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We did not get everybody out that we wanted to get out: US as Afghan war ends

As the last US military planes left Afghanistan ending the 20-year war, General Frank McKenzie, the commander of US Central Command, said, “We did not get everybody out that we wanted to get out.” “The number of American citizens left behind was in the “very low hundreds”, McKenzie added. It’s unclear how many Afghan allies were left behind.

Taliban light fireworks, announce ‘full independence’ as US troops leave

Taliban militants celebrated by firing guns into the air and lighting fireworks as the last US planes left around midnight on Monday, ending 20 years of war. Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said, “American soldiers left Kabul airport, and our nation got its full independence.” A Taliban militant said, “I cannot express my happiness in words…Our 20 years of sacrifice worked.”

European Union removes US from COVID-19 safe list for non-essential travel

The European Union (EU) on Monday removed the US from a safe list of countries for non-essential travel amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Israel, Kosovo, Lebanon, Montenegro and North Macedonia have also been removed from the list compiled by the European Council. Travellers from these countries are likely to face tighter controls, such as COVID-19 tests and quarantines.

France to donate 1 crore doses of COVID-19 vaccines to Africa

France said that it will provide one crore additional doses of COVID-19 vaccines to African countries over the next three months. The African Union’s Vaccine Acquisition Trust will be in charge of distributing the doses. Earlier, France had said that it aims to donate at least six crore doses to the poorest countries before the end of 2021.

Russia warns of a possible increase in West Nile virus infections

Russia warned of a possible increase in West Nile virus infections this autumn as mild temperatures and heavy precipitation create favourable conditions for the mosquitoes that carry it. Originally from Africa, the virus has spread in Europe, Asia and North America. The virus causes West Nile fever in around 20% of the cases, according to the WHO. Most people infected with WNV don’t feel sick and about 1 in 5 develop fever and other symptoms. There are no vaccines to prevent or medications to treat WNV in humans.

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