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U.S. completes withdrawal from Afghanistan

The last U.S. planes have taken off from Kabul's airport, marking the end of the U.S. military presence in Afghanistan and of the efforts to airlift thousands of U.S. citizens and vulnerable Afghans as the country fell to the Taliban, CENTCOM Commander Gen. Kenneth McKenzie confirmed.

The state of play: The U.S. facilitated the evacuation of over 120,000 people, including 5,000 Americans, but a small number of Americans and thousands of Afghan allies are believed to still be in the country. The airport had come under attack in the final days of the operation, potentially spurring the Pentagon to complete its withdrawal ahead of President Biden's Aug. 31 deadline.

Prior to the announcement, a notice went out to pilots that flights transiting through Kabul would be traveling in "uncontrolled airspace."

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UN: 12 million women denied access to birth control due to pandemic

Nearly 12 million women lost access to family planning services including birth control and contraceptives because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the United Nations Population Fund said in a report published Thursday.

Why it matters: The UNPF said the data from 115 low-and-middle-income countries shows the disruption for a total of 3.6 months caused by the pandemic over the past year led to 1.4 million unintended pregnancies.

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