tv CNN Newsroom Live CNN August 25, 2021 1:00am-2:01am PDT
biden says the u.s. military will exit afghanistan by the end of the month. while the taliban are warning afghans not to leave. a big win for u.s. house democrats as they push forward with the president's economic agenda. and devastating losses, cnn speaks to residents of a small town in tennessee destroyed by flash flooding . u.s. troops have only six more days left in afghanistan after the nearly 20 year mission there draws to a close. and the pentagon confirms several have already left the country. but tens of thousands of afghan citizens who helped the u.s. during the war may be left behind. ho
more than 70,000 people have been evacuated in the past ten days and about 5,000 more are at the airport waiting for flights out. we just got new video of the scene outside the airport from earlier today, and you can see huge crowds of people hoping to get inside as u.s. forces try to keep them out. but job says he won't keep troops there past the august 31 deadline. >> every day we're on the ground is another day we know that isis kfl k is seeking to target the airport. additionally thus far the taliban have been taking steps to work with us so we can get our people out. but it is a tenuous situation. we already had there gunfighting breakout. we run a serious risk of it breaking down as time goes on. >> about 4,000 american passport holders and their families have
been evacuated and the state department says it has contacted others. president biden has asked secretary of state antony blinken for a detailed report on how many americans remain in afghanistan. and president biden may be sticking to that august 31 deadline, but other g7 leaders are calling for the u.s. to leave troops in afghanistan until september 11th. they are also calling on the taliban to allow safe passage for all those wishing to leave the country after months end. >> number one condition we're setting at g7 is that they have got to guarantee right way through august 31st and beyond a safe passage for those who want to come out. some will say that they don't accept that and some i hope will
see the sense of that because the g7 has leverage, economic, diplomatic and political. >> in the meantime the taliban are not allowing the evacuation of anymore afghan citizens and they are blocking them from the road to the airport. a spokesman says afghans should return to their homes and won't face reprisals. >> translator: unfortunately the americans are continuing their previous policy, we call on the measures to americans to change their policy. they should not encourage people to leave the country. we have talented people, talented cadres of this country. they should not leave this country. they should work in their own specialist areas, they should 2409 go to those western countries where they will be working as laborers. >> the world bank's financial support for afghanistan is now on hold over doubts the taliban
will follow through on women's rights. and it is a country that relies heavily on financial aid. atika shubert is standing by in germany but we begin with anna co coren. as evacuations ramp up ahead of the loom ing, what is the lates? we keep saying the window is closing and from what i'm hearing the window has closed at least for the afghan allies, those being the people who worked united states, for organizations sponsored by the united states and let alone the afghan interpreters that worked for the u.s. military. there are tens of thousands of people who want to leave
afghanistan. i'm receiving messages from a handful of people, particularly women, some who worked for an organization sponsored by the u.s. embassy in kabul who said we thought we could get an siv, we were told we could get an siv and that clearly has not happened because of the rapid pace at which the country has fallen. and this is the message that i received in the last 20 minutes, she said we fear that they will start searching houses to find people like us. i don't ever feel safe at home. windows are closed, doors are locked. we're dying at home gradually. you know, these are people who are terrified for their lives. the only thing that they can now to is either wait hoping that their companies might be able to come up with some sort of
evacuation plan. but as we know 31st of august is less than a week away. the priority for the americans is to get u.s. citizens out as well as those troops. we know there is probably 5500 rooms left on the base. several hundred flew out yesterday. there are other coalition forces at the airport helping with those evacuations. we know there are afghan forces who have also been helping secure the perimeter of that airport who haven't surrendered to the taliban. the commandos who are there. so there are thousands of others. and plus the equipment. so the attention will now turn from evacuations to a drawdown so that they can meet that august 31 deadline. >> yeah, it is a nightmare scenario. and atika shubert is at the other end of the evacuation
flights in germany. there have been a number of challenges of course with so many people arriving there. how are things looking today? >> yeah, at least what we're starting to see now are these evacuation flights that bring evacuees from the air base to the u.s. we've seen four or five yesterday and overnight. several hundred people have gone. the problem is that there is really a bottleneck considering thousands have arrived here. so we have about 7,000 pipe living in a rapidly constructed tent city inside the air base. it is very basic conditions there. robust tents, but still tents nonetheless. there are portable toilets but no real showers. there is a washing area, three hot meals served a day. but for many of the evacuees, they don't want to be there, they want to be in the united states and many have been there for several days now. so they are quite tired, they are frustrated.
but at least what we're seeing now is those evacuation flights bringing them to the u.s. and the speed of those flights should ramp up especially now that commercial carriers are getting involved in this. we've seen delta air lines take off yesterday. other charter flights will also be involved. >> let's hope that that can move along smoothly. many thanks to you both for joining us. as thousands of people flee the taliban's control in afghanistan, experts warn of a massive humanitarian crisis. the world food program says up to 14 million afghans could face starvation as early as next month. and the u.n. refugee agency estimates 270,000 people have been forced to leave their homes this year bringing the number of displaced in the country to 3.5 million. the u.n. human rights council says it is gravely concerned and
is calling for a transparent and prompt investigation. evacuees have been seeing the humanitarian crisis firsthand. earlier anderson cooper spoke with an afghan american who was in kabul visiting family when the taliban took over. and she was able to leave the country with her mother and is back in the united states. she described the chaos outside kabul's airport. >> once we got closer, we got out of the car and went up to pass the taliban and they actually stopped us. they took a look at my mom's passport and saw that we were americans and they let us through. >> and then what happened? >> we kept walking and when we got to the top, we just see a whole crowd of people pushing and pulling each other and like all we could think about is this what we're going to have to go through? maybe if we tell them we are citizens we might be able go around all the people, but no, we had to fight just as much.
some people had no paperwork. and there was kids just crying. sorry, i'm getting emotional. they were just crying and fainting and people were all bloody and having strokes. probably something that i would never expect to see. >> some u.s. companies are moving to help people fleeing the taliban. verizon is waiving charges for calls to afghanistan for the next week and a half. charity arm of walmart is donating $1 million to three grooep groups giving aid. and the ceo of airbnb has pledged free housing for 20,000 afghan refugees. still to come, the democratic leadership in the house breaks a stalemate and pushes forward a $3.5 trillion budget plan. the details from capitol hill, next. plus, u.s. vice president kamala harris is in vietnam. we'll discuss the pledges she is
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. welcome back. a key step for house democrats looking to advance president biden's economic agenda. on tuesday they approved a $3.5 trillion budget resolution after reaching a compromise with house moderates. ryan nobles has the details from capitol hill. >> reporter: it is no doubt a big win for the house speaker nancy pelosi, a little more than 24 hours ago it looked like she didn't have the votes to get that framework for the big $3.5 trillion budget package to be passed. but ten moderates who were holding out demanding that they get a vote on the smaller $1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure package saying they weren't going to vote for the bigger package without a vote on the smaller package, they relented, this after many hours of negotiating between those moderates and the house speaker, they settled on a deal where pelosi agreed in writing that she will bring the bipartisan package up by
september 27th in exchange for that group voting for the budget resolution. now, that is just the overall framework that begins the process of building out that big $3.5 trillion package. it wasn't easy and it shows just how tenuous the situation is and how even something small could potentially derail the whole process. the house speaker able to hold things together, keep this dual track plan moving along the rails, but there is still a lot of work to be done before any of this is eventually passed. and then signed into law. ryan nobles, cnn, capitol hill. the u.s. house has just barely passed a bill that gives the federal government and racial minorities more power to block or challenge election rules they find discriminatory. but the bill faces strong opposition in the senate with most republicans against it. the john lewis voting rights advancement act was named after the civil rights icon and long
time georgia congressman who died last year. a new study from the u.s. cdc finds covid vaccines are less effective against the delta variant but they still reduce the risk by two-thirds. the study is in line with others showing the delta variant causes mostly minor infections among fully vaccinated people. vaccines are still highly effective for a protecting against severe cases, hospitalizations and death for all known variants. this comes as vaccinations are on the rise across the united states. the country is averaging more than 800,000 doses given out each day. and while that is an encouraging sign, health care systems remain under immense pressure. here in georgia the governor is deploying more than 100 national guard members to assist hospitals. in arkansas all the icu beds are lotted for covid patients are full and they make up nearly
half of all icu patients. meanwhile mississippi set a new record for covid-related fatalities. dr. fauci is pleading for unvaccinated people to do their part to help end the pandemic as quickly as possible. >> i would like to appeal to this country to the people in the country who are not vaccinated to realize that we have the capability among ourselves to essentially cut down the time frame to getting the end of this pandemic very, very clearly by just listening to everything you've heard on this press conference. get vaccinated and the time frame will be truncated dramatically. >> daily coronavirus death rates are at a record high in florida. the state accounted for about one in five covid deaths reported in the u.s. last week. that is according to johns hopkins university. to slow the spread among the young, more school districts are
defying governor ron desantis' ban on mask mandates. at least eight school districts are moving forward with requiring face coverings. and the governor's effort to block them appears to be growing more unpopular. a new poll found 60% of florida residents support requiring students, teachers and staff to wear masks in schools. but many parents are still highly opposed and making their voices heard. randi kaye has more on the escalating mask wars. >> they think that we'll give it up, but we're not. >> reporter: in lake county, florida, tempers flared over mask mandates. >> my kids, my choice. >> reporter: hundreds on both sides of the issue turned out to protest, even though masks are still optional in this district. the issue wasn't even on the school board's agenda, but that didn't stop parents from speaking out. >> i feel like the only way to
get control is to close it down for a month. >> shut up. >> reporter: in jacksonville, florida, more anger over masks. >> your job is to educate my child. that means reading, writing, math, a game dodge ball at pe would be great. but not a mask, not a medical decision, it is not your decision to put a medical device on my child. >> it seems like a no-brainer. universal mask mandate is the minimum that we can do to keep our children safe. >> reporter: after heated debate, the devalue county school board voted in favor of a 90 day mask mandate for all students. only those with a note from a licensed health care provider can opt out. in northern california, the mask debate prompted a 49-year-old father to allegedly assault a teacher in his child's school. he is now charged with three misdemeanors. >> there is a part of me that is not surprised but a part of me that is just shocked. i think emotions are really high right now. >> reporter: it happened at
sutter creek elementary on the first day of school. parents can opt out with a doctor's note. in williamson county tennessee outside nashville, parents clashed at a recent protest. >> we know who you are, we know who you are. we will find you. you will never be allowed in public again. >> reporter: it got so heated police stepped in. in the end, the board of ed approved a temporary mask requirement. and in pinellas county florida where masks are still optional, parents sounded off. >> it is our choice. we want to be our choice. i don't care if any of these people wear masks. i don't care if their kids wear masks. we're pulling our kids out. we don't want any of these decisions to be made for us. >> most masks do not cover the face properly to prevent covid-19. come on.
>> the speaker to follow. >> thank you. thank you. you're finished. you are finished. thank you. time is up. let's move on. next speaker. don't make me ask you to be removed. >> reporter: randi kaye, cnn, palm beach county, florida. as the u.s. grapples with its latest surge, global covid cases appear to be leveling off. the world health organization says more than 4.5 million cases were reported in the last week. about the same as the week before. but while some areas are seeing fewer new infections, others are facing their worst surges yet. in australia, a growing delta variant outbreak has sent daily caseloads soaring over the past week. infections are also climbing in
new zealand. u.s. vice president kamala harris is in hanoi, but her trip was delayed several hours because of a possible havana syndrome incident. on her rifle harris met with vietnam's president at the presidential palace and promised to take a strong stand against china's ambitions in the south china sea. she also met with the country's prime minister where she announced the u.s. is donating to vietnam an additional 1 million covid vaccine doses. kristie lu stout joins me with the latest on the vice president's visit. what more are you learning about this possible havana syndrome incident that delayed vice president's flight vietnam. >> regarding the havana syndrome incident, it is all very mysterious. we know it is an ailment of unknown origin. hundreds of u.s. officials have been inflicted by the sin doge over the years.
tuesday there was a three hour delay after the u.s. government said that there was a reported case of this syndrome in hanoi, but it was not a confirmed case. so it was decided for the u.s. vice president and her team to continue with their visit. today she has been conducting high level meetings with the leadership in vietnam, with the president, with the vice president as well as the prime minister. on the agenda, a whole array of items including climate change, including economic concerns like the global chip shortage. as well as security concerns. top of mind, the south china sea. and china's continued assertions of its sovereignty in that region. take a listen to this from the u.s. vice president. >> we will work closely with vietnam to uphold the rule based international order, including freedom of navigation, an issue that we take seriously. and including as it relates to the south china sea. we need to find ways to pressure
and raise the pressure frankly on beijing to abide by the united nations convention on the law of the sea. >> we have received a response from china to those comments by the u.s. vice president. the ministry of foreign affairs spokesperson saying china firmly opposes the u.s. of deploying maritime law enforcement forces, meddling in regional affairs and disturbing regional peace and stability. also on the agenda for kamala harris is the coronavirus pandemic. the united states announced that it will donate an additional 1 million doses, this time of the pfizer vaccine, to vietnam. also harris launched a regional office of the cdc or the centers for disease control, and this is the help that vietnam really needs right now. cases are rising, only 1.8% of the total population there has been inoculated. >> they need so many more and of course we have so many in the united states and a third of the
population not wanting to take them. it is very frustrating situation. kristie lu stout, many thanks. israeli prime minister is in the u.s. and will meet with president biden at the white house thursday. mr. bennett's top goals are to reaffirm the strong relationship between israel and the u.s. and trying to seek common ground with the biden administration on iran. according to an israeli official, mr. bennett wants to propose a new strategy to contain iran's nuclear ambitions that doesn't involve a return to the 2015 nuclear deal. time for evacuations is running out and the taliban have issued ominous warning. coming up, tensions at kabul airport with thousands still desperately waiting for a flight out. and former ambassador to the u.s. tells me what scares her the most about the loss of women's rights under the taliban. microban 24 doesn't just kill bacteria once, then stop. it keeps killing bacteria for 24 hours.
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we are currently on a pace to finish by august the 31st. the sooner we can finish the better. each day of operations brings added risk to our troops. but the completion by august 31 depends upon the taliban continuing to cooperate and allow access to the airport for those we are transporting out and no disruptions to our operations. >> president biden there standing by next tuesday's deadline to complete the u.s. troop withdrawal from afghanistan. several hundred troops did leave the country yesterday, but the pentagon says it won't affect the current mission.
the pace of the evacuations has ramped up with more than 21,000 people flown out from monday into tuesday. the pentagon said military flights were leaving kabul every 45 minutes. thousands of afghans are still hoping to get out, but for many just trying to reach the airport, an onlyminous warning m the taliban is raising concerns. sam kiley reports. >> reporter: afghans have been banned from fleeing their country on evacuation flights. taliban spokesman said the road that ends at the kabul airport has been blocked. foreigners can go through it but afghans are not allowed to take the road. this sudden announcement mines that thousands of people who have worked for the international coalition and others who fear persecution under the extremist movement are now trapped. and these evacuees may be among the last flown to safety. the taliban insists that there is no need to fear them. the spokesman went on afghans
are not allowed because the crowd in there would grow even bigger and it increases the risk of afghans losing their lives in stampedes, getting stuck in the crowd or being stepped on. the number of afghans crowding here are down because the numbers getting out have been going up. on this day, 9,000 people were put on flights by midday. in the day before, more than 21,000 were flown to multiple countries by an international coalition. the pace accelerated through new efficiency and the need to meet the deadline for the end of the evacuation just a week away. >> there has been no change to the time line of the mission which is to have this completed by the end of the month. >> reporter: the taliban move to stop afghan nationals from leaving would drastically reduce the level of evacuations and makes it easier for the u.s. to meet the august 31 deadline set by the taliban.
the state department estimates that there are still thousands to be evacuated. at the airport military officers said that there had been a significant drop in the number of people trying to get into the airport gates already. no doubting the success of the second biggest airlift in the history of man kind. yes, there are thousands still to get on these planes, there are many people stuck in kabul. but for most of these people, this is a moment of celebration in terms of their freedom, but also bittersweet because of what they are leaving behind. that bitterness is immediate to this woman. her brother who has a visa for the u.s. has been trapped outside the airport. she is moments from flying. marines do their best to help as he is close to a gate still controlled by the taliban. but her plane is due to take off and she is swept away with her younger sisters to a new life. not knowing if her brother will ever join her there. sam kiley, cnn, kabul
international airport. joining me now is an afghan diplomat who served as afghanistan's first female ambassador to the united states. thank you, ambassador, for talking with us. >> thank you for having me. >> well, more than 70,000 people have been evacuated from afghanistan in ten days. but with the august #31 deadlin fast approaching, it is looking less likely now that all remaining afghan allies will be able to leave particularly given the taliban will no longer allow afghans to go to the airport. is there any sense the u.s. has some leverage left over the tal taliban? >> well, the leverage that the united states has and the rest of the international community has number one the question of the recognition of the upcoming government.
secondly, it is the international assistance and how it would be provided to the new afghan government as well as the terms and conditions of the engagement with the upcoming afghan government. but most importantly to secure that leverage, it is very important to ensure that the afghanistan airport remains open. >> and you have been asking the international community to focus, strategize and think outside the box. what do you think is possible at this juncture? >> well, at this juncture, the immediate essential is securing access to afghanistan. and that is having a functional
airport. if you abandon afghanistan, which it has happened to us before, of course once again we will be the primary victims. but the threat and misery of it does not spare the rest of the international community. and that has been the unfortunate consequence of it that we have seen before. so at this juncture given that we have very limited options left, ensuring that access to afghanistan is not completely blocked is absolute necessity and essential. and as i have been calling for out 69 box aof the box approach those that we have not necessarily tried before. those that we have tried and failed are not necessarily bound to succeed moving forward.
so we need to think in more creative ways with more limited resources and access to ensure that we can utilize the leverage s that are remaining that can be utilized. >> and as you mentioned, the taliban have already targeted some afghan allies who helped the united states despite them claiming to be a kinder version of the earlier fighting force that we knew through the '90s. what is your biggest fear when it comes to what will likely happen to afghan allies left behind and of course afghan women who have achieved so much over the last 20 years? many of them very well educated with careers. >> my biggest fear is that we are just pushing the burden of
this crisis to the next generation, to the next administration, to the next whatever is too come. because by overlooking a crisis, it does not disappear. so my biggest fear is that by losing the rights of women of afghanistan, the very achievements that you spoke about, we are setting ourselves to another area and potential for growth of terrorism and extremism. i'm afraid that the majority of afghan population who have been brought up thinking and aspiring to a better future would turn that they would feel abandoned and betrayed in this new world
where technology and multiplicity of the truth exists, that people find it so easy to group and regroup and find ways and causes to associate themselves, this is going to turn to a way bigger regional crises that we are seeing at this point. >> ambassador, thank you so much for your perspective. >> thank you for having me. and still to come here on cnn, survivors who experienced catastrophic flooding over the weekend in tennessee are describing the horrors they witnessed. and some of the heroic rescues. >> i was sitting on the top bunk, sitting on the karaoke machine, he was going to save his mother one way or the other. you don't know how much pressure you put on your septic system. but rid-x does. in a 21 month study, scientists proved that rid- x reduces
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california is getting more help to battle wildfires. on tuesday, president biden approved a major disaster declaration that will unlock additional resources for the state. around a dozen large fires are currently burning across california. you are looking at the caldor fire which has burned through nearly 200 square miles in just ten days. officials say it is now their number one priority as the flames approach communities in the lake tahoe area. cnn's tyler mauldin takes a look at conditions across the rest of the country. >> rosemary, we have late and i go heat for many across the u.s. millions are under heat advisories from the lower mississippi valley all the way up through the midwest where the heat index which we also refer
to as the feels like temperature, that is when you combine the dew point with the actual air temperature, that heat index will be close to 110 degrees which is dangerous. and up across the northeast, we're seeing a heat index of nearly 100 degrees. that includes new york city which is under a heat advisory for this afternoon. once we get this afternoon, that feels like temperature will be sitting at 107 in wichita, 102 in oklahoma city, 101 in nashville and the nation's capital will be sitting at 100 degrees. we expand the view, and the air temperature will be about 110 degrees in phoenix. we'll be in the upper 90s in texas. but notice some cooler air spilling down from canada on into the northern plains. minot will be sitting at 69. with the heat out west and the drought, we continue to see fires. the wildfires right outside of sacramento has led to historically bad air quality in reno and carson city.
it doesn't look like we'll see any improvement over the next 48 hours. in fact it may get worse. if you see the orange here from reno to carson city, that indicates some really thick smoke near the surface. and that thick smoke is what leads to the poor air quality. we could really use some rainfall in this area to help disperse the smoke and end those fires, but i don't see that happening within the next 48 hours. >> thank you so much for that, appreciate it. and in tennessee, rescuers are searching for three people still missing from the devastating floods during the weekend. at least 18 people were killed, among them a woman who posted a video on facebook just moments before she was swept away. and what you are about to see may be disturbing. nick valencia spoke to her son. >> oh, my goodness. oh, my goodness. >> reporter: this terrifying
video might have been the last thing linda bryant filmed before she died. you could hear the fear in her voice. >> well, if anyone seen me on facebook live, we're being flooded right now. in waverly. this is varry. >> reporter: her son wished he had more time. >> i screamed for my mom a couple times but i didn't see her. and i just knew i had to fight for myself. >> reporter: the 55-year-old was among 18 people who died after unprecedented flash floods in this rural county of tennessee where rico was raised. as the water started to rise, he drove to his childhood moem looking for his mom. there he found jeff, a man he never met but had a boat. together they jumped in and started pulling people out of the water. >> i know we helped people. and to hear them scared and in fear for their lives, i think we helped get them to safety.
>> you heard those screams of december per december ter race. >> yeah, hoping that you could actually get to them in time. >> this was my safe haven. i was sitting on the top bunk, sitting on the karaoke machine. >> reporter: and lisa fox says without her son many more of her neighbors would have been killed even though she told him not to come. >> he was going to save his mother one way or the other. but i know it was a bad idea to stay. but them having to rescue me, that saved a lot of lives. so i don't regret my decision because there was still lives that were saved. >> we just started lifting, trying to find her, and we never could. >> reporter: while dozens did make it out, it pains him that he wasn't able to help save everyone. several who were ripped away by the rushing current are still
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we will be watching u.s. financial markets for more possible records today. the nasdaq passed 15,000 for the first time ever on tuesday thanks to gains in the tech sector. the s&p 500 also hit a record high. and the dow is approaching another milestone about 600 points just shy of 36,000. dozens of companies and government agencies in the u.s. have accidentally exposed the personal information of millions of people. a misconfigured setting in their microsoft software caused the data link. american airlines and new york's metropolitan transportation authority were among those
impacted. a cybersecurity firm detected the issue and the leaks have b been plugged. at least 38 million private records were exposed. football top governing bodies will receive millions following a massive corruption investigation and yankees have extended an historic streak. patrick snell has our sports. this is day one of the paralympics but we start with the scandal that rocked the sport of football. after a six year corruption investigation, the department of justice has awarded fifa, football's global governing body, along with other governing bodies, $201 million in compensation. it comes after the doj determined the organizations had been victims of decades-long bribery schemes. to england where clubs have revealed that they will not be releasing players called up for
international duty if they are playing games on the red list. that was back in june that the danish footballer suffered cardiac arrest during his country's euro 2020 opener. the 29-year-old is thankfully continuing his recovery and now denmark's captain and the entire medical team that saved erickson's life are prrecipient of the president's award. and the yankees extending their longest winning streak in 36 years to 11 games after holding off the braves 5-4. and with that, back to you. and charlie watts was often called one of the greatest drummers of his generation and helped the rolling stones gain global fame with hit songs such as this one. ♪ ♪ you can't always get what you want, you can't always get what
you want ♪ >> charlie watts died at the age of 80. a statement says that he passed away peacefully at a london hospital surrounded by his family. the legendary drummer played with the stones for more than 50 years. he anchored the band's blues rock sound along with mick jagger, keith richards and ronnie woods. but he was always a reluctant rock and roll star. he joked that he used his day job with the stones to support his enduring love of jazz. charlie watts is survived by his wife and daughter. thank you so much to your company. i'm road mayor rose hair mary c. "early start" is up next.
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it is wednesday, august 25, 5:00 a.m. here in new york. i'm christine romans. >> and i'm laura jarrett. welcome to our viewers around the world. we have reports from qatar, beijing, germany, the white house and hong kong. and we start here after nearly 20 years, the u.s. presence in afghanistan is on its final countdown. president biden says the military is on track to finish its break neck airlift this kabul by august 31, rejenkting