13 U.S. TROOPS, 60 AFGHANS KILLED IN TERROR ATTACK ON KABUL AIRPORT: Thirteen U.S. troops and at least 60 Afghans were killed in a terrorist attack on the airport in Kabul, Afghanistan, yesterday (August 26th) carried out by two suicide bombers and gunmen. Eighteen servicemembers were injured as were more than 140 Afghans. The attackers struck in the crowds outside the airport, which have been chaotic scenes of people trying to get in as the U.S. has been carrying out the airlift evacuation of Americans and at-risk Afghans. One blast took place near one of the airport gates, and the other at or near the Baron Hotel nearby, where many were told to gather in recent days before going to the airport.
The U.S. and other Western officials had warned hours earlier of a possible attack, and U.S. officials had repeatedly spoken about the threat on the airlift operation from ISIS-K, the Islamic State (ISIS) affiliate in Afghanistan. ISIS in fact claimed responsibility for the attack. The Taliban, which has taken over Afghanistan, is not believed to have been involved and condemned the terror attack.
President Biden spoke emotionally from the White House, calling the U.S. troops who died “heroes,” and vowing reprisals, saying to the attackers, “We will not forgive. We will not forget. We will hunt you down and make you pay.” The president also said that the U.S. wouldn’t be intimidated from its mission, and that the evacuation would continue. He has said an August 31st deadline. Biden held a moment of silence during his remarks, and has ordered U.S. flags to half-staff across the country.
Biden: [“These American servicemembers who gave their lives — it’s an over used words but it is totally appropriate, were heroes. Heroes who have been engaged in a dangerous, selfless mission to save the lives of others.”] SOUNDCUE (:17 OC . . . lives of others.)
[“To those who carried out this attack as well as anyone who wishes America harm, know this: We will not forgive. We will not forget. We will hunt you down and make you pay.”] SOUNDCUE (:19 OC . . . make you pay.)
[“We will not be deterred by terrorists. We will not let them stop our mission. We will continue the evacuation. **EDIT** These ISIS terrorists will not win. We will rescue the Americans in there. We will get our Afghan allies out, and our mission will go on. America will not be intimidated.”] SOUNDCUE (:22 OC . . . not be intimidated.)
SEVERAL STATES HAVE RECORD NUMBER OF HOSPITALIZED COVID PATIENTS: Kentucky and Texas have joined a growing number of states that now have a record number of hospitalized Covid-19 patients, more than at any other time since the pandemic began. At least six other states — Arkansas, Florida, Louisiana, Hawaii, Mississippi and Oregon — have already broken their hospitalization records, and New Mexico health officials warned on Wednesday that the state is about a week away from having to ration health care. Deaths nationwide are now at more than 1,100 a day, the highest since mid-March, and new cases per day are around 152,000, numbers last seen at the end of January.
SUPREME COURT ALLOWS EVICTIONS TO RESUME: The Supreme Court is allowing evictions to resume, blocking a temporary ban yesterday (August 26th) that had been instituted by the Biden administration due to the ongoing pandemic. The high court said that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention lacked the authority to reimpose the eviction moratorium on August 3rd without congressional authorization after it had expired days earlier. The three liberal justices dissented from the unsigned opinion. The administration has called on state and local officials to more quickly distribute $46.5 billion in rental assistance approved by Congress, only about 11 percent of which has been given out, and for state and local courts to issue their own moratoriums.
SEVEN CAPITOL POLICE OFFICERS SUE TRUMP, ALLIES, EXTREMISTS OVER JANUARY 6TH ATTACK: Seven U.S. Capitol police officers who were attacked and beaten during the January 6th attack on the Capitol filed suit yesterday (August 26th) against former President Donald Trump, his allies, including Roger Stone, and members of far-right extremist groups, including the Proud Boys and Oath Keepers. The suit accuses its targets of intentionally sending a violent mob to disrupt Congress’ certification of the presidential election results. It alleges Trump, quote, “worked with white supremacists, violent extremist groups, and campaign supporters to violate the Ku Klux Klan Act, and commit acts of domestic terrorism in an unlawful effort to stay in power.”
TROPICAL STORM IDA TO THREATEN GULF COAST AS POSSIBLE MAJOR HURRICANE: Hurricane watches were issued for Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama yesterday (August 26th) for Tropical Storm Ida, which is threatening to hit along the northern Gulf Coast as a major hurricane by the end of the weekend. Major hurricanes are those that are Category 3 or higher. The National Hurricane Center issued a warning late yesterday afternoon that said, “there is an increasing risk of life-threatening storm surge, damaging hurricane-force winds, and heavy rainfall Sunday and Monday, especially along the coast of Louisiana.”
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