intentionally sending a violent mob to disrupt Congress' certification of the presidential election results. It alleges Trump, quote, "worked with white supremacists, violent extremist groups, and campaign supporters to violate the Ku Klux Klan Act, and commit acts of domestic terrorism in an unlawful effort to stay in power."

Hurricane watches were issued for Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama yesterday for Tropical Storm Ida, which is threatening to hit along the northern Gulf Coast as a major hurricane by the end of the weekend. Major hurricanes are those that are Category 3 or higher. 

The National Hurricane Center issued a warning late yesterday afternoon that said, "there is an increasing risk of life-threatening storm surge, damaging hurricane-force winds, and heavy rainfall Sunday and Monday, especially along the coast of Louisiana."

➤POLL...HALF OF U-S WORKERS SUPPORT VAXX AT THE WORKPLACE:  With employers wanting to get people back in their workplaces and the pandemic surging again, many are considering or have already put in place a requirement that employees be vaccinated against Covid-19. Now a new Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs poll finds that half of Americans workers agree with a vaccine mandate for their workplaces. People who are working remotely were more in favor of vaccine requirements in their workplaces, at 59 percent, compared to 47 percent support among those currently working in person. Around one-quarter of remote and in-person workers are opposed to it. The percentages were similar when it came to mask requirements for workplaces, with 59 percent of remote workers in favor and 50 percent of in-person workers, with 29 percent opposed. The poll was conducted before the Food and Drug Administration gave full approval to Pfizer's vaccine, which some experts are hoping will convince more people to get vaccinated and support mandates.

➤CALIFORNIA WANTS TO PAY ADDICTS NOT TO USE DRUGS:  California wants to try paying addicts not to use drugs, as the state tries to battle continuing increases in overdose deaths. In particular, overdose deaths from stimulants in California nearly quadrupled between 2010 and 2019, and it's continued to get worse. Governor Gavin Newsom has asked the federal government for permission to use tax dollars to pay for the effort, which is called "contingency management," through Medicaid. Although California would be the first state to do this, it's been used by the federal government with military veterans for years, and research shows it's one of the most effective ways to help people stop using stimulants like cocaine and methamphetamine. Under this type of program, people get small incentives or payments for every negative drug test over a period of time. Most of them who complete the treatment can without any lapses can earn a few hundred dollars.

➤CAPITOL HILL OFFICER WHO FATALLY SHOT BABBITT COMES FORWARD: The U.S. Capitol Police Officer who fatally shot Ashli Babbitt during the January 6th attack has came forward, revealing his identity during an interview with NBC News' Lester Holt that aired yesterday, despite the threats against him and his family that sent him into hiding for months. Lieutenant Michael Byrd, a 28-year veteran, defended his actions, saying, "I know that day I saved countless lives. I know members of Congress, as well as my fellow officers and staff, were in jeopardy and in serious danger." Byrd described repeatedly yelling at the rioters to stop before they entered the Speakers Lobby, just outside the House chamber. Babbitt was shot as she tried to climb through broken glass in the barricaded door. He said, "If they get through that door, they’re into the House chamber and upon the members of Congress." The Capitol Police announced earlier this week that an internal investigation had found his actions lawful and there wouldn't be any discipline, and federal prosecutors declined to file charges against him in April. Babbitt‘s family has threatened to file a lawsuit against the Capitol Police over the shooting.

➤TIME'S UP CEO TCHEN RESIGNS OVER ANDREW CUOMO SCANDAL: Tina Tchen, the president and CEO of the sexual harassment victims' advocacy group Time's Up, resigned yesterday amid anger after it was revealed that the group's leaders advised former New York Governor Andrew Cuomo's administration after he was first accused of sexual misconduct last year. Tchen said she was stepping down because her leadership position had, quote, "become a painful and divisive focal point." Her departure comes after the chair of Time's Up, Roberta Kaplan, left for the same reason. Cuomo resigned earlier this week, after an investigation overseen by the state attorney general found that he'd sexually harassed at least 11 women.

The federal jail in Manhattan where Jeffrey Epstein killed himself in 2019 as he awaited trial on charges of sex trafficking underage girls is temporarily shutting down for an undisclosed period of time due to ongoing problems there. The Metropolitan Correctional Center has faced a number of controversies in recent years over its squalid conditions and chronic understaffing, and the shutdown is taking place so those issues can be resolved, according to the Justice Department. There's currently less than half of the normal population at the facility.

➤STUDY..2 IN 5 18-YEAR-OLDS DON’T HAVE LICENSES AS INTEREST IN DRIVING WANES:  Being a teen these days seems a lot different than it used to be. The Federal Highway Administration collected data that shows in 2018 approximately 61 percent of 18-year-olds in the U.S. had a driver’s license, down from 80 percent in 1983. The number of 16-year-olds with licenses decreased from 46 percent to 25 percent in the same period. It’s a trend that started with millennials and continues with Gen Z, with teens giving a slew of different reasons for putting off or avoiding getting a driver license. Some say they prefer more environmentally friendly transportation options, some found driving too stressful, and some said they just don’t care about cars.

🏈COVID OUTBREAK ON TITANS NOW UP TO NINE: The Covid-19 outbreak on the Tennessee Titans had grown to nine people yesterday, including quarterback Ryan Tannehill. General manager Jon Robinson said that Tannehill, tight end Geoff Swaim and linebacker Justin March-Lillard joined four other players on the reserve/Covid-19 list. Additionally head coach Mike Vrabel told reporters that special teams coordinator Craig Aukerman had also been affected, and Vrabel himself tested positive on Sunday.

⚾BOSTON'S SALE JOINS KOUFAX AS ONLY PITCHERS WITH THREE IMMACULATE INNINGS: Chris Sale of the Boston Red Sox last night joined Hall of Famer Sandy Koufax as the only pitchers to have three immaculate innings, after striking out the side against the Minnesota Twins on nine pitches. An immaculate inning is when the pitcher strikes out all three batters in an inning using the minimum of nine pitches. Sale's two other immaculate innings were both in 2019, one in May and the other in June. Koufax had his three between 1962 and 1964.
⚾PHILLIES' HOSKINS, LEADING IN HOMERS, RBIs, OUT FOR REST OF THE SEASON: Philadelphia Phillies first baseman Rhys Hoskins, who's leading the team in home runs and RBIs, will miss the rest of the season with an abdominal tear that requires surgery, he announced yesterday. Hoskins has been dealing with an abdominal injury all season, but recently aggravated it. The news is a blow to the Phillies' hopes of making the playoffs.

 🏒CANADA BEATS U.S. 5-1 IN WOMEN'S WORLD HOCKEY CHAMPIONSHIP: Canada defeated the U.S. 5-1 last night (August 26th) in the women's world hockey championship, ending the American women's 29-game winning streak in the event, dating back to 2013. The win set up Canada in a quarterfinal against Germany, and the U.S. will face Japan. The U.S. has won the last five championships, and nine of the last 11 overall.

➤OLYMPICS GYMNASTICS GOLD MEDALIST SUNNI LEE TO BE ON 'DANCING WITH THE STARS': Sunni Lee, who won the women's all-around gymnastics gold medal for the U.S. in the Tokyo Olympics, is going to be on Dancing with the Stars. Lee was one of two of the upcoming season's contestants -- along with JoJo Siwa -- that the show announced early yesterday (August 26th). The 18-year-old, who's now a freshman at Auburn University, told USA Today that going on the show, quote, "was one of my goals after the Olympics." Other U.S. Olympic gymnasts who've been on Dancing with the Stars include Simone Biles, Aly Raisman, Shawn Johnson, Mary Lou Retton, Laurie Hernandez and Nastia Liukin.

No comments:

Post a Comment