Show an ad over header. AMP

I am the FIRST

U.S. envoy warns Taliban of international cutoff if Afghanistan is taken by force

Zalmay Khalilzad, the United States' special representative on Afghanistan reconciliation, warned the Taliban in Doha, Qatar, Tuesday that any government formed by force will not be recognized internationally, according to AP.

Why it matters: Nine out of 34 Afghan provincial capitals have fallen to the Taliban in recent days as the U.S. military withdraws, raising fears that the Afghan military will be unable to hold off the insurgent group.

  • Khalilzad and the Biden administration are attempting to pressure the Taliban to negotiate a power-sharing agreement with the Afghan government to stabilize the country and prevent further violence and civilian causalities.
  • The capitals of Farah, Baghlan and Badakshan provinces fell to the Taliban on Tuesday, according to the New York Times.

The big picture: Afghan Foreign Minister Haneef Atmar called for sanctions against Taliban leadership in response to the provincial seizures, saying they violated commitments that the group gave to the U.S. in 2020.

  • “The world community should come together to stop Taliban attacks on cities. This is a threat to international peace and security, not just a threat to Afghanistan,” Atmar told the Wall Street Journal.
  • “Attacks on cities will have destabilizing consequences for the region and the international community—not only by sending refugees but also with the arrival of more foreign fighters to Afghanistan, which will pave the ground for other terrorist groups to come.”

The U.S. intelligence community has warned that the Afghan government could collapse as soon as next year as the Taliban's battlefield offensive grows.

  • President Biden has called those assessments "wrong," saying the Afghan military outnumbers the Taliban and is better equipped.
  • On Tuesday, Pentagon press secretary John Kirby said the Afghan military would need to halt the Taliban's encroachment.
  • “These are their military forces, these are their provincial capitals, their people to defend and it’s really going to come down to the leadership that they’re willing to exude here at this particular moment,” he said.

Go deeper: State Department urges U.S. citizens to leave Afghanistan

Why the startup world needs to ditch "unicorns" for "dragons"

When Aileen Lee originally coined the term "unicorn" in late 2013, she was describing the 39 "U.S.-based software companies started since 2003 and valued at over $1 billion by public or private market investors."

Flashback: It got redefined in early 2015 by yours truly and Erin Griffith, in a cover story for Fortune, as any privately-held startup valued at $1 billion or more. At the time, we counted 80 of them.

Keep reading... Show less

Scoop: Facebook's new moves to lower News Feed's political volume

Facebook plans to announce that it will de-emphasize political posts and current events content in the News Feed based on negative user feedback, Axios has learned. It also plans to expand tests to limit the amount of political content that people see in their News Feeds to more countries outside of the U.S.

Why it matters: The changes could reduce traffic to some news publishers, particularly companies that post a lot of political content.

Keep reading... Show less

Scoop: Amazon quietly getting into live audio business

Amazon is investing heavily in a new live audio feature that's similar to other live audio offerings like Clubhouse, Twitter Spaces and Spotify's new live audio platform, sources tell Axios.

Why it matters: As with Amazon's efforts in podcasting and music subscriptions, the company sees live audio as a way to bolster the types of content it can offer through its voice assistant, Alexa, and its smart speaker products.

Keep reading... Show less

Hurricane Ida exposes America's precarious energy infrastructure

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.

The big picture: “Our current infrastructure is not adequate when it comes to these kinds of weather extremes,” Joshua Rhodes, a University of Texas energy expert, tells Axios.

Keep reading... Show less

"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.

Keep reading... Show less

What Elizabeth Holmes jurors will be asked ahead of fraud trial

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.

Keep reading... Show less



Get Goodhumans in your inbox

Most Read

More Stories