August 15, 2021

Armed conflicts and attacks

War in Afghanistan

Taliban insurgency

Taliban spokesperson Mohammad Naeem says on Al Jazeera Mubasher that the war in Afghanistan is over. (Reuters) (Al Jazeera)

2021 Taliban offensive

The Taliban captures Jalalabad, the provincial capital of the Nangarhar Province. The jihadist group faced no resistance as the Afghan military and provincial governor surrendered. Taliban forces also enter the Char Asiab District of the Kabul Province, advancing within 11 kilometres (6.8 mi) of Kabul. (Reuters) (Sky News) (The Independent)

The Afghan military transfers control of Bagram Airfield, formerly the largest U.S. airbase in the country, to the Taliban. Five thousand unlawful combatants are freed from the airbase's military prison. (The Economic Times)

Embassies of Western countries are evacuated and relocated at Kabul's Hamid Karzai International Airport. The Russian embassy is not evacuated, as it considers that "the situation in Kabul is a bit tense, but there is no war in the city". The Turkish embassy also remains open. (The Guardian) (Financial Times)

Fall of Kabul

The Taliban enters Kabul and seizes the presidential palace, overthrowing the government. (Sky News) (The Washington Post)

President Ashraf Ghani agrees to form a team for negotiations and also agrees to step down and allow an interim Taliban government to govern the country amid the insurgent group's advance. Among the people in the negotiation team is the first president of Afghanistan after the 2001 U.S. invasion, Hamid Karzai. (TOLO)

President Ashraf Ghani and Vice President Amrullah Saleh leave the country and are currently in Tajikistan. (BBC News)

Taliban officials indicate that there will be no "transitional government" in Afghanistan, saying that the group expects a complete transfer of power from the Ghani government. (Reuters)

Secretary-General of the United Nations António Guterres calls on the Taliban to exercise restraint and respect human rights, especially those concerning women and girls. Guterres also expressed concern at the civilian casualties in areas of conflict. (Reuters)

In his first public comments since going into exile, ousted president Ashraf Ghani concedes that the Taliban has "won the war" in Afghanistan, saying that "they are now facing a new historical test. Either they will preserve the name and honour of Afghanistan or they will give priority to other places and networks". (The Hindu)

Disasters and accidents

Heavy rain in Japan causes a landslide in Okaya, Nagano. Three people are dead after the landslide damaged their house. (The Japan Times)

A passenger bus overturns on the M7 motorway, west of Budapest, Hungary, killing eight people and injuring dozens of other passengers. (Reuters)

2021 Algeria wildfires

The death toll from the wildfires in Algeria rise to 90 people, including 57 civilians and 33 soldiers. (Africa News)

Health and environment

Singapore announces the first giant panda cub in the city-state when the 12-year-old panda Jia Jia gave birth to a cub at River Safari after being artificially inseminated with frozen semen from 13-year-old Kai Kai. (The Straits Times) (Radio France Internationale)

COVID-19 pandemic

COVID-19 pandemic in Asia

COVID-19 pandemic in Iran

Iran reports a record 620 deaths from COVID-19 in the past 24 hours, thereby bringing the nationwide death toll to 97,828. (France 24)

COVID-19 pandemic in Laos

Laos surpasses 10,000 cases of COVID-19. (Xinhua News Agency)

COVID-19 pandemic in the Philippines

The Philippines reports its first case of the SARS-CoV-2 Lambda variant in a 35-year-old female who is asymptomatic and recovered after isolating for 10 days. (Rappler)

COVID-19 pandemic in Thailand

Thailand surpasses 900,000 cases of COVID-19. (The Star)

COVID-19 pandemic in Australia, COVID-19 vaccination in Australia

A batch of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine arrived in Australia from Poland, in which half of vaccine doses will target people aged 20 to 39 years old in 12 local government areas of concern across New South Wales. (SBS World News)

COVID-19 pandemic in Serbia

The Serbian health authorities authorise a third dose of the COVID-19 vaccine for immunocompromised people, health workers and anyone who was vaccinated at least six months ago, and would begin administering these doses on Tuesday. (Reuters)

International relations

Israel–Poland relations

Israel recalls a top diplomat from Poland, after the country passed a law limiting property restitution for Jewish Holocaust survivors. (Politico Europe)

Law and crime

Konstantin Pavlov, the pro-Russian mayor of Kryvyi Rih, Ukraine, is found dead at his home with a gunshot wound. The National Police of Ukraine say that they are currently establishing the circumstances of the mayor's death and have also opened a criminal case. (Reuters)

Hong Kong national security law

The Civil Human Rights Front in Hong Kong disbands. The pro-democracy group had been under pressure from the government for allegedly being internationally funded. The group's leader Figo Chan and prominent member Jimmy Sham are both in prison. (Deutsche Welle)

Politics and elections

2021 Canadian federal election

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau obtains the dissolution of the House of Commons for an election scheduled on September 20. (CBC News)

2020–21 Malaysian political crisis

Reports emerge of the imminent resignation of Prime Minister of Malaysia Muhyiddin Yassin on August 16. (Reuters)

Science and technology

Spain records the highest temperature ever of 47.4°C (117.3°F) in Montoro, province of Córdoba amid an historic heat wave. (Big News Network)