NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Hurricane Ida knocked out power to all of New Orleans and inundated coastal Louisiana communities on a deadly path through the Gulf Coast that was still unfolding Monday, promising more destruction. The heavy rain and storm surge has already had a catastrophic impact along the southeast coast of Louisiana, and life-threatening floods along rivers was continuing well inland as torrential rain kept falling, forecast to dump as much as two feet in places as Ida’s center moved over Mississippi. Ida made landfall on the same day 16 years earlier that Hurricane Katrina ravaged Louisiana and Mississippi, and its 150 mph (230 kph) winds tied it for the fifth-strongest hurricane to ever hit the mainland.
KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — Rocket fire apparently targeting Kabul’s international airport struck a nearby neighborhood on Monday, the eve of the deadline for American troops to withdraw from the country’s longest war after the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan. It wasn’t immediately clear if anyone was hurt. The rockets did not halt the steady stream of U.S. military C-17 cargo jets taking off and landing at Hamid Karzai International Airport in the Afghan capital. No group immediately claimed responsibility for the attack. Last week, the Islamic State group launched a devastating suicide bombing at one of the airport gates that killed at least 169 Afghans and 13 U.S.
WASHINGTON (AP) — The United States has the capacity to evacuate the approximately 300 U.S. citizens remaining in Afghanistan who want to leave before President Joe Biden’s Tuesday deadline, senior administration officials said, as rocket fire in Kabul and another U.S. drone strike against suspected Islamic State militants underscored the grave threat in the war’s final days. “This is the most dangerous time in an already extraordinarily dangerous mission these last couple of days,” America’s top diplomat, Secretary of State Antony Blinken, said Sunday not long before confirmation of the drone strike in Kabul. The steady stream of U.S. military jets taking off and landing at Hamid Karzai International Airport in Afghanistan’s capital continued Monday even after rocket fire targeted the airport.
SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif. (AP) — Fire officials ordered more evacuations around the Tahoe Basin as a two-week old blaze encroached on the threatened mountain towns surrounding glimmering Lake Tahoe. By nightfall, all residents on the California side of the Lake Tahoe Basin were warned to evacuate the region, after fire officials had stressed for days that protecting the area was their top firefighting priority. “Today’s been a rough day and there’s no bones about it,” Jeff Marsoleis, forest supervisor for El Dorado National Forest, said Sunday evening. A few days ago, he thought crews could halt the Caldor Fire’s eastern progress, but “today it let loose.” Flames churned through mountains just a few miles southwest of the Tahoe Basin, where thick smoke sent tourists packing at a time when summer vacations would usually be in full swing ahead of the Labor Day weekend.
BRUSSELS (AP) — The European Union plans to recommend that its member states reinstate restrictions on tourists from the U.S. because of rising coronavirus infection levels in the country, EU diplomats said Monday. A decision to remove the U.S. from a safe list of countries for nonessential travel would reverse advice from June, when the 27-nation bloc recommended lifting restrictions on U.S. travelers before the summer tourism season. The guidance could come as early as this week, according to the EU diplomats. They spoke on condition of anonymity because the review process was still ongoing. Any decision would be nonbinding, however.
DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Qatar played an outsized role in U.S. efforts to evacuate tens of thousands of people from Afghanistan. Now the tiny Gulf Arab state is being asked to help shape what is next for Afghanistan because of its ties with both Washington and the Taliban, who are in charge in Kabul. Qatar will be among global heavyweights on Monday when U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken hosts a virtual meeting to discuss a coordinated approach for the days ahead, as the U.S. completes its withdrawal from Afghanistan following the Taliban takeover of the country. The meeting will also include Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom, Turkey, the European Union and NATO.
SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — North Korea appears to have restarted the operation of its main nuclear reactor used to produce weapons fuels, the U.N. atomic agency said, as the North openly threatens to enlarge its nuclear arsenal amid long-dormant nuclear diplomacy with the United States. The annual report by the International Atomic Energy Agency refers to a 5-megawatt reactor at the North’s main nuclear complex in Yongbyon, north of Pyongyang. The reactor produces plutonium, one of the two key ingredients used to build nuclear weapons along with highly enriched uranium. “Since early July 2021, there have been indications, including the discharge of cooling water, consistent with the operation of the reactor,” said the IAEA report dated Friday.
NAVAL STATION GUANTANAMO BAY, Cuba (AP) — Three prisoners at the Guantanamo Bay detention center are expected to get their first day in court after being held for 18 years in connection with the deadly 2002 Bali nightclub bombings and other plots in Southeast Asia. Indonesian prisoner Encep Nurjaman, known as Hambali, and two Malaysians are to be arraigned Monday before a military commission on charges that include murder, conspiracy and terrorism. It is merely the first step in what could be a long legal journey for a case that involves evidence tainted by CIA torture, the same issue that is largely responsible for causing other war crimes cases to languish for years at Guantanamo.