Taliban takes over three more Afghan provincial capitals

The World
Four men are shown wearing traditional Afghani robes with two men holding large weapons.

Taliban fighters patrol inside the city of Farah, the capital of Farah province, southwest of Kabul, Afghanistan on Aug. 11, 2021.

Mohammad Asif Khan/AP

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Afghanistan
The Taliban has taken control of three more Afghan provincial capitals — Badakhshan and Baghlan provinces in the northeast and Farah province to the west of the country. As US and NATO forces pull out after a two-decade war, the insurgent group now controls nine of the country's 34 provincial capitals, nearly two-thirds of Afghanistan’s territory. Afghan President Ashraf Ghani traveled to the northern city of Mazar-i-Sharif to rally pro-government forces as the Taliban approached. The US military will complete its withdrawal from Afghanistan by the end of this month. A US defense official has warned that the group could take over Kabul within 90 days.

Algeria
Deadly wildfires are ravaging villages and the forest in Kabyle, a mountainous region east of Algiers, Algeria’s capital. Some residents fled the affected region, while others tried to put out the flames themselves. At least 65 people have lost their lives, according to state television, including 28 soldiers who were fighting the blaze. Algeria, Greece, Turkey and parts of Southern Europe have seen destructive fires in the past few weeks. Algerian Interior Minister Kamel Beldjoud has accused arsonists of starting the flames.

China-Canada
A court in Dandong, China, has sentenced Canadian entrepreneur and former diplomat Michael Spavor to 11 years in prison for espionage. The government accuses Spavor of handing sensitive information to another Canadian, Michael Kovrig, a former diplomat, beginning in 2017. The case, criticized as “hostage politics,” is seen as an effort by Beijing to push Canada to release Huawei's executive Meng Wanzhou, who was arrested in Vancouver for possible violations of trade sanctions on Iran in 2018 at the request of the US. The Canadian government has called for Spavor’s immediate release.

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Credit:

AP/File 

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