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Reporter who covered Saigon says Afghanistan fall like Vietnam ‘at warp speed’

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The only American network news correspondent to witness the fall of Saigon at the conclusion of the Vietnam War 46 years ago said Tuesday that events in Afghanistan over the past week are like “Vietnam, Cambodia at warp speed.”

“It is all collapsing much more quickly,” Jim Laurie told Fox News’ “America’s Newsroom” Tuesday. “We at least had, in Vietnam, 55 days to watch the unraveling of the South Vietnamese effort there. We had that frantic 24 hours at the very end, 29-30 of April 1975, when I was there, and that of course was tragic just in the same way tragedy has unfolded the last 48 hours in Kabul. The greatest tragedy, of course, [was] leaving so many good people behind, being forced to leave them behind.”

The Western-backed Afghan government and their security forces collapsed swiftly last week as the country’s four largest cities fell to the Taliban in the space of about 96 hours. The end came Sunday, when the militants entered Kabul with barely a shot being fired as desperate Afghans swarmed the tarmac at the capital’s international airport, hoping to catch a flight out of the country.

The helicopter zone at the US Embassy in Saigon, Vietnam, showing last minute evacuation of authorized personnel and civilians on April 29, 1975.
The helicopter zone at the US Embassy in Saigon, Vietnam, showing last-minute evacuation of authorized personnel and civilians on April 29, 1975.
AP

Among those in danger of being left behind are thousands of Americans (estimates vary between 5,000 and 15,000) stuck in Taliban-controlled territory, as well as thousands more Afghans who acted as interpreters for NATO forces during the two-decade-long conflict and face brutal vengeance from their country’s new rulers.

Jim Laurie was a correspondent for NBC News in Vietnam.
Jim Laurie was a correspondent for NBC News in Vietnam.
Twitter

According to Laurie, who won a Peabody Award for his reporting from Saigon for NBC News, the South Vietnam evacuation was more of a success than the evacuation of Kabul has been so far.

“In Vietnam, we were able to get out all of our journalists who worked for us who wanted to get out,” he recalled. “The American embassy managed to get out more than 5,000 Vietnamese in 18 hours. They had got out another 35,000 Vietnamese in the previous three weeks. So, it was not a totally unmitigated disaster. The hope, of course, is that the United States can get more Afghans, deserving Afghans, out of Kabul in the days ahead.”

On Tuesday, a top Pentagon logistics official estimated that the “best effort” of authorities in charge of the evacuation could lead to between 5,000 and 9,000 people being flown out of Kabul’s airport per day.

However, The Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday that thousands of Afghans who had worked for Western embassies and organizations remained hemmed in by a system of Taliban checkpoints, manned by fighters who assaulted anyone who tried to pass. As a result, the paper reported, some evacuation flights were leaving Hamid Karzai International Airport with barely any people on board; one plane with capacity for more than 100 passengers left carrying just seven.

The Biden administration has been haunted by assurances from recent weeks that the withdrawal of US combat forces from Afghanistan, due to be completed at the end of this month, would be nothing like the tragedy that marked the end of South Vietnam.

“The Taliban is not the South — the North Vietnamese army,” President Joe Biden told reporters July 8. “They’re not — they’re not remotely comparable in terms of capability. There’s going to be no circumstance where you see people being lifted off the roof of an embassy in the — of the United States from Afghanistan. It is not at all comparable.”

Over the weekend, the images of helicopters taking off from the embassy roof were replaced in the American consciousness by video of Afghans clinging to the sides of US military planes as they took off, some of them falling to their deaths as the planes rose in the sky.

“It’s never easy to lose a war, and in my time I’ve watched the US leave tragically from Cambodia, and then a few weeks later from Vietnam, and it has been heartbreaking for me to see all this occur again,” Laurie said Tuesday.

“The only thing we can do now is try to get people that we know out.”

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What Time Will ‘Riverdale’ Season 6 Be on Netflix?

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The season finale of Riverdale aired in late July on The CW. Notice we said season finale? Thankfully, the beloved series will return for a seventh season, but, unfortunately, Season 7 will be the final installment of Riverdale.

If you already streamed the current season, make sure to read Alex Zalben’s interview with Riverdale showrunner Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa on Decider. If you’re waiting to binge Season 6 on Netflix, well, you better clear your calendar because all 22 episodes are about to drop on the streamer. What time will the sixth season of Riverdale debut on Netflix? What time does Netflix release shows? Here’s everything you need to know.

WHEN IS THE RIVERDALE SEASON 6 NETFLIX RELEASE DATE?

Riverdale Season 6 premieres Sunday, August 7 on Netflix.

HOW MANY EPISODES ARE IN RIVERDALE SEASON 6?

The sixth season of Riverdale consists of 22 episodes.

WHAT TIME DOES NETFLIX RELEASE NEW SHOWS?

Netflix releases new episodes at 3:00 a.m. ET/12:00 a.m. PT.

WHAT TIME WILL RIVERDALE SEASON 6 BE ON NETFLIX?

Netflix is based out of California, so Riverdale Season 6 will be available to stream at 12:00 a.m. Pacific Standard Time (3:00 a.m. Eastern Standard Time) beginning Sunday, August 7. If the clock strikes 12:00 (or 3:00 a.m. for folks on the East Coast) and you don’t see the new episodes, give it a moment, hit refresh, and then enjoy the show!

WILL THERE BE A SEASON 7 OF RIVERDALE?

Yes! Decider recently covered that very topic.

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Actress Anne Heche Suffers Severe Burns After Crashing Car Into Los Angeles Home

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Actress Anne Heche, known for her roles in such films as Donnie Brasco, Volcano and I Know What You Did Last Summer, was involved in a fiery car crash in the Mar Vista area of Los Angeles on Friday.

According to TMZ, Heche was driving a blue Mini Cooper and had first crashed into the garage of an apartment complex. Residents of the apartment complex tried to get her out of the vehicle but she backed up and sped off.

Footage of Heche speeding down the streets of her neighborhood had been obtained by TMZ as well as her initial encounter at the apartment complex.

In the first clip, you can hear her car crash towards the end. It has been reported that the actress crashed into someone’s home, causing her vehicle and the house to erupt into flames. Heche suffered severe burns and was resisting being taken away in a stretcher. You can also view footage of this via the TMZ article.

It has not been confirmed whether alcohol has been involved in the incident since her condition prevents doctors from performing any tests to determine if she was driving under the influence. She is currently intubated in the hospital but expected to live.

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These are the vulgar license-plate requests the DMV has rejected

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Stay CL4SSY, New York!

The state Department of Motor Vehicles nixed 3,752 requests for vanity license plates in the last three years because it deemed them too raunchy, radical or simply ridiculous.

New York’s personalized plates go for $60 initially, and then $31.25 annually for renewal. You can get any plate as long as no one else has it and it’s not offensive.

Odds are a request for a plate that marks a wedding anniversary or shows your allegiance to a team — like METS86 — will pass muster with the DMV gatekeepers.

Vulgarity won’t get you to first base.

So plates with the phrase LFGM — the acronym for Pete Alonso’s “Let’s F–king Go Mets” rallying cry — did not make the cut.

And you won’t see anyone driving around with the custom plates MILFDAD, AS5M4N and WLHUNG.

Crude meanings such as “MILFDAD” are unacceptable by the DMV.
Crude meanings such as “MILFDAD” are unacceptable by the DMV.
New York DMV
NYC123
New York state Department of Motor Vehicles denied more than 3.5 thousand requests for license plates deemed inappropriate.
New York DMV
“AS5M4N” was rejected for referring to “Ass man.”
“AS5M4N” was rejected for referring to “Ass man.”
New York DMV

The DMV also put NICEBUNS, FATFANNY, GOTAPOOP and BENDOVER in the rear-view mirror.

One player unsuccessfully tried to score the plate YESDADDY, to no avail.

The DMV also shot down such dark requests as DEADGIRL, GENOC1DE, S8TAN, DETONATE and MURDERM3.

“SUM8ITCH” is not allowed.
“SUM8ITCH” is not allowed.
New York DMV
The DMV thoroughly nixed a request for “CNNLIES.”
The DMV thoroughly nixed a request for “CNNLIES.”
New York DMV
BOOBIE is prohibited.
BOOBIE is prohibited.
New York DMV

Getting political is a dead end too — FJOEBIDN, FDTRUMP and CNNLIES were nixed.

LUDEDUDE, NARCO, GOT METH and BLUNT also went up in smoke.

Staten Island attorney Bill Dertinger said his blue 1995 Jaguar SJS was tagged with ESQLTD after his company and his 2014 Porsche had the plate GHOSTGTS because the sleek sportscar was white.

“The plates can make you stand out — which can be a curse or a blessing,” the 54-year-old Dertinger said. “Make sure you don’t cut anybody off.”

A man attempted to sneak in “YESDADDY” onto his license plate.
A man attempted to sneak in “YESDADDY” onto his license plate.
New York DMV
The DMV stopped a request for “FJOEBIDEN.”
The DMV stopped a request for “FJOEBIDEN.”
New York DMV
The DMV also rejects any license plates referring to politics.
The DMV also rejects any license plates referring to politics.
New York DMV

There must be a New York Jets fan playing referee at the DMV because a request for the seemingly innocent plate GASE was sidelined. Ex-Jets head coach Adam Gase had an offensive 9-23 win-loss record during his forgettable two-year tenure.

The DMV would not reveal who gives the final yea or nay.

“The DMV reviews all custom license plate requests and works hard to ensure that any combinations that may be considered objectionable are rejected,” said agency spokesman Tim O’Brien.

“GLOCKS” referring to guns is not accepted by the DMV.
“GLOCKS” referring to guns is not accepted by the DMV.
New York DMV
“FLYMOFO” is not approved by the DMV.
“FLYMOFO” is not approved by the DMV.
New York DMV

He said guidelines on what plate combinations are restricted can be found on the DMV website: https://dmv.ny.gov/learn-about-personalized-plates. Approximately 50,000 personalized and custom plates are sold per year, O’Brien said.

Bagged Tags

The state DMV has rejected 3,752 requests for custom license plates in the last three years because it deemed them potentially offensive. Here are some:

YESDADDY

FJOEBIDN

FDTRUMP

GLOCKS

FLYMOFO

BOOBIE

AS5M4N

BUDLIGHT

DEADGIRL

SUM8ITCH

GENOC1DE

S8TAN

CNNLIES

DETONATE

MURDERM3

MILFDAD

WLHUNG

Source: NYS DMV

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