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Marines arrive in Kabul to support airlift of embassy personnel and allies

U.S. Marines arrived in Kabul on Saturday as part of a 3,000-troop force reinforcement to secure an airlift of U.S. Embassy personnel and Afghan allies as the Taliban nears recapturing the state, AP reports.

The big picture: The majority of the 3,000 U.S. troops — two battalions of Marines and one of Army soldiers — are set to arrive by the end of the weekend, per AP.


  • A group of Marines also arrived in Kabul on Friday, per AP.
  • The troops' mission is expected to be complete by the end of the month, but may be extended if the U.S. embassy in Kabul is threatened by the Taliban.
  • The reinstatement of U.S. troops in Afghanistan comes after President Biden set a deadline of Aug. 31 for fully withdrawing combat forces from the region.

State of play: The Taliban have captured more than half of Afghanistan's provincial capitals over the last week as insurgents continue their lightning offensive, threatening to isolate Kabul and topple the Afghan government.

  • Jalalabad and Kabul are the only major cities still under government control and officials fear Jalalabad could fall within hours.
  • "Clearly from their actions, it appears as if they are trying to get Kabul isolated,” Pentagon spokesman John Kirby said during a press conference on Friday, per AP.
  • The Taliban on Saturday swept through the capitals of Paktika (Sharana) and Logar (Pul-e Alam).

Go deeper: Mapped: The Taliban’s lightning offensive to take over Afghanistan

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The powerful hurricane that plunged New Orleans into darkness for what could be weeks is the latest sign that U.S. power systems are not ready for a warmer, more volatile world.

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"We must go further": 70% of adults in European Union are fully vaccinated

About 70% of adults in the European Union are fully vaccinated against COVID-19, Ursula von der Leyen, the president of the European Commission, said Tuesday.

Why it matters: The milestone makes the E.U. one of the world's leaders in inoculations, after an initially lagging vaccine campaign, the New York Times notes.

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Jury selection begins today in USA v. Elizabeth Holmes, with the actual jury trial to get underway on Sept. 8.

Why it matters: Theranos was the biggest fraud in Silicon Valley history, putting both hundreds of millions of dollars and thousands of patients' health at risk.

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