Official says more than 30 US citizens or permanent residents were invited to board an evacuation flight on Thursday
The United States on Thursday praised the Taliban as business-like and cooperative in facilitating the first evacuation of Americans from Afghanistan since the US military withdrawal.
The departure from Kabul to Doha on a chartered Qatar Airways flight on Thursday marked “a positive first step” with the new regime, National Security Council spokesperson Emily Horne said.
“The Taliban have been cooperative in facilitating the departure of American citizens and lawful permanent residents on charter flights from HKIA,” she said in a statement, referring to Kabul’s Hamid Karzai International Airport.
“They have shown flexibility, and they have been business-like and professional in our dealings with them in this effort.”
More than 30 US citizens or permanent residents were invited to board the flight but US officials are verifying how many ultimately boarded, State Department spokesman Ned Price said.
“Of course, we would like to see more such flights,” Price said.
“We have heard public statements that more, in fact, may be forthcoming.”
The United States had previously said that a little more than 100 Americans were believed to remain in Afghanistan after President Joe Biden closed the 20-year military mission at the end of August.
Price said that most Americans remaining had connections in Afghanistan and had to make “wrenching” decisions on whether to leave — and did not need to decide now.
“This opportunity doesn’t expire if they turn it down one day, if they change their mind the next or even next year,” Price said.
A round-the-clock airlift in the final two weeks of the war shuttled more than 123,000 people, including most of Americans in Afghanistan.
Horne said the United States “facilitated” Thursday’s departure of Americans from Afghanistan and thanked Qatar for its role in the effort.
“We have been working intensely” to ensure the safe departure, and the flight is the result of “careful and hard diplomacy and engagement,” she said.
The flight comes two days after Secretary of State Antony Blinken visited Qatar, the transit point for around half of the people airlifted from Afghanistan.
Biden and his administration have come under fierce criticism for having left Americans at the mercy of the Taliban.
Representative Mike Waltz and Senator Lindsey Graham, both fierce Republican critics of the withdrawal, welcomed the Qatari flight.
But they added in a joint statement that “it was inexcusable that the Biden administration allowed a terrorist regime to dictate the terms of allowing Americans to leave on their own with their families”.
“The United States does not take orders from terrorists,” they said.
Timelapse: How Expo 2020 site rose from the desert
40-second clip shows 8-year work that went into creating the incredible Expo architecture. A stunning timelapse video shows the sheer scale of work that went into realising the UAE’s Expo 2020 dream. With just five days to go, Expo 2020 Dubai shared the video that captures the eight years of dedication that helped create the…
40-second clip shows 8-year work that went into creating the incredible Expo architecture.
A stunning timelapse video shows the sheer scale of work that went into realising the UAE’s Expo 2020 dream.
With just five days to go, Expo 2020 Dubai shared the video that captures the eight years of dedication that helped create the incredible architecture for the region’s first world fair.
Sheikh Mohammed visits Expo 2020 operations room
The 40-second video begins with an overhead shot of an empty desert land adjacent to Al Maktoum International Airport in Dubai South. It quickly shapes into the iconic site it is today, with the desert terrain coming alive with the Expo’s iconic architecture.
The timelapse video shows how the mega event’s Al Wasl Dome rose up from the desert sands. It also captures the way trees were planted at the venue.
5 . !#2020 # #5__Eight years of dedication and now we are only 5 days away to welcoming the world. This is our time!#Expo2020 #Dubai #5DaysToGo pic.twitter.com/RGJMb7ayMk— Expo 2020 Dubai (@expo2020dubai) September 26, 2021
It ends with a reminder to the world: The greatest show begins in five days.
Earlier this month, a then-and-now photo collage of the UAE Vice-President at the Expo 2020 Dubai site in 2016 and 2021 had illustrated how the country transformed a dream into reality in five years.
The first half of the collage shows His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, at the Expo site in 2016. The site was nothing but a desert then.
Fast-forward to September 1, 2021 – when the Dubai Ruler visited the site to kickstart the one-month countdown to the mega event – and you see him atop the 55-metre ‘Garden in the Sky’ observation tower, taking in 360-degree views of all that Expo has to offer.
Man dies after guzzling 1.5 litres of carbonated drink in 10 mins
A Chinese man has reportedly died after gulping down a 1.5 litre soft drink bottle in 10 minutes to help him cool off on a hot day. The 22-year-old’s rapid consumption of the fizzy beverage led to a fatal build-up of gas inside his body. Six hours after consumption, he was forced to go to…
A Chinese man has reportedly died after gulping down a 1.5 litre soft drink bottle in 10 minutes to help him cool off on a hot day.
The 22-year-old’s rapid consumption of the fizzy beverage led to a fatal build-up of gas inside his body. Six hours after consumption, he was forced to go to Chaoyang Hospital in Beijing after experiencing severe pain and a swollen stomach, the Daily Mail reported.
Guzzling the carbonated drink so quickly caused lethal damage, according to doctors who detailed the case in the Clinics and Research in Hepatology and Gastroenterology journal.
The young man was believed to have no underlying health issues. However, tests conducted revealed an elevated heart rate, low blood pressure and rapid breathing.
A CT scan further showed that he had pneumatosis, which is an abnormal presence of gas in his portal vein that provides blood to the liver, as well as in his intestinal wall.
This, in turn, reportedly led to hepatic ischemia, also known as “shock liver”, a type of injury caused by low oxygen supply to the organ.
100 Audi A6s added to Dubai Police fleet
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Filed on September 26, 2021
They are equipped with the latest technologies
About 100 swanky Audi A6s have been added to the Dubai Police fleet.
A top officer said the high-end A6 45 TFSI cars would improve traffic police performance and help enhance road security.
Kunjithapatham Rajaram, CEO of Al Nabooda Automobiles, said the vehicles are “equipped with the latest technologies”.
The A6 features a 2.0 litre, 4-cylinder engine with 245 horsepower, 370 Nm of torque and an S-tronic automatic transmission.