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US struggles to get Americans out of Afghanistan amid chaotic evacuation

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US troops fired warning shots Monday as they struggled to manage a chaotic evacuation from Afghanistan hours after the Taliban swept into the capital of Kabul — with five people reportedly killed at the airport amid the pandemonium to flee the war-torn country.

Hours earlier, the insurgents toppled the Western-backed government after a lightning offensive in which they captured one provincial capital after another before entering Kabul.

President Ashraf Ghani fled the country, bringing a stunning end to a two-decade campaign in which the US and its allies had tried to transform Afghanistan, whose security forces collapsed even before the withdrawal of the last American troops.

Thousands of Afghans fearing a return to Taliban rule have been desperately trying to flee the country through Kabul’s international airport, where five people were killed Monday, witnesses told Reuters.

Taliban fighters ride on a police vehicle outside Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul.
Taliban fighters ride on a police vehicle outside Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul.
REUTERS

Dramatic footage circulating on social media showed hundreds of people racing across the tarmac as US troops fired warning shots in the air. Another showed a throng pushing and shoving its way up a staircase, trying to board a plane, with some people hanging off railings.

It was not immediately clear how the people died. A US official said troops had fired in the air to deter people trying to force their way onto a military flight that was set to evacuate American diplomats out of the fallen city, according to Reuters.

One witness who was waiting for a flight out for more than 20 hours said it was unclear if the five had been shot or killed in a stampede.

Three bodies could be seen on the ground near what appeared to be an airport side entrance, in video posted on social media, according to Reuters, which said it could not verify the footage. Another witness told the news service that he had also seen five bodies.

Massouma Tajik, a 22-year-old data analyst, who was hoping to board a flight, said she heard shots from outside, where a crowd of men and women were trying to climb aboard a plane.

A horde of people run towards the Kabul Airport Terminal on the morning of August 16th.
A horde of people run towards the Kabul Airport Terminal on the morning of August 16th.
JAWAD SUKHANYAR via REUTERS
A member of Taliban stands outside the airport in Kabul.
A member of Taliban stands outside the airport in Kabul.
REUTERS

She said American troops sprayed gas and fired into the air to disperse the crowds after people scaled the walls and swarmed onto the tarmac. Gunfire could be heard in the voice messages she sent to The Associated Press.

By morning morning, Afghanistan’s Civil Aviation Authority issued an advisory saying the “civilian side” of the airport had been “closed until further notice” and that the military controlled the airspace.

Taliban spokesperson Suhail Shaheen said the fighters were under strict orders not to harm anyone.

“Life, property and honor of none shall be harmed but must be protected by the mujahideen,” he said in a message on Twitter.

The Taliban also have said they would stay out of the diplomatic quarter housing the US Embassy complex and the posh villas of US-allied former warlords who have fled the country or gone into hiding.

Taliban officials said they had received no reports of any clashes anywhere in the country.

“The situation is peaceful,” one said, adding that the Taliban controlled 90 percent of state buildings and that the fighters had been told to prevent any damage.

A U.S. Chinook helicopter flies near the U.S. Embassy in Kabul, Afghanistan.
A U.S. Chinook helicopter flies near the U.S. Embassy in Kabul, Afghanistan.
AP
Taliban fighters stand outside the Interior Ministry in Kabul.
Taliban fighters stand outside the Interior Ministry in Kabul.
REUTERS

Central Kabul streets were largely deserted early Monday as waking residents pondered their future.

“I’m in a complete state of shock,” Sherzad Karim Stanekzai, who spent the night in his carpet shop to guard it, told Reuters. “I know there will be no foreigners, no international people who will now come to Kabul.”

A State Department spokesperson said early Monday that all US Embassy personnel, including Ambassador Ross Wilson, had been transferred to Kabul airport, mostly by helicopter, to await evacuation.

Western nations, including France, Germany and New Zealand, said they were working to get citizens as well as some Afghan employees out.

Ghani said on Facebook that he had left the country to avoid clashes with the Taliban that would endanger millions of Kabul residents. Some social media users described Ghani, who did not disclose his location, a coward for abandoning them.

In the capital, a tense calm set in, with most people hiding in their homes as the Taliban deployed fighters at major intersections and began collecting weapons from civilians.

“We understand people kept weapons for personal safety. They can now feel safe. We are not here to harm innocent civilians,” a Taliban official told Reuters.

Kabul resident Salad Moleskin, director of the MOBY group media company, said on Twitter that Taliban fighters had come to his company to inquire about the weapons kept by his security team, the outlet reported.

There were scattered reports of looting and armed men knocking on doors and gates, and there was less traffic than usual on eerily quiet streets as fighters could be seen searching vehicles at one of the city’s main squares.

Many fear chaos, after the Taliban freed thousands of prisoners and the police simply melted away, or a return to the kind of brutal rule the Taliban imposed when it was last in power.

Wahidullah Qadiri, another city resident, said he hoped for peace after decades of war that have claimed the lives of two of his brothers and a cousin.

“We haven’t seen anything but catastrophes and fighting, so we always live with hope for a long-lasting peace,” he said.

With Post wires

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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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