Archives August 2021

Biden pays respects to US troops killed in Afghanistan

In hushed reverence, President Joe Biden stood witness with grieving families Sunday under a gray sky as, one by one, the remains of 13 U.S. troops killed in the Kabul suicide bombing were removed with solemnity from a military aircraft that brought them home.

The only sounds that could be heard during the mournful ritual of the “dignified transfer” were the quiet commands of the honor guards in battle dress who carried the flag-draped cases, the hum of the C-17 aircraft that had transported the fallen and the periodic sob of the sorrowful.

Biden and his wife, Jill, met privately with family members of those killed in the suicide attack near the Kabul airport before the president became the fourth commander in chief over two decades of war to stand at attention at Dover Air Force Base as the remains of the fallen from Afghanistan returned home.

Source: AP News

Hurricane Ida strengthens, Louisiana braces for severe blow

Forecasters warned residents along the northern Gulf of Mexico coast to rush preparations Saturday ahead of an intensifying Hurricane Ida, which is expected to bring winds as high as 130 mph (209 kph), life-threatening storm surge and flooding rain when it slams ashore in Louisiana on Sunday.

The National Hurricane Center warned that super-warm Gulf waters could rapidly magnify Ida’s destructive power, boosting it from a Category 2 storm to an extremely dangerous Category 4 hurricane in just 18 hours or less.

Coastal highways saw heavy traffic Saturday as people moved to escape the storm’s path. Trucks pulling saltwater fishing boats and campers streamed away from the coast Interstate 65 in south Alabama. Traffic jams clogged Interstate 10 heading out of New Orleans.

Source: AP News

US Official: Multiple Marines killed in blasts at Kabul airport

KABUL, Afghanistan — Two suicide bombers and gunmen targeted crowds massing near the Kabul airport Thursday, in the waning days of a massive airlift that has drawn thousands of people seeking to flee the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan. At least 13 people were killed and 15 wounded, Russian officials said.

A U.S. official said the complex attack was “definitely believed” to have been carried out by the Islamic State group, whose affiliate in Afghanistan grew out of disaffected Taliban members who hold an even more extreme view of Islam.

At least 13 people died and 15 were wounded, according to Russia’s Foreign Ministry, which gave the first official casualty count. Pentagon spokesman John Kirby also confirmed the blasts, saying one was near an airport entrance and another was a short distance away by a hotel.

The U.S. official said several U.S. Marines were killed in the blast, and a number of U.S. military members wounded. Both The Wall Street Journal and Fox News are currently reporting that four Marines were killed and three were wounded. The Pentagon has confirmed some service members were killed, but did not say how many. 

Even as the area was hit, the official said evacuation flights continued to take off from Kabul airport, which Western governments earlier warned was a target.

One explosion went off in a crowd of people waiting to enter the airport, according to Adam Khan, an Afghan waiting nearby. He said several people appeared to have been killed or wounded, including some who lost body parts.

The Taliban condemned the attack, saying it happened it an area controlled by U.S. forces.

Source: 11 Alive

Pentagon confirms explosion near Kabul airport

An explosion was reported Thursday at the airport in Kabul, Afghanistan, the Department of Defense confirmed.

“We can confirm an explosion outside Kabul airport. Casualties are unclear at this time,” Pentagon spokesman John Kirby tweeted. 

One source confirmed to The Hill the explosion was the result of a suicide bombing, something reported by other news outlets as well. 

Thousands of people had gathered outside the airport in recent days as American civilians and Afghans sought to get aboard evacuation flights being conducted by the U.S. military ahead of its withdrawal from the country on Aug. 31.

President Biden, who was meeting with his national security team on the situation in Afghanistan on Thursday morning, was briefed on the explosion. 

Source: The Hill

Pentagon: US troops must get their COVID-19 vaccines ASAP

Military troops must immediately begin to get the COVID-19 vaccine, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said in a memo Wednesday, ordering service leaders to “impose ambitious timelines for implementation.”

More than 800,000 service members have yet to get their shots, according to Pentagon data. And now that the Pfizer vaccine has received full approval from the Food and Drug Administration, the Defense Department is adding it to the list of required shots troops must get as part of their military service.

The Austin memo does not dictate a specific timeline for completing the vaccinations. But it says the military services will have to report regularly on their progress. A senior defense official said that Austin has made it clear to the services that he expects them to move quickly, and that this will be completed in weeks not months.

“To defend this Nation, we need a healthy and ready force,” Austin said in the memo. “After careful consultation with medical experts and military leadership, and with the support of the President, I have determined that mandatory vaccination against coronavirus disease…is necessary to protect the Force and defend the American people.”

Troops will be able to get their Pfizer shots at their bases and from their commands around the world. The Pentagon has said it has enough vaccine supply to meet demand. Individual service members may also go out and get any of the other COVID vaccines on their own.

Source: WBAL

New NY governor adds 12,000 deaths to publicized COVID tally

Delivering another blow to what’s left of former Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s legacy, New York’s new governor acknowledged on her first day in office that the state has had nearly 12,000 more deaths from COVID-19 than Cuomo told the public.

“The public deserves a clear, honest picture of what’s happening. And that’s whether it’s good or bad, they need to know the truth. And that’s how we restore confidence,” Gov. Kathy Hochul said on NPR.

In its first daily update on the outbreak Tuesday evening, Hochul’s office reported that nearly 55,400 people have died of the coronavirus in New York based on death certificate data submitted to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

That’s up from about 43,400 that Cuomo reported to the public as of Monday, his last day in office. The Democrat who was once widely acclaimed for his leadership during the COVID-19 outbreak resigned in the face of an impeachment drive after being accused of sexually harassing at least 11 women, allegations he disputed.

Source: AP News

OnlyFans Suspends Planned Ban on Sexually Explicit Content

By 2022, the platform is expected to reach $2.5 billion in revenue and $12.5 billion in total sales to creators

OnlyFans has suspended its plan to ban sexually explicit content, the platform announced on Wednesday.  

In a tweet, the platform said, “Thank you to everyone for making your voices heard. We have secured assurances necessary to support our diverse creator community and have suspended the planned October 1 policy change.” 

This announcement comes just days after the London-based company said it would ban sexually explicit content. OnlyFans’ original statement said, “Effective 1 October, 2021, OnlyFans will prohibit the posting of any content containing sexually-explicit conduct. In order to ensure long-term sustainability of the platform, and to continue to host an inclusive community of creators and fans, we must evolve our content guidelines. Creators will continue to be allowed to post content containing nudity as long as it is consistent with our Acceptable Use Policy.”  

Source: BNC

Baltimore Citywide Gun Seizures Continue

Baltimore Police Officers continue their efforts to arrest the individuals responsible for violence in Baltimore City. In less than 48 hours, officers recovered these illegal drugs and weapons and made several arrests.

Remember, you can report illegal activity in your neighborhood by calling 911 or Metro Crime Stoppers at 1-866-7Lockup.

Callers can remain anonymous.

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