World News Roundup: Guns, drugs, jobs. In these Venezuelan towns, Colombian rebels call the shots; Britain's Raab, in Qatar, cites need to engage with Taliban and more
A docket entry for the U.S. District Court in Alexandria, Virginia, showed a change of plea hearing was scheduled on Thursday for Alexanda Kotey, one of two Islamic State members who had been held in Iraq by the U.S. military before being flown to the United States to face trial on terrorism charges. In South Korea, Afghan evacuees find hope in their new 'special merit' status After many sleepless nights, a 41-year-old Afghan medical doctor successfully left Kabul with his family before the Taliban seized power last month and is set to begin a new life in South Korea.
Following is a summary of current world news briefs.
Soon after rebels from neighboring Colombia arrived in this Venezuelan village, they started choosing students from the local high school to harvest coca, the plant used to make cocaine, the school's principal told Reuters. Four years later, these foreigners from the National Liberation Party, or ELN, function as both a local government and a major employer in this town in the northwestern state of Zulia, according to the educator and 14 other residents. All spoke on condition of anonymity and asked that their community not be named because they feared retaliation.
British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said on Thursday there is a need to engage with the Taliban in Afghanistan, but Britain has no immediate plans to recognize their government. Raab was speaking during a joint press conference with Qatar Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani in Doha, where he visited housing for refugees evacuated from Afghanistan after the Taliban swept to power last month.
Taliban prepare to announce new Afghan government amid economic turmoil
Afghanistan's new Taliban rulers were preparing their government on Thursday, more than two weeks after the Islamist militia's capture of Kabul brought a chaotic end to 20 years of war, while the economy teetered near collapse. Taliban official Ahmadullah Muttaqi said on social media a ceremony was being prepared at the presidential palace in Kabul and Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said a new government was a matter of a few days away.
Britain announces new Myanmar sanctions
Britain announced new Myanmar sanctions on Thursday, saying it was targeting a key business associate of the military junta for providing arms and financial support following a coup earlier this year. Britain's foreign ministry said it would impose an asset freeze on conglomerate Htoo Group of Companies and its founder Tay Za, adding that the tycoon was involved in arms deals on behalf of the military junta.
Spain's Fallas fiesta resumes after COVID hiatus, rain damage
Heavy rain has dampened the giant paper mache figures lined up for the Fallas festival in the Spanish city of Valencia, but not the spirits of participants eager to celebrate the fiery fiesta after a pandemic-induced hiatus. The five-day festival, traditionally held in March, was canceled last year as the COVID-19 pandemic struck Spain. The start of this year's event had to be postponed until Sept. 1 due to many restrictions in place earlier this year.
Rocky Mountain dry: Canada's waning water supply sows division in farm belt
Where fly fisherman Shane Olson once paddled summer tourists around in a boat, he now guides them by foot – carefully navigating shallow waters one step at a time. "Every year, these rivers seem to be getting smaller, faster," Olson, 48, said, whipping a gleaming fishing line over the Crowsnest River about 45 miles (72 km) from the U.S. border.
Taliban and Afghan rebels claim heavy casualties in fighting over valley
Taliban forces and fighters loyal to local leader Ahmad Massoud, fought in Afghanistan's Panjshir Valley on Thursday, with each side saying it had inflicted heavy casualties in recent days of combat in the last province resisting Taliban rule. Following the fall of Kabul on Aug. 15, several thousand fighters from local militias and the remnants of army and special forces units have massed in Panjshir.
Islamic State 'Beatle' to plead guilty to U.S. terrorism charges
A British-born man who was a member of a team of Islamic State militants in Syria nicknamed "The Beatles" accused of beheading American hostages was due to plead guilty on Thursday to U.S. criminal charges, according to a federal court record. A docket entry for the U.S. District Court in Alexandria, Virginia, showed a change of plea hearing was scheduled on Thursday for Alexanda Kotey, one of two Islamic State members who had been held in Iraq by the U.S. military before being flown to the United States to face trial on terrorism charges.
After many sleepless nights, a 41-year-old Afghan medical doctor successfully left Kabul with his family before the Taliban seized power last month and is set to begin a new life in South Korea. The Afghan doctor is one of 390 evacuees who arrived in Seoul last week where the government said it was amending immigration laws to grant long-term residency to those who provided special service to South Korea.
EU must create rapid reaction force, top officials say
Two senior European Union officials urged the bloc's governments on Thursday to set up a rapidly deployable military force to intervene around the world, saying the crisis in Afghanistan would provide the catalyst to end years of inaction.
The EU's top diplomat and its military chief said the bloc needed to react to conflicts beyond its borders and that the creation of a "first entry force" of 5,000 troops was the way forward, reducing dependence on the United States.
(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)