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США: ураган «Айда» вдарив по Луїзіані, очікують на значну шкоду й руйнування

Президент США Джо Байден попередив: «Це має бути спустошливий ураган, буря, що загрожує життю… Ставтеся до неї серйозно, справді дуже серйозно»

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Groom Leaves New Bride Behind in Rush to Escape Afghanistan

Afghan American Haseeb Kamal had been married only one day when Kabul fell to Taliban control. His terrifying exit from Afghanistan meant leaving his new wife and most of his family behind. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti has his exclusive story for VOA.amera: Mike Burke

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Зустріч Байдена і Зеленського знову відклали – «Голос Америки»

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Україна і ще 95 країн світу: таліби запевнили, що дозволять виїхати з Афганістану всім іноземцям і афганцям, які співпрацювали з Заходом

Заява оприлюднена в час, коли країни світу завершують повітряну евакуацію з Афганістану своїх громадян і афганців, які працювали на них

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Strengthening Hurricane Ida Makes Landfall on US Gulf Coast

Hurricane Ida made landfall in the U.S. Gulf Coast state of Louisiana Sunday as a Category Four storm, with 240-kilometer-per hour winds on the Saffir-Simpson scale of hurricane intensity. The storm’s arrival comes 16 years after Hurricane Katrina’s onslaught. As Arash Arabasadi reports, memories of Katrina still loom large. 

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France’s Macron Visits Iraq’s Mosul  Destroyed by IS War 

French President Emmanuel Macron on Sunday visited Iraq’s northern city of Mosul, which suffered widespread destruction during the war to defeat the Islamic State group in 2017. He vowed to fight alongside regional governments against terrorism. Macron said IS carried out deadly attacks throughout the world from its self-declared caliphate in parts of Syria and Iraq. He said IS did not differentiate between people’s religion and nationality when it came to killing, noting that the extremists killed many Muslims. “We will do whatever we can, shoulder to shoulder, with the governments of the region and with the Iraqi government to fight against this terrorism,” Macron said in English following a visit to an iconic mosque that was destroyed by the extremists. “We will be present alongside with sovereign governments to restore peace.” Macron said France will help in rebuilding mutual respect as well as monuments, churches, schools and mosques and most importantly “economic opportunity.” Despite the defeat of IS on the battlefield in Iraq and Syria, the group’s sleeper cells still carry out deadly attacks in both countries and an affiliate of the group claimed Thursday’s attacks at Kabul’s airport in Afghanistan that killed scores. Macron began his visit to Mosul by touring the Our Lady of the Hour Church, a Catholic church that was badly damaged during the rule of IS that lasted from 2014 until the extremists’ defeat three years later. Iraqi children dressed in white and waving Iraqi and French flags sang upon Macron’s arrival. FILE – Pope Francis arrives to pray for the victims of war at Hosh al-Bieaa Church Square in Mosul, Iraq.It was the same church where Pope Francis led a special prayer during a visit to Iraq in March. During the trip, the pontiff urged Iraq’s Christians to forgive the injustices against them by Muslim extremists and to rebuild as he visited the wrecked shells of churches. Macron moved around the church — whose walls are still riddled with bullets — amid tight security as a priest accompanying him gave him details about the church built in the 19th century. The French president then went up to the roof overlooking parts of Mosul accompanied by Iraqi officials. “We hope that France will open a consulate in Mosul,” Iraqi priest Raed Adel told Macron inside the church. He also called on the president to help in the reconstruction of Mosul’s airport. Macron made a list of promises during his meeting with Christian leaders at Our Lady of the Hour church, including opening a consulate. “I’m struck by what’s at stake here so I want to also tell you that we are going to be making the decision to bring back a consulate and schools,” Macron said. 
Macron left the church in the early afternoon and headed to Mosul’s landmark al-Nuri mosque, which was blown up in the battle with IS militants in 2017 and is being rebuilt. French President Emmanuel Macron (unseen) tours the Al-Nuri Mosque in Iraq’s second city of Mosul, in the northern Nineveh province, on August 29, 2021.The mosque, also known as The Great Mosque of al-Nuri, and its iconic leaning minaret were built in the 12th century. It was from the mosque’s pulpit that IS’s self-styled caliph, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, declared the caliphate’s establishment in 2014. Mosul, Iraq’s second largest city, became IS’s bureaucratic and financial backbone. It took a ferocious nine-month battle to finally free the city in July 2017. Between 9,000 and 11,000 civilians were killed, according to an Associated Press investigation at the time, and the war left widespread destruction. Many Iraqis have had to rebuild on their own amid a years-long financial crisis. Since the early years of Christianity, northern Iraq has been home to large Christian communities. But over the past decades, tens of thousands left Iraq and settled elsewhere amid the country’s wars and instability that culminated with the persecution of Christians by extremists over the past decade. The traditionally Christian towns dotting the Nineveh Plains of the north emptied out in 2014 as Christians — as well as many Muslims — fled the Islamic State group’s onslaught. Only a few have returned to their homes since the defeat of IS in Iraq was declared four years ago, and the rest remain scattered elsewhere in Iraq or abroad. Macron arrived in Baghdad early Saturday where he took part in a conference attended by officials from around the Middle East aimed at easing Mideast tensions and underscored the Arab country’s new role as mediator. Macron hailed the Baghdad conference as a major boost for Iraq and its leadership. The country had been largely shunned by Arab leaders for the past few decades because of security concerns amid back-to-back wars and internal unrest, its airport frequently attacked with rockets by insurgents. Macron vowed to maintain troops in Iraq “regardless of the Americans’ choices” and “for as long as the Iraqi government is asking for our support.” France currently contributes to the international coalition forces in Iraq with 800 soldiers. On Saturday night, Macron visited a Shi’ite holy shrine in Baghdad before flying to the northern city of Irbil, where he met Nobel Peace Prize laureate Nadia Murad, the 28-year-old activist who was forced into sexual slavery by IS fighters in Iraq. A member of Iraq’s Yazidi minority, Murad was among thousands of women and girls who were captured and forced into sexual slavery by IS in 2014. Her mother and six brothers were killed by IS fighters in Iraq. She became an activist on behalf of women and girls after escaping and finding refuge in Germany and shared the Nobel Peace Prize in 2018. 

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US Airstrike Hits Attacker Targeting Kabul Airport 

The United States conducted an airstrike Sunday against a vehicle that posed a threat to the Kabul airport, following U.S. warnings of an imminent attack in the area. “U.S. military forces conducted a self-defense unmanned over-the-horizon airstrike today on a vehicle in Kabul, eliminating an imminent ISIS-K [Islamic State Khorasan] threat to Hamad Karzai International airport,” said Capt. Bill Urban, CENTCOM spokesperson. “We are confident we successfully hit the target. Significant secondary explosions from the vehicle indicated the presence of a substantial amount of explosive material.” A broken window of a house is seen after US drone strike in Kabul, Aug. 29, 2021.Islamic State Khorasan had claimed responsibility for a suicide attack outside the airport that killed at least 170 Afghans and 13 U.S. service members last Thursday. A U.S. airstrike last Friday killed two members of the terror group. The U.S. Embassy in Kabul had urged U.S. citizens to leave the vicinity of the airport, citing a specific and credible threat. U.S. President Joe Biden Saturday said another attack was likely within the next 24- to 36 hours. Warnings of additional attacks come as the U.S. and its allies wind down an evacuation of their citizens and Afghans fleeing the Taliban. US Embassy in Kabul Issues Threat AlertEarlier Biden warned that another attack on the airport is likely soon“This is the most dangerous time in an already extraordinarily dangerous mission, these last couple of days,” Secretary of State Antony Blinken told ABC’s “This Week” on Sunday.   Republican U.S. Senator Ben Sasse, also on ABC, criticized the Biden administration’s  evacuation plan. “There is clearly no plan. There has been no plan. Their plan has basically been happy talk,” he said. Sasse also said people have died and people are going to die “because President Biden decided to rely on happy talk instead of reality.” The White House says about 2,900 people were evacuated from Kabul in a 12-hour period that ended at 3 a.m. EDT Sunday. It says that since August 14, the U.S. has evacuated or helped evacuate more than 114,000 people. Blinken said in an interview on CNN that about 300 American citizens are seeking evacuation from Afghanistan. Separately, a U.S. airstrike Friday night against the Islamic State Afghan affiliate group — retaliation for Thursday’s attack — resulted in the deaths of two important members of the group, the U.S. Defense Department said Saturday. U.S. National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan told Fox News Sunday that President Biden “will stop at nothing” to make the terror group pay for last week’s attack. Biden on Saturday said the airstrike was “not the last” and that the U.S. will “continue to hunt down any person involved in that heinous attack and make them pay.” 
 
Taliban spokesperson Zabihullah Mujahid reportedly denounced the airstrike, saying it was a “clear attack on Afghan territory,” according to the Reuters news agency. He also reportedly said the Taliban expects to take full control of the airport when U.S. forces complete their pullout from the country, scheduled for Tuesday.  Ongoing threats Pentagon spokesperson John Kirby said at a briefing Saturday that threats against the airport “are still very real, they’re very dynamic, and we are monitoring them literally in real time. And, as I said yesterday, we are taking all the means necessary to make sure we remain focused on that threat stream and doing what we can for force protection.”The security threats have made the evacuation of Americans and some Afghans more difficult. “There doesn’t appear to be any concerted effort to get SIVs [Special Immigrant Visa holders] out at this point,” a State Department official told VOA from the airport. But the department is still trying to evacuate local embassy staff, U.S. citizens and legal permanent residents. 
 
The U.S. evacuation of Afghans at the airport has wound down significantly, with most of the remaining 100 American civilian government staffers set to leave before midnight, according to a State Department official who spoke with VOA Saturday on the condition of anonymity. In this image provided by the U.S. Marine Corps, Marines with the 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit process evacuees as they go through the evacuation control center at Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul, Afghanistan, Aug. 28, 2021.The airport terminals are mostly empty, said the official, who expressed mixed feelings about the operation. “I feel the frustration of the failure of the operation overall,” said the official, who described the decision-making process of getting Afghans evacuated as “chaotic” and “subjective.” 
 
“But I’m extremely proud of the work of the guys on the ground, just the kind of bare-knuckled diplomacy of getting to know the Afghans, even though some of us didn’t know the language,” the official said.
 VOA White House Correspondent Patsy Widakuswara contributed to this report, which includes information from the Associated Press and Reuters.   

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Афганістан: новий вибух біля аеропорту Кабулу – ракета влучила в житловий будинок

Як повідомляють, унаслідок вибуху загинула дитина, ще дві людини поранені