Caribbean Broadcasting Corporation

The most credible news source in Barbados

September 1, 2021

Here is your look at some of the top stories making news around the world.

Texas law

A controversial Texas law that bans abortions at six weeks is now in effect after the Supreme Court and a federal appeals court failed to act.

President Biden is defending his decision to end the war in Afghanistan and the chaotic way that the withdrawal of US troops was executed. In a speech Tuesday, Biden argued that the US faced a choice “between leaving and escalating” and said that the era of US nation-building was over. The Taliban, meanwhile, declared victory over the US from the tarmac of Kabul’s airport and videos showed them inspecting US military equipment left behind. It’s unclear what comes next for Afghanistan and how the Taliban will govern the country, and there are still questions around evacuating the Americans who remain in Afghanistan and the Afghan allies who want to leave.

Millions of Gulf Coast residents who survived Hurricane Ida’s devastating winds and rain now face a new set of challenges. Widespread power outages in Louisiana are expected to last for weeks as intense heat moves into the region. At the same time, critical supplies such as water, groceries and gasoline have been depleted, leading to long lines at the gas stations that still manage to have fuel. The events of the last few days call for a serious examination of the nation’s power grid, writes CNN’s Zachary B. Wolf. In the meantime, however, Ida continues to move north — meaning that more states will soon feel its impact.

Two senior leaders in the FDA’s vaccine review office are stepping down. It’s unclear why they are leaving, but their departures spark questions about whether it would affect the agency’s ongoing decisions around Covid-19 vaccine approvals, authorizations for children and booster shots. An FDA spokesperson said the agency is confident in the expertise and ability of its staff “to continue our critical public health work, including evaluating COVID-19 vaccines.” The US is now surpassing an average of 160,000 new daily cases of Covid-19, with unvaccinated people making up a bulk of hospitalizations. That surge is prompting the CDC to ask unvaccinated Americans not to travel during the Labor Day weekend. On the other side of the world, the Australian state of Victoria is extending lockdown restrictions for three more weeks as Covid-19 cases continue to rise.

Western wildfires
Tens of thousands of people in California and Nevada have either evacuated or been ordered to do so as the Caldor Fire rages closer to the Lake Tahoe Basin. The fire, which has burned nearly 200,000 acres so far, has destroyed hundreds of homes and now threatens more than 34,000 structures. It’s being fueled by dangerously dry conditions as California undergoes an extreme drought — another disaster brought on by climate change. The Caldor Fire is now California’s 17th largest wildfire on record.

An oil spill the size of New York City is growing and spreading across the Mediterranean Sea, and could potentially reach the island of Cyprus today. The spill originated from Syria’s largest oil refinery, and officials said last week that a tank with 15,000 tons of fuel had been leaking since August 23. Locals say much of Syria’s coastal areas have been polluted, threatening the marine ecosystem and making life harder for those who live there. This is the second major oil spill in the eastern Mediterranean this year.

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