Top Pentagon leaders in the hot seat over Afghanistan withdrawal

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Afghanistan
Top Pentagon officials are expected to face tough questions from Congress on Tuesday in their first public testimony since the US completed its withdrawal from Afghanistan last month. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and Gen. Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, will testify before the Senate Armed Services Committee, followed by the House Armed Services Committee on Wednesday. Gen. Frank McKenzie, who oversaw the withdrawal as head of US Central Command, is also scheduled to testify. Lawmakers are poised to press the officials on President Joe Biden’s rushed withdrawal, which they argue makes the US more vulnerable to terrorism. Milley will likely also be questioned about reports of secret phone calls with his Chinese counterpart during the final months of the Trump administration.

China
Power cuts and blackouts have forced factories in China to slow production, or even close down, in recent days to avoid exceeding limits on energy use that have been imposed by the government to promote efficiency. Economists and environmentalists say manufacturers used up this year’s quota faster than anticipated as export demand started to rebound from the COVID-19 pandemic. The situation could further delay already backed-up global supply chains as Western countries head into busy holiday shopping seasons as well as slow down China’s economy. Power shortages have also hit the major industrial and shipping hub of Guangdong in the south.

Sweden
A powerful explosion at an apartment building in Sweden’s second-largest city of Gothenburg has injured around 20 people, four of them critically, and forced the evacuation of hundreds more. Police suspect the blast was sparked by some type of explosive device, but have not yet confirmed the cause. Firefighters worked for hours as fires spread to several apartments. One resident said he saw people climbing over and hanging from balconies. Authorities are investigating the situation. In recent years, Sweden has faced growing problems with rival gangs using explosives and other violent weapons.

From The World

How Haitians respond in times of deep crisis according to writer Edwidge Danticat

Many around the world are still processing the images of Haitian migrants being chased by border guards on horseback on the US-Mexico border, along with crowds packed with virtually no food or water under the international bridge in Del Rio. Writer Edwidge Danticat told The World's Marco Werman that in conversations she's had with friends and family in Haiti, they, too, were shocked.

"People are starting to arrive in Haiti now and are telling their stories, and many of them speak of that harrowing journey, some of them going to 10 countries and walking on foot across that Darién Gap," Danticat said. "And then many of them said they were woken up in the night and taken on a plane and then deported to Haiti, some of them shackled on the plane, not being able to hug their babies across the aisle, some have said."

Cambodia is now better vaccinated than many US states

Cambodia’s population of 15 million people, when it comes to COVID-19 vaccinations, is far ahead of US states such as Alabama, Texas and Ohio. Its full vaccination rate is on par with that of New York state.

Double Take

It's one thing to see the occasional raccoon rummaging through your trash can, but residents of Rome 🇮🇹 now have a wild boar invasion. The animals are taking to the streets in search of food in the Eternal City's notoriously overflowing garbage bins. 🐗 And, the booming boar population has even become a line of attack in the city's upcoming local election.

In case you missed it

Listen: Huawei incident signals evolution of US-China relations

The Huawei brand logo is seen on a building in the sprawling Huawei headquarters campus in Shenzhen, China, Saturday, Sept. 25, 2021.

The Huawei brand logo is seen on a building in the sprawling Huawei headquarters campus in Shenzhen, China, Sept. 25, 2021.

Credit:

Ng Han Guan/AP

The return to China of Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou in an apparent exchange for two detained Canadians offers clues into the evolution of US-China relations — one that may require uncomfortable compromises. And four weeks after the US left Afghanistan, America and its allies are still keeping a close eye on the country, with counterterrorism and national security top of mind. How will the US gather intelligence in Afghanistan without being there? Also, most young people in South Sudan have faced conflict and displacement their entire lives. The Baobab House, an art gallery in the capital, Juba, offers young people the chance to use music as a form of social healing.

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