Afghan President Ashraf Ghani and a group of political leaders have agreed to form a joint command center to mobilize public forces against Taliban militants. The presidential palace said the center will oversee rapid equipment and mobilization of the forces in various parts of Afghanistan. The command center will have key political leaders as its members. The Taliban have seized six provincial capitals in less than a week. They are now focused on Mazar-i-Sharif. That’s a major city whose collapse gives the militants total control over northern Afghanistan. The fighting has forced thousands of civilians from their homes. Many of them are seeking refuge in the capital Kabul.
Israeli bulldozers have demolished two residential apartments belonging to Palestinians in occupied East al-Quds. The apartments were located in the Silwan neighborhood of al-Quds. A few days ago, Israel also razed to the ground several Palestinian homes and shops in the occupied West Bank. The regime routinely demolishes Palestinian structures in the occupied territories, alleging that they lack construction permits. That’s while such documents are nearly impossible to obtain. Palestinians say the demolitions are part of Israeli efforts to expand its settlements that are illegal under international law.
Sydney COVID cases
Sydney, the capital of Australia’s New South Wales state, has posted a new daily record of COVID-19 infections. The city reported 343 new cases on Tuesday, up 66 from the previous day. The fast spread of the virus is stoked by the Delta variant that caused an outbreak in mid-June. The outbreak has even spread to other parts of Australia where a vaccination program has been slow. It has also continued to grow despite strict lockdowns. Sydney itself is now in its seventh week of lockdown putting more than five million people under stay-at-home orders. Millions more are under similar orders in Melbourne. Australia has deployed police forces to some areas including Sydney to help enforce lockdown rules.