Here’s your Daily News for Monday, August 16.
1. Debacle: Chaos ensues as Americans flee Afghanistan
- The videos are hard to watch. Throngs of Afghans have flooded the airport in Kabul, desperately trying to board airplanes in an attempt to flee the country as the Taliban takes back control 20 years after the American invasion.
- The still above is from a video of a U.S. Air Force C-5 taxiing on the runway before taking off as Afghans cling to its wings and wheel wells. Subsequent video showed people falling from the aircraft in flight to their deaths.
- Later at the airport, U.S. troops fired warning shots and erected razor wire fences as they struggled to manage the chaotic evacuation.
- The Taliban swept into Kabul on Sunday, bringing a stunning end to a two-decade campaign in which the U.S. and its allies had tried to transform Afghanistan. The country’s Western-trained security forces collapsed or fled in the face of an insurgent offensive that tore through the country in just over a week, ahead of the planned withdrawal of the last American troops at the end of the month.
- President Joe Biden and other top U.S. officials have been stunned by the pace of the Taliban’s nearly complete takeover of the country.
- The speed of the Afghan government’s collapse and the ensuing chaos posed the most serious test of Biden as commander in chief, and he was the subject of withering criticism from Republicans who said that he had failed.
- Biden campaigned as a seasoned expert in international relations and has spent months downplaying the prospect of an ascendant Taliban.
- Just last month, Biden repeatedly said in a news conference that comparisons to the fall of Saigon in 1975 were unfounded.
- “There’s going to be no circumstance where you see people being lifted off the roof of a embassy in the—of the United States from Afghanistan. It is not at all comparable,” Biden said.
- Presidents Barack Obama and Donald Trump also yearned to leave Afghanistan, with Trump laying official groundwork for a transition. But both ultimately stood down against complete withdrawal in the face of resistance from military leaders and other political concerns.
- Biden, on the other hand, has been steadfast in his refusal to change the Aug. 31 deadline, in part because of his belief that the American public is on his side.
- Meanwhile, U.S. officials are increasingly concerned about the potential for the rise in terrorist threats against the U.S. as the situation in Afghanistan devolves.
- Read more, see images and watch videos HERE.
2. Fred strengthens slightly as it approaches Gulf Coast
- The National Hurricane Center said Fred regained its tropical storm status in the Gulf of Mexico Sunday.
- Fred was forecast to move across the Gulf and reach the coast as early as this afternoon, forecasters said. They said people from Alabama to the central Florida Panhandle should monitor the system’s progress.
- Fred’s maximum sustained winds stood at 50 mph Sunday night. The storm was located about 200 miles south of Panama City, Florida, and moving north-northwest at 9 mph.
- Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey issued a statement Saturday saying her administration was monitoring the weather and “will be ready to act from the state level if needed.”
- Dothan, the greater Wiregrass and East Alabama stand the biggest risk of damage from wind and flooding.
- Read more HERE.
3. Inside Alabama Politics
- State leaders are getting close on a prison plan. We have the deets;
- General Fund, ETF revenues up, but budget leaders watching delta variant;
- Trump rally begets opportunities, headaches;
- ALDOT transfers road money to admin fund;
- Field for HD 20 expands, but will Sanderford run?
- Carnley makes it a race in SD 31;
- Updated chart on who’s running and who’s not.
4. Georgia wins fresh ruling in water war with Florida, Alabama
- A judge has ruled that a federal agency doesn’t have to revise its plans for how it operates dams along the Chattahoochee and Flint rivers, another win for Georgia in its struggles with Florida and Alabama over the water that flows into the Apalachicola River.
- Environmental groups and the state of Alabama had sued the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in 2017, saying the agency’s plans held too much water in reservoirs in the Apalachicola-Chattahoochee-Flint basin and that it should release more for hydropower and wildlife.
- It’s the second win for Georgia, after the U.S. Supreme Court rejected Florida’s effort this spring to cap how much water Georgia could use.
- Read more HERE.
5. Pelosi takes step to quell moderates’ budget rebellion
- House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is proposing a procedural vote this month that would set up future passage of two economic measures crucial to President Joe Biden’s domestic agenda, a move Democratic leaders hope will win votes from unhappy party moderates.
- In a letter Sunday to Democratic lawmakers, Pelosi, D-Calif., suggested that the House will take a single vote that would clear an initial hurdle for both a budget resolution and a separate infrastructure bill. The budget blueprint would open the gate for Congress to later consider a separate, $3.5 trillion, 10-year bill for health, education and environment programs.
- Nine centrist Democrats said Friday they would oppose the budget resolution until the House first approves a $1 trillion package of road, railway and other infrastructure projects. That compromise measure, which the Senate approved last week with bipartisan support, is the top priority for moderates, who want to bank a quick win by sending it to Biden for his signature.
- Progressive Democrats’ No. 1 goal is approval of $3.5 trillion worth of spending boosts and tax cuts for health care, education, social safety net and climate change programs. Much of it would be paid for by raising taxes on wealthy individuals and large corporations.
- Democratic moderates, including many from swing districts who face dicey prospects in next year’s elections, think that bill’s price tag is too high and are nervous that the GOP will pound them with campaign accusations of backing tax increases.
- Read more HERE.
INSIDE ALABAMA POLITICS – August 16, 2021
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Chaos as thousands flee Afghanistan after Taliban takeover
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Fred strengthens slightly as it heads to Gulf coast
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Pelosi takes step to quell moderates’ budget rebellion
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Georgia wins fresh ruling in water war with Florida, Alabama
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Taliban takes Afghan capital
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – COVID-19 deaths slowly rising after case surge
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Ivey issues state of emergency as hospitals face COVID surge
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Huntsville now Alabama’s largest city, overtakes Birmingham
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Fred strengthens to tropical storm as it heads to US coast
AL.COM – Tropical Storm Fred gets stronger on path for Gulf Coast; new tropical depression forms near Bermuda
AL.COM – United Launch Alliance planning $20.3 million in equipment purchases at Alabama plant
AL.COM – Forever Wild buying 1,600 acres to add to Oak Mountain State Park
AL.COM – Judge: ‘Drug court’ gives people a second chance in Alabama
AL.COM – Fred expected to bring a lot of rain to parts of Alabama
AL.COM – These are Alabama’s 17 shrinking cities
AL.COM – Alabama no longer allows COVID concerns as reason for absentee ballot
AL.COM – Columnists Roy Johnson and Cameron Smith: Bipartisanship in the Alabama Legislature? It actually happened, quietly and effectively
Montgomery Advertiser – Mt. Zion A.M.E. Zion Church announces further renovations of historic building
Montgomery Advertiser – Elmore Bolling Foundation works to rescue and restore the old Lowndesboro School
Montgomery Advertiser – Elmore Bolling Foundations looks to restore historic Lowndsboro School
Decatur Daily – Decatur City Schools mandates masks, Hartselle City requires them on buses
Decatur Daily – Authority prepares to renovate Westgate community center and apartments
Decatur Daily – ULA planning $20.3 million in equipment purchases
Times Daily – Open Mic Youth Forum planned for Tuesday
Times Daily – New medical profile system should help Colbert County 911 with calls
Times Daily – ICUs filling up fast with COVID-19 patients at Shoals hospitals
Anniston Star – Vintage vehicles dress up parking lot at senior living center
Anniston Star – Magadia speaks factually about COVID
WBRC Fox 6 Birmingham – CDC strongly encourages expectant mothers to get COVID vaccine
WBRC Fox 6 Birmingham – How do booster shots work?
WBRC Fox 6 Birmingham – Alabama facility expands efforts to help survivors of human trafficking
Tuscaloosa News – New operating hours announced for Tuscaloosa Public Library branches
Tuscaloosa News – Daughter of legendary Tuscaloosa News photographer makes her own artistic mark
Tuscaloosa News – Track the 2021 Atlantic hurricane season, including forecasts and storm names list
YellowHammer News – Gov. Kay Ivey issues ‘limited, narrowly-focused’ state of emergency in response to rise in COVID-19 cases
YellowHammer News – U.S. Rep. Mike Rogers presses Biden for plan on worsening Afghanistan situation
Gadsden Times – Etowah County Rural Transportation to provide free rides for vaccinations
Gadsden Times – Two-vehicle crash near Guntersville claims life of Grant man
Gadsden Times – MeadowBrook members tour Glacier National Park
Dothan Eagle – Spain interior minister: child migrants ‘wanted to go home’
Dothan Eagle – Concerns over US terror threats rising as Taliban hold grows
Dothan Eagle – Detainee says China has secret jail in Dubai, holds Uyghurs
Opelika-Auburn News – 3 tropical systems impacting US, Caribbean and Bermuda
Opelika-Auburn News – Concerns over US terror threats rising as Taliban hold grows
Opelika-Auburn News – Global shares slip amid pandemic, Afghanistan worries
WSFA Montgomery – Fred brings rain, wind, spin-up tornado risk for some
WSFA Montgomery – Fred brings rain, some wind to Alabama
WSFA Montgomery – Candlelight vigil held in memory of Shannon Paulk
WAFF Huntsville – Local doctor talks delta variant concerns
WAFF Huntsville – Man fatally injured in two-vehicle crash in Marshall County
WAFF Huntsville – VIDEO: Man jumps to safety from burning lift in Oxford
WKRG Mobile – Biden team surprised by rapid Taliban gains in Afghanistan
WKRG Mobile – University of Florida reverses, to have in-person classes
WKRG Mobile – California fire threatens homes as blazes burn across West
WTVY Dothan – DCS Changes decision; will close for Fred
WTVY Dothan – Holmes County Schools to close Monday due to severe weather threat
WTVY Dothan – 2 dead, 1 injured in separate overnight Troy shootings
WASHINGTON POST – Reports of several dead, chaos at Kabul airport amid scramble to flee Taliban
WASHINGTON POST – Defiant and defensive, a president known for empathy takes a cold-eyed approach to Afghanistan debacle
WASHINGTON POST – International human rights organizations scramble to get local allies out of Afghanistan
NEW YORK TIMES – Afghanistan Live Updates: Fear Spreads in Kabul as Taliban Take Charge
NEW YORK TIMES – ‘I’m the Only Surgeon’: After Haiti Quake, Thousands Seek Scarce Care
NEW YORK TIMES – Tropical Depression Grace Threatens Haiti as It Churns Across Caribbean
WALL STREET JOURNAL – ‘Saigon on Steroids’: The Desperate Rush to Flee Afghanistan
WALL STREET JOURNAL – Afghanistan Government Collapses as Taliban Take Kabul
WALL STREET JOURNAL – Afghanistan Takeover by Taliban Worries Governments in the Region, Europe That Chaos Will Spread
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