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Daily News Digest – August 16, 2021

Good morning!

Here’s your Daily News for Monday, August 16.


1. Debacle: Chaos ensues as Americans flee Afghanistan

  • The videos are hard to watch. Throngs of Afghans have flooded the airport in Kabul, desperately trying to board airplanes in an attempt to flee the country as the Taliban takes back control 20 years after the American invasion.
  • The still above is from a video of a U.S. Air Force C-5 taxiing on the runway before taking off as Afghans cling to its wings and wheel wells. Subsequent video showed people falling from the aircraft in flight to their deaths.
  • Later at the airport, U.S. troops fired warning shots and erected razor wire fences as they struggled to manage the chaotic evacuation.
  • The Taliban swept into Kabul on Sunday, bringing a stunning end to a two-decade campaign in which the U.S. and its allies had tried to transform Afghanistan. The country’s Western-trained security forces collapsed or fled in the face of an insurgent offensive that tore through the country in just over a week, ahead of the planned withdrawal of the last American troops at the end of the month.
  • President Joe Biden and other top U.S. officials have been stunned by the pace of the Taliban’s nearly complete takeover of the country.
  • The speed of the Afghan government’s collapse and the ensuing chaos posed the most serious test of Biden as commander in chief, and he was the subject of withering criticism from Republicans who said that he had failed.
  • Biden campaigned as a seasoned expert in international relations and has spent months downplaying the prospect of an ascendant Taliban.
  • Just last month, Biden repeatedly said in a news conference that comparisons to the fall of Saigon in 1975 were unfounded.
  • “There’s going to be no circumstance where you see people being lifted off the roof of a embassy in the—of the United States from Afghanistan. It is not at all comparable,” Biden said.
  • Presidents Barack Obama and Donald Trump also yearned to leave Afghanistan, with Trump laying official groundwork for a transition. But both ultimately stood down against complete withdrawal in the face of resistance from military leaders and other political concerns.
  • Biden, on the other hand, has been steadfast in his refusal to change the Aug. 31 deadline, in part because of his belief that the American public is on his side.
  • Meanwhile, U.S. officials are increasingly concerned about the potential for the rise in terrorist threats against the U.S. as the situation in Afghanistan devolves.
  • Read more, see images and watch videos HERE.



2. Fred strengthens slightly as it approaches Gulf Coast

  • The National Hurricane Center said Fred regained its tropical storm status in the Gulf of Mexico Sunday.
  • Fred was forecast to move across the Gulf and reach the coast as early as this afternoon, forecasters said. They said people from Alabama to the central Florida Panhandle should monitor the system’s progress.
  • Fred’s maximum sustained winds stood at 50 mph Sunday night. The storm was located about 200 miles south of Panama City, Florida, and moving north-northwest at 9 mph.
  • Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey issued a statement Saturday saying her administration was monitoring the weather and “will be ready to act from the state level if needed.”
  • Dothan, the greater Wiregrass and East Alabama stand the biggest risk of damage from wind and flooding.
  • Read more HERE.


3. Inside Alabama Politics

A new edition of Inside Alabama Politics is out today.
In this issue:
  • State leaders are getting close on a prison plan. We have the deets;
  • General Fund, ETF revenues up, but budget leaders watching delta variant;
  • Trump rally begets opportunities, headaches;
  • ALDOT transfers road money to admin fund;
  • Field for HD 20 expands, but will Sanderford run?
  • Carnley makes it a race in SD 31;
  • Updated chart on who’s running and who’s not.
Read these stories and more HERE.
Not an ADN Insider? Or has your account lapsed? Subscribe today HERE. And remember a subscription is a legit campaign expense.



4. Georgia wins fresh ruling in water war with Florida, Alabama

  • A judge has ruled that a federal agency doesn’t have to revise its plans for how it operates dams along the Chattahoochee and Flint rivers, another win for Georgia in its struggles with Florida and Alabama over the water that flows into the Apalachicola River.
  • Environmental groups and the state of Alabama had sued the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in 2017, saying the agency’s plans held too much water in reservoirs in the Apalachicola-Chattahoochee-Flint basin and that it should release more for hydropower and wildlife.
  • It’s the second win for Georgia, after the U.S. Supreme Court rejected Florida’s effort this spring to cap how much water Georgia could use.
  • Read more HERE.


5. Pelosi takes step to quell moderates’ budget rebellion

  • House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is proposing a procedural vote this month that would set up future passage of two economic measures crucial to President Joe Biden’s domestic agenda, a move Democratic leaders hope will win votes from unhappy party moderates.
  • In a letter Sunday to Democratic lawmakers, Pelosi, D-Calif., suggested that the House will take a single vote that would clear an initial hurdle for both a budget resolution and a separate infrastructure bill. The budget blueprint would open the gate for Congress to later consider a separate, $3.5 trillion, 10-year bill for health, education and environment programs.
  • Nine centrist Democrats said Friday they would oppose the budget resolution until the House first approves a $1 trillion package of road, railway and other infrastructure projects. That compromise measure, which the Senate approved last week with bipartisan support, is the top priority for moderates, who want to bank a quick win by sending it to Biden for his signature.
  • Progressive Democrats’ No. 1 goal is approval of $3.5 trillion worth of spending boosts and tax cuts for health care, education, social safety net and climate change programs. Much of it would be paid for by raising taxes on wealthy individuals and large corporations.
  • Democratic moderates, including many from swing districts who face dicey prospects in next year’s elections, think that bill’s price tag is too high and are nervous that the GOP will pound them with campaign accusations of backing tax increases.
  • Read more HERE.





ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Chaos as thousands flee Afghanistan after Taliban takeover


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Fred strengthens slightly as it heads to Gulf coast


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Pelosi takes step to quell moderates’ budget rebellion


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Georgia wins fresh ruling in water war with Florida, Alabama


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Taliban takes Afghan capital


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – COVID-19 deaths slowly rising after case surge


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Ivey issues state of emergency as hospitals face COVID surge


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Huntsville now Alabama’s largest city, overtakes Birmingham


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Fred strengthens to tropical storm as it heads to US coast


AL.COM – Tropical Storm Fred gets stronger on path for Gulf Coast; new tropical depression forms near Bermuda


AL.COM – United Launch Alliance planning $20.3 million in equipment purchases at Alabama plant


AL.COM – Forever Wild buying 1,600 acres to add to Oak Mountain State Park


AL.COM – Judge: ‘Drug court’ gives people a second chance in Alabama


AL.COM – Fred expected to bring a lot of rain to parts of Alabama


AL.COM – These are Alabama’s 17 shrinking cities


AL.COM – Alabama no longer allows COVID concerns as reason for absentee ballot


AL.COM – Columnists Roy Johnson and Cameron Smith: Bipartisanship in the Alabama Legislature? It actually happened, quietly and effectively


Montgomery Advertiser – Mt. Zion A.M.E. Zion Church announces further renovations of historic building


Montgomery Advertiser – Elmore Bolling Foundation works to rescue and restore the old Lowndesboro School


Montgomery Advertiser – Elmore Bolling Foundations looks to restore historic Lowndsboro School


Decatur Daily – Decatur City Schools mandates masks, Hartselle City requires them on buses


Decatur Daily – Authority prepares to renovate Westgate community center and apartments


Decatur Daily – ULA planning $20.3 million in equipment purchases


Times Daily – Open Mic Youth Forum planned for Tuesday


Times Daily – New medical profile system should help Colbert County 911 with calls


Times Daily – ICUs filling up fast with COVID-19 patients at Shoals hospitals


Anniston Star – Vintage vehicles dress up parking lot at senior living center


Anniston Star – Magadia speaks factually about COVID


WBRC Fox 6 Birmingham – CDC strongly encourages expectant mothers to get COVID vaccine


WBRC Fox 6 Birmingham – How do booster shots work?


WBRC Fox 6 Birmingham – Alabama facility expands efforts to help survivors of human trafficking


Tuscaloosa News – New operating hours announced for Tuscaloosa Public Library branches


Tuscaloosa News – Daughter of legendary Tuscaloosa News photographer makes her own artistic mark


Tuscaloosa News – Track the 2021 Atlantic hurricane season, including forecasts and storm names list

YellowHammer News – Gov. Kay Ivey issues ‘limited, narrowly-focused’ state of emergency in response to rise in COVID-19 cases


YellowHammer News – U.S. Rep. Mike Rogers presses Biden for plan on worsening Afghanistan situation


Gadsden Times – Etowah County Rural Transportation to provide free rides for vaccinations


Gadsden Times – Two-vehicle crash near Guntersville claims life of Grant man


Gadsden Times – MeadowBrook members tour Glacier National Park


Dothan Eagle – Spain interior minister: child migrants ‘wanted to go home’


Dothan Eagle – Concerns over US terror threats rising as Taliban hold grows


Dothan Eagle – Detainee says China has secret jail in Dubai, holds Uyghurs


Opelika-Auburn News – 3 tropical systems impacting US, Caribbean and Bermuda


Opelika-Auburn News – Concerns over US terror threats rising as Taliban hold grows


Opelika-Auburn News – Global shares slip amid pandemic, Afghanistan worries


WSFA Montgomery – Fred brings rain, wind, spin-up tornado risk for some


WSFA Montgomery – Fred brings rain, some wind to Alabama


WSFA Montgomery – Candlelight vigil held in memory of Shannon Paulk


WAFF Huntsville – Local doctor talks delta variant concerns


WAFF Huntsville – Man fatally injured in two-vehicle crash in Marshall County


WAFF Huntsville – VIDEO: Man jumps to safety from burning lift in Oxford


WKRG Mobile – Biden team surprised by rapid Taliban gains in Afghanistan


WKRG Mobile – University of Florida reverses, to have in-person classes


WKRG Mobile – California fire threatens homes as blazes burn across West


WTVY Dothan – DCS Changes decision; will close for Fred


WTVY Dothan – Holmes County Schools to close Monday due to severe weather threat


WTVY Dothan – 2 dead, 1 injured in separate overnight Troy shootings


WASHINGTON POST – Reports of several dead, chaos at Kabul airport amid scramble to flee Taliban


WASHINGTON POST – Defiant and defensive, a president known for empathy takes a cold-eyed approach to Afghanistan debacle


WASHINGTON POST – International human rights organizations scramble to get local allies out of Afghanistan


NEW YORK TIMES – Afghanistan Live Updates: Fear Spreads in Kabul as Taliban Take Charge


NEW YORK TIMES – ‘I’m the Only Surgeon’: After Haiti Quake, Thousands Seek Scarce Care


NEW YORK TIMES – Tropical Depression Grace Threatens Haiti as It Churns Across Caribbean


WALL STREET JOURNAL – ‘Saigon on Steroids’: The Desperate Rush to Flee Afghanistan


WALL STREET JOURNAL – Afghanistan Government Collapses as Taliban Take Kabul


WALL STREET JOURNAL – Afghanistan Takeover by Taliban Worries Governments in the Region, Europe That Chaos Will Spread



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