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--> A midday take on what's happening in politics and how to have a sense of humor about it.*
*Ha. Haha. Hahah. Sniff. Haha. Sniff. Ha--breaks down crying hysterically.
THE AFTERMATH OF YESTERDAY’S ISIS ATTACK
On-the-ground in Kabul:
Via The Washington Post’s Susannah George, Ezzatullah Mehrdad and Sudarsan Raghavan, “Thousands of anxious Afghans seeking a new future were once again massing at Kabul's airport on Thursday, waiting to be frisked by the U.S. Marine Corps at Abbey Gate. There were five days left before the departure of the Americans, five days to escape a nation suddenly under control of the Taliban.”
The on-the-ground witness accounts are horrific: I’ll warn you before you continue reading, it’s pretty graphic: https://wapo.st/3BcGJRO
LATE THIS MORNING:
The Pentagon held a press conference on the ISIS attack in Kabul: https://bit.ly/2Y2VyIB
WHAT WE KNOW:
How many Americans were killed?: 13 U.S. service members were killed and 18 were injured. https://bit.ly/2Wug8R8
ISIS claimed responsibility: ISIS said in a statement, according to Reuters: “[A suicide bomber] managed to reach a large gathering of translators and collaborators with the American army at 'Baran Camp' near Kabul Airport and detonated his explosive belt among them, killing about 60 people and wounding more than 100 others, including Taliban fighters." https://reut.rs/3BejMhl
ISIS’s statement included a photo of the suicide bomber: https://bit.ly/2Wu5dYc
Does this change President BidenJoe BidenTrump endorses challenger in Michigan AG race On The Money: Democrats get to the hard part Health Care — GOP attorneys general warn of legal battle over Biden's vaccine mandate MORE’s timeline for withdrawal?: No, Biden said yesterday that it won’t alter the Aug. 31 withdrawal deadline.https://bit.ly/3ktCbQo
How many Afghans who worked with the U.S. are still in the country?: The New York Times estimates at least 250,000 Afghans who would be eligible for expedited visas are still in Afghanistan. https://nyti.ms/3mCBruY
How many were evacuated yesterday, the day of the ISIS attack: 12,500 people https://bit.ly/2XWW62t
‘KABUL’S ESCAPE ROUTES NARROW, BUT THE FEARFUL STILL SEEK SAFETY’:
Via The New York Times’s Daniel Victor, Zia ur-Rehman, Jim Huylebroek, Megan Specia and Fahim Abed: https://nyti.ms/3gDIrnL
‘FEAR RISES FOR AFGHANS LEFT BEHIND WHEN EVACUATIONS END’:
Via The Hill’s Rebecca Beitsch and Laura Kelly: https://bit.ly/3mFeAyW
It’s Friday — what a week. I’m Cate Martel with a quick recap of the morning and what’s coming up. Send comments, story ideas and events for our radar to email@example.com — and follow along on Twitter @CateMartel and Facebook.
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THE LATEST IN AFGHANISTAN
This story has me in chills:
Via ABC’s James Gordon Meek, “An all-volunteer group of American veterans of the Afghan war launched a final daring mission on Wednesday night dubbed the ‘Pineapple Express’ to shepherd hundreds of at-risk Afghan elite forces and their families to safety, members of the group told ABC News.” https://abcn.ws/3DmU1gD
“Moving after nightfall in near-pitch black darkness and extremely dangerous conditions, the group said it worked unofficially in tandem with the United States military and U.S. embassy to move people, sometimes one person at a time, or in pairs, but rarely more than a small bunch, inside the wire of the U.S. military-controlled side of Hamid Karzai International Airport.”
“The Pineapple Express' mission was underway Thursday when the attack occurred in Kabul.”
The full story: https://abcn.ws/3DmU1gD
IN THE WHITE HOUSE
This is a political disaster for President Biden:
The Hill’s Niall Stanage writes, “President Biden promised the United States would not suffer a ‘Saigon Moment’ as it withdrew from Afghanistan. The reality has proven even bleaker. The attacks committed around Kabul’s airport on Thursday are a human tragedy. They are also a political catastrophe for the president.” https://bit.ly/38kM4Kt
How so: https://bit.ly/38kM4Kt
In an exclusive interview with NBC’s Lester Holt, Lt. Michael Byrd described the events of Jan. 6 from his perspective, including when he used lethal force on rioter Ashli Babbitt. https://nbcnews.to/3DjJFOJ
In Byrd’s words: “Once we barricaded the doors, we were essentially trapped where we were. There was no way to retreat. No other way to get out … If they get through that door, they’re into the House chamber and upon the members of Congress.”
Byrd also said: “I know that day I saved countless lives. I know members of Congress, as well as my fellow officers and staff, were in jeopardy and in serious danger. And that’s my job.”
Keep in mind: Byrd allowed NBC to publish his name after officials had declined to release it.
More from Byrd’s interview: https://nbcnews.to/3DjJFOJ
Watch the interview: https://bit.ly/3DoVNxB
LATEST WITH THE CORONAVIRUS
Interesting read — ‘A new study found half of Covid patients had lingering symptoms one year later.’:
Via The New York Times’s Pam Belluck, “One year after becoming ill with the coronavirus, nearly half of patients in a large new study were still experiencing at least one lingering health symptom, adding to evidence that recovery from Covid-19 can be arduous and that the multifaceted condition known as ‘long Covid’ can last for months.” https://nyti.ms/3mJrvQB
Coronavirus cases in the U.S.: 38,392,250
U.S. death toll: 633,613
Breakdown of the numbers: https://cnn.it/2UAgW3y
Total number of vaccinations administered in the U.S.: 366 million shots have been given.
Seven-day average of doses administered: An average of 877,756 doses
For context: The U.S. population is roughly 331 million.
Breakdown of the numbers: https://bloom.bg/3iVTPLH
Back story: “The Daily Show Bought a Full-Page Ad in the Washington Post Today.” More from Washingtonian: https://bit.ly/3ks0dLL
Video of the radar: https://bit.ly/3gDxAdq
Photo of the storm outside the White House yesterday: https://bit.ly/2WufMdP
The House and Senate are out. President Biden and Vice President Harris are in Washington, D.C.
8 a.m. EDT: President Biden received the President’s Daily Brief.
8 a.m. EDT: Vice President Harris returns to Washington, D.C.
8:30 a.m. EDT: President Biden and Vice President Harris met with their national security team to hear updates on the situation in Afghanistan.
10:30 a.m. EDT: President Biden participated in a bilateral meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett, followed by an expanded bilateral meeting.
4 p.m. EDT: President Biden receives a weekly economic briefing.
WHAT TO WATCH:
11 a.m. EDT: The White House COVID Response Team held a press briefing. Livestream: https://bit.ly/3gytSlh
1 p.m. EDT: White House press secretary Jen PsakiJen PsakiOvernight Defense & National Security: US-Australian sub deal causes rift with France Psaki says White House offered 'early stage call' to Nicki Minaj Biden discusses agenda with Schumer, Pelosi ahead of pivotal week MORE holds a press briefing. Livestream: https://bit.ly/3ky1iBs
IN LIGHTER NEWS:
Today is National Pots De Creme Day.
And because you made it this far, here’s a pup living its best life: https://bit.ly/2Y2lfJk