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Kabul’s fall one year later, DACA anniversary, US delegation in Taiwan: 5 things to know Monday

  • August 15, 2022

One year later, Kabul’s chaotic fall reverberates for Biden

The chaotic U.S. exit from Afghanistan one year ago, ending a 20-year conflict, undercut President Joe Biden’s pledge to restore competence to the White House. With Monday being the one-year anniversary of Kabul’s takeover by the Taliban, the Afghanistan debacle continues to hang over the Democratic president, even as his counter terrorism strategy yields consequential results with last month’s killing of top al-Qaida leader Ayman al-Zawahri. Biden’s approval rating fell below 50% for the first time following the messy U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan and the Taliban’s return to power. His standing still hasn’t recovered amid a convergence of other crises, including 40-year-high inflation, supply chain bottlenecks, the extended COVID-19 pandemic and the spread of monkeypox.

  • ‘A self-inflicted wound’: US withdrawal from Afghanistan still haunts Biden’s presidency one year later
  • Thousands upon thousands of Afghan allies were left behind. Why have so few reached the US safety?
  • Despite drone strike on al-Qaida leader,many fear Afghanistan remains haven for terror a year after US exit

Prefer to listen? Check out the 5 Things podcast

10 years later, immigrants want relief

  • ‘I don’t know if I will be deported’: Young immigrants prepare for DACA to end
  • ‘Like a roller coaster’: DACA opens doors for two Texas brothers, leaves another in shadows
  • Opinion: DACA recipients have helped build the American dream. It’s time to give them a path to citizenship
  • Sen. Ed Markey leads US delegation to Taiwan, China announces more military drills

    Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing-wen met Monday with a five-member delegation of U.S. Congress members, led by Democratic Sen. Ed Markey of Massachusetts, in a further sign of support among American lawmakers for the self-governing island that China claims as its own territory. China announced more military drills around Taiwan on Monday as the visit occurred, less than two weeks after U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s trip to Taiwan, which prompted days of threatening military exercises by China. The Chinese government objects to Taiwan having any official contact with foreign governments, particularly with a high-ranking congressional leader like Pelosi. Markey, who chairs the Senate Foreign Relations East Asia, Pacific, and International Cybersecurity Subcommittee, met with South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol Sunday in South Korea before arriving in Taiwan. 

    • Nancy Pelosi stands by decision to visit Taiwan, says it was ‘worth it’
    • Pelosi’s visit: Pelosi gives strong backing to Taiwan’s democracy; US braces for Chinese military drills
    • During Pelosi’s visit:China extends threatening military exercises around Taiwan

    Russia ready for steps toward Brittney Griner prisoner exchange

    The Kremlin is ready for “a professional conversation and concrete steps” toward freeing WNBA star Brittney Griner and another American in a prisoner exchange, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said Sunday. “People who are to deal with these matters are ready,” Zakharova said on Rossiya-1 TV, after being asked about a deal that would include Russian national Viktor Bout. “And this work is not done in the public eye.” Bout is serving a 25-year sentence on a 2011 conviction in New York on charges of conspiring to kill U.S. citizens, delivery of anti-aircraft missiles and providing aid to a terrorist organization. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said last month that Russian officials had been approached about a deal to free Griner, convicted in Russia on drug trafficking and possession charges, and Paul Whelan, convicted on espionage charges. Blinken has said both Whelan and Griner are being “wrongfully detained.”

    Vanessa Bryant civil trial against Los Angeles County resumes

    Vanessa Bryant’s civil trial against Los Angeles County continues Monday. On Friday, the jury heard testimony from three witnesses, including Douglas Johnson, a Los Angeles County Sheriff’s deputy who took close-up photos of dead bodies from the helicopter crash that killed NBA legend Kobe Bryant, his 13-year-old daughter Gianna, and seven others. Bryant’s legal team believes Johnson started the spread of the gruesome photos among sheriff’s personnel after taking them for dubious reasons. Bryant and Chris Chester, a financial adviser who lost his wife and daughter in the same crash, sued the county in 2020, accusing county sheriff’s and fire department employees of taking and sharing photos of their deceased loved ones from the crash scene despite having no legitimate reason for it. The trial, which reaches its fourth day Monday, could continue for over two more weeks. 

    • Earlier in the trial: Lakers GM Rob Pelinka fights through tears at Vanessa Bryant’s trial over Kobe crash photos
    • Previous coverage: Vanessa Bryant leaves court during testimony about crash photos shared at bar after Kobe’s death

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