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NewsFix: Thursday August 19, 2021

NewsFix: Thursday August 19, 2021

Morning all,

Biden says there was no other way, the IMF say they won’t pay, as a damning conclusion is voiced by Theresa May.

Until tomorrow,



  • Former President Ashraf Ghani - who fled the country over the weekend - is now in the UAE. Ghani said he is “in talks” to return to Afghanistan, despite being widely condemned for not staying as Kabul fell to the Taliban.

    Also, Ghani denied reports he fled the country with large piles of money. These reports were originally circulated by Russian state tv, who cited witnesses saying he tried to take so much that some was left at the airport. There does not appear to be any photo or video evidence of this. While Ghani referred to the rumours as “baseless lies,” Afghanistan’s ambassador to neighbouring Tajikistan accused Ghani of stealing $169 million.

  • President Biden has once again backed his handling of the situation in Afghanistan. When asked in an interview if any mistakes were made, Biden said no.

    “The idea that somehow there’s a way to have gotten out without chaos ensuing, I don’t know how that happens.”

  • Worth noting: Back in early July, Biden said “the drawdown [of US troops] is proceeding in a secure and orderly way” and that a Taliban takeover was “highly unlikely”. Biden also said in the interview that US troops will remain on the ground in Afghanistan until all US citizens have been evacuated - and beyond August 31 if needed.

Best reads

The internet is saturated with content about Afghanistan and the Taliban this week, so we tried to highlight some of the most interesting angles being reported on;

*Here is a collection of some harrowing - and even quite graphic - photos of the Taliban’s time in power.

British reaction

  • Former prime minister, Theresa May, gave a damning speech in the House of Commons on the manner of the US withdrawal from Afghanistan, and the UK’s lack of influence in preventing the chaos from unfolding.
“She knows the challenges of office and decision making in ways others cannot imagine and yet her verdict was damning, her criticism clear and her disdain, fury even, palpable.” - Sky News reporter, Beth Rigby

Reporting on the ground

If you watch one thing today, please make it the live shot below. Clarissa Ward speaks to desperate Afghans outside Kabul airport, with one even showing his green card to the camera, as sporadic gun fire rings out in the background. The clip has been viewed more than 1.4 million times in less than 24 hours.


Lynsey Addario is a Pulitzer prize-winning photo journalist who has spent plenty of time in Afghanistan. I would highly recommend following her on Instagram.



A Swedish mountain shrank by two metres in just a year, with experts citing climate change as the reason.

According to The Guardian, the mountain has lost more than 20 metres since the mid 1990s, and in 2019 lost its ranking as the country’s highest mountain.


Bill Clinton’s 75th birthday. Did you know? He was born William Jefferson Blythe III in 1946, three months after his father died in a traffic accident. and took his step father’s name, Clinton, when he was in high school.

Coolest US President? Before Barack, there was Bill.


It’s been a heavy news week, I think we can both agree. Sit back and smile.


RIP to a comedy great, Sean Lock.

PS Channel 4 will air a special tribute to Lock at 10pm tonight, followed by an episode of ‘8 out of 10 Does Countdown’.