Russia hosts multinational talks on Afghanistan

The World
Abdul Salam Hanafi, a deputy prime minister in the Taliban's interim government, left, speaks with acting Foreign Minister of Afghanistan, Taliban official Amir Khan Muttaqi during talks involving Afghan representatives in Moscow, Russia

Abdul Salam Hanafi, a deputy prime minister in the Taliban's interim government, left, speaks with acting Foreign Minister of Afghanistan, Taliban official Amir Khan Muttaqi during talks involving Afghan representatives in Moscow, Russia, Oct. 20, 2021.

Alexander Zemlianichenko/AP pool

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Russia - Afghanistan
Russia hosted multinational talks on Afghanistan on Wednesday with senior representatives of the Taliban, as well as officials from China, Pakistan, Iran, India and several Central Asian nations. The talks, one of the Taliban’s most high-profile international meetings since taking control of Afghanistan, focused on security, the political situation and the future of the country. Sergey Lavrov, Russia’s foreign minister, emphasized the need for the formation of an inclusive government to achieve peace and stability and commended the Taliban on their efforts to stabilize the military-political situation. While many countries have shut down their diplomatic posts in Afghanistan, Russia maintains its embassy and diplomatic presence in Kabul.

Syria
A bomb blast on a bus carrying Syrian troops during rush hour in Damascus has claimed the lives of 14 people in one of the deadliest attacks in the Syrian capital in years. No group has yet claimed responsibility for the explosions, which also left several people wounded. While the decade-long conflict between the Syrian government and insurgents in several parts of the country continues, these types of attacks are a rare occurrence in the capital. In a separate incident, according to rescue workers and eye witnesses, at least 11 people were killed — including four children and a woman — in a Syrian army shelling of residential areas of the rebel-held city of Ariha in Idlib province, in one of the deadliest such assaults since the 2020 truce brokered by Turkey and Russia.

Brazil
A report produced from Brazil’s Senate inquiry into the nation’s COVID-19 crisis is calling for criminal charges against President Jair Bolsonaro for his handling of the pandemic, which has claimed the lives of 600,000 people, the second highest death toll in the world after the US. The report by the Senate committee is calling for Bolsonaro to be indicted on charges that include crimes against humanity, charlatanism, misuse of public funds and inciting crime. Bolsonaro, who has denied any wrongdoing, has repeatedly accused the investigation of being political. The document has to been sent to the office of the prosecutor-general, a Bolsonaro appointee who will decide whether or not to push forward the investigation and pursue charges.

From The World

Efforts underway to create and expand new habitats for China's wandering elephants

In this photo released by the Yunnan Provincial Command Center for the Safety and Monitoring of North Migrating Asian Elephants, a herd of wandering elephants cross a river using a highway near Yuxi city, Yuanjiang county in southwestern China's Yunnan Pr

In this photo released by the Yunnan Provincial Command Center for the Safety and Monitoring of North Migrating Asian Elephants, a herd of wandering elephants cross a river using a highway near Yuxi city, Yuanjiang county in southwestern China's Yunnan Province, Aug. 8, 2021. 

Credit:

Yunnan Provincial Command Center for the Safety and Monitoring of North Migrating Asian Elephants/AP

Elephants have been pushed out of their natural habitat by encroaching farmland, deforestation and development. Last year was especially dry in the part of Yunnan Province where elephants usually live, making it harder for them to find the food they need in nature.

Filmmakers discuss 'The Rescue' about the effort to save 12 boys and their soccer coach trapped in a flooded cave in Thailand

Members of the Wild Boars soccer team who were rescued from a flooded cave, offer foods to a Buddhist monk near the Tham Luang cave in Mae Sai, Chiang Rai province, Thailand, to mark one year since their rescue

Members of the Wild Boars soccer team who were rescued from a flooded cave, offer foods to a Buddhist monk near the Tham Luang cave in Mae Sai, Chiang Rai province, Thailand, to mark one year since their rescue, June 24, 2019.

Credit:

Sakchai Lalit/AP/File photo

Filmmakers Chai Vasarhelyi and Jimmy Chin speak with host Marco Werman about "The Rescue," their documentary about the massive effort to save 12 boys and their soccer coach trapped in a flooded cave in Thailand. "The divers were hugely enthusiastic also about the authenticity and accuracy [of the documentary]," Chin said. "And so, they would literally demonstrate exactly how they did it and what they were doing. And we were able to film that."

Bright Spot

A 4-year-old boy in New Zealand contacted police — and then invited them to come by and check out his toys. 🚂

After his father interrupted the call, telling police he had been distracted with another child because their mother was sick, an officer paid the family a friendly visit. "He did have cool toys," the constable confirmed. He then taught the boy about only callig police in a real emergency.

In case you missed it

Listen: US envoy to Afghanistan resigns

Special Representative for Afghanistan Zalmay Khalilzad speaks during the House Committee on Oversight and Reform Subcommittee hearing on Next Steps for US Engagement in Afghanistan at Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, May 20, 2021.

Special Representative for Afghanistan Zalmay Khalilzad speaks during the House Committee on Oversight and Reform Subcommittee hearing on the next steps for US engagement in Afghanistan, at Capitol Hill in Washington, May 20, 2021. 

Credit:

Jose Luis Magana/AP

Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad spearheaded the Trump administration’s negotiations with the Taliban that forged an agreement for the withdrawal of US forces. Critics say the talks were a fig leaf, offering cover for a quick US withdrawal. And Russia is ending its diplomatic engagement with the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. The move by Moscow is in retaliation for NATO's expulsion of Russian diplomats from its Brussels office earlier this month. Plus, filmmakers Chai Vasarhelyi and Jimmy Chin tell us about "The Rescue," their documentary about the massive effort to save 12 boys and their soccer coach trapped in a flooded cave in Thailand.

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