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‘We’ll make you pay’: Emotional Biden vows to ‘hunt down’ ISIS-K…

“US President Joe Biden promised on Thursday to hunt down and destroy the ISIS-K terrorists who killed 13 American service personnel and dozens of Afghans in a double suicide attack on Kabul airport. He made the retaliation threat last night as he joined Boris Johnson in vowing to continue the evacuation efforts despite a ‘continued’ risk of further bombings by the terrorist group, which is an enemy of the Taliban, who are in control of the country. The jihadist group, an off-shoot of the terrorist organisation Islamic State (IS), last night claimed responsibility for double bombing, which is believed to have killed at least 90 people and injured more than 150 others.” – Daily Mail

  • Scores die in Kabul attack – The Times
  • Brits ‘likely’ to be among dead – The Sun
  • Thirteen US troops and scores of Afghans killed in Kabul blasts – Daily Telegraph
  • Dozens killed in Kabul bombings – FT
  • Death toll in Kabul rises to 90 – Daily Express
  • British embassy left details of Afghan staff for Taliban to find – The Times
  • Atrocity offers a glimpse of the chaos to come in Afghanistan – The Guardian
  • Biden has ‘blood on his hands’ and his presidency will not recover – Daily Telegraph
  • Sky reporter feared for those left behind as he departed Kabul – Sky News
  • Biden snapped at reporter and lost his breath during speech – The Sun
Comment
>Today:

…as Johnson insists airlift will go on until ‘last possible moment’

“Britain will today push ahead with plans to evacuate hundreds of Afghan citizens and UK nationals who remain in Afghanistan despite terrorist attacks at the airport. Boris Johnson last night said the terror attacks are not going to “interrupt our progress”, and that the government will “keep going up until the last moment”. The last evacuation flights for civilians are expected to leave today, and the military is expected is also expected to begin leaving. A government source last night said that they think the number of Afghan support staff and British nationals who have been processed and are ready for evacuation stands in the “low hundreds”. – The Times

  • UK evacuation will ‘end in hours’ – Daily Mail
  • British forces in final stages of airport evacuation – Daily Telegraph
  • Hundreds of Britons offer to house refugees – The Guardian
  • Pontins sites could be used as temporary housing for Afghan refugees – Daily Telegraph
Comment

Isis-K are the new threat on Afghan horizon

“Military planners are warning that the chaos in Afghanistan could give rise to a separate and more extreme threat than even the Taliban, as the regional arm of Islamic State seeks to strengthen its position. Isis-K, or the Islamic State of Khorasan, is an affiliate of the group that overran large parts of Syria and Iraq to establish a so-called “caliphate”. Isis-K, established in eastern Afghanistan in 2015, is a sworn enemy of the Taliban and the two groups have clashed repeatedly. It was initially drawn largely from fighters of the Pakistani Taliban, not the Afghan group, but has raided the Afghan Taliban’s ranks too.” – The Times

  • Isis-K has struck a massive blow at its two main enemies – the West and the Taliban – Daily Telegraph

Defence secretary criticises dog rescuer’s attempt to ‘queue jump’

“Ben Wallace accused allies of Pen Farthing of bullying Ministry of Defence staff amid a row over the former Royal Marine’s plans to rescue 173 cats and dogs from Kabul. The defence secretary said Farthing was trying to “queue jump” and insisted that the government’s priority for the Afghan rescue mission was “people not pets”. Allies of Paul Farthing, known as Pen, said his animals were at risk of dehydration and could die in cages as they awaited evacuation in severe heat.” – The Times

Javid hails Covid jab for preventing 100,000 deaths

“The vaccination drive has prevented more than 100,000 Covid-19 deaths in England, according to the latest official estimates. Sajid Javid, the health secretary, described the new data as “phenomenal” and said it was a “testament to the UK’s vaccination programme”. Previous estimates had put the number of people saved by jabs at between 91,700 and 98,700 deaths. However, in its latest report, Public Health England (PHE) said the vaccination scheme had so far directly averted between 102,500 and 109,500 deaths in total. Nadhim Zahawi, the vaccines minister, said: “This is yet further proof the vaccines work — please get your jab if you haven’t already.” – The Times

Donor gave Johnson £53k to decorate flat

“Boris Johnson was given £53,000 by a Tory donor to pay for the renovation of his Downing Street flat, the Conservative Party’s annual accounts reveal. Lord Brownlow of Shurlock Row, 57, helped to pay for a lavish refurbishment of the apartment above No 11 after the prime minister exceeded his annual taxpayer-funded allowance of £30,000 for renovations. Johnson enlisted the services of Lulu Lytle, an eco-designer favoured by his wife, Carrie, to help redecorate the flat. The Conservatives’ accounts show that the party provided a “bridging loan” of £52,802 to the Cabinet Office to pay for the works after Brownlow’s donation. After details of the financial arrangement emerged in the press, Johnson reimbursed Brownlow and covered the costs himself.” – The Times

A wing ‘can be counted as new hospital’

“A ‘communications playbook’ issued by the government to local NHS trusts says that new wings at hospitals should be described as “a new hospital” as it strives to meet a manifesto pledge. The strategy was branded “dishonest spin” by Labour’s shadow health secretary after it was leaked to the Health Service Journal. In the 2019 election campaign the Conservatives pledged to build 40 hospitals over a decade. Together with eight existing schemes this would, the party said, be “the biggest hospital-building programme in a generation”. Last week Sajid Javid, the health secretary, described the Northern Centre for Cancer Care, the first of the 48 to open, as “a new hospital”. It is part of the Cumberland Infirmary in Carlisle.” – The Times

New Unite leader supports picketing of bosses’ homes

“The new general secretary of Unite is the architect of a controversial tactic used in industrial disputes that involves picketing employers’ family homes. Sharon Graham has spearheaded Unite’s “leverage” strategy, which has been used to target the children of company directors. Graham was the surprise victor in a leadership contest this week to succeed Len McCluskey, the veteran left-winger who ran Unite for ten years. She is the first woman to serve as the union’s general secretary. During her leadership campaign, Graham boasted about her use of leverage tactics and claimed she had a 100 per cent record in industrial disputes. She has previously described leverage as “driving back employers and putting them back in their box”. – The Times

Comment

Barnier to stand against Macron for French presidency

“Michel Barnier, the EU’s lead Brexit negotiator, has entered the race to become the conservative candidate in next year’s French presidential election. In television and press interviews, Barnier, 70, sought to cast himself as an experienced, down-to-earth politician capable of healing French wounds in a turbulent era. His self-portrait tried to underline his differences with President Macron, who is often viewed as aloof, divisive and unkeen to work with others”. – The Times

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