By AJ Willingham, CNN
“We will not forgive. We will not forget. We will hunt you down and make you pay.” That was President Biden’s message last night for those responsible for yesterday’s deadly attack in Kabul.
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Thirteen US service members and at least 90 Afghans were killed in a pair of bombing attacks outside the airport in Kabul where thousands of people had gathered in recent days to escape Taliban rule. Right after the explosions, gunmen opened fire on service members and civilians. At least 140 people were injured in the attack, including 18 US service members. US officials had warned that the chaotic and violent exit from Afghanistan could make the area vulnerable to renewed terrorist activity, and Biden said the risk of an attack was one of the reasons he was adhering to the August 31 withdrawal deadline, despite the deteriorating situation on the ground.
Who is behind it: ISIS in Khorasan, known as ISIS-K, claimed that an ISIS militant carried out the suicide attack but has not provided evidence to support the claim. This branch of the ISIS terror group first emerged in Syria and Iraq, and Afghanistan-based cells have been carrying out devastating suicide attacks in the country since 2016. The group is a sworn enemy of the Taliban. In the hours and days before the attack, US officials said they were aware of a “very specific threat stream” from the group. At the time, US diplomats ordered all Americans away from some airport gates.
What the situation on the ground is like now: The US is pressing forward with evacuations, including the roughly 1,000 Americans still in Afghanistan. Gen. Kenneth “Frank” McKenzie, head of US Central Command, says there are still “extremely active threat streams against the airfield.” He also says the US military is using attack helicopters and other aircraft to defend the airport. Biden said he would authorize whatever military leaders need, including more troops, to complete the mission. Meanwhile, scenes of carnage, rescue and grief continue to unfold in the attacks’ aftermath.
What comes next: The attack has focused more scrutiny on Biden, who was already being criticized for what some considered a hasty and disorganized exit from Afghanistan. Republican adversaries have vowed Biden will face a “reckoning” over the attack. Biden defended his decision to stick to the troop withdrawal timeline and his withdrawal plan in general, saying, “It was time to end a 20-year war.” More existential questions lie ahead, like what the US’ moral obligation is to an Afghanistan left vulnerable to terrorism and how the US should recognize the rising Taliban rule there.
The Supreme Court has blocked the Biden administration’s eviction moratorium, which was extended at the beginning of August to provide continued relief during the pandemic. Landlord groups balked at the extension, and the Supreme Court decided such a move would require new legislation. The White House said because of the ruling, families will face more evictions and more dangers from Covid-19.
3. Tropical Storm Ida
Tropical Storm Ida is heading toward the US Gulf Coast and could develop into a hurricane by the time it arrives. The system is now threatening the Caribbean with winds of 40 mph. It will impact Cuba today before likely reaching the US by Sunday. Residents in Louisiana, where the storm is forecast to hit, are preparing for potential rains and hurricane-force winds.
The CDC issued a health advisory yesterday warning doctors and the public about the “rapid increase” in prescriptions for the anti-parasitic drug ivermectin. Calls to poison control centers about the drug have increased threefold compared to the number of similar calls before the pandemic, the CDC said. One doctor in Arkansas is being investigated after he admitted he’s prescribed the drug thousands of times to patients despite warnings.
5. Trump lawsuit
Seven US Capitol Police officers are suing former President Trump and some far-right entities, saying they should be held responsible for the events of January 6 and ultimately put police in danger with their misinformation and provocations. Among the defendants are alleged members of the far-right extremist groups Proud Boys and Oath Keepers. The suit is the latest in a long string of legal actions that aim to hold Trump liable for the insurrection.
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That’s how many flavored e-cigarette products the US Food and Drug Administration has blocked from the market in its first big ban of e-cigarette products. Such products have been controversial because of their appeal to kids and teens.
‘Songs My Mother Taught Me’
This is one of Czech composer Antonín Dvořák’s most beloved works, with a keen understanding of how deeply our cultural and familial traditions resonate within us. To this achingly beautiful melody, he set a poem by his fellow countryman, Adolf Heyduk. Translated lyrically to English, it reads:
Songs my mother taught me, in the days long vanished;
Seldom from her eyelids were the teardrops banished.
Now I teach my children, each melodious measure.
Oft the tears are flowing, oft they flow from my memory’s treasure.
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