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Hard Numbers: US troops out of Afghanistan, Somalia’s presidential election, Australian lockdown, Indian police vs Twitter

Hard Numbers: US troops out of Afghanistan, Australian lockdown, Somalia’s presidential election, Indian police vs Twitter
Gabriella Turrisi

1.000: Of the more than 4,000 US troops still in Afghanistan, only about 1,000 will remain in the country — to guard the embassy and Kabul's airport — by mid-July, well ahead of the September 11 deadline set by the Biden administration. Amid the faster-than-expected American withdrawal, a top US commander is warning Afghanistan could slide into civil war if the Afghan government is unable to stop a Taliban takeover once US soldiers leave.

8: Somalia will hold its presidential election on October 10, eight months after the outgoing president's term in office expired on February 8. The vote had been delayed over a dispute between the federal and state governments, which almost turned violent last April, when the upper and lower houses of the Somali parliament disagreed on whether to give the president a two-year extension.

7: Seven Australian cities, accounting for about half of the country's population, are now (again) under lockdown to stop the spread of the highly infectious Delta COVID variant. Meanwhile, barely 5 percent of Australians have been fully vaccinated, with many opposed to the AstraZeneca jab following mixed signals about its effectiveness from the government.

2: Police in two Indian states — Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh — have filed official complaints against Twitter for featuring a map on the social media platform's careers page that shows parts of Indian-administered Kashmir outside of the country's official borders. This comes as the Indian government pressures Twitter to comply with new rules on online speech that tech firms say undermine privacy rights.


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