1 Blinken Admits Taliban Is Blocking Charter Flights Carrying Americans
Ever since American troops pulled out of Afghanistan August 31st, much has been made of the Americans – and their allies – left behind. At last check, there are at least 100 Americans still in the country...and an unknown number of them have been trapped on the tarmac at Kabul Airport...because the Taliban won’t let them leave. Well, that’s been a suggestion that the White House has denied...until now. Speaking from Germany, Secretary of State Antony Blinken has now admitted that Taliban is blocking charter flights carrying Americans from Afghanistan. Talking with reporters, Blinken said the U.S. has made it clear to Taliban leaders that the flights "need to be able to leave." As he describes it, the Taliban claims passengers don’t have appropriate documentation – he also noted that “there are limits” to what the United States can do without putting boots on the ground.
2 Tropical Storm Mindy Makes Landfall In Florida
Tropical Storm Mindy made landfall overnight. The National Hurricane Center reports the storm landed in St. Vincent, Florida bringing 45 to 55 mile-per-hour winds. While the winds around believed to be able to cause much damage, rain is expected to cause lots of problems as Mindy moves up the Atlantic coast. Don’t forget, rain in the region is only increasing the misery for those affected by Hurricane Ida. While Mindy has caused about 15-thousand power outages already, the lights are still out for about 250-thousand in Louisiana. On a related note, the cost of repairing storm damage from Hurricane Ida could hit 95-billion dollars. That's the word from AccuWeather, whose considering property damages, the impact of lost work, as well as a decrease in tourism to affected areas. If the estimate bears out, it would make Ida the seventh costliest hurricane in American history.
3 Combined Flu/COVID Vaccine Being Tested
The World Health Organization is saying COVID-19 is "here to stay" and "will evolve like influenza pandemic viruses." Fresh on the heels of that declaration comes word that the Maryland-based company Novavax is testing a combined COVID-19 and flu vaccine. Novavax says the study will take place in Australia and will involve more than 600 healthy adults between 50- and 70-years-old. Those taking part in the study had to meet one of two qualifications: they must either be fully vaccinated for at least eight weeks or had a previous positive test. Speaking of which, the CDC says 75% of adults in the U.S. have now received at least one shot of a COVID-19 vaccine – while 64% are fully vaccinated. Vaccines, whether from Pfizer, Moderna or Johnson & Johnson, are available for free for everyone over the age of 12.