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Military flights evacuating diplomats and civilians from Afghanistan resumed early today after the runway at Kabul airport was cleared of thousands of people attempting to flee after the Taliban seized the capital.

One day after the Taliban capture of Kabul, Afghans desperate to escape hung onto the sides of a U.S. military jet as it took off from the airport. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau described the situation in the country as “exceedingly dangerous” and “extremely fluid.”

The Taliban also declared an “amnesty” across Afghanistan today and are urging women to join their government. This would be a marked departure from the last time the Taliban were in power, when women were largely confined to their homes.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel warned that Western countries must offer aid to Afghans fleeing the Taliban, or risk facing a fresh refugee crisis, and U.S. President Joe Biden said he stands “squarely behind” his decision to withdraw U.S. forces from Afghanistan.

So far, Canada has committed to evacuate as many Canadians and Afghans as possible from Kabul, and last week promised to accept 20,000 vulnerable Afghans. But Justin Trudeau now also faces questions as to why Canada did not move faster to get people out of the quickly deteriorating situation.

Listen to the Decibel: Ottawa reporter Menaka Raman-Wilms talks about what Canada’s evacuation plans are for people being targeted by the Taliban.

World: China welcomes Taliban rule in Afghanistan even as Beijing remains wary of security vacuum

Explainer: The Taliban have taken control of Afghanistan again. How did we get here?

Analysis: In defending botched U.S. exit from Afghanistan, Biden argues that the unacceptable was unavoidable

Watch: Chaos at Kabul airport as people attempt to flee Afghanistan

Evacuees crowd the interior of a U.S. Air Force C-17 Globemaster III transport aircraft, carrying some 640 Afghans to Qatar from Kabul, Afghanistan August 15, 2021. Picture taken August 15, 2021.COURTESY OF DEFENSE ONE/Reuters

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Liberals, Conservatives unveil plans for economic recovery

Canada’s Liberal and Conservative party leaders made their pitches yesterday for Canada’s economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, as the 2021 election campaign got underway.

Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau proposed extending COVID-19 business supports, while Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole released his party’s platform, which would scrap the Liberals’ child care plan in exchange for a tax credit. Mr. O’Toole vowed to bring back one million lost jobs.

NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh, meanwhile, said his party would ensure that companies that accepted the federal government’s wage subsidy during the pandemic and used it to pay bonuses to “ultrarich” executives would pay back the money.

Explainer: How will Canada’s first pandemic federal election work?

Opinion: Erin O’Toole’s Conservatives target suburban voters in election platform of thoughtful populism

Read more: NDP would enforce federal vaccine mandate, employees who refuse COVID-19 shots would risk discipline

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Tropical storm drenching earthquake-stricken Haiti: Tropical Storm Grace is hampering rescue efforts looking for survivors of Saturday’s magnitude-7.2 earthquake, which has killed at least 1,400 people and injured over 6,000.

Thousands evacuated as 266 wildfires burn across B.C.: As 226 wildfires burn across B.C., “escaping can be complicated,” writes Carrie Tait. “As of Monday, hotels in Kelowna, a major tourist draw in the summer, were full, according to Central Okanagan Emergency Operations officials.”

Geronimo the alpaca awaits judge decision: Government veterinarians want to put down the eight-year-old camelid because he has twice tested positive for bovine tuberculosis, but Geronimo’s owner, Helen Macdonald, is fighting in court to keep him alive.

Search for unmarked graves begins at Alberta residential school site: Since Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc first announced that it had located up to 215 unmarked graves at the site of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School in late May, thousands more possible gravesites have been found across the country. On Monday, Kapawe’no First Nation, located about 400 kilometres northwest of Edmonton, started the initial steps of its own search.

Meng’s lawyers say fraud case unlike any other in Canadian legal history: “The judicial phase of the extradition process is in its final week,” writes Sean Fine. “If Ms. Meng’s lawyers can show that the U.S. case against her is ‘manifestly unreliable,’ the judge would have to refuse to permit her to be sent to the United States for trial.”

Election day in Nova Scotia: The province’s month-long election campaign nears its end as Nova Scotians head to the polls Tuesday.


World shares slide: Global shares stumbled on Tuesday, rattled by concerns over China’s regulations for its internet sector and a worldwide spike in COVID-19 infections driven by the Delta variant. Just before 6 a.m. ET, Britain’s FTSE 100 edged up 0.07 per cent while Germany’s DAX and France’s CAC 40 slid 0.21 per cent and 0.47 per cent, respectively. In Asia, Japan’s Nikkei closed down 0.36 per cent. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng fell 1.66 per cent. New York futures were weaker. The Canadian dollar was trading at 79.28 US cents.


Canada owes the Afghans who helped us a debt of gratitude – and their lives

“Ahmad’s commitment to a homeland built on human rights, freedom of expression and economic opportunity could now cost him his life.” - Hamida Ghafour

The troubling Nazi-fication of COVID-19 discourse

The Nazi-fication of public discourse is no longer the sole purview of pathetic man-boys holed up in their basements. - André Picard

The strategy for Afghanistan went off course long before the U.S. exit

“For those who served and suffered over the past 20 years, this parade of misogyny, impunity and utter cruelty has been horrific, unreal and bitingly painful.” - Chris Alexander

Canada has one last Afghan mission

“Canada had spent months ignoring the mounting danger to Afghans who had worked with Canadian diplomats and troops; Ottawa only recently began to seriously plan to bring them to Canada.” - Globe Editorial Board


David Parkins/The Globe and Mail


You may want to pull up a chair for Netflix’s new series

“Coming at a time when the issue of teaching critical race theory has become a hot-button topic in the United States, or when under-represented groups in Canada continue to rally against inequities,” writes Aparita Bhandari, “many people are looking to fiction as a salve from their reality. The Chair, then, isn’t really a balm as much as it is a mirror.”


Ray Chapman killed by a baseball pitch

Ray Chapman, star shortstop of the Cleveland Indians, who died in St. Lawrence Hospital, New York today, August 17, 1920.George Rinhart/Corbis via Getty Images

When a pitched ball by the New York Yankees’ Carl Mays struck the head of Cleveland Indians batter Ray Chapman on the afternoon of Aug. 16, 1920, the sound was so loud that many at New York’s Polo Grounds thought the ball from the underhand-throwing Mays had hit Chapman’s bat. When Chapman crumpled to the ground, doctors from the stands attended to the injured star shortstop. Suffering from a depressed fracture of the skull, he was rushed to a nearby hospital. The 29-year-old survived an operation, but died in the early morning hours of Aug. 17, becoming the only Major League Baseball player in history to be killed by a pitch. The New York Times said Chapman was a true sportsman and one of the most popular players in the major leagues. Having married 10 months earlier, he had planned to retire after the season. It was believed that Chapman was unable to dodge the pitch because the soiled ball was difficult to see. The tragedy lead MLB to implement a rule requiring umpires to replace dirty balls with clean ones. Brad Wheeler

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