World Report (6-14 August): Taliban encircles Kabul ... Facebook says no to Anti-vax content...
The Taliban Encircles Kabul... Historic Wildfires in Southern Europe... Storm at BBC HQ and more...
- Taliban encircles Kabul after taking Afghanistan’s second city
The Taliban has captured Kandahar, Afghanistan’s second-largest city, and has begun encircling the capital Kabul, prompting Nato allies to convene a meeting in the wake of the US troop withdrawal. Pentagon warns capital at risk of becoming isolated after Taliban’s capture Kandahar.
The militia also captured Lashkar Gah in Helmand province after weeks of fierce fighting and now controls at least 14 of Afghanistan’s 34 provincial capitals. On Friday, four more cities had either fallen or were on the brink of being captured amid heavy fighting.
- Turkey, Greece and Italy Battle Historic Wildfires
In Southern Europe, Turkey and Greece have been hit particularly hard by wildfires this year, as extreme heat stoked the flames displacing thousands of people and burning tens of thousands of hectares of forest land.
The European Forest Fire Information System, shows the scale of this year’s fires in Turkey, Greece and Italy, as the area burned by wildfires through August 14 already outstrips the annual average of the past 13 years by a wide margin. Interestingly, Portugal and Spain, both at high risk of wildfires, have not been affected as badly this year.
- Anti-vaccine protesters storm BBC Headquarters
Anti-vaccine protesters rather than target the BBC’s News operation, which they hold responsible for promoting Covid-19 vaccines, gained access to Television Centre in west London, which is now predominantly rented by ITV to film its daytime shows such as Good Morning Britain and This Morning.
Many of the protesters outside the building appeared to be operating under the belief they were targeting a major BBC building connected to its news coverage, with live streams and promotional material for the event mentioning the building’s BBC links.
- Facebook removes anti-vax disinformation contents
Facebook has removed 65 Facebook accounts and 243 Instagram accounts which it says were involved in anti-vax disinformation campaigns operated from Russia. The company said the network of accounts targeted India, Latin America and the US.
They attempted to recruit influencers to spread false claims to undermine public confidence in particular Covid-19 vaccines, it added. The campaign used fake accounts, some of which Facebook says probably originated from account farms in Bangladesh and Pakistan.
- Marburg becomes the new “covid-19” nightmare
Guinea health officials have confirmed West Africa's first case of Marburg, a highly infectious disease in the same family as the virus that causes Ebola. The World Health Organization (WHO) said the virus needed to be "stopped in its tracks". Marburg virus disease is to people from fruit bats and spreads between humans through the transmission of bodily fluids.
Cases are extremely rare with the last major outbreak in Angola in 2005.It is a severe, often fatal illness with symptoms including headache, fever, muscle pains, vomiting blood and bleeding. No treatment yet exists for Marburg but doctors say drinking plenty of water and treating specific symptoms improves a patient's chances of survival.