In Afghanistan, at least six people, including three children, were killed in a U.S. drone attack near the Kabul airport Sunday. Some reports say the total number of victims was 10 people, including seven children. This is a local resident who lives near the site of the attack.
Khoja Boghra resident: “This is the Khoja Boghra neighborhood, and we live here. A rocket came and hit a house, and six or five people died. I have nothing else to say, and we are distraught.”
Local reporters are investigating whether the attack missed its intended target when it killed the civilians. It was the second airstrike by U.S. forces after Thursday’s attack by ISIS-K, an archenemy of the Taliban, at the Kabul airport, which killed at least 175 people, including 13 U.S. soldiers.
The U.S. military said it shot down rockets fired at the airport this morning, just one day ahead of its withdrawal deadline. On Saturday, the U.S. said it was ending military evacuations of Afghans after flying 117,000 people out of the country over two weeks. Hundreds of students and staff from the American University who were awaiting evacuation were reportedly turned away.
The U.N. Security Council is holding another emergency meeting in New York today. Meanwhile, the U.N. Refugee Agency is urging neighboring countries to keep their borders open, warning half a million people could flee Afghanistan between now and the end of the year. Over half a million Afghans have already been displaced by conflict since January.
Hurricane Ida roared ashore in Louisiana Sunday as the fifth-strongest storm ever to hit the United States, bringing a seven-foot storm surge, 150-mile-per-hour winds and up to two feet of rain to parts of the Gulf Coast. Over 1 million electricity customers — including the entire city of New Orleans — lost power. Officials warned it could be weeks before it is fully restored. President Joe Biden has declared a major disaster in Louisiana, where at least one person was killed. That toll is expected to rise. Hundreds of thousands of residents were forced to evacuate over the weekend, in the midst of Louisiana’s deadliest COVID-19 surge of the pandemic. Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards spoke Sunday as Ida approached.
Gov. John Bel Edwards: “There is no doubt that the coming days and weeks are going to be extremely difficult for our state. And many, many people are going to be tested in ways that we can only imagine today.”
Ida struck 16 years to the day after Hurricane Katrina hit Louisiana on a similar path, with similar ferocity, leaving much of New Orleans underwater. This time officials said the region’s complex network of levees and pumps was holding.
Ida made landfall at Port Fourchon, a major hub of Louisiana’s offshore oil and gas industry. The New Orleans Times-Picayune reports nearly 600 industrial sites with toxic chemicals were in the storm’s path.
Meanwhile, at least one person was killed and seven went missing on Mexico’s Pacific Coast after Hurricane Nora made landfall Sunday as a Category 1 storm.
U.S. COVID-19 hospitalizations are averaging 100,000 per day for the first time since the winter surge. Southeast states warn they are running out of oxygen as the highly transmissible Delta variant continues to spread, especially in areas with low vaccination rates.
A Florida judge has blocked Governor Ron DeSantis’s rule banning schools from issuing mask mandates. The judge concluded that requiring masks during the pandemic is “reasonable and consistent with the best scientific and medical opinion in this country.” At least 10 school districts were already defying Governor DeSantis’s order.
In California, an unvaccinated, COVID-positive teacher infected half her class of 24 elementary students after removing her mask for storytime. The case study was published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and dates back to May. Meanwhile, a CDC-backed study says that without masks or regular testing, over 75% of unvaccinated children could be infected with the coronavirus in the first three months back to school. With pediatric COVID cases surging, Dr. Anthony Fauci said Sunday he supports a vaccine mandate for schoolchildren, though, for now, only students 12 and older are eligible to receive the shot.
Reverend Jesse Jackson was transferred to a rehabilitation facility after being hospitalized last week for COVID-19 treatment, but his wife Jacqueline was moved to the ICU for ongoing treatment. Unlike the reverend, who was vaccinated at a public event in January, Jacqueline reportedly never received the vaccine because of a preexisting condition.
Conservative Florida radio host Marc Bernier has become the latest vaccine critic to die of COVID-19. Bernier referred to himself on-air as “Mr. Anti-Vax.” His death came just a week after Tennessee-based radio host Phil Valentine, another prominent vaccine critic, died of COVID-19.
Thousands marched in Washington, D.C., and in cities across the country Saturday, the 58th anniversary of the March on Washington, to demand the protection of voting rights. Demonstrators called out the onslaught of voter suppression bills around the country and called on lawmakers to end the filibuster to protect voting at the federal level. LaTosha Brown, co-founder of Black Voters Matter, spoke at the Make Good Trouble Rally in front of the Lincoln Memorial.
LaTosha Brown: “This ain’t just a moment for us to say how we’re going to protest. This is the moment for us to really think about how we’re going to transform this nation. And the transformation starts with us, where we decide that all human beings deserve to be treated with dignity and respect!”
In southern Yemen, at least 30 soldiers were killed and 60 others injured Sunday, after Houthi rebels fired missiles from a drone at a Saudi-led coalition air base. The attack struck dozens of soldiers on morning military exercises. It came as U.N.-brokered peace talks between the Saudi-led coalition and the Houthis have stalled. Since 2015, Saudi-led coalition airstrikes in Yemen have killed nearly 1,500 civilians per year on average, a quarter of them children, while sparking the world’s worst humanitarian crisis.
Israel launched another round of air attacks on Gaza over the weekend. The military said it struck Hamas sites in response to incendiary balloons launched from the besieged territory. Meanwhile, as protests continue in Gaza demanding an end to the Israeli blockade, Israeli forces again fired live rounds, tear gas and stun grenades at crowds Saturday, injuring at least 11 people.
In related news, Omar Hasan Abu al-Niel, a 12-year-old Palestinian child who was shot in the head by Israeli forces during a protest in Gaza last week, has died of his wounds. And in occupied Jerusalem, a 17-year-old Palestinian teen, identified as Ali Burqan, was killed this weekend when a wall collapsed on him while he was helping his neighbors, who were forced by Israeli forces to demolish their home.
Meanwhile, in the occupied West Bank, Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz met today with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas in the first high-level encounter between Israeli and Palestinian leaders in a decade.
In Nigeria, dozens of kidnapped children have been freed after about three months in captivity. They were part of a group of over 130 students abducted by gunmen from an Islamic seminary in northwest Nigeria in May. At least six students died in captivity, and another 15 escaped in June.
In Britain, climate activists with Extinction Rebellion have been staging a series of daily actions to draw attention to the climate catastrophe. On Friday, demonstrators poured red paint symbolizing “blood money” on banks in London’s financial district to call out their ties to the fossil fuel industry. On Sunday, activists rallied outside London’s Science Museum to protest Shell’s funding of the museum’s exhibition about greenhouse gases. Elsewhere in London, Christian climate activists, including several clergy members, staged a protest inside St. Paul’s Cathedral to demand the Church of England stop investing in fossil fuels.
In Brazil, 6,000 Indigenous people representing 176 groups have been camping out in the capital Brasília to condemn the destruction of the Amazon rainforest and the genocide of Indigenous peoples. The massive gathering and protests come ahead of a pivotal Supreme Court decision that could either help restore, or severely limit, Indigenous sovereignty over their ancestral lands.
California officials have ordered evacuations for parts of Lake Tahoe Basin, after gusty dry winds pushed the Caldor Fire toward heavily populated areas overnight. The Caldor Fire has burned about 170,000 acres. It’s just one of several major wildfires raging in California, which is on pace to top 2020’s record-shattering fire season.
Senator Bernie Sanders was in Michigan, Iowa and Indiana over the weekend to push Democrats’ $3.5 trillion spending bill in town halls and other events with voters. Sanders, chair of the Senate Budget Committee, said he wanted to speak directly to working people about how the bill will impact them and their communities by investing in child care, workers’ rights, free community college, and creating well-paid, union jobs that will help combat the climate crisis.
Sen. Bernie Sanders: “This bill will put hundreds of billions of dollars into transforming transportation in this country, make our homes and buildings more energy efficient, make agriculture greener. And also, on top of all of that, we are going to put many billions of dollars into a Civilian Climate Corps.”
In California, the Los Angeles City Council passed a resolution to commemorate the disappeared of El Salvador on August 30, today, coinciding with the International Day of the Victims of Enforced Disappearances. Between 1980 and 1992, some 10,000 people were forcibly disappeared in El Salvador during the brutal U.S.-backed military dictatorship. Overall, an estimated 75,000 people were killed. Over 1 million were internally displaced or forced to flee the country, with many starting new lives in Los Angeles.
Beloved Hollywood actor and longtime activist Ed Asner has died at the age of 91 at his home in California. On screen, he was best known for playing newsman Lou Grant, first on “The Mary Tyler Moore Show,” then in his own spinoff. Off screen, Asner was an outspoken activist for union and labor rights, including during his tenure as the president of the Screen Actors Guild. He condemned President Reagan’s support to the right-wing military government in El Salvador and raised funds for medical relief in the country. His activism led CBS to cancel his program, the “Lou Grant” show, in 1982. Asner frequently spoke out against American imperialism and perpetual warfare. In October 2002, Ed Asner spoke to Democracy Now! shortly before taking part in mass protests against the Iraq War, and just after then-President George W. Bush received backing from House leaders to invade Iraq.
Ed Asner: “This is to demonstrate that these acts will not be done in our name. We do not sign on to these acts, such as a unilateral invasion of Iraq, and to the abrogation of civil liberties in this country to pursue these warlike acts by this administration.”