What did the U.S. leave behind at Bagram Airfield?
Robert St. John
·2 min read
The U.S. left Afghanistan’s Bagram Airfield after nearly 20 years by shutting off the electricity and slipping away in the night without notifying the base’s new Afghan commander, who discovered the Americans’ departure more than two hours after they left, Afghan military officials said.
Afghanistan’s army showed off the sprawling air base Monday, providing a rare first glimpse of what had been the epicenter of America’s war to unseat the Taliban and hunt down the Al Qaeda perpetrators of the Sept. 11 attacks on the United States.
The U.S. announced Friday that it had completely vacated its biggest airfield in the country in advance of a final withdrawal that the Pentagon says will be completed by the end of August.
“We [heard] some rumor that the Americans had left Bagram ... and finally by 7 o’clock in the morning, we understood that it was confirmed that they had already left Bagram,” said Gen. Mir Asadullah Kohistani, Bagram’s new commander.
Tokyo recorded its highest number of daily COVID-19 infections for the fourth consecutive day on Saturday as the Omicron variant continued to spread rapidly. The capital city had 11,227 new coronavirus cases, the local government said, a day after reinstatement of curbs on mobility and business activity that are set to run until Feb. 13. The case count jumped nearly 2.5 times from 4,561 lodged a week before and was higher than 9,699 confirmed cases on Friday.
Cammi Granato had never forgotten the young girl she lent her stick and gloves to during one of the former U.S. Olympian’s first hockey camps in Chicago in the late 1990s. It was years later when Granato discovered that girl just happened to be Hilary Knight. Knight was eight, and drawn to the sport in large part due to Granato, who captained the 1998 United States team that beat Canada in Nagano to win the Winter Olympics' first women’s hockey gold medal.
The first commercial airline flights in one month took off Saturday from Xi’an in western China as the government eased travel curbs imposed after a coronavirus outbreak ahead of next month’s Winter Olympics in Beijing. Seven planes took off, according to the website of Xi’an Xianyang International Airport. Access to Xi’an, a city of 13 million people about 1,000 kilometers (600 miles) southwest of Beijing, was suspended Dec. 22 following an outbreak attributed to the coronavirus’s delta variant.
Malaysia's former prime minister Mahathir Mohamad has been admitted to hospital, a spokesperson for him said on Saturday. The spokesperson said Mahathir was admitted to the cardiac care unit at the National Heart Institute but gave no details. The National Heart Institute did not say at the time what procedure Mahathir, who has a history of heart problems, had undergone.
An already dramatic crash in the crypto markets has become yet more drastic, with bitcoin and other digital currencies losing hundreds of billions of dollars from their value. Bitcoin has now fallen 16.8 per cent over the last week. Other coins have seen even more dramatic losses: ethereum is now down 25 per cent.
A British Conservative lawmaker said he would meet police to discuss his accusations that Boris Johnson's government had attempted to "blackmail" parliamentarians who were suspected of trying to force the prime minister from office. William Wragg, chair of the Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs Committee and a member of Johnson's ruling party, said on Thursday some Conservatives had faced intimidation and blackmail from government representatives because of their desire to topple Johnson.