Five international stories of the week

Pedestrians, motorists ended up in a traffic grid lock as the Afghans rush to safety with the uncertainty and rumor swirling that Taliban enter the city and take over, Kabul, Afghanistan, Sunday, Aug. 15, 2021. (Marcus Yam/Los Angeles Times/TNS)
Pedestrians, motorists ended up in a traffic grid lock as the Afghans rush to safety with the uncertainty and rumor swirling that Taliban enter the city and take over, Kabul, Afghanistan, Sunday, Aug. 15, 2021. (Marcus Yam/Los Angeles Times/TNS)

Editor’s Note: This listicle is part of a series by The Ball State Daily News summarizing five stories from around the world. All summaries are based on stories published by The Associated Press.

The Taliban sweep into the Afghan capital after the government collapses, the death toll of power earthquake in Haiti soars to 1,297, an ex-Khmer Rouge official appeals a genocide verdict in Cambodia, Trudeau triggers Canadian election and lava streams from Indonesia's Mount Merapi in new eruption makes up this week's five international stories.

Taliban sweep into Afghan capital after government collapses

The Taliban swept into Afghanistan’s capital Sunday after the government collapsed and the embattled president joined an exodus of his fellow citizens and foreigners, signaling the end of a costly two-decade U.S. campaign to remake the country. Heavily armed Taliban fighters fanned out across the capital, and several entered Kabul’s abandoned presidential palace. Suhail Shaheen, a Taliban spokesman and negotiator, told The Associated Press that the militants would hold talks in the coming days aimed at forming an “open, inclusive Islamic government.” Earlier, a Taliban official said the group would announce from the palace the restoration of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan.

Death toll of power earthquake in Haiti soars to 1,297

The death toll from a 7.2-magnitude earthquake in Haiti climbed to 1,297 on Sunday, a day after the powerful temblor turned thousands of structures into rubble and set off franctic rescue efforts ahead of a potential deluge from an approaching storm. Saturday’s earthquake also left at least 5,700 people injured in the Caribbean nation, with thousands more displaced from their destroyed or damaged homes. Survivors in some areas were forced to wait out in the open amid oppressive heat for help from overloaded hospitals.

Ex-Khmer Rouge official appeals genocide verdict in Cambodia

The last living leader from the inner circle of Cambodia’s brutal Khmer Rouge regime is to appear in court Monday as he seeks to overturn his conviction on genocide charges before a long-running international tribunal. Khieu Samphan, 90, was the former head of state for the Khmer Rouge, the radical communist regime that ruled Cambodia with an iron fist from 1975-1979 and was responsible for the deaths of an estimated 1.7 million people. His defense team is seeking to overturn a 2018 verdict finding him guilty of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes, questioning the evidence and arguing there were procedural mistakes.

Trudeau triggers Canadian election, voting day Sept. 20

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau triggered an election Sunday as he seeks to capitalize on Canada being one of the most fully vaccinated countries in the world. Trudeau announced the election would be held on Sept. 20 after visiting the governor general, who holds a mostly ceremonial position representing Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II as head of state. Trudeau is seeking to win a majority of seats in Parliament. His Liberal Party fell just short of that two years ago and must rely on the opposition to pass legislation. The election comes as Canada is experiencing a new wave of COVID-19 cases, driven by the delta variant of the coronavirus. Trudeau called it “the fourth wave amongst unvaccinated people.”

Lava streams from Indonesia's Mount Merapi in new eruption

Indonesia’s most active volcano erupted Monday with its biggest lava flow in months, sending a river of lava and searing gas clouds flowing 3.5 kilometers (more than 2 miles) down its slopes on the densely populated island of Java. The rumbling sound could be heard several kilometers (miles) away as Mount Merapi erupted, sending hot ash 600 meters (nearly 2,000 feet) into the sky. Ash blanketed nearby towns, but long-established evacuation orders are in place near the volcano, and no casualties were reported. It was Merapi’s biggest lava flow since authorities raised its danger level last November, said Hanik Humaida, the head of Yogyakarta’s Volcanology and Geological Hazard Mitigation Center.

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