Last U.S. Troops Leave Kabul, Ardern’s Lockdown, Nike’s Mental Health Gesture
Welcome to Tuesday, where the final U.S. soldiers have left Afghanistan, a snap lockdown in New Zealand looks to be working and Nike employees get a "mental-health week." We also visit the French capital to hear what local residents really think about the filming of the Netflix show Emily in Paris in their chic neighborhood.
• Taliban take over Kabul airport after last U.S. forces leave: The final U.S. troops left Afghanistan over night after 20 years of military presence, ending a chaotic and deadly withdrawal. The Taliban took control of the airport at dawn with celebratory gunfire. "America's longest war" cost some $2 trillion and claimed the lives of 2,500 U.S. soldiers and an estimated 240,000 Afghans.
• COVID-19 update: New COVID cases in New Zealand dropped for the second day in a row, suggesting that the strict snap lockdown imposed by Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern is working. Japan, which halted 2 million Moderna vaccines due to contamination, said it was likely these contaminants come from needles which might have been incorrectly inserted into the vials, breaking off bits of the rubber stopper.
• Hurricane Ida knocks out power for more than 1 million: Hurricane Ida has left more than 1 million homes and businesses without power since making landfall in Louisiana on Sunday night. At least two people were killed but authorities expect the toll to rise, as they search outlying areas with helicopters and airboats.
• Eradication of leaded petrol: According to the UN Environment Programme, highly polluting leaded petrol is now eradicated from the world as no country remains that uses it for cars and trucks. The toxic fuel has contaminated air, soil and water for almost a century and is known for causing heart disease, cancer, and stroke.
• Nike mental health week: As more and more companies are preparing for people returning to the office, staff at Nike's corporate headquarters in Oregon have been given a week off to support their mental health, before coming back to the office in September. LinkedIn and dating app Bumble have made similar gestures.
• Elizabeth Holmes trial begins: The first phase of the trial of Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes will start today with a jury selection scheduled in California. Holmes' now-defunct medical start-up is charged with six counts of fraud and she faces up to 20 years in prison.
• Berlin university canteens go almost meat-free: Students in the German capital will have to swap their currywurst and schnitzels for a hearty vegetarian soup option. The 34 outlets catering to students at four universities have decided to only offer a single meat option per week due to an increasing demand for climate-friendly offers.
Portuguese daily Jornal I reports on the return of a bill to end bullfighting in Portugal, three years after a similar proposed ban was rejected by the country's lawmakers. The deputy who put the bill forward argues bullfighting is already declining in Portugal and says the ban is motivated by a "growing recognition of animal rights."
Emily out of Paris: French quartier is sick of Netflix show
The first season of the Netflix show Emily in Paris was a boon for some businesses in the French capital's 5th arrondissement, where it takes place. But with production returning for Season Two, many local residents are exasperated, reports Robin Richardot in French daily Le Monde.
😠 Since May 24, the production of Emily in Paris has occupied the Parisian Place de l'Estrapade (already used for the first season, in August 2019) a few days a month. And among residents, annoyance swells with each return trip. Laurence, who is 50, has lived here for 37 years, between the restaurant Terra Nova and the bakery, which are used as backdrops for the series. "There is no compensation for the inhabitants who can no longer park, nor go out or return home freely," says Laurence.
🎥 Laurence says that people here are used to the presence of film crews. "But with Emily in Paris, we discovered the arrogance of blockbusters. Because they pay the shopkeepers and the parking, they think they have bought the whole neighborhood." Recently, this area of the 5th arrondissement also became the set of La Page Blanche, an adaptation of the comic strip by Boulet and Pénélope Bagieu. "But they're at least more discreet than the American productions," says Stéphane, a hairdresser on rue de l'Estrapade.
💰 On the other hand, the shopkeepers are the most satisfied. Tonka, a baker whose establishment appears in the series, understands that residents are frustrated, but doesn't hide the fact that it's been good for business. "I make my usual turnover thanks to the production's compensation without having to produce a single baguette," she says. The bakery also benefits from the free marketing. Tonka still can't believe it: "It's unimaginable how many people it brought in. I don't know how much I would have had to spend to get such worldwide publicity."
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The war in Ethiopia's northern Tigray region has forced over 1.42 million students out of school, according to Education Minister Getahun Mekuria, adding that more than 7,000 schools have been damaged. The Ethiopian government and the Tigray People's Liberation Front have been fighting since November 2020, in a conflict that has killed thousands and displaced an estimated 400,000.
Sexual consent at 14, at 16 you can go out to work, but you have to be 18 to play games. This is really a joke.
— An anonymous Chinese gamer on China's Twitter-like Weibo responds to the new rules imposed by the State that limit the gaming times to just three hours a week. Authorities argued that the restrictions are necessary to stop the growing gaming addition but investors are worried about the long-term impact on the industry.
✍️ Newsletter by Meike Eijsberg and Anne-Sophie Goninet