President Joe Biden met with the families of service members killed in last week’s terror attack in Kabul, Afghanistan, over the weekend, but some of the attendees report that the meetings did not go as planned. The Washington Post reported on the meetings, noting that the president “paid his respects to the 13 Americans killed in last week’s suicide bombing in Afghanistan as his military leaders tried to avert more carnage in the final days of a chaotic withdrawal from the country, carrying out a strike on a vehicle in Kabul that officials said posed a terrorist threat.” Biden and his wife, Dr. Jill Biden, were present at Dover Air Force Base for the “dignified transfer” of the deceased service members bodies’, “including the family of Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Rylee McCollum,” who left behind his wife, who is due to give birth within the next few weeks.
Misfortune & Tragedy
Italian coastguard vessels have rescued 539 migrants from a fishing boat drifting off the island of Lampedusa. The rescue on Saturday delivered one of the largest numbers of migrants to the Italian island in a single day. Women and children were among those on board. Some of the migrants — who had been travelling across the Mediterranean Sea from Libya — reportedly displayed signs of violence. Italian prosecutors have opened an inquiry into what may have happened. A doctor from the humanitarian group MSF (Doctors Without Borders), Alida Serrachieri, said a number of the migrants appeared to have been physically assaulted in Libya while waiting for a boat to transport them to Europe. Investigators are looking at the possibility that the migrants may have been falsely imprisoned in Libya, local media report.
Chance to escape Taliban rule appears to evaporate with Canadian airlift suspended, deadly blasts… The Canadian government is now telling its citizens to stay away from the airport until further notice. Just how many Canadians — and those who applied to come to Canada — remain stranded is unknown. CBC News spoke with two of them Thursday, including the man with the five children. Another, a woman living within earshot of the airport, said she’s feeling “desperate” since learning she won’t be boarding a plane to come home anytime soon. “I do feel angry,” said the woman, a Canadian citizen, who also asked not to be identified. She had travelled to Afghanistan earlier this year to be married, told CBC News she could hear Thursday’s explosion from where she’s staying. “I don’t know if you can hear the gunfire, it’s still on,” she said.
Police Lieutenant Michael Byrd, a 28-year veteran of the U.S. Capitol Police Department, has publicly come forward as the man who fatally shot Ashli Babbitt, the election certification protester who was killed after trying to enter the Speaker’s Lobby during the January 6 riot. During an interview, which aired late Thursday, Byrd told NBC News that it was his job to protect the lawmakers and staff in the area — of whom there were about 60 to 80 people — and that he believes that he made the right decision. “I followed my training, and I spent countless years preparing for such a moment. You ultimately hope that moment never occurs, but you prepare as best you can. I know that day I saved countless lives,” said Byrd. “I know members of Congress, as well as my fellow officers and staff, were in jeopardy and in serious danger, and that’s my job.”
What may be one of Ukraine’s largest Stalin-era mass graves has been identified by researchers. The remains of between 5,000 and 8,000 people were found in 29 graves in the southern city of Odessa. The site, believed to date back to the late 1930s, was uncovered during exploration works for a planned expansion of an airport. Hundreds of thousands of Ukrainians are believed to have died during Joseph Stalin’s rule of the Soviet Union. Sergiy Gutsalyuk, the head of the regional branch of Ukraine’s National Memory Institute, told AFP that the victims were likely to have been killed by the Soviet secret police unit during the late 1930s. However, he said it would not be possible to identify the victims as any records were held in Russia.
An Indian drug user suffered cataclysmic organ failure and died after skipping the use of a condom in favour of a high-powered epoxy resin while having sex. Cops in India say 25-year-old Salman Mirza was stricken in mid-carnal caper with an ex-girlfriend and his condition deteriorated. “They used the adhesive to avoid pregnancy,” a local investigator told The Times of India of the rueful rubber incident. The tragedy occurred June 22 at a hotel in Ahmedabad, Gujarat. Mirza and his unnamed ex were captured on CCTV entering the hot sheet hotel in the Juhapura neighbourhood of Ahmedabad. “Several witnesses said that Mirza, along with his former fiancee, both of whom were addicted to drugs, had gone to a hotel in Juhapura,” cops told The Times. “There, they applied an epoxy adhesive on his private parts as they were not carrying any protection.”