Taliban takes over three more Afghan provincial capitals

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

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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.

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.

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.

From The World

As Canada border reopens to Americans, US restrictions leave many confused

A line of vehicles wait to cross the Canadian border in view of a Canadian flag made of flowers
A line of vehicles wait to enter Canada at the Peace Arch border crossing in Blaine, Washington, Aug. 9, 2021.Elaine Thompson/AP

Canada has reopened it border to Americans with negative COVID-19 test, ahead of opening up to other countries. But many feel shafted by the US’ decision not to reciprocate, and US rules and restrictions have left many people confused.

Turkey’s modest fashion market hits its stride

Ayşe Yıldırım started her modest fashion brand, Miss Ayşe, over a decade ago.
Ayşe Yıldırım started her modest fashion brand, Miss Ayşe, over a decade ago. Durrie Bouscaren/The World 

Turkey is quickly becoming a global center of modest fashion — a retail sector that caters to women in Muslim countries who often seek out clothing with more coverage than mainstream brands tend to offer.

Plugged in!

⚡UK company Lunaz is turning classic car heads by re-engineering vintage Bentleys and Rolls-Royce cars that are powered by petrol into fully electric vehicles, in a process that takes about 26 weeks and nearly $500,000. The push for electric vehicles and hybrid cars is growing, as people become more climate conscious.

In case you missed it

Listen: Ethiopia calls on civilians to fight against Tigray forces

In this Sunday, Aug. 8, 2021, file photo, thousands of Ethiopians from the capital and surrounding areas head to Meskel Square to rally against the Tigray People's Liberation Front (TPLF).
Thousands of Ethiopians from the capital and surrounding areas head to Meskel Square to rally against the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) under the motto “I march to Save Ethiopia” and renew commitments to support the national army, Aug. 8, 2021.AP/File 

Ethiopia’s government is calling civilians to join the military to fight against Tigrayan rebel forces. This marks a stunning turnaround for Ethiopia and its leader, Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed. And, on Monday, Britain, Canada, and the United States imposed new sanctions on Belarus. The move comes one year after strongman leader Alexander Lukashenko rigged the country’s presidential election in his favor. Also, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s recent report is a “code red” for humanity, says climate scientist William Moomaw. He joins us to talk about jump-starting efforts to reverse the climate crisis.

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