• Wed. Dec 1st, 2021

    Your Wednesday Briefing


    Aug 25, 2021

    U.S. on track to leave Afghanistan by Aug. 31.

    Melina Delkic


    Afghans outside the airport in Kabul.
    Credit…Victor J. Blue for The New York Times

    President Biden said at the White House that the U.S. was on track for an Aug. 31 departure from Afghanistan, saying he had spoken to military leaders so they would be prepared to “adjust that timetable, should that become necessary.”

    Earlier on Tuesday, he told world leaders that the 6,000 troops in Kabul now could begin departures this week or weekend to meet the deadline. The longer the troops wait, Biden said, the greater the risk of a terrorist attack.

    Some leaders had hoped Washington would extend the timeline. U.S. lawmakers from both parties have been urging Biden to do so. He had previously suggested that it was possible, but the Taliban warned of “consequences.”

    The pace of evacuations has accelerated greatly despite the chaos and desperation outside the Kabul airport, and the U.S. has begun withdrawing from its presence there. The Taliban announced that they would block Afghans from traveling to the airport.


    Credit…The New York Times

    The U.S. has a much higher share of older adults without full vaccine protection than many other wealthy countries, and it has made the Delta variant wave deadlier.

    Though more and more younger, unvaccinated adults are going to hospitals, the vast majority of people dying from Covid are older and unvaccinated. Low vaccination rates among older people in Arkansas, Florida, Idaho, Louisiana and Nevada have coincided with surging rates of hospitalization and death. By contrast, unvaccinated seniors in Britain, Spain and Canada are relatively rare.


    Credit…Amit Elkayam for The New York Times

    In an interview with The Times before a visit to Washington, Prime Minister Naftali Bennett of Israel said he opposed any U.S.-led attempts to reinstate the nuclear deal with Iran and would continue Israel’s covert attacks on Iran’s nuclear program.

    Bennett also ruled out peace talks with the Palestinians and said he would expand West Bank settlements, a policy Biden opposes. He declined to back American plans to reopen a consulate for Palestinians in Jerusalem.

    His statements, which align with his predecessor, Benjamin Netanyahu, set up a potentially awkward dynamic with Biden. The two are set to meet at the White House on Thursday. Bennett said that he would seek common ground and that he planned to arrive in Washington with a new approach to containing Iran’s nuclear program.

    Quotable: “What we need to do, and what we are doing, is forming a regional coalition of reasonable Arab countries, together with us, that will fend off and block this expansion and this desire for domination” by Iran, Bennett said.

    News From Europe


    Credit…Arnd Wiegmann/Reuters


    Credit…Johan Ordonez/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images


    Credit…Elisabetta Baracchi/EPA, via Shutterstock

    As a 20-year-old American soldier fighting in World War II, Martin Adler took a photograph with three Italian children he had nearly fired upon after seeing movement and assuming they were German soldiers. Now 97, Adler, center, reunited with the siblings for the first time in an emotional meeting organized by his daughter.

    Lives Lived: Charlie Watts, whose drumming powered the Rolling Stones for 50 years, died at 80.

    Spike Lee’s new documentary series on HBO — “New York Epicenters: 9/11-2021½” — is a mournful and irreverent tribute to his city. It chronicles the Sept. 11 attacks and the pandemic through interviews with dozens of New Yorkers. “With 20 years coming up since 9/11, and with people often saying of New York during Covid, ‘This is the epicenter,’ it was natural,” Lee said of the subject matter.

    Some of the faces are familiar — Senator Chuck Schumer, Mayor Bill de Blasio, the actress Rosie Perez — but most of the story is told through health care workers, firefighters, activists and survivors. His team interviewed over 200 people for the series. “We just wanted to be as well-rounded as possible, a kaleidoscope of witnesses,” he said.

    In a Q. and A. with The Times, Lee also defended his decision to include Sept. 11 conspiracy theorists in the film: Viewers would “make up their own mind,” he said. “My approach is put the information in the movie and let people decide for themselves.”


    Credit…Bryan Gardner for The New York Times. Food Stylist: Barrett Washburne.