Afghan soldier dies in firefight at Kabul airport

The World
A line of people are shown in the distance in low light with the tail of a large aircraft as the sun sets.

US Air Force aircrew assist evacuees boarding an Air Force C-17 aircraft at Hamid Karzai International Airport, Kabul, Afghanistan, Aug. 21, 2021.

Senior Airman Taylor Crul/US Air Force via AP

Top of The World — our morning news roundup written by editors at The World. Subscribe here.

Afghanistan
A firefight at Afghanistan’s Kabul airport during the chaotic evacuation effort underway led to the death of at least one Afghan soldier on Monday. According to German officials, gunfire broke out near an airport entrance, where at least seven Afghans died on Sunday in a stampede of thousands waiting to get access to a flight out of the country. White House officials say the pace of evacuating Americans and Afghans who worked for the US and NATO allies is accelerating, with more than 10,000 people flown out in the last 24 hours. US President Joe Biden called the evacuation effort a top priority and has not ruled out extending operations past the Aug. 31 deadline. Taliban spokesman Muhammad Suhail Shaheen stressed there will be consequences if foreign forces stayed beyond the deadline.

Taiwan
Health authorities in Taiwan have given an emergency approval for the island's domestically developed COVID-19 shot after struggling to secure orders from foreign pharmaceutical companies. Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen sat in front of cameras on Monday to receive her first dose of the jab made by Medigen Vaccine Biologics ahead of a widespread rollout. Taiwanese regulators bypassed standard longer-term studies on the vaccine, and used a shortcut by comparing antibodies in Medigen's vaccine to AstraZeneca's vaccine, which has been approved in the country.

Lebanon
Lebanon raised the price of fuel by 66% on Monday as government leaders attempt to reduce fuel subsidies in the country grappling with multiple crises. The price of fuel has nearly tripled in the past three months, adding to the day-to-day hardships amid a surge in coronavirus infections and a hospital system buckling under the pressure of hospitalizations, with some doctors suggesting they are running out of everything. The Iranian-backed Hezbollah group announced that Iran is now sending oil to Lebanon to ease shortages.

From The World

Alexander Vindman: Accountability is key to building back American unity

Retired Army Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman's new book is titled: “Here, Right Matters: An American Story." He recently spoke with The World's host Marco Werman about what it's been like since he testified against Donald Trump, and the role his family has played in his career path. 

"We're missing something that could help bring us together — and that's accountability. That's accountability of public officials that failed to live up to their responsibilities and that's accountability of media personalities that see profit in attacking the United States," Vindman said.

Taliban takeover could mean more security challenges for Chinese projects in Pakistan

With the Taliban takeover in Afghanistan, neighboring China and Pakistan are concerned over the security of their people and economic investments. They fear that recent attacks on Chinese workers in Pakistani cities could become more common with a hardline government next door.

Double take

It might be hard to describe that typical smell of asphalt. Sort of burnt, strong, yet kind of annoying. Now two Polish companies, one construction firm and another a refiner, have created a floral-scented asphalt using a combination of natural and synthetic essential oils to neutralize that distinctive odor. The goal, the companies said, is to provide a more comfortable working environment for construction workers paving roads.

Several vehicles are shown in blurred motion driving on a highway with a circular metal arch over the top.

Cars drive on a highway in Warsaw, Poland.

Credit:

Alik Keplicz/AP/File photo

In case you missed it

Listen: Kabul airport becomes only hope for Afghans to evacuate

In this image provided by the US Marine Corps, Marines assist with security at an evacuation control checkpoint during an evacuation at Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul, Afghanistan, Friday, Aug. 20, 2021.

In this image provided by the US Marine Corps, Marines assist with security at an evacuation control checkpoint during an evacuation at Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul, Afghanistan, Friday, Aug. 20, 2021.

Credit:

Staff Sgt. Victor Mancilla/US Marine Corps via AP

Hamid Karzai International Airport has been in the global spotlight for the past week. This relatively small airport has become the only hope for many people stuck in the country to leave. And, as the US scrambles to secure the Kabul airport in the waning days before its final exit from Afghanistan, European allies are following events closely. The Biden administration says it's working closely with Germany and other NATO allies during this transition period. Also, for the first time in recorded history, rain was monitored on the summit of Greenland, a place that rarely sees above-freezing temperatures. Seven billion tons of water fell on the ice sheet causing massive ice loss.

Don't forget to subscribe to The World's Latest Edition podcast using your favorite podcast player: RadioPublicApple PodcastsStitcherSoundcloudRSS.