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  • Our second show of the season starts right now.

  • I'm Carl Azuz, and we begin with a down-the-middle explanation of what's been going on in Afghanistan.

  • The Asian country is in chaos.

  • In mid-April, US President Joe Biden made the controversial announcement that American combat troops would leave Afghanistan by September 11th.

  • That will be the 20th anniversary of the terrorist attacks on America, which were carried out by a terrorist group that had been allowed to live and train in Afghanistan.

  • Shortly after the September 11th attacks in 2001, the United States led a group of countries to kick Afghanistan's rulers, the Taliban, out of power.

  • And international military forces, including thousands of American troops, have been in Afghanistan ever since.

  • Even with a democratically-elected government that was established in 2004, the Taliban remained a powerful force in the Asian country and Afghanistan has never been considered stable enough for the US-led military forces to leave.

  • But earlier this year, President Biden said in terms of manpower and cost, it no longer made sense for US troops to stay concentrated in Afghanistan.

  • He believed they could be there indefinitely based on the instability of the country.

  • Critics of his decision to withdraw US troops were concerned the Afghan government would collapse, leading to another Taliban takeover, and that's exactly what happened in a matter of weeks in early August.

  • So now what?

  • Well, the US is one of several countries trying to get its citizens and allies out of Afghanistan and the airport in the Afghan capital of Kabul has become a symbol of the chaos, confusion, and complexities of doing that.

  • It's America's final act in Afghanistan, this longest war.

  • And it involves getting many Americans, many Afghans loyal to America to run a kind of gauntlet from the center of Kabul up to the main airport where they hope to get flights to the United Statesmaybe elsewhereand start a new life in safety.

  • But for that, they must go through an extraordinary challenge.

  • What should be the easiest drive in Kabul is the reason the city is on edge.

  • Head up the main airport roadsince monday when I drove itand you run into the Taliban.

  • Then, they were beating people back, perhaps to clear the civilian runway crowded with desperate people.

  • Then, by Wednesday, it had gotten worse when they were clearly stopping people from using their escape to America and accosting CNN.

  • Taliban controlled that road, the entrance at the end of it, and the road to the left.

  • Now, many are trying to get in from the north road, but that's led to devastating scenes at the north gate.

  • When I was there, the crush was dangerous, but the numbers have just grown further still.

  • At night, stun grenades had been thrown when huge crowds, still brave roaming Taliban in the dark in the hope the numbers at gates have dropped, and in the day, it got nastier still.

  • There were moments of hope, but they carry risk: When people see one success, they might want to try the same thing en masse.

  • Later in the day, US troops had to repel the crowd.

  • At other gates, what seemed to be British soldiers struggled to push back crowds and huge queues have formed blocking the streets.

  • America has a numbers problem, getting enough people on, but also claiming huge progress while not really knowing how many priority cases they're really seeking.

  • - How many Americans, uh, American citizens remain in, uh, Afghanistan? - I don't know.

  • Inside, it is messy, but there are flights, often many of them, where lives are walked onto C-17s and changed forever when the doors close.

  • The story of the airport, the last place America controls in Afghanistan where the chaos outside the wire means the promises inside fall perilously short.

  • President Biden has said that the Taliban takeover happened more quickly than his administration had expected, but that he stood by his decision to get American troops out because quote, "There was never a good time to withdraw US forces."

  • Critics have described the rapid Taliban takeover as a calamity for Afghanistan.

  • And though several polls have shown that many Americans support the decision to pull the US military out of Afghanistan, a CNN reporter says the way the American withdrawal was carried out was catastrophic.

  • On Monday, a US State Department official said there are still several thousand Americans and their family members who were trying to get out of Afghanistan.

  • 10-second trivia: What is one of the two countries that share the Caribbean island of Hispaniola?

  • Jamaica, Barbados, Dominican Republic, or Bahamas.

  • The Dominican Republic covers the east side of Hispaniola.

  • Haiti is the nation you'll find on the west side of that island.

  • The US Central Intelligence Agency lists it as the poorest country in the western hemisphere.

  • What's made things worse are political corruption and frequent natural disasters.

  • The most recent of those include a catastrophic 7.2-magnitude earthquake that struck on August 14 and a tropical storm that followed.

  • On Sunday, there was a bit of good news.

  • Haitian rescuers said they found 24 people trapped but alive a week after the earthquake hit

  • The government says more than 2,200 others lost their lives in southern Haiti, and as far as relief goes, just getting to the affected areas is a challenge.

  • Our chopper takes off with no clear destination in mind.

  • Flying with charity group World Central Kitchen, or WCK, we want to find remote villages in Haiti that still need help.

  • A week after this earthquake, just finding out where the needs are remains a challenge.

  • A tip led us to Grand Cayemit, an island off Haiti's coast.

  • One the ground, we're told the damage is actually a bit further west, which it is.

  • Seen from above, dozens of structures were damaged and the contact in town told us no one has come to help them yet, but we can't, either.

  • So there was damage in that town and the people there clearly wanted us to land, but the problem was, there was no safe area for us to touch down, and that gives you an idea of how difficult that it is to access these places.

  • Just because you want to go somewhere, doesn't meant that you can, at least right away.

  • Another tip leads us back into Haiti's mountains in the remote town of Maniche.

  • Destruction greets us as we land and the charity starts to assess the damage.

  • In terms of figuring out exactly what needs what, you really need to go to the ground.

  • Correct, and a lot of these areas are remote or the cell service has been knocked out due to damage from the earthquake.

  • So there's no substitute for just getting out there on the ground.

  • Their team fans out and so do we.

  • The damage is as bad as anything we've seen.

  • Entire blocks destroyed; amidst all the rubble, there is grief.

  • Rose Mika Fontus' mom died when her home collapsed.

  • "My mom was everything to us," she says, "And now she's gone. We're just waiting for help."

  • Rose is now homeless, saying the government has yet to visit her town.

  • They've had to make do with what they havenot easy in such a remote place.

  • That's where charities like WCK are trying to help fill the gap.

  • People crowd around as the team drops off a few hundred sandwiches.

  • Now that they know where to go, aid workers say thousands more meals will likely follow soon.

  • And, of course, it is a good thing that organizations like the World Central Kitchen have identified, uh, this town is in dire need of assistance, that they're starting to figure out exactly what those needs are.

  • But those are just first steps, unfortunately, getting those substantive resources actually moved into that area is a different challenge all together.

  • And this is not the only town affected by this earthquake.

  • They are scattered throughout the region affected by all of this, many of which haven't gotten any help so far.

  • Matt Rivers, CNN, Port-au-Prince, Haiti.

  • 77 years ago, Tom Rice parachuted into German-occupied France as part of America's D-Day invasion in World War II.

  • Well, the US Army veteran just jumped again.

  • Mr. Rice performed a tandem jump from a vintage plane over California to celebrate his 100th birthday.

  • Scores of people were there to cheer him on.

  • After serving in the Second World War, Rice became an educator and taught for 40 years.

  • He says the secret to a long life is to quote, "Keep moving."

  • Jumping into thin air is one way to do that.

  • It's a pretty "fly" way to propel yourself forward, experience the ups and downs of gravity, find yourself "free-falling", and make a two-point landing on your own two feet.

  • Hey, we love to recognize the schools that use our show.

  • Today's is Corona del Sol High School, it is located in Tempe, Arizona.

  • The one place we look for your shout-out requests is youtube.com/CNN10.

  • So we hope to see your school left as a comment on our most recent show right there.

  • I'm Carl Azuz.

Our second show of the season starts right now.

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Chaos In Afghanistan | August 24, 2021

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    林宜悉 posted on 2021/08/30
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